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3/27/2016

Are We Judgmental Bitches?

I read a post on Facebook a little while ago, about a young woman who had made the conscious decision not to have any children. I think she used the word never with some exclamation points. She wrote that afterwards she got a lot of headwind for openly refusing a life with children, and a backlash was sparked amongst mothers who allegedly have a big problem with that. She continued to appeal to the rules of a civilized and equal society, to let her do what she wants and just leave her be.

A reasonable request. I found myself wondering however to what extent the societal pressure she was talking about is an issue, if though a perceived reality it may be. Is it really other people, who make her feel badly about this decision, and by extension, is it even possible for other people to make us feel anything along the lines of doubt and insecurity?

First of all it seems to be pretty demure to not want something as a life choice. It's the opposite of needing stuff to exist. Some people think they need a Porsche to survive. In case of anything materialistic, usually people go for it or they don't, depending on the effort they are willing to put in. Either way in my experience, people generally don't really care about other people's harbored ambitions or even openly voiced desires.

We may take notice when you have something that we don't have, be jealous, or decide we want it too, but that's a different story. Most of the time, other people's aspirations don't even register - we're all much too concerned with what we want anyway.


Yes, sometimes mothers, parents, will appear judgmental, mostly in comparing their own parental style which they claim to find flawless, to other, allegedly inferior styles of parenting. This is what I think it's really about: being defensive about our own shit. Attacking not to be attacked.

I don't believe there's a single mother on planet Earth who thinks she's perfect. You may have days, moments, when you think, man, I'm great, I got this whole thing figured out, but the next minute you find your kid sitting in the corner, suckling on a beat-up cat toy and you think to yourself: damn, I'm raising a monkey. Stop licking the wall, Bingo.

Anyways, so what I think it comes down to is that parents are not in the business of judging anyone for refusing the whole child experience. We may think you're missing out on something big. Because we think it's pretty big. Parents don't know what they're missing out on by having children. Adventure, travel, the great escape? Just a wild guess. Childless people don't know what they're missing out on by not having them. There is no grounds for either of us to judge here.

Be that as it may, the declaration to adhere to a certain lifestyle, any lifestyle, for the rest of your life just isn't very reasonable. How often have you thought, OK, this is it, I'm settled, this is me. Life usually doesn't work on our terms. In case something completely surprising happens, and chances are that it will, our cores may be shaken, personalities will be disheveled and everything we thought we knew will be turned upside down.

So when it comes to life, there may be no other way than to stay flexible. It seems like a bad idea to close your mind to anything, even ideas that may seem bad or plain wrong at the time. They may appear more convenient a minute from now, or when things happen and you have to deal with the altered reality in front of you. Most of the time stuff happens despite our grand proclamations. And in a moment of crisis and change, we will find out we can deal with pretty much anything, and tackle things that are very different from our current agenda, our own prejudice, and yes, even those pesky children may add something to your life you never even imagined you'd love so much. Same goes for everything else of course. New doors open. It's out of our control when they do. And that's the terrifying and fantastic thing about life.