On behalf of the Childfree who are Not Parent Haters
Writer Orli Van Mourik recently did a piece, “Open Letter to Parent Haters” that deserves a volley from a childfree writer who speaks with lots and lots of childfree.Ms. Van Mourik defends her right to be a parent in New York City, and questions why non-parents are so resentful, even “hate” parents and their kids.
She asks, “Where does the hate come from?” On behalf of the thousands of folks without kids, it is not hate. We don’t vilify you or your children. It is frustration with parents’ parental behavior when it comes from a “child come first” mentality, which can result in others, whether parents or not, being treated with a lack of respect.
She makes the point that “no one seems to be acknowledging the obvious: <parenting> is fucking hard.” Guess what. More than many who do not have kids realize this. For many of us, it's one reason we don’t want them. This does not mean we don’t respect your job as a parent. We do. And we know you are doing the best job you can. In fact, many of us want to help parents and play a role in developing the next generation. And many of us really like kids; we just don't want them as the main focus of our lives.
Van Mourik also mentions that she does try to mind her “p and q’s in public.” Lots and lot of parents do the same, and that is much appreciated. But many who lead with a child-centric mentality do not.
If we could just have a conversation about mutual respect, maybe it would take the wind out of the parent and non-parent rant. It is not so much about resistance to parents and kids, as it is about putting respect for others, parent or not, first.Continued on the next page