#BadParentShaming

July 5, 2013 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Parenting, Social idiocy | 1 Comment

I know being a parent is hard.

I know you have to sacrifice.

I know there’s lots of things you don’t get to do that you did before your bundle(s) of joy came into your life.

SUCK. IT. UP.

Let me set the record straight for some people who are REALLY unclear on what is appropriate vs inappropriate parenting behaviour.

1).  It is NOT OK for you to bring your INFANT or TODDLER to a movie theatre unless it’s a mom & tot afternoon screening.  I don’t CARE if it’s expensive to get a sitter – if you cannot afford a sitter, you CANNOT AFFORD TO GO TO THE MOVIE.  Cope.  Your wants do not give you the right to a) disturb other patrons when your kid freaks out and ruin THEIR experience that THEY also paid money for, and b) expose your child to loud, scary and inappropriate content.

2) It is NOT ok for you to let your toddler run around a restaurant you are in unless you are in the play room of a Burger King or McDonalds.  The servers are carrying HOT FOOD and heavy, dangerous (if dropped on your kid’s HEAD) dishes.  Show some RESPECT and teach your kids some DISCIPLINE.  It is not MY job, nor is it the restaurant staffs’ job to look after your child.  If your child cannot sit still through a restaurant meal without disturbing other patrons, guess what? He/She IS  TOO YOUNG to take to a restaurant.  Order take-out and eat in, or get a sitter.

3) it is NOT OK  for you to take your INFANT or TODDLER to a rock concert (indoor or outdoor!) – and if you take a child and you don’t ensure it has hearing protection, that just classifies, IMNSHO, as NEGLIGENT.  A typical rock concert is around 115dBs, but can be much louder if you are right near the stage/speakers.  Children are increasingly at risk for hearing loss, and the effects of so many kids listening at too high a volume to mp3 players/ipods  is starting to take its toll.  This will only be compounded by their bozo parents taking them to things like rock concerts when they are babies and not providing any hearing protection.  Repeated (unprotected) exposure to loud sporting events, concerts, etc. will take its toll on anyone’s hearing – and children are even more at risk.  Even brief exposure to very loud noises can cause permanent damage:

“Children’s ear canals are small and particularly susceptible to loud noises, and even brief exposure can induce permanent hearing loss. Sustained exposure to sounds greater than 85 decibels are known to damage the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear.”  – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/ask-a-health-expert/is-it-ok-to-bring-my-baby-to-a-loud-concert/article4665564/

And it’s ESPECIALLY NOT OK to take your infant or toddler to a concert AT NIGHT – a) your kid should be in bed ASLEEP, with some kind of reasonable schedule, b) you shouldn’t be exposing your child to all that second-hand weed and tobacco smoke, and c) large drunken crowds can put your child at real risk for getting stepped on/injured.

There were 25,000 people at the festival concert I went to tonight.  I saw parents with INFANTS and no hearing protection, at a location where the base was so loud it was causing my heart to skip beats (in other words, MUCH louder than 115dB)!  And I wanted to smack the “mother” and I use that word loosely, who, AFTER DARK, while puffing on her cigarette, took her toddler out of the stroller (that people kept bumping into and tripping over because she was TOO CLOSE TO THE STAGE with it), and put a leash on him so he could toddle around.  Sober people were dangerous enough trying to make their way through the crowds in the dark. Druken ones even more so.  I breathed a sigh of relief when she picked the kid up.  I was THIS close to saying, “What the FUCK are you thinking? Bringing a toddler HERE, after dark, and then letting him wander around?”

Get a grip parents.  You are NOT entitled to ruin other people’s enjoyment of a movie, concert, dinner and/or put your kid at risk because YOU feel entitled to some fun.  Parenting requires a great deal of sacrifice.  Just like your kids, you won’t always get to do what you want.  Suck it up and act like a grown up.

