I have this kind of weird obsession with parenting blogs for someone who doesn’t actually have any kids. You can lose me literally for hours reading parenting related posts on sites like Babble.com and BlogHer. I follow tons of mommy bloggers. If there’s a debate on the Internet about whether or not it’s okay to let your kid run around in circles in the backyard with a diaper on their head, you can bet I’ve probably read it and contemplated it in excruciating detail.
The funny thing is I feel guilty about it. I know that’s silly, but on some weird level I feel like when I lurk around blogs that are centric to parenting I constantly am haunted by this feeling that I shouldn’t be there and god forbid should I actually have an opinion on whatever be discussed or express it online… I carry this major feeling around that I’m an intruder in the mommy club, and there’s a part of me that wants to jump in and participate in the conversation a lot of the time… but I hesitate.
I’ve been thinking about why recently… and I think it’s because often times my only point of reference when I’m reading parenting blogs is my own childhood and my own experiences with how my parents handled things. I often find myself launching into diatribes about how you shouldn’t do X because my parents did blah blah blah and I feel that it was a terrible mistake and I came out to be an incredibly fucked up adult who can’t eat her vegetables which I usually find myself feeling self-conscious about halfway through and end up deleting because I then realize that all the other people commenting are talking about how they handle whatever the situation is with their kids… and I end up wondering…. Do parents who blog appreciate it when a non-parent jumps in and details a scenario from when they were a child that might be relevant? Do they think that’s annoying? Am I supposed to be a silent bystander until I pop a bun out of the oven? I have to admit… I feel kinda left out.
Then there’s the whole issue of do I even want to pop a bun out of the oven. I’d like to think that I might somewhere down the line… but I can’t imagine even thinking of it for another 5 or 6 years maybe more… and then I start thinking “Oh god, If I wait I’m gonna pop out a kid a 36 just like my mom and I’m going to be one of those old parents that I told myself that I never wanted to be,” and I think of all of the things that I have perceived my parents would have been a touch more interested in had they been ten years younger when I was born… and then I get not s sure, because I could certainly seen our lives going in a direction that might not be particularly conducive to having kids.
One of the blogs I’ve found myself crushing hard on recently is Maybe Baby, Maybe Not which covers the whole not having kids yet and being on the fence about whether or not you want to go down that path and all the pressure there is to make that choice…. and probably for good reason, that’s exactly where I’m at with this stuff.
I’m not one of those people who can definitively say that I don’t want kids. I think there are people who definitely fall into that camp, and I feel for them when people who are parents (or have a conviction that they want to be parents) are all, “Well, you’ll probably change your mind,” because it sucks to not be taken seriously about what you feel is true for your life. But that’s not that the camp that I fall into… if I call myself childfree and someone says to me, “You’ll probably change your mind,” I’m all like, “Yeah, probably.” Plus, the childfree camp often is laced with people who dislike kids, so I don’t really like all of the blogs and communities that are childfree because they spend so much time bitching about kids… and personally… I like kids.
But I’m still not sold on this whole being a parent thing either… That’s kind of a big commitment and half the time I don’t feel like I can take care of myself half the time let alone any crotch fruit that I might willingly produce. Which I guess is what the mommy blogs are for, to sell me on this whole notion that it’s awesome to be a parent. I guess I just want to do it because it’s the right thing for me to do, not so I can fit in and join the mommy club.