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post 301, complaining parents

Posted by bell_flower 
post 301, complaining parents
May 18, 2005
I don't get this either. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: parents themselves are the worst advertisements for parenthood.

At work I am bombarded with hard luck stories about how haaaard it is. I'm not talking about the occasional bitchfest, which we all need. I mean people who weren't thrilled with the idea to begin with, yet they *must* have a child, and they keep having them even though they appear to be miserable.

I also don't get the whining, considering raising a child has never been easier, at least in terms of sheer labor and perks. I'm not talking about the pressure to keep up with the Joneses or to be the Perfect Mommy who gives a chyyyyld the Perfect Childhood, because these idiocies are self-inflicted.

The tax breaks, the perks, the parental leave, the labor-saving devices have never been more prevalent. My mom stayed home, and she and Dad shared a car between them. They had no Diaper Genie, no dishwasher, no Hot Pockets, no disposable diapers. Yet my mom still had a life. She had friends; she and my dad had cocktail parties where children were not allowed, and I lived through it with my self-esteem intact. She was still an interesting person despite having kids.

Back to topic, if you call one of these whiners on it, i.e. ask them why they did it if they are miserable, the claws come out! You will get bingoed into oblivion. "Oh, but you haaaaaave to do it. It's what life is about. We wouldn't live any other way." Good for you, but leave me out of your drama.

I see it all the time too. Whine whine whine, but it is soooo worth it. Listen to me bitch, but don't you dare agree with me, or call me out on it. You don't understand because you aren't a parent. blah blah blah.
I see this type of whining too, sometimes, as the health club where I work out is way out in 'burbland. I'm there during off-peak times due to my work schedule, so the housefraus are often there full-force when I'm in the locker room. For the most part they're fine, but occasionally they'll start in on how haaaaard it is, and how busy they are, and so on. After a while, a realization dawned on me: they're only partly complaining...mostly they're just trying to brag, kind of. The more I listened, the more I realized that they're not saying "It costs sooooo muuuuuch to fill up the tank on little Trendeigh Nayme's cute lil Jeep." ...they are in fact meaning something more along the lines of "We have enough money to purchase expensive, life-size toys for our offspring."

I am not much of a consumer myself (hubby and I own one car between the two of us, and we bike/bus/walk a lot), so I'm kinda left scratching my head about why one would BRAG about wasting money and natural resources. However, I've found that treating their complaint at face value is fun! "Wow, yeah, that's a lot of fossil fuels, I can see why you are so concerned! Maybe she should bike to school/mall/friend's party instead." THEN...their actual point comes forth. "Well, we do fine...it's not really that bad..." and then launch forth into a blather about how Trendeigh Nayme really deserves the Jeep, she's such a wunderkind, blah blah blah breeder blather.

And sometimes, parents complain because they genuinely don't like the sacrifice of doing tmijitw. Either way, baiting them is fun sometimes.

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