Friday, December 30, 2016

Opinions #9: Everybody Doesn't Love Your Kids

I've expressed this opinion before--most notably on "Hot Flash Cafe"--the blog I kept (loosely) as a chronicle of my oh-so-not-halcyon days as a restaurateur.  Children are not--and should not be--welcome everywhere their parents go.

There is a sub-culture of baby/child worship that has run completely amok lately.  Young women are getting pregnant with wild abandon, not necessarily within a wedded nor even a committed relationship.  It's all about showing off the "baby bump" and breathlessly selfie-chronicling the weeks till delivery on social media. 

I'm going to display my old-fartness here for all to see, and reminisce that when I was just out of high school, we fully enjoyed our newfound sexual freedom but did NOT want, at eighteen or twenty, to produce small human beings for whom we would be responsible for the next several decades.  Birth control was available; we understood its function and made religious use of it.  It was really a pretty practical and straightforward plan. 

What, I have to ask, was lost in translation between us and our granddaughters--daughters, even--that reproductive "accidents" happen with such astounding frequency?  And then are not merely dealt with practically, but celebrated; as if creating a baby with no plan as to how to actually raise the child--financially, emotionally, or any other way--was not just acceptable, but absolutely excellent!  (No, I'm not advocating abortion here...there are plenty of birth control methods widely available that relegate abortion to the status of birth control method of absolute last resort.  If you don't make a baby, you don't have to decide whether or not you want to end it.)

So now we have all these young girls getting pregnant and having babies and then fully and innocently expecting the entire village to joyfully pitch in and help them care for their little bundles of joy.  Without ever asking the village if it is on board with that plan. 

The clueless mothers drag those poor babies/toddlers/pre-schoolers everywhere, assuming that the entire world is not only okay with, but will help them cope with, their screaming, over-stimulated offspring; who would be much more content at  home, either taking a nap or being allowed the freedom to entertain themselves safely in a child-friendly environment. 

Even young marrieds have adopted the strategy that it's perfectly wonderful to drag children everywhere the parents want to go:  expensive hotels and restaurants, trans-oceanic airline flights, movies, theatres and sports arenas.  And anybody who has the audacity to not like children running all over the place and whining, crying or screaming unchecked...well, you're just a terrible person and what is wrong with you?

Here's the thing, young ladies (and gentlemen):  You're not fooling anybody.  It isn't that you love your children so much that you need them to be with you and sharing all these heart-warming family experiences every minute of every day.  The fact is that YOU are criminally selfish.  It's all about YOU.  Not about your kids, who would be happier at home or engaged in activities designed to appeal to them.  And it's certainly not about giving a rat's ass about accommodating the opinions, feelings, or convenience of any person outside your insulated, self-centered little bubble.  After all, if you can tolerate your children's public misbehavior, certainly anyone present can, should, and WILL, by god, do the same.

Yes, it's all about selfishness, the  cause of so much of the friction in our society lately.  So many young couples are determined not to let the inconvenience of having produced children put any kind of a cramp in their lifestyle.  "We don't have to turn our lives upside down just because we have kids!  We'll just drag them with us everywhere we go and let them turn everyone else's lives upside down!"  Tell me, please, how that demonstrates love of any kind, either for your dear, cherished little offspring, or for anyone else. 

I foam at the mouth every time I read an outraged review online about how a restaurant or an airline or a theater is so cruel and heartless that it doesn't cater to children.  Young couples: you need to get that your having had children is not now EVERYBODY'S responsibility.  Take care of your own kids.  And don't take them where everyone is not going to enjoy them, or at least be able to ignore them.  How hard is that?                        

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