Bad attitude

Yesterday my Mum told me about a child catchernews story she’d read this week on her tablet. Its neither a big story nor a local story – it happened in Canada – but it made me feel a little bit outraged. A cafe owner ‘shamed’ a mother of a one-year-old and a three-year-old by posting a picture on Facebook of a few crumbs they had left under their table after visiting her establishment. Here is a link to the story. Personally I think its really mean to take this kind of attitude considering the very small amount of mess and the fact that the children were not criticised for being unruly or badly behaved, just making crumbs on the cafe’s carpetted floor after eating a scone.

I have read through lots of the comments and it reminded me of the dreadful misopedia that seems to abound in numerous commentary threads I have read recently on parenting websites and blogs (those aimed specifically at parents) with articles, for all intents and purposes, musing on what gives childless people the right to demand childfree flights on aeroplanes, or at the very least asking for a little compassion and tolerance for those of us who have to struggle through such an experience fraught with angst and embarassment. There is generally quite a widespread intolerance by (seemingly) a lot of childless people (although this comes through reading things written in cyberspace – I haven’t really had to experience anything like this attitude in real life), not just about airplane flights, but experiences in restaurants, cafes, shops, basically anywhere with a social hub that isn’t specifically designed for parents and children (the parental ghetto).

Comments like “I made a decision not to have kids and I shouldn’t have to raise YOURS!” and “I hate the way society kowtows to breeders and their screaming hoards of brats!” seem to abound which frustrates me because it seems to imply that these people are just mean, and intolerant and bitter about the fact that mother nature seems to have played this heinous trick on them by giving (other) people a biological urge to perpetuate the human race.

Of course I understand the argument that not all parents are great role models and let their children run riot and behave badly in public. Unfortunately a lot of people have children and there is no way to stop those who obviously aren’t ready for it, don’t really want it, or were never cut out for it, joining the party.

Its also very true that these very children who are the target of so much hatred will grow up to be the tax-payers and care-givers for all those ageing childless commentators who seem to think the world would have been a better place if their generation had been the last.

What really confuses me is why these people are sitting around in their spare time reading other people’s parenting blogs and getting themselves all gnarled up about the very thought of a little fluffy head appearing in the departure lounge. Get a life!

6 thoughts on “Bad attitude

  1. “Its also very true that these very children who are the target of so much hatred will grow up to be the tax-payers and care-givers for all those ageing childless commentators…”

    That’s assuming they find jobs and actually grow up to be productive citizens.

    This has been said a hundred times to the childfree. At the minute, I’m willing to be most of those kids attend public school. Who pays for that, despite not using it?

  2. I think you’re American so by ‘public’ school you mean what we refer to in the UK as ‘state’ school (Public school in England is actually private school – very confusing!). I’m certainly not saying that every child will grow up to contribute but what I am saying is that without children (full stop) where would the rest of us (childfree included) be in our old age? And as such we all contribute to the cost of state education because we want children (even if they’re not our own) to be educated and grow up to contribute!! By that standard we are ALL using the education system in order for society as a whole to be peopled by educated beings? (In theory!)

  3. “There is generally quite a widespread intolerance by (seemingly) a lot of childless people (although this comes through reading things written in cyberspace – I haven’t really had to experience anything like this attitude in real life)”

    So where have you collected your evidence from for this widespread “misopedia?” Ah yes, cyberspace, so this is not your own perception? To refer to people as ‘childless’ is rather ugly. Don’t label people like that, please. Have you no thought or consideration to those women who are not able to have children? Take my friends, one of whom has had five miscarriages and the other who had an abortion when she was very young. She had complications and will never, ever be able to conceive. And if a couple decide they don’t want to have children? Then, so what? That’s their choice, you can’t automatically assume that they hate children. What’s wrong with not having children? There’s no law against it and it doesn’t mean that you are weird.

    Yes, there are probably people out there that despise children but it’s wrong to assume that people without children are child haters. Can I assume that maybe, you are secretly jealous of those without children, of their fun days and nights out, weekends away or holidays for adults only?

    I assume that you are very happily married to a wonderful man with whom you have born two wonderful children who will no doubt grow up and contribute to the welfare of “ageing childless commentators who seem to think the world would have been a better place if their generation had been the last.” How very rude. For your information, both of my retired parents are paying taxes on their pensions. They are still contributing towards the welfare of your offspring in the future and they are not bitter about it.

