A Non-Parenting Post

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Two weeks ago, I turned 31 and had one of the best birthdays of my life. My priorities for the next year of my life is simple - To focus on my physical and mental health, to spend a lot of time with my husband and friends, to travel as much as I can and to read as many books as I can. Apart from this, I want to excel at work and climb one more step in the professional ladder. Yeah, that's about it. Having a child has never featured in my list of priorities and I doubt if it ever will. Before people start assuming that I'm a child hating witch, let me tell you that I actually do like children. I like watching them and playing with them, but in small doses. Children are beautiful creatures and I think that it is amazing to watch them grow. But do I want to do that? No. Not as of now at-least.

The problem with a woman my age being a non-mom, is that, most of my friends are now parents to one or two and in some cases three children. Good for them. I'm sure parenthood is a wonderful place to be in but some parents seriously need to know the difference between parents and non-parents. When some women have children, their conversations only revolve around them. As a non-mom on the other end, I'm more than bored. I'm also terribly uncomfortable but the mom on the other end doesn't see that. She just expects me to understand the Hebrew that she's talking and expects me to react with pride. Sorry, that's not going to happen.

Some women do not talk about their children all the time, but somehow have that knack of linking every topic that we speak about to their children. "Oh, you're work's going good? I tell you children are so much work", "That's a nice colored top that you're wearing, my daughter would look good in that color", "Look at how fat that woman is, will she ever be able to have babies?", "Isn't that guy so hot, wow, what a good-looking dad he'll make", "Did you watch the latest item number with Sunny Leone?, Sunny is my son's nick name BTW". All that I hear is blah, blah and yes, you guessed it, more blah.

There are no other uncomfortable creatures than a couple of non-moms in a group of two or more moms. While you are desperately trying to make a conversation about chicken nachos, you are interrupted with videos of babies burping, running around or trying to say "Gleba" (If you don't get this, seriously, watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S). As a non-mom I might find this cute initially, but after 46 videos and 3876 pictures, I'm getting this close to getting a tubectomy. Then the moms start talking about breastfeeding, potty and what foods they give their spawns and at what time, the non-moms are looking blank or are busy looking into their phones trying to find contacts they can send an "SOS" to. I get it, that you are enjoying parenthood, but is that the only thing that you can talk about? If it is not the overenthusiastic parents, then it is the cribbing ones. These people only complain about how difficult their lives have become after having a child and then judge you for not wanting to have one.

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Some parents do not understand how difficult they make it for non-parents. If I'm coming to meet you, that means I'm coming to meet you and not your child. I genuinely want to know what you are doing and how your life is, not what the kid had for breakfast or how it pooped on your favorite dress. While it is totally okay to take your child out to a social gathering or a family occasion, the parents need to know their audience. If we are meeting after eons, we would have a lot to catch up on. If you bring your child, you will be totally distracted and I'll be utterly bored. I'm a conversationalist and I need to have decent conversations if I'm meeting people. I'm totally sure there is someone who can watch your child for a couple of hours, while you go get some free time with a non-mom. If a bunch of moms are hanging around with their children, then it should be a mom only meet. Trying to include non-moms in it would be a total disaster.

When parents visit non-parents at home with their children, they need to know that one thing - they are not at their homes. It is not okay for your kid to disturb my flower arrangement, tear the book I'm reading or roll around on my carpet while eating a biscuit. The worse thing is, some parents think that it is totally okay and just let the kid do what they are doing. Actually no, that is not the worse thing. The worse thing is when parents find this cute. While I'm rushing to find a broom and dustpan, the parents are busy whipping out their phones to capture their kid's antics. This is totally not fine. It is also not fine to ask the non-parents to switch off the main power supply because your kid wants to play "pull the wires from the socket" or ask them to dim the lights because it is time for the child to go to sleep. While the non-parents might do it to not seem rude, you clearly are asking for too much. You weren't born as parents, so you know what it is to be a non-parent. It would be nice if you were a little considerate to say the least.