 

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It doesn’t get any easier…

June 3, 2009 | Filed Under Parenting, The Heartless Bitch Way | 4 Comments

Once, when my children were very young, I was exasperatedly telling an older friend about my trials and tribulations with parenting. (It might have been the day after we found worms coming out of my eldest’s ass)…. I said, “Does it get any easier as they get older?”  She said, “It doesn’t any easier, the problems just change.”

My kids are now in their twenties, and in some ways I find being a “parent” to young men this age even harder than parenting them when they were young.  When they were little, you had authority – it was an essential part of the role. After all, your primary job as a parent, as Dave Barry puts it, is to stop them from killing themselves before they are 5. (Or 10, or 15…)  As difficult as young kids can be, you still have the the right to say, “No. You will do it THIS way.” or “You need a time out to think about this”, and in the worst case, you can pick them up under your arm and haul them off to their room, (or to the car, so you can take them to the hospital for stitches). When they get older, it all gets more complex. It’s hard to pick up a 6’2″ 190lb guy, and you can’t exactly give them a “time out”, (Though you CAN embarrass the shit out of them when they break the “No Skanky Hos Sleep Over” house rule.)

These are the things they don’t tell you about in prenatal classes, or even parenting books.  For example, I had a hard enough time dealing with my own existential angst, and now I get to relive it all over again as my kids go through their own versions.  Each one in his own uniquely painful (and painful to watch) way.  

When they ask questions when they are little, you generally know the answers. As adults, those questions get really complicated and the future hangs in the balance, and all of a sudden you have to say, “I don’t know”.  Or worse, when you DO know exactly what shit is going to happen, and no amount of warning them will dissuade them from a bad course of action.  I mean we all made mistakes, and lord knows, we probably learn the most from our mistakes rather than our triumphs, but it is REALLY hard to watch your kid make the SAME mistakes over and over again.  It’s even harder to say NOTHING when you see them repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot.  (OK, for me, that’s IMPOSSIBLE.)

But here’s the dilemma: We all want our kids to feel loved, validated, and good about themselves. In order to give your child that message, you are supposed to “accept” them as they are. However, if you accept all that they do as an adult without comment and you see them doing self-destructive and/or self-defeating things, aren’t you just “enabling”?  If you see your kid with all this potential, just floundering, do we not owe it to tell them that we believe the can be/do so much MORE with their lives?  If I applaud them for working at a shitty minimum-wage job am I not giving them the message that I think that’s all they are capable of?

More importantly, do we ever stop being “parents”?

A friend sent me a quote yesterday, that seemed to match my feelings on this subject:

“If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that.”
    -Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Or, as Ashley Brilliant put it: “Just because I have accepted you as you are does not mean I have abandoned all hope for your improvement.” 

You hope that by the time they get to their twenties they at least have some things figured out, and they ARE adults now, so they have to assume responsibility for their actions, but I think the hardest part is letting go. I think my biggest challenges in the last 4 years have been around figuring out HOW to be a parent to an adult.  Even the best offspring are going to do things that are crazy, reckless, and downright foolish (god knows, *I* did), and if we say nothing when we see this going on, and bad things happen, are we complicit in the outcome? In law, if you witness a crime and say nothing you can be considered an Accessory After the Fact, right? How do you draw the line between “caring” and “interfering”?  I mean, I think we can all identify the extremes, but it’s that stuff that’s close to the line that makes us so miserable.

I told one of my sons that if he didn’t want me voicing my opinions on his choices, he should stop asking me to fund them, or more to the point, asking me to bail him out when he runs out of money.  In business, if you go to a venture capital firm to borrow money, they have VERY tight control on what you do with that money – how you spend it, what information you disclose back to them, and how you pay it back. Kids today, on the other hand, seem to think we should loan them cash with impunity, (and some think they are actually ENTITLED to it) and without having the right to say ANYTHING about how they might spend that money, manage their finances, never mind actually talking about repayment.

