When the STFU Parents blog first came on the scene, parents everywhere were outraged. How dare a childfree woman make fun of us and our precious widdle snowflakes? Moms, Dads, I've got to break it to you ... sometimes our brothers and sisters in parenting are just asking for it. As much as it pains me to admit this (considering I have a 7-year-old daughter), sometimes I'm embarrassed to be a mom. So embarrassed that I read the new STFU Parents book with a box of tissues beside me; some for the tears from my hysterical laughter, some to drown my sorrows that I'm associated with these oversharing nitwits.
And when I came out on the other side, I decided it was time to do something about it. STFU's Blair Koenig has got the bizarre world of oversharing covered. But what else is there? What else do parents do that makes our child-free friends squirm? Could I be making the same idiot mistakes?
Empowered by reading (and yes, laughing at) Blair's book, I decided to find out. What you're about to read are the no-holds-barred answers from friends who do not have children. They were promised two things if they'd be completely honest: anonymity (of course) and that I would not hold anything they said against them.
Parents, some of this will be painful to read. Some will make you laugh. Some will make you cry. And all of it is for your own good:
1. I have worked at restaurants where I often see kids run in to servers and fear that they are going to get a knife or glass dropped on them.
2. I think my biggest complaint is how you have friends with kids and the kids know who you are but play the shy card. You're not shy, you're being rude. Speak when spoken to!
3. People with older kids rarely annoy me. It's the ones who act like no baby has ever cut a tooth before, or rolled over, or sat up. No one wants to watch a video of your child that is longer than 12 seconds long.
4. I hate the "you don't understand" parents. I mean the ones who think single people have never encountered a child (or even other parents have never encountered the uniqueness that is Their Kid).
5. I hate it when parents use "we." "We are walking!" Oh really? You're 34 and just learning to walk? That's weird.
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6. My sister-in-law has a trick I hate. She doesn't feed her baby before we eat, or while we eat, but directly after ... which is a handy way to ensure you don't have to help clean up!
7. I hate how parents act like their child is superior to all other kids. Ohh little Johnny sleeps through the night, Susie is in second grade and reads at a fourth grade level, Timmy is the best player on his soccer team. Hate to break it to you but we all just grow up to join the rat race and none of that crap matters when you become an adult.
8. I get irritated when parents blabber on about being so busy. Soccer games, PTO Meeting, piano lessons. I'm busy too ... just with adult activities!
9. It pisses me off that people with kids use them as an excuse, especially to call out of work. I totally understand kids get sick, but then you see them post pics of them with the kids out somewhere when they couldn't come to work the same day bc the kid was supposedly sick.
10. When I worked at a gift shop, back when Barney was really popular, parents would come in and give their kids a stuffed Barney doll to hold while they were shopping. The kids would chew and slobber on them... then the parents would put the toy back. The kids would scream and the toy was not something in sell-able condition.
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11. I don't like when spouses start to call each other "mommy" and "daddy." That's just creepy.
12. I was at a Target once where this woman was trying to negotiate with her screaming 6-year-old at the front of the store. It went on for the whole 30 minutes I was in the store. I went back the next day and mentioned it to the cashier and he said it went on almost an hour. That kid had opera singer lungs. I have much respect for the parent that turns around and takes the kid home.
13. I guess I most hate that they fall into what we call the "baby hole" and we just don't see them anymore. Why can't anyone get a damn babysitter anymore?
14. What really annoys me, and this comes from strangers and family, is when parents yell at their kids about something they are doing, but never get out of their chair and deal with the kid. And they will make consequences that they never follow through on. Kids pick up on that quick and exploit it.
15. The sheer mess that some kids make when out to eat is astounding, and the fact that the parents make no effort to reign it in drives me bonkers.
16. I hate it when parents talk as if they were the child in photo captions.
17. My biggest pet peeve is "You can't imagine tired, frustrated, pain, etc. unless you've had a child." Bullshit! I work 16-hour days and am responsible for a staff of 50. You had a hard day doing laundry and watching Baby Einstein for the third time.
Ahem. And you wonder why I'm embarrassed to be a mom!
Have YOU done anything on the list? What do you think when child-free folks criticize this kind of thing?
Image via © iStock.com/yacobchuk