    So please don’t generalise. That news story was quite petty and not even worth reading. You have blown it all out of proportion and instead taken it out on people without children. It carries no weight as it wasn’t based on personal experience, just something biased that you read from a newspaper. And you’ve also read a lot of misopedia things on cyberspace.

    • Firstly, I’m sorry you’ve taken such offence to this post.
      On your first point, I had assumed that the sentence “this actually comes through reading things on cyberspace” kind of spelled out the fact that the place I have collected my thoughts (not evidence – I never claimed to be writing anything with any hard facts – this is thoughts and feelings territory which I believe everyone with a blog has the right to claim) was in fact, Cyberspace. Is that a problem? And yes it is still my perception, based on what I’ve been reading.

      On the descriptive ‘childless’ being ugly – is it really? It is just the opposite of child’ed’ I guess – one without, one with no judgements on why someone is either without or with and certainly not used to be rude or offend. I also know people who have had many miscarriages and struggled to conceive and I certainly didn’t have those people in mind when talking about people who hate children (very obviously to the point of not needing to differentiate in words).

      On your statement that I assume that all people without children, hate children – erm…maybe you should read
      through again – I’m talking about a specific group of people who comment, in cyberspace, making it clear that they don’t have children themselves and don’t want children either. Obviously there is nothing wrong with not wanting or having children – free will and freedom of choice – I’m all for it. Different strokes, etc. Nothing wrong with that. I find it weird that you have read this post and then read into it (from what I’m not sure) that I have stated or implied anywhere that people who don’t have or want children are weird.

      On your assumption that I am secretly jealous of those without children – I’ll let you into this secret – everyone with small children is jealous of those without children (and if they claim they’re not they’re lying!) – it goes without saying – small children are hard work and you are correct in assuming that there is little time for fun days and nights out, etc.
      I had children a little later in life though so despite a painful adjustment period, I know I’ve had many adult years of good, childless/childfree living. Also, the years where your children are small and rely on you for everything, cannot be left alone, etc, are relatively short-lived in the scheme of things so freedom returns eventually. Having said that, being aware of a short-lived jealousy of those unadorned with the constraints of parenthood has no bearing on this blog post – I believe your implication is “criticising people without children = jealous of people without children”. Not really relevant – I’m not criticising people for not having or wanting children, I’m criticising people (who, as has been pointed out to me, may or may not have children themselves, grown and flown, or whatever) for over-reacting to posts on parenting blogs (this is getting a bit close to the knuckle!) and – in my honest opinion – coming over somewhat misopedic and actually quite rude and intolerant.
      The fact that you think my comment on those people who “seem to think the world would have been a better place if their generation had been the last” is rude – again – where is this offence-taking coming from? Why are you telling me about your parents – I don’t know how clear I have to make it that I am not making a sweeping generalisation about ANYONE EXCEPT people who have posted rude, bragging, critical, argumentative, SEEMINGLY child-hating comments IN CYBERSPACE. I assume that’s not your parents?? When I’m a retired parent I’ll be contributing to the ‘offspring’ of the next generation too and I won’t be bitter about it either. The generation before your parents contributed towards the welfare of YOU – maybe some of them were bitter about it?

      The original news story I referred to is quite obviously not an important news story – despite the fact that it made at least one of the international dailies – but it was something that started a thought process for me as the woman criticised was in a restaurant with her one-year-old and three-year-old and I have children of the same age. It struck a chord with myself (and clearly many, many other people all over the world) and therefore I used that story as an opening thought for this post – is it really “blowing it out of all proportion” to have commented that someone criticising someone else for something so petty seems mean and intolerant? Obviously I’m going to empathise with the mother of two, being one myself – am I not allowed to share this thought on my own blog?
      Yes I have read a lot of “misopedia things” on cyberspace – that’s what this whole post is about…

  4. They should send this person complaining about crumbs to clean a pub on a sunday morning. Vodka jelly on the floor, cigarettes littering the doorways, bits of food in strange places, ripped up bear mats everywhere, toilet roll left on the floor of the loos or blocking the toilet. Sick in the toilet, on the floor, up the outside wall. Who made all that mess??? Oh adults!!!

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