I wonder, is the safety-net of a mom who will help him out financially (that gravy train has come to a grinding halt, BTW), and a Dad who will give him work at his business if he can’t find anything else, actually undermining the initiative he might take for real personal growth and achieving his potential if he didn’t have us to fall back on?

(I gave my cousin a birthday card a while back that said, “We child-proofed the house 3 years ago… but they keep getting back IN!”) 

I see the same issues but in a different way with my eldest. It’s like they both have a vision of what they want (sort of – at least what kind of lifestyle they want), but neither seems willing to endure the effort (doing things that they don’t find immediately pleasurable), and the delay of gratification it would take, to get there. They often put off long term gain in favor of short term things that are “fun” and feel good, but that they KNOW are holding them back. And yet they rationalize their choices.  “I’m young. I have lots of time.”  I hear this is an issue with many of the “Millennials“.  Kids in this instant-gratification/Nintendo generation seem to have little tolerance for the rote, less-than-fun work that it takes to get to an accomplished level. Teachers at the college level have told me that so many of the students just don’t want to do the work necessary to REALLY learn the material, and worse, they don’t think they should HAVE to. They think they should earn a degree through attendance alone.

The thing IS, I know I didn’t raise my kids to be this way, but something is going on.  Is it an education system that stopped making the kids responsible for self-discipline, instead shunting it to the parents? (Getting planners signed? We never had “planners” when we were in school…). Is it the “everyone is special, everyone gets a certificate” crap that is currently fashionable? Is it the “heaven fore-fend we should FAIL a child for not meeting the standards set for passing this grade”?  I think that Raina Kelly nailed it in her “Generation Me” article in Newsweek: “…as Jean Twenge and W. Keith Campbell point out in their excellent book “The Narcissism Epidemic,” released last week, we’ve built up the confidence of our kids, but in that process, we’ve created a generation of hot-house flowers puffed with a disproportionate sense of self-worth (the definition of narcissism) and without the resiliency skills they need when Mommy and Daddy can’t fix something.”

If you believe what the Steven Levitt’s and the Malcom Gladwell’s of the world are telling us, it seems that parenting doesn’t matter as much as we think it does. Society, peers, and a whole host of other factors (on top of genetics) may have a much stronger influence:  Reality TV, Financial scandals, an information age where viral marketing spreads trends faster than ever before, and the perception that they will never be as successful as their parents may have a bigger impact on this generation than any values we can hope to instill.  According to the studies that Gladwell cites in The Tipping Point, it is of far more negative impact on a child to have good parents in a bad neighborhood than it is to have bad parents in a good neighborhood.  According to data that Levitt quotes, whether you read books every night to your kids, took them to museums, or put them in a head-start program has little impact on their outcome in school. (On a positive note for all you guilt-ridden working moms, going back to work before they entered kindergarten also has no impact on school outcomes compared to staying home until they enter school.) Further to alleviating that parental guilt, Judith Harris’s “The Nurture Assumption” (reviewed here by Malcom Gladwell) turns the tables on many assumptions about the impact of parents on the personality/behavior of the child.  We aren’t as important as we’ve been lead to believe we are. (Oh thank GOD. You mean it’s not all MY fault?! What a relief.)

It would seem that if individual parents are not directly to blame for the current epidemic of narcissism and instant-gratification in the millennials, then we as a society have to take some responsibility. Remember when it was inappropriate to let a kid run amok in a restaurant? Remember when it was socially acceptable to ask someone to take a screaming child out of a theatre, or chide a child that wasn’t yours, for rudeness or aggression?  Now, heaven fore-fend you should look askance at someone else’s kid.  The “village” it seems is bent on raising a bunch of self-absorbed brats.

Despite the negative influences of the Millennial generation, I am proud that my sons are polite, courteous (at least to others, and usually to me), and helpful. They do not suffer from the same sense of entitlement that I see plaguing friends and acquaintances. When we help out, they are grateful, but they don’t expect it.

