Author Topic: Why do people without children pretend to know how it is to raise children?  (Read 8235 times)

Sam

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 One of the things that has struck me the most when I have written post about family finances is how so many people without children say how egregiously high a family budget is, how it should be much easier to raise kids, how help shouldn’t be needed, and how it shouldn’t be that tiring to raise kids at all. Why do you think this is?

How would you respond to such people who have no idea what they’re talking about?
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 04:25:09 PM by Sam »
Regards,

Sam

Jon Sharpe

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People without children are in a state of unconscious ignorance. They do not know what they do not know. If they ever have kids, they will quickly find out!

Hayden

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The director for my department lives a full on DINK(Duel Income No Kids) lifestyle. His wife is an IT consultant making well in the six figures per year and he makes a multiple six figure salary + stock options. In Phoenix, Arizona, that is a very healthy living. You can tell there is a subtle selfishness about the way he behaves and the things that he says. I am not sure if this is common for most DINK lifestyles, but his attitude is very apparent to others in the office.

He is constantly griping about the need for the employees that are female with kids need extra time off or that they need to come in the office a little later some days. Not to mention he makes a big scene if someone is not willing to shell out the money to go out to extravagant lunches 3-4 days a week. On top of that, he ensures everyone is quick to learn about his early retirement plans (he is 53 years old).

I do not have kids, but my wife is a full time nanny for a family and so I see slightly into that world. Obviously not as much as someone with kids of their own, but still more than someone who is strictly an observer. It is astounding that someone has the audacity to act that way when they have no basis for it.

Could be just a selfish attitude, or maybe blind ignorance.
Very Respectfully,
Hayden

nycrite

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I go back and forth on this subject.

Some people without children can relate well to parents in the thick of raising a family. These are usually people with experience raising siblings, babysitting others' kids, or working in a caretaker role like a teacher, nurse, or social worker.

This raises an even more broad topic. It's tempting to judge how to live in someone else's shoes until you actually live it. Being a parent is a huge responsibility, and DINKs without caretaker experience will come off as ignorant when they give advice to those actually living out the day-to-day of parenting.

Cheezus

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Before I had kids, I would have these discussions with my family members who did have kids.  And they would always say "you'll see".... Now that I have 2 kids, I haven't "seen" it yet.  My instincts and comments before I had kids were accurate.  Yes, some things have been a little surprising but overall, my experience has been that having kids isn't all that expensive or difficult.

I have a stay at home wife, which makes all the difference, of course.... But we see posts on FS about people with stay at home moms (and dads) spending a ton of money on "help" - what help?  That just doesn't make much sense to me.  My wife cleans and takes care of the kids.  She has more free time during the day than anyone I know with a job.  It's a great deal.

So I do actually disagree with how tiring it is to raise kids.  It's just not been my experience.  My wife would agree.  It's a decent amount of work but certainly much, much less than a full time day job.

myamnesia

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Sam in answer to your question...I would tell them to take my kids for a month and see what they think?

Sam

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Before I had kids, I would have these discussions with my family members who did have kids.  And they would always say "you'll see".... Now that I have 2 kids, I haven't "seen" it yet.  My instincts and comments before I had kids were accurate.  Yes, some things have been a little surprising but overall, my experience has been that having kids isn't all that expensive or difficult.

I have a stay at home wife, which makes all the difference, of course.... But we see posts on FS about people with stay at home moms (and dads) spending a ton of money on "help" - what help?  That just doesn't make much sense to me.  My wife cleans and takes care of the kids.  She has more free time during the day than anyone I know with a job.  It's a great deal.

So I do actually disagree with how tiring it is to raise kids.  It's just not been my experience.  My wife would agree.  It's a decent amount of work but certainly much, much less than a full time day job.

Do you think taking care of kids would be harder if you had to take care of them?

Your wife might need more help or is more tired than she let’s on.
Regards,

Sam

Sam

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Sam in answer to your question...I would tell them to take my kids for a month and see what they think?

Good one!
Regards,

Sam

cbass99

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I have two young children and I have been a stay at home dad (only for vacation weeks, typically).  Keeping them from killing each other, themselves, destroying the house, etc., keeping the house clean, cooking dinner, etc. is far more work than my normal IT consultant gig.  Anyone who says their stay-at-home significant other has a lot of free time with non-school-age kids hasn't done it themselves. 

Everyone has an opinion on parenting and such, but until they've done it, just ignore them.  Ignorance does not stop most people from having an opinion.

Chris 

nycrite

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A grueling job requires 80 hours per week. Most people don't work grueling jobs.