My closest friends, a dad and another, a mom, are parents to naughty boys and we meet once a month to talk and drink. They come without their children and we have such a wonderful time. They go out to meet other parents too with their children and they have a good time there too. When you can have fun individually, why try to mix it up? Non-parents are non-parents for a reason, so let them be. Some woman I know thought that I find it uncomfortable to be around children because I cannot have one and I get emotionally troubled when I see one. No kidding. You have no idea how much of an effort I put into prevention and protection and how much I panic when my period is not on time. While most women are cut out to be mothers, some are not. My husband and I are on the same page here and while we do like kids, we just do not want to have one of our own.

As a non-mom or as a non-parent in general, I go through a lot when I'm in the company of other parents. Honestly, I don't think that parents get that. While they have clearly crossed the boundary to the other side, they probably should even think about the side they just left and the people who choose to stay there and why.

Or, is that asking for too much?

30 comments:

  1. As a parent, I totally get what you say. It's basic decency to get your kids to behave well when in public. Plus, yeah, go out without the kids once in a while. I do that often. It's good for the parents too as much as it is for the kids. Teaches them independence.
    Which reminds me, we still have to meet this year. ;)

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    1. I'm glad a parent gets this!

      We will soon, message me :)

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  2. Soumya!! If I could see you now I would hug you right away. I have been having these thoughts ever since I got married. Some people think that I have a problem conceiving because I am over weight where as I m spending so much to avoid a kid as of now! Just seeing at parents who have no life or topic other than their kids scares me. Though I do want to have a kid of my own, I just don't see myself being a mom like that. It's as if they killed themselves to give birth to a baby!

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    1. Hugs, Maith!

      Just ignore people. They just want something to talk about and someone to pick on. You are doing good and are awesome the way you are, stay that way!

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  3. Oh i get your point. As a rather late parent i went through all of this. Those conversations are so mind numbingly boring. Schools and syllabus and milestones... lord. It was boring. And since i often used to be the only one without children i was often left out - as in how rude is that? To not bother to include one person, to not even notice them! And believe me, there are so many other things to talk about. SRK, for instance. What say?

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    1. SRK it is. Why, why don't people want to talk about him instead?

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  4. Oh, I absolutely get where you are coming from. Trust me, I am a parent, but I really dislike parents who have nothing to talk about except their kids. For God's sake. Also, I love meeting my friends sans my kids. I need my me-time as well. I guess parents must be more compassionate as well when around non-parents. Glad that you wrote this post.

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    1. Thank you, Rachna. More parents should understand this.

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    1. Thank you Deepa. Next time, maybe you post a comment first and then share it ;)

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  6. Did you watch the latest item number with Sunny Leone?, Sunny is my son's nick name BTW". that made me giggle so much, Soumya! It is ingrained in our culture that humans must follow the sequence of growing up/becoming what they are expected to become/get married/have babies/blah blah blah.

    I applaud you for voicing your thoughts in this post, although when we meet I just might mention my son, but not to the extent of boring the sh*t out of you. I say YES to meeting people to have a good time. As for kids, there are play dates ;-) Love you, my dear Hottie!

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    1. As long as you are not showing me images of your son's first poop or his first scribble we're fine. Also, since I know Vidur is a a chip of the old block, I'd love to know more about him.

      Love! <3

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  7. very nice, thanks for share with us.

    http://sabhindime.com/rajasthani-good-night-shayari/

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  8. OH.. Even though I have children, I am aghast if people get their children and they rummage through my drawers and tear my books. It must be irritating to hear baby talk all the time. In fact, in office also I have seen that if two women are talking, 95% of the time it is about their kids or the maid. But men are equally bad. They talk about cars and real estate and school pickups and drops. A bit frustrating. Just walk away.

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    1. I totally get you. Why can't women talk about something else? It's almost like they are destined to be home makers or baby producing machines.

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  9. I have known young bloggers who wrote interestingly and wisely,who after the birth of a baby turn their blogs into a chronicle of their baby's guttural sounds or body movements or its smiles as events to be shared with others through their blog. I am reminded of a Mark Twain quote "Noises proves nothing.Often a hen who has merely laid an egg crackles as if she had laid an asteroid.".There is a Tamil proverb that for every crow her baby crow is a golden baby.A bit of restraint would be desirable. I studiously avoid visiting such blogs unless the blogger is a close friend whom I would not make feel bad.
    I enjoyed reading your blog after a long time thanks to your blog featuring in BA awards nominations.

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    1. Thank you so much, KP Sir.