I just hope that they DO have as much time as they think to “figure it out”.  I just hope that when they are 35 and finally finished school and are trying to start a career, that managers like me aren’t going to look at them like 2nd-class citizens, wondering why someone that old is only JUST getting his shit together now….  

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Safe sex discussion with the spawn

March 15, 2009 | Filed Under Parenting, Random Silliness | 1 Comment

“We have this ‘worst pickup line’ contest at work.  It gets pretty bad.”

“Ok. I’ll bite, what’s your worst?”

“Hand a girl a drink and say, Hey, how’s about you and me go halvsies on a bastard?”

“*groans*  I can just imagine you trying that on a girl in a bar. You’re likely to get slapped. On the other hand, it might be a good litmus test. If she laughs, at least it shows she has a sense of humor.”

“Yeah, but what if it works on her – not because she has a sense of humor, but because she agrees?  What kind of girl would go for a pickup line like that?”

“Probably not the kind that practices safe sex.”

“That’s why celibacy is the safest form of sex.” 

“Celibacy isn’t safe sex, it’s NO sex.  The safest form of sex is the kind you have with yourself.”

“Are you kidding? Have you seen my hands? They’re filthy!  And who knows where they’ve been…”

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Being a “parent” again…

September 16, 2008 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Parenting | No Comments

This past week, I had not only my two adult male children here (plus one girlfriend), but also my 17-year-old nephew on a 4-day stopover (on his way back from Russia, and on to Toronto before heading home).  Add to that mix 2 cats, a roommate and a boyfriend, and it was a FULL house.

The dishwasher went through at least 2 times a day – when I got on the young males’ case to load/unload it. (I’m seriously thinking of adopting my eldest’s girlfriend. She’s smart, funny, slightly evil, and does household chores like cleaning up after herself without being asked.)

And even though the two of them are 20 and 21, I had to go into the bedroom one night at 12:30, kick two of the boys out (the youngest and the nephew were playing computer games on the oldest’s computer) and remind my oldest and his gf that SHE had to work the next day, and HE had school. Really. I think kids DO regress when they move back home.

But as much as I rag on them, I DO enjoy having my spawn around again. It’s been 10 years since I had both of them living with me, however, and it’s taking some getting used to.  I’m not a neat-freak by any stretch, but these guys cause me to hit my “critical mass of mess” orders of magnitude faster than on my own, and that critical mass usually results in a sentence starting with, “Ok.Get your asses in here….”.

And then there is the “interaction” between the two of them – they haven’t lived together in the same house for 4 years.  And it’s like nothing ever changed.

Tonight, the youngest was sound asleep on the couch, snoring, when his brother came in, noticed him there, and decided to “hug” him.  The kind of hug that isn’t borne out of affection, but deliberately meant to annoy. The kind of hug you see 12 and 13-year-olds  giving each other to piss each other off. I’m here to attest to the fact that the effect is the same when they are in their 20’s. “**** What the fuck!? Piss off!” was the younger spawn’s response. The oldest of course protested that he was just trying to show his brother AFFECTION!  The bf found it terribly amusing. Apparently HE never had that in his repertoire of tricks for bugging his younger brother.

And then there is the sense of humor. The two of them play off each other -they riff each other’s personal lives and TV shows, and joke about turning the cat into a submissive masochist (that’s ANOTHER story). And the oldest does accents. Mostly Scottish, sometimes British or  Australian, but tonight he was cracking us up by suggesting that Keanu Reeve’s poorly delivered lines in the movie “Constantine” would be MUCH better if delivered by Sean Connery, and then repeating those lines in a perfect Sean Connery accent. We all cracked up.

My house is a disaster. We go through 6 litres of milk a week, I’m thinking of taking out shares in Costco, and I’m trying not to lose my sanity with the mess that accumulates. But on the whole, it’s good to have them back. Even if they are adding grey hairs to my head, the laughter that comes with them is worth it.

