Login or Register

Sign in with Facebook

As a father of three children, it takes quite a bit of teeth-gritting for me to admit that parents can be the most eye-roll-inducing shitbags on the planet. We don't mean to be. The problem is that we've lived life before kids and we've lived life with them, whereas our counterparts have only experienced the former. This makes every kid-related topic that comes out of our mouths sound condescending and patronizing. I don't think most parents understand that, so on behalf of not-spawn-having people everywhere, allow me to tell parents to shut the fuck up when they consider saying something like ...

"You Can't Know What It's Like Until You've Lived It!"

Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Getty Images

From a Parent's Perspective ...

You're a teacher? You work at a day care? Well here's your zero-place ribbon, because none of that shit even comes close to what being a parent is actually like. No, I don't care that you kept your nephew for the whole summer while his dad crotch-thrust-danced his way out of meth debt. That's a tiny fraction of that child's life, and it most likely didn't include dealing with spiking fevers, injuries, and buying new clothes every couple of months to keep ahead of the growth spurts. It didn't involve paying for his insurance, going over homework, or subduing his insatiable lust for human blood.

You can never sincerely know what it's like until you have one of your own, until you feel that biological connection and know that there is no room for the slightest failure on your part. Knowing that there is no escape hatch -- you're in this thing for life. Whatever ideas you have about parenthood are automatically flawed because they have no foundation in experience. So suck our parental balls, loser. (OK, that part may be a bit exaggerated.)

NA/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
Or maybe not.

But When You Don't Have Kids, You Think ...

No shit.

I can't know what it's like to be a Hispanic woman in today's job market either, but I don't have to live it to know that it's pretty fucking bad. No, I can't experience the racism and sexism she puts up with on a daily basis. I'll never know the sting of people just assuming she's there to clean up after white people, regardless of her position and stature in the company. It's impossible. At least not until I complete my Mexican Woman Transformation machine (patent pending).

Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images
"Chad, stop screwing around! We have work to do!"

But what I can do is observe her or talk to her about it and take in the information ... because as it turns out, I do have a functional brain that's capable of processing stories and observations into lessons and facts. So no, I have never felt the biological connection to a child, but the idea isn't alien to me. I have a pretty damn strong connection to parents, brothers, sisters, and that guy who gives me extra crunchies at Long John Silver's. I have a pretty good idea about the ups and downs of parenting, because Lord knows how many of their goddamn stories I've heard over the years. I promise you, not many of us are going to enter into parenthood and start cursing the heavens because the world failed to prepare us. Well, at least not any more than usual.

"Having a Baby Changes Your Whole Life!"

Buccina Studios/Photodisc/Getty Images

From a Parent's Perspective ...

So much changes when you have a kid -- you just have no idea. Your life stops being your own and starts being about that defenseless little creature who totally depends on you for every want and need. You can't go out and party anymore because that money could be used to benefit your child. Even if it's free, you have to find a trustworthy babysitter and then worry all night whether the kid is doing OK. And the days of leaving your crack pipe and dildos out in the open are over, buddy. Just trust me on that one.

You think it gets easier when they start going to school, but it doesn't. If one of them gets sick, you have to leave work to pick them up, and then the boss is up your ass because of it. Do that enough times, and you're out of a job. And you'll need that job, because school fees are ridiculous. Every other day I have to shell out money for field trips, sports insurance, gym uniforms, fundraisers, bail money ... it never ends. Your old life just disappears overnight, and suddenly, you're a parent.

Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
Twenty seconds ago, that was a watermelon in her hands.

But When You Don't Have Kids, You Think ...

You mean once you become a parent, you have to prioritize the child above everything else? That's insane! I had no idea. I just always imagined that I could continue my current life, unchanged, except there's also a baby there now. You just rocked my world to its core. Hell, I was planning on chucking the little bastard in a crib and covering it up with loaded guns before you told me that. I figured that while it's too young to walk I could just go out and party, because it's not like the baby is going to get into anything that could harm it.

Actually, wait ... you know what, I have heard the "it changes your life" speech before. I didn't think of it until now, but now that you mention it, I do remember hearing it that one time that I talked to every single parent I've ever known since I was old enough to converse. No, I won't fully understand the severity of the change until I have kids of my own, but trust me, I get the gist. If I tried to raise one in my current state of living, the government would bust down my door with a SWAT team to rescue it. That's why I don't have kids yet.

Ting Hoo/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Continue Reading Below

"You Have a Child-Raising Plan? Hahaha!"

Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

From a Parent's Perspective ...

Forget everything you think you know about being a parent. Take your well-thought-out plan for raising a child, fold it into a cute origami swan, set it on fire, and fly it straight up your asshole. You will not know how you're going to model your life around a child until it is physically in your house. Make the cleanest, most sterile environment on the planet, but I assure you that in six months you'll let that kid eat cereal straight off the floor if it stops him from screaming for five minutes. Single people will look at you like you're a horrible parent, and all you'll think is "What? Nobody ever died from playing with a dog turd. Leave him alone -- he's being quiet."

