17 Untruths Parents Believe About Non-Parents


1. Non-parents get to go to bed late and sleep in like parents used to before they had children.

I do wish this were true, but it's not. Age, stress, and ill health are sleep-stealers, too, and I am lucky if I get four or five uninterrupted hours of sleep on any given night. In fact, I can't remember when I last did that.

Nap Happy

Image: cupcake club via Flickr


2. Non-parents have the better and more plentiful sex that parents might once have had before they had children.

Sometimes non-parents do have better and more sex, but that is only true for those of us who are not stressed out or experiencing physical or emotional difficulties related to health or past history or aging. I find that I am naturally less of a hedonist as I get older. Or maybe that's my ongoing insomnia.

All I know is this: whether parents or not, pretty much everyone thinks they are being robbed of better or a different amount of sex, and we all have conditions to which we can point and squarely lay the blame. Mine is a combination of age, body dysmorphia, depression and anxiety, and possibly that hysterectomy I had as a result of cervical cancer.

3. Non-parents eat better and more interesting food.

This is true only if you, unlike me, like to cook, have money to eat out every day, or haven't lost your taste for chicken nuggets and fish sticks. Maybe having had regular high-brow gastronomic experiences is peculiar to would-be parents, though, because it's not been my experience, at least not on a regular enough basis to make it a fact of my lifestyle.

Aidan with IraThe Palinode with one of our friends' children in 2007 or 2008

4. Non-parents get to do whatever they want.

Oh, yeah. All the time, baby, except that I can't afford that southern vacation, I have work and family responsibilities to take care of, this damn mortgage doesn't pay itself, and my husband might not be so crazy about my dream to drop out of society and hole up in a cabin in the woods for the next two years.

No one is an island, even if they haven't made babies. Imagine that?

Let's Panic About Babies!
Me with a copy of Let's Panic About Babies! by Eden Kennedy and Alice Bradley

5. Non-parents have much more disposable income than parents do.

If only this were true, except that it's not true based on being parents or not, because of something we call "logic".

This would only hold true if each household, regardless of children, made the exact same amount of money, because then the addition of children would mean that your household would have less money relative to my household. This is not how our society works, though.

I know many families who are wealthier than I am, even after they factor in children and holidays and a house three times larger than my condo. It's because they make more money than I do, and children do not magically suck all the power out of the dollar bills in your bank account.

6. Non-parents don't know the true depth of human love.

Bleep blorp. My baby-less heart only knows carnal and romantic love. Boop bip.

Believe it or not, I have heard throughout my life, and I know a lot of you have, too. Non-parents are not like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, and children aren't our journey to get real hearts @schmutzie http://www.schmutzie.com/weblog/2013/5/23/17-untruths-parents-believe-about-non-parents-updated.html" target="_blank">[click to tweet]. This line of reasoning is an insult that undermines the value of our relationships and human experience.

If you actually believe this fallacy, do not argue your position out loud. You will sound like a racist explaining the heirarchy of genetic differences. Please stop talking now.

7. Non-parents are not very busy and have time for all kinds of frivolous activity.

This is true for some people, parents or not, but this is also not true for most of the people I know, parents or not.

Strangely, people who are not parents sometimes have demanding careers or take on serious community work or go back to school or take care of other family members or spend their non-job time working on a skill to launch them into a career that means they can both eat and have a place to live. Non-parents spend their non-work time doing things that are more vitally important than shoe-shopping, experimentation with Arzak eggs, and going out dancing, and they have to fight for space to do these things, too.

Passionate and engaged living happens. It's not just for parents!

8. Non-parents get to bathe, and parents never do.

I am sometimes so busy that I don't get to shower, either, and also? You are a liar. I've smelled you, and you do not have the stench of someone who hasn't seen running water since your firstborn was in utero.

I do get that you cannot take long showers like you used to, and that you maybe don't often get to take a shower or bathe alone, and for this I truly feel sympathy, but don't tell me that you miss bathing altogether. I will demand proof of grossness.


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