 

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Kids and networks – cut from the same cloth.

July 28, 2008 | Filed Under Computers, Parenting, The Heartless Bitch Way | 2 Comments

Today, as I am trying to make a network change to allow one of our corporate satellite sites access to a DMZ, (Demilitarized Zone, for the uninitiated), we suddenly lose all our Internet access. We spend almost 2 hours rebooting the firewall, the DNS servers (it seems related to DNS), only to discover that our primary network provider line went out.    The reason it took us so long to figure out was because some of our traffic was being routed over a secondary line. (It’s a long and sordid story, but it was also MONDAY, which plays a factor in any of these issues).  Of course, right at the time that I call the ISP corporate support line, connectivity returns. Of course.  And I am left there trying to explain to the support guy that the network was DEAD. Really. Just seconds ago.

That’s the way it usually happens.

You parents know that it’s the same with kids and doctors.

There they are. Fever of 104F. Barfing up everything – even water. You rush them to the clinic, or, god forbid, the emergency ward, and by the time a doctor gets to see them (HOURS later), they have a normal temperature, they are eating everything in sight, and running around raising hell.

But…. but… but… “He was REALLY sick when I brought him in.”

And of course they give you THAT look. The one that says, “Ah yes… yet another case of ‘over-protective parent syndrome'”. And they nod with that patronizing look, and assure you that your child will be JUST fine, and if the symptoms recur, you can bring them back in (and wait another 3 hours).

The kids grow up (eventually), but networks remain recalcitrant infants.

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There ought to be a test

July 15, 2008 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Parenting, Social idiocy | 6 Comments

The more time I spend around the “general public”, the more I become convinced:  the herd needs culling.

I’m not kidding.  The gene pool is seriously polluted.  But then, dear readership, you already knew that, or you wouldn’t be a fan of this site.

Since modern science has interfered with Darwinian natural selection, I think we need to interefere further and impose a parenting test on all prospective parents.  If for no other reason than to protect innocent kids from being born to utterly self-absorbed morons.

One thing that made my blood boil this past week was people taking babies and very young kids to Bluesfest, with NO hearing protection.  Kids have much more sensitive eardrums. Everything is still growing, AND they have no choice or knowledge about how to protect themselves – they rely on their parents to do that.  Any reasonably intelligent adult should know this. 

A typical rock concert has music in the range of 100-125 decibels. Bluesfest was no exception.  They were measuring noise in the range of 55-65 decibels over a kilometer away from the site.  I rarely go close to the stages because it’s just too loud. But anywhere on the grounds with a child is still going to be exposing them to unacceptably high noise levels unless they have adequate hearing protection.

The worst was the couple with a (probably 8-week old) baby, who were decked out hemp clothing, probably ate all organic food, would likely breast-feed the kid till he was in college, and yet had him by the main stages with nothing more than cotton stuffed in his ears.  The bf worked for a large manufacturer in the past. I asked him if they would allow the staff in the plant to use cotton balls for “hearing protection” in an area with 90+ decibels of noise.  He snorted in disgust. 

Honestly, these people are too STUPID to be allowed to breed!  I’m beginning to think that for the protection of the kids, they should refuse parents entry who do not have adequate hearing protection for their kids.  It’s illegal to take a child out on a boat without a life preserver or drive them around in a car without a seatbelt. It should be illegal to take them to a rock concert without hearing protection. 

In truth, for the babies under 2 years of age at least, it should be illegal to take them to an adult music festival or concert, period, because apparently people are too STUPID to know better. 

Pregnant women past 20 weeks expose there foetus to potential hearing loss (and themselves to premature labour) if they go into highly noisy environments as well.  If you plan on carrying that baby to term, don’t go to a rock concert or festival past the first trimester.