And those morals you think you have ironed out? You're going to look back on those in a few years and laugh until you vomit blood. You're not going to spank your child or smack his hand? Remember that when you find him trying to shove a nail into an electrical outlet and he's too young to understand virtually anything that's coming out of your flapping word hole. At that moment, the only thing he will understand is "nail + wall slot thing = sharp pain in my hand." You will succumb to the hand slap because it is the least cruel way to convey danger to your drooling little deathtrap.

Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
Yeah, be thankful you're still alive to pout, you death-wish-having little shit.

But When You Don't Have Kids, You Think ...

So, what, I'm just supposed to go into it blind? Just wing it and hope I come up with skills on the fly? This is where parents sound the most condescending, because you're basically looking me dead in the eyes and saying, "No matter what you think or do, it's wrong." And that may be true, but even if plans change, there needs to be one. You don't just stick 11 guys on the field and say, "Good luck!" You give them a play to run and then let them adjust as needed. And now all I can think about is gigantic men throwing and punting a baby.

Do you have actual advice that will help a future parent? Great, let us know ... but don't just whip out that bullshit where you pat us on the head and give us a patronizing "Aw, isn't that cute. He thinks his little plan is going to make everything smooth sailing. He thinks he has it all figured out." Nobody thinks that. You didn't think that before you had kids. But for some reason, when people become parents, they forget, and they start viewing the rest of the world as if they have no concept of reproduction, even though we are biologically designed to do so.

Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
Thanks, biology. Appreciate that.

We genuinely understand that what we picture in our heads isn't going to match reality. We can see that in simple observations of new parents versus those with multiple children. We see the changes in not only their rules but in them as people, because as it turns out, most of us aren't smoldering fucking idiots.

"You Think You're Tired Now? Wait Until You Have Kids!"

Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Getty Images

From a Parent's Perspective ...

You're tired because you had to work overtime? Ha! I'd kill to have that problem. Let's see you do what I did this week: work overtime on top of getting the kids ready for sch-

But When You Don't Have Kids, You Think ...

Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up!

We all get it. Raising kids is time consuming and hard. When the baby is up, so are you. When the kids need breakfast, it doesn't matter what time you finally got to bed -- you have to get up and take care of them. We know. But there has never been a case in the history of mankind in which a single person hears the parental one-up and then responded, "Oh, damn. Really? Well, I feel totally awake and ready to go now. Hearing about how tired parenting made you really put things into perspective for me!"

Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
"I've got energy shooting out of my asshole now!"

Or maybe you're not trying to one-up, but you're warning us about what's around the corner when we do have kids. If that's the case, we really appreciate the effort, but it's not necessary, because we've seen how humans function. Hell, even movies depict new parents as clueless victims, sapped of all strength and energy.

The only other reason I can imagine why parents would say this sort of thing is because they're looking for sympathy. In that case, I'd like to extend a heartfelt "fuck you" from all childless people across the globe. You became a parent. You have to live with the bad, right alongside the good. Using that as a wild card to downplay our own whining is a bullshit move that you can cram right back inside your bovine ass.

Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
No offense.

Continue Reading Below

"Until You Have Kids, Your Opinion on Raising Them Doesn't Matter!"

John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

From a Parent's Perspective ...

Hey, I just saw your Facebook post about how when you have kids you're never going to yell at them. What was it again? "Children should be loved and supported, never yelled at." I'm just trying to figure out what rainbow-fueled world you live in where that's even possible. Do you think I'm being an awful parent when I yell at my own kids? Because I'll tell you right now, you have no fucking idea what you're talking about. You're speaking in theory -- one that if carried out will end with you punching your own head clean off of your body in order to escape your uncontrollable demon spawn.

Until you're an actual parent, your opinion on raising children means jack dick. You have no experience in the subject. You're writing a review about the maneuverability of a Porsche based solely on pictures of one that you found in a magazine. Until you've driven it, you don't get to look down on those who have. Wait, do people look down on Porsche owners? I kind of lost myself in the metaphor.

Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Getty Images
This is what Porsche owners looks like, right? If so, I can't be mad at them.

But When You Don't Have Kids, You Think ...

You want to know why our opinions matter? Because we're human. And though not all of us have the means to have children, our core brain function is reproduction. We are programmed from our DNA to our throbbing genitals to raise offspring. Regardless of whether our opinions are right or wrong, we have every right to them, because that's how our species, as a whole, evolves.

Yes, we have to concede that maybe we can't give fully formed opinions because of that lack of experience. But at the same time, some parents have to at least consider the idea that maybe -- juuuust maybe -- they're doing something wrong. That's kind of a big problem with parents who talk to childless people: They assume that everything they're doing is correct, so their advice is infallible. And since the opposition has no kids of their own, they are automatically disqualified from the debate. "What I'm saying is correct, and you can't prove me wrong because your input has no merit."

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Victory, bitches!

Look, obviously not all parents are condescending douchebags, and not all exchanges are cartoonish exaggerations, but dig up any parenting forum anywhere on the Net and you'll see these things coming up over and over again. I'm just saying that, even as a seasoned veteran in the parenting department, we need to be a little more considerate of people who haven't gotten there yet. Otherwise they're eventually going to snap and punch our crotches until we can't have any more.

John is an editor and columnist right here at Cracked, with a new article every Thursday. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Always on the go but can't get enough of Cracked? We have an Android app and iOS reader for you to pick from so you never miss another article.

To turn on reply notifications, click here


Load Comments