Young children require 84 hours per week (12 hours awake time x 7 days per week). Not every hour of this is a grueling pace, however. There are times when children are watching a movie or playing with other kids, and during those times, it's not necessarily a grueling pace. But for every hour of low engagement, there are moments of extremely high engagement.

Children are essentially a grueling job on bad weeks and a steady full time job on good weeks. For the good weeks, you're still on-call for extra hours at any moment's notice.

Cheezus

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Before I had kids, I would have these discussions with my family members who did have kids.  And they would always say "you'll see".... Now that I have 2 kids, I haven't "seen" it yet.  My instincts and comments before I had kids were accurate.  Yes, some things have been a little surprising but overall, my experience has been that having kids isn't all that expensive or difficult.

I have a stay at home wife, which makes all the difference, of course.... But we see posts on FS about people with stay at home moms (and dads) spending a ton of money on "help" - what help?  That just doesn't make much sense to me.  My wife cleans and takes care of the kids.  She has more free time during the day than anyone I know with a job.  It's a great deal.

So I do actually disagree with how tiring it is to raise kids.  It's just not been my experience.  My wife would agree.  It's a decent amount of work but certainly much, much less than a full time day job.

Do you think taking care of kids would be harder if you had to take care of them?

Your wife might need more help or is more tired than she let’s on.

Taking care of them isn't for me.  I don't do well with it.  I need freedom and the ability to do what I want, when I want - mostly.  So I could see people having kids who really may not be in the right frame of mind for it or have the right personality for it.  It's not for everyone.  My wife loves it so it works out great.  She got to quit a fairly stressful job to stay home with her children which is much less work than her full time job was and way more rewarding.  Basically "retire" - and that almost certainly makes a big difference in how she views the "job" of being the caretaker.  Imagine being a full time employee with no prospect of financial freedom, possibly ever, then having the ability to quit your job and stay home with your children, not even think about money (I do that part), drive a luxury car, and just have that security.  I do watch the kids so she can go out with friends sometimes and now that the kids are in school, she has a lot of free time during the weekdays.  It's just the first few years that are the toughest but it rapidly gets so much easier.

But yeah, I have 2 young kids and I just can't relate to the "grueling" aspect at all and neither would my wife who did all the work.  I think people that find it grueling may not be right to be parents?  Of course there are moments of difficulty, but I'm talking overall.

KentBnntt

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People who have no kids know how to raise them based on the theory, but when it comes to practice it is totally different. Any topic has its practical and theoretical part so as the topic of growing kids. I don't pay much attention to what people without kids say about education and other things since I know that they have no idea what they are talking about.

Sam

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Before I had kids, I would have these discussions with my family members who did have kids.  And they would always say "you'll see".... Now that I have 2 kids, I haven't "seen" it yet.  My instincts and comments before I had kids were accurate.  Yes, some things have been a little surprising but overall, my experience has been that having kids isn't all that expensive or difficult.

I have a stay at home wife, which makes all the difference, of course.... But we see posts on FS about people with stay at home moms (and dads) spending a ton of money on "help" - what help?  That just doesn't make much sense to me.  My wife cleans and takes care of the kids.  She has more free time during the day than anyone I know with a job.  It's a great deal.

So I do actually disagree with how tiring it is to raise kids.  It's just not been my experience.  My wife would agree.  It's a decent amount of work but certainly much, much less than a full time day job.

Do you think taking care of kids would be harder if you had to take care of them?

Your wife might need more help or is more tired than she let’s on.

Taking care of them isn't for me.  I don't do well with it.  I need freedom and the ability to do what I want, when I want - mostly.  So I could see people having kids who really may not be in the right frame of mind for it or have the right personality for it.  It's not for everyone.  My wife loves it so it works out great.  She got to quit a fairly stressful job to stay home with her children which is much less work than her full time job was and way more rewarding.  Basically "retire" - and that almost certainly makes a big difference in how she views the "job" of being the caretaker.  Imagine being a full time employee with no prospect of financial freedom, possibly ever, then having the ability to quit your job and stay home with your children, not even think about money (I do that part), drive a luxury car, and just have that security.  I do watch the kids so she can go out with friends sometimes and now that the kids are in school, she has a lot of free time during the weekdays.  It's just the first few years that are the toughest but it rapidly gets so much easier.

But yeah, I have 2 young kids and I just can't relate to the "grueling" aspect at all and neither would my wife who did all the work.  I think people that find it grueling may not be right to be parents?  Of course there are moments of difficulty, but I'm talking overall.