Here’s the deal people – you CHOSE to have a child.  DEAL with the responsibility that entails, AND the sacrifice.  Like a movie theatre, or a play, a concert is NOT a place for a baby. If you can’t afford the sitter, you can’t afford to go. It’s as simple as that, so suck it up. You have to learn to an important concept that you should be teaching your kids: DELAY OF GRATIFICATION.  It’s a concert. There will be another one.  You can see the movie on DVD.  Save up the few extra dollars for a sitter for that play, or trade baby-sitting with a neighbor.

You won’t be able to do all the same things you did when you were childless, so just accept that fact and be a fucking ADULT about it.  Be the PARENT your child needs you to be.  And if you aren’t ready to assume that responsibility and change your lifestyle it’s quite simple: DON’T FUCKING BREED.

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Parenthood through the eyes of the Heartless Bitch

July 9, 2008 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Parenting | 1 Comment

I’ve been bluesfesting this week (as you may have seen from previous posts), and while there, I ran into a former co-worker and we spent a little time catching up.  She’s on her 11 boss in 7 years with the same company (they go through VP’s of Marketing like so much used kleenex), but she was taking the week off to enjoy the festival.  It’s something she and her husband do each year – they take the whole week off, play with the kids during the day (they have two pre-teen kids) and then go to the festival at night with full VIP passes.  She said that last year she realized that for the cost of the babysitters at night (and most of the day on the weekends), it would be cheaper to send the kids off to camp. Her daughter was all for it last summer, but she had to work on her son.  Through the course of the year she got him going to cubscout camps on weekends, and used to spending time away.  By this summer, they were both finally ready to spend a week away from home.  She and her husband loaded the kids on the bus that morning, and as it departed, her husband looked at her and said, “Well, that’s it. We are child-free for a week!”… and she burst into tears.

I said, “Aw honey, save the tears!  You have a week of grown-up time after nearly a decade of mommy-dom. Revel in it!  The time to REALLY cry is when they move back in at the age of 20, “to go to school”, eat you out of house and home, hog the TV, don’t get up until 2pm in the afternoon, and leave their smelly socks everywhere.”  THEN you cry.

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One side of a phone call between my offspring

June 27, 2008 | Filed Under Parenting, Random Silliness | 1 Comment

[ here. talk to your brother]  (passes phone) 

What are you wearing?
You are going poop?
That’s OK, lots of people get lonely when they go poop.
I know this girl who announces she has to go poop, and then grabs her cell phone.
You know, usually, I just READ when I’m on the toilet.
Did you tell [your girlfriend] that you were on the toilet?
Oh, that’s very sweet that you’d hold your poop while talking to your girlfriend.
Since the camaraderie and friendship is so tight tree planting did you get one of your buddies to push it back up in for you?
No, I didn’t say anything I just blacked out. Did you hear something?
Did anyone at least have the decency to give you a reach around?
Oh, they were catching?
No, that’s what guys say about their girlfriends.

No. No. No. It was with a girl.  You know. Shut up. You just don’t get it do you?
No. It’s with a woman. And it’s not. Though it’s just unfair if I’m not invited.
Yes. I’ll hold the camera.
(laden with sarcasm) Gee… that does sound enticing.
Did you?
Well gee golly that sounds exciting. Really.
No, they are the friendliest kinds of natives. Ask anybody.
They don’t know how to throw tomahawks anymore, that’s a thing of the past.  Now they organize their fur trading on blackberries and shit and drive around on segways.
Gee. That’s a change. Natives selling drugs. When did that happen?

How do you poop for that long? I mean, I just hate sitting on the toilet for that long. My legs get numb.
Heh. heh. That would totally suck.
That would be so unfun.
Twice.
I’m pretty good aren’t I?
yeah.
I can hear it flushing though.
Alright, bye.
I’ll think about it.
OK. Fair enough. Will do. Alright.
Bye.
Oh Yeah. Thanks. Now.
Bronze Medal.
Piece of shit.

