While this is not a “ten things you should never say to someone with a kid,” this is my list of things that have been either annoying me in the year+ that I’ve been in the kid business, or I’ve thought were a lot deeper than the questioner was asking. In the age of people getting offended by everything and my disdain of “don’t say this to that,” articles I do appreciate the irony. Mostly I’m just looking at the questions and what deeper meaning they hold.
As a note to anyone wondering, I’m mostly writing this to keep the site going. I’ve got very little to report on baby products at the moment and waiting on two developers to get their apps finished and one company to get back with me. So not much new on the product front. Baby’s fine, sick again, lovable snot monster.
While my annoyances, perceived and real, may seem irrational, keep in mind having a kid makes you easily annoyed. Also keep in mind that the statement “these are harmless questions, everyone asks them” is a person who points out fallacies bread and butter.
So do you think you’re going to have another kid?
I understand that it’s just an honest question, but at its core is asking if I feel this one was a good choice, if I have regrets, and I always feel like it’s a rather base intrusion into my sex life. I’d have a little less offense if someone asked me when the next time I planned to have unprotected sex was and did I choose to become a parent.
You say no there’s an implication that the one you had was a bad idea, you say yes there’s a question of whether that desire is for another kid, a play partner, the first one wasn’t good enough, etc.
I don’t think anyone who doesn’t have a good support network for daycare, babysitting, etc can answer that question without wanting to explain in detail that there are no more hours in the day at this point and to check back later.
There are other parents I’ve heard who’ve answered “that means we’d have to have sex again, and that ain’t happening.” That answer was a prelude to their eventual divorce.
That’s why this question plays on my mind a lot these days. Dark stuff comes from that question.
Has it been it worth it?
What type of contextualization is required in order to answer this one? Was it worth it to give up a completely free schedule in order to have this amazing little baby? Or do I regret allowing a being to live that occasionally messes up my pizza night?
Are they asking because they’re considering becoming a parent, are they asking because they’re considering getting their private parts tinkered with to prevent reproduction? My main hatred of this question is the vagueness of it.
Expanding on this to “I’m considering having a kid, has the lack of personal time and downtime been manageable” or “do you wish every time you see her face you could sue someone?” frame it better.
I mean really, who’s going to answer no? Think about the potentials for answers when you’re asking. That has one answer and that’s “yes,” with qualifiers after.
I can’t imagine what it must take…
About two hours at work each day to pay for, four hours of one on one time with the baby, twenty minutes additional drive time, 90% increased sick time, $5000 or so initial investment before insurance caught up, many interrupted nights of little sleep for the first eight or so months, about 15 minutes of cleaning per day (barf, baby, etc.) and being irrationally angry quite a bit of the time.
So about seven hours a day. That’s what it takes.
Was she planned?
There are a couple of comedians I’ve heard who goes into great detail about this, the other person imagining your sex life and wondering if the rubber broke or the alcohol was influencing your actions that hot, hot steamy night.
The end result is it’s other people wondering what your sexual history was, imagining you doing it, etc.
Are you happy?
Personally yes, I love my little bundle of various squishy fluids, once again though if anyone answered no, you’d probably want to burn them at the stake.
It’s an honest question, but it can only yield one answer if you’re planning on remaining friends or even seeing this person as human.
Although personally I am happy, I am generally displeased about my lack of sleep, about the near constant illness, and notable lack of pizza.
The issue with these is they’re either extremely vague, require disingenuous answers, require shittons of qualifiers, or are a base intrusion into your sexual history and future without meaning to be.
So, without saying “never say these 10 things to your parent friends,” I’m giving parents-to-be a heads up as to what you’re really asking. These standard historically based queries don’t have cookie cutter answers and sometimes reveal, or force a person to hide a lot of suffering.
Or not… perhaps these are things I’ve just made up while on a conference call.. poop