But wouldn't taking care of your 2 kids full-time be considered "grueling" since you don't do so and you just said "it's not for you"?
Regards,

Sam

Leigh

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Everyone has an opinion, that has been formed on observance. But...nothing will change your own rock-solid opinion faster than a saturated experience. And having a baby/toddler/kid is the most all-consuming over the top experience on the face of the earth.

Just this week I listened to a person, who had no kidnicks, state that 'once someone has a baby, they become 'pathetic'.'

Interesting choice of words, since they had zero idea, none whatsoever, what being a parent was truly like.

All you can do is smile. And walk away. Maybe one day they'll know. Maybe not, maybe they shouldn't know. It takes a special person to love that eight-pounds with a full on sacrificial love. It's a blessing for sure. Hard as hell. But a blessing all the same.


Sam

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Everyone has an opinion, that has been formed on observance. But...nothing will change your own rock-solid opinion faster than a saturated experience. And having a baby/toddler/kid is the most all-consuming over the top experience on the face of the earth.

Just this week I listened to a person, who had no kidnicks, state that 'once someone has a baby, they become 'pathetic'.'

Interesting choice of words, since they had zero idea, none whatsoever, what being a parent was truly like.

All you can do is smile. And walk away. Maybe one day they'll know. Maybe not, maybe they shouldn't know. It takes a special person to love that eight-pounds with a full on sacrificial love. It's a blessing for sure. Hard as hell. But a blessing all the same.

Interesting. There’s a chance that person might want a kid more than anything in the world and it’s just lashing out because he or she couldn’t have one. I love to explore and talk to people who have really biting points of view. It’s fun to try to get to the car and then maybe write a post about it!
Regards,

Sam

Leigh

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This person doesn't want children, vehemently doesn't want children. Mothers are seen as being a mother only during the time of 'raise and get them out the door' then they are no longer a 'mother'. During that raising time, they lose everything about themselves and become pathetic. People who wear a baby in a baby sling look disgusting.

Pretty much what was spoken.

I'm a mother. I'll always qualify to sheepishly stand up in a church that has a 'Mother's Day' recognition, "Would all the mothers, or mothers to be, please stand and let us recognize you', wearing my red flower which signifies my Mama is still living, an old southern tradition. I celebrated my children. It was the best years of my life. I hated when they left for preschool and found ways to break them out early to go to the museums, plays, hikes up mountains, or fishing. I miss those days so much it physically hurts and can't wait until my own have babes I can love and 'celebrate'.

I guess that made me pathetic. I recognize that same in you, Sam, and I have no doubt you are celebrating your young one every day.

EmilyMorgan

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I would say "You will never know until you try!" Raising kids is not easy, but nothing is impossible when you have a goal, I guess. I have two boys, by the way  ;)

WengerTodd

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I hate to be that person who says "it depends," but I think it really does.

It really depends on:

1 - How many kids you have
2 - How invested you are in their future


Looking at #2 first, this is the biggest thing. Beyond the child-rearing stages where they have to be taken care of hand-and-foot, to the point where they start taking care of themselves... raising a child is only as complicated as you make it. If you don't really care at all about your children's future... then you could do the bare minimum, e.g. take them to school in the morning, pick them up, and then make a little extra food at dinner time (or pick up a little extra) after work. Other than buying extra soap, shampoo, and some clothes (which you can get at Goodwill), you've pretty much satisfied your parenting responsibilities... hahah, but you'd be a horrible parent.

It starts getting expensive (both time and money) when you sign your child up for after-school activities (robotics club, whatever), athletics (basketball, soccer, etc.), music lessons, tutoring, camps, you name it. All of these add up both in time (driving the kid to and from) and cost. Let alone traditional things like wedding costs for the daughter, Sweet 16 for the daughter, quinceanera for the daughter if you're Hispanic, or college savings (529, pre-paid, whatever). I mean... and then we get into if you're religious. For Christians, except for some denominations, we all have a Baptism. Jewish have baby namings, and then you also have all the other things... Catholics have 1st communion and all the training that goes before that, and then confirmation, and the Jewish have Bar / Bat-mitzvahs. All this stuff adds up. Oh... and let's not even talk about the gift giving holidays like Hanukah, Christmas, birthday parties... and all the birthday parties your kids will go to... EVERY YEAR. Shoot... totally forgot about doctor visits, immunizations, when they get sick, and all that stuff. God forbid they need braces, or if there's something else wrong with them that needs a long-term solution.

This multiplies exponentially when you have more than one kid because rarely are their obligations at the same time.


So... I'd say it depends on how crappy the parents are... hahaha...