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From the mouths of heartless babes…

May 26, 2008 | Filed Under Parenting, Random Silliness | 3 Comments

Me: “Ainsley finally had her baby. 16 days overdue but 8lbs. 11oz. That baby wasn’t over due. It just wasn’t ready to pop. Not like YOU (pointing at offspring). Put me through premature labour hell, then come a week overdue at 8lbs 9oz!”

Heartless spawn: “I got one word for you: CONDOMS!”

Me:”Yeah, well, if we’d used those, you wouldn’t be here!”

Heartless spawn:”So? My logic is flawless.”

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Settle for THIS (my middle finger)

February 22, 2008 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Parenting, The Heartless Bitch Way | 13 Comments

I don’t know whether it’s a blessing or a curse, but my readers send me links to articles which seem to fall into two distinct categories. They either make me laugh or they raise my hackles completely.

(OK, there’s a third category, the kind that are so lame I can’t be bothered, but I really don’t count them).

At any rate, THIS LINK came in today, and had me sputtering.  It had me sputtering, “WTF??!  What year is this?!” It had me wanting to club some moronic, self-pitying needy woman over the head with a very large clue-by-four.

(as a side note, it made me think of THIS XKCD COMIC since I was frothing and writing as the bf asked if I was coming to bed.)

This woman is not talking about “compromise” and “accepting people for what they are but hoping for their improvement” – she’s talking about hooking up with someone as a spouse in order to ensure another paycheck and co-parent even if you don’t actually LOVE the person, find them sexually attractive, or even LIKE them.

Again, I have to say, WHAT. THE. FUCK. ?

How does this crap get airtime?

Guys, would YOU find it offensive if _you_ were told to “settle”? Not for a non-goddess, human being, but for someone you don’t love, find offensive, don’t have sex with and ultimately envision as nothing more than a paycheck and occasional sitter for your child? I have a word for that, it’s called EX-SPOUSE!  (And they are generally EX for a reason people.) 

I mean, honestly, is anyone out there telling MEN to do the same?  I mean, seriously, WTF?  What year is this, please?

Personally, I think Lisa Gottleib must be soul mates with Ann Coulter. ( No WONDER she never found the right guy to hook up with!)

Look, I won’t disagree that single parenthood is HARD, but take it from me, being in a marriage where you are doing pretty much EVERYTHING, and you feel like you are raising 3 kids instead of two, is HARDER. 

I’d rather be single.  At least I can HIRE a reliable person to mow the lawn, or look after the kids, or do the household repairs that I don’t have time to get to.

I agree that women who enter into parenthood as single mothers have a rough road ahead. It’s TOUGH being a single parent. But it seems that Gottlieb’s never been in that worse-than-compromise relationship she is trying to tout as the preferred option to going it alone. She’s spouting uneducated, inexperienced shit of the worst kind. We all know, if from nothing else but our parent’s marriages (if not our own), that what people on the OUTSIDE see of a relationship is rarely what is really happening on the inside.  Her view of her friend’s marriages is distorted at best and utter bullshit at worst.

If she were talking about compromise and realistic expectations for people as human beings and not icons or roles, I could get on side with her position. But unfortunately, that’s NOT what she is advocating.

Lisa Gottlieb is bitter, sad, overwrought and operating from a completely biased position where she is clearly regretting her decision to become a single parent. She misguidedly thinks that “settling” for a jerk who is nothing more than a paycheck and an occasional babysitter is a better option.  She is so sadly mistaken it would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that the likes of the TODAY SHOW are taking her seriously and giving her airtime.  (At least she’s giving me blog-fodder).

For GODS SAKES, put ME on the show. I’ll give you a REAL perspective with some REAL experience from both sides of the fence.  And I dare say, a bit more intelligent commentary than Lisa can contribute (based on her writing).

