We can probably all agree that we’ll never all agree on how, when, or even whether, the childfree get to talk about parenting.
Some say if we don’t have kids, we have no right to discuss the lives and choices of those who do.* Others suggest that we childfree are among the best equipped to be a voice of reason when it comes to parenthood for we’re less blinded by the cult of pronatalism.
Wherever you stand, the reality is that some of us are childfree, at least in part, because we’re well aware of the pressures parents face. Whether you believe said pressures are real or imaginary, whether you believe they are the result of individual choice or political/cultural/structural forces (or some combination of the two), they do impact the day to day reality of life for us all.
How so, you ask? Last week I wrote an op-ed in my local newspaper addressing that very question. In it I argue that eliminating the culture of intensive parenting would benefit everyone: moms, dads, kids, and the childfree. Take a look see and let me know what you think.
*Funny. That doesn’t seem to stop the same people from weighing in on our choice not to have them.
Cut parents some slack, already
Last month, an American Greetings video showing candidates interviewing for the “world’s toughest job” quickly went viral. Job requirements included working while standing 135 to unlimited hours per week, no breaks, no vacations and, ideally, degrees in medicine, finance and the culinary arts.
The punchline? Candidates learned they had applied for the job of being a mom.
While the aim of the video was to sell Mother’s Day cards, it provides another opportunity: to think more deeply about where these job expectations come from and what effect they have on us all. The unrealistic expectations our culture places on moms hurt everyone: mothers, fathers, kids and even those who don’t have kids.
Read the full article here.