      Restraint - Yes, that's the word.

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  10. I cannot tell you how troubled my life is because of babies being born around me every second month. While there are some super cool moms who understand that babies are not meant to be taken everywhere, there are some who can't stop talking about them. Leaving them at home is out of question.

    I understand their obsession, I totally do.They should understand mine. I try to persuade my friend to make friends with other mommy girls but she just wouldn't understand. I am ok with kids being around for 15 minutes, after that I start feeling scared and dull and claustrophobic!!! And for some weird reason, I can't stand any discussion about them.

    I may sound rude and selfish to the baby loving people of the world, but that's how I am and I cannot change that. Babies are cute and innocent and meant to be loved. But I don't admire them and their mundane stories don't interest me. Funny ones, yes bring them on. But just regular stuff that makes you chuckle as a parent who is watching them grow will not make me laugh.

    Sorry, but not sorry!

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    1. I agree with every single word here. And I'm not sorry at all.

      I feel like puking at some of their "interesting" stories, to be honest because they involve poop more often than not.

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  11. You already know what I have to say here - even as a parent, I'm going to say this. Remember that you have a life outside of 'parenting' too.
    So yes, I totally get your point.

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    1. You are one of the most awesomest parent I have ever met. Enough said.

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  12. I hear you on all counts. I'm a couple of years older than you but made the decision in my late twenties to be child-free. Of course, I'm single now so it doesn't make a difference either way. But what bugs me is how when I was in arelationship and we'd tell people we didn't want kids, every parent would think they had to offer advice as to how it would be different if it was your own. I would tell them you can't try before you buy. I like kids and I work with them but I don't want one of my own.

    I wrote a post about feeling like a fish out of water in early July when I went on a weekend away with two friends and their husbands {a month after my breakup} and found out one couple was pregnant {they only got married in Nov} and the other one we knew were trying IVF. The entire weekend, barring for a games session, was spent talking about babies and pregnancy related stuff. I wanted the ground to swallow me up completely! I don't think I'm going o na weekend away with those friends any time soon! :P

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    1. High five, sister! I hope that this is how I will feel till the end of time.

      Gosh, that would have been such a horrible getaway! Please stay away from them for a while for your own sanity.

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  13. haha...I know what you mean. I try as much as possible to not talk about M with others. In fact, I never do unless they ask me about her specifically. And I don't make them sit and see her pictures and videos. But I know parents who do that and I also know it's annoying even to me because I have no interest in what someone else's kids do. As simple as that. Apart from my blog, I don't think I mention M to anyone apart from my immediate family. So, I hear you girl!

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    1. I'm so glad parents like you understand this, Naba. It needs to reach a wider audience though.

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  14. I hear you, sistah!
    Being a non-parent myself, I too find it stifling when in the company of women who keep harping about their kids' achievements, grumbling about kiddie troubles and what not. And, all I do, is sit and listen with one ear, or go off on a trip to fantasy land! And, I wonder, if I begin talking about my pet and the colour of his poop, are they going to sit and listen? No! So then, why DO they take it for granted that 'KIDS' is going to be our favourite topic of conversation?
    Soumya, you and I ought to meet some day and have our kinda conversations, girl, and let's shut out the parents who have nothing to talk about except kids and their poops! Hehehe
    It was a hilarious read, Soumya! And, also, ekdum bindaas! I like that!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this post, Shilpa!

      Oh yeah, let us do that! Come down to Bangalore, soon :D

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  15. I understand what you are saying, Soumya. Before I had kids and was enjoying the newly married status, whenever there was a get together, only one other friend and I was the ones who didn't have kids at the time and all the rest of the ladies start talking about their kids. We both used to just listen, but after some time we would be so bored. The pregnancy talk was even worse and scary at that time. We had told them that we don't follow their discussion. Even now, when I talk to some parents all they want to talk is about their kids, how good and smart the little ones are, etc. I am a parent of two, yet I get bored. I am weird that way. I don't like to talk on and on about how great my kid is. Discussing about him with hua teacher makes sense to me but others that too people who I juat met, I can't do that.

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    1. It is nice to have parents agreeing to this post of mine, trust me. I hope other parents get this too.

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Care to leave a word or two? Thanks for dropping by :)