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being in a relationship with someone with whom things click, and I wouldn’t recommend single parenthood unless you REALLY know what you are getting into (having an equal partner as a co-parent is a MUCH better option), but I also wouldn’t recommend hooking up with an ASSHOLE just so you can have another “parent” in the picture for your child.  God knows how many emails I get from miserable, abused women trying to escape just such a “compromise”…  The downside of hooking up with Mr. Wrong is so much much worse than ANYTHING single parenthood could throw at you.  Like I said, put ME on the Today Show, and I’ll give you an earful of what “settling” REALLY results in for the vast majority of women.

I just LOVED Jessica’s response to the article in feministing, and in particular this bit had me laughing out loud:

Gottleib said:

Oh, I know—I’m guessing there are single 30-year-old women reading this right now who will be writing letters to the editor to say that the women I know aren’t widely representative, that I’ve been co-opted by the cult of the feminist backlash, and basically, that I have no idea what I’m talking about. And all I can say is, if you say you’re not worried, either you’re in denial or you’re lying. In fact, take a good look in the mirror and try to convince yourself that you’re not worried, because you’ll see how silly your face looks when you’re being disingenuous. (Emphasis added)

Jessica’s response (in part – read the whole article to really get the full measure of her ire):

I fucking love this 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really?  Because this is how worried my face looks. Perhaps, as someone who is turning 30 this year, I’m some sort of anomaly because I’m not desperately running around looking for the nearest douchebag to propose.

(And as a side note, I just have to swoon about feministing.com – recently discovered it and love it love it love it. Added it to my blog links tonight. ) 

And Instigatrix pointed me in the direction of another heartening response (from a guy, Jeff Fecke) to Gottlieb’s article on Shakespearesister’s Blogspot 

 My favorite quote from Jeff,

Parenting is hard, very very hard. But you know what? I’m not giving my ex-wife a fucking free night off when I take my daughter. And I’m not a goddamn wallet. I’m a father.

AMEN Brother.

But Gottlieb isn’t looking for a father for her child, she’s looking for a babysitter. She’s looking for a man who will raise her kid, give her money, and accept that she doesn’t find him attractive or actually like him very much. She’s the kind of woman the MRAs fear. Which is why I’m completely not surprised to find that she’s lecturing women about why they should give up on feminism.

But should Gottlieb actually settle, I fear she’ll find out what too many of us have found out — that marriage isn’t any easier than parenting. That it requires its own sacrifices and its own compromises and its own hard work. And that when a marriage fails, it’s far more painful than any monthly check or night off from parenting could ever assuage. You’re never more alone than when you’re married, and alone.

What really slays me about Gottlieb’s article is her references for her opinion-couched-as-fact:  fucked up “friends” and sitcoms.  You know, it reminds me of the nutbar who wrote to the researchers at the Observatory, CONVINCED that aliens had stolen the moon, left a facade in place (which is what we see at night) and that our governments were in cahoots – it was all a big conspiracy. His lengthy bibliography was a series of science fiction novels.  Ooh. Very compelling.

Lisa, the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side – especially when you are looking at it through chartreuse-colored glasses, but it doesn’t mean it’s real or better or that your fucked-up experiences are a litmus test for a generation or a gender for that matter.

Lisa epitomizes so much of what pisses me off about emotionally irresponsible people – they blame everyone and everything else for their own problems, issues and choices.  And if they aren’t happy, they automatically assume that everyone else who made the same choice(s) must be as miserable as they are.  (Lonely, miserable people seem to feel comforted in the belief that there are other lonely, miserable people out there in the same predicament.)

Here’s some advice from the supreme Heartless Bitch, Lisa: rather than write a book or an article, ditch the charteuse glasses, get off the pity-pot, suck it up, and GET SOME THERAPY. No child benefits from having a miserable parent who clearly regrets their choices – especially as it relates to having said child.

And here’s a newsflash for the Lisa’s of the world:  Being single and emotionally healthy is always preferable to settling for an asshole.

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