Recently I wrote about the Duggars and about how people who don't have children believe they know what it's like to raise children. And someone left me this comment:
After reading this article all I could think about is how most people with children aren't qualified to have children. yet this author wants to make it seem that having children is somehow a promotion to a state of "understanding" versus those who have no children and are "ignorant". There are many people without children who would make better parents than many people with children. sometimes the simple fact of not having a child shows a restraint and measure of control that most people would benefit from having. i whole heartedly disagree with the author's opinion of childless people versus people with children, and if I require research to prove it then I simply say "look at American children". A group that consists of mostly overweight, out of control, spoiled kids who's parents are saying "this isn't my fault, its his/her nature". Its unfair to judge those who don't have children as being ignorant when most people with children fall into that same category, possibly even yourself Ms. Schoff. I only pray that when you go home your child is sitting there reading a book and abstaining from soft drinks because you taught them to rather than sitting in front of a myspace screen, with a bag of chips and a coke, chatting with some unknown person because you have yet to take control.
First of all, did I EVER say ANYWHERE that people who don't have children are "ignorant" in general and across the board? No. I did not. I said, simply, and I stand by my statement, that if you have not raised children, you do NOT know what it's like to raise children. Pretty basic and pretty straigtforward. This commenter is obviously IGNORANT of my blog, however, or he/she would know that my kids are far too young to have a clue what MySpace is AND that I'm a health nut and therefore there is no Coke to be found in this house anywhere. Ever. If he/she knew that, he/she would probably be IGNORANT enough to assume that means I'm a "good" parent, since that appears to be the criteria by which he/she judges parents.
But alas, unfortunately, as all of you who are raising children know, being a good parent is not as simple as not liking to eat crappy food. If only it were.
If you'd like to read a story about bad parenting, however, I'm currently reading one of the most disturbing accounts of child abuse ever. It's called Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison. I'm reading it for my class this term, the topic of which is "Writing About Violence." What I have to do for the next ten weeks is read five horrible books, one of them an account of survival in Auschwitz, and write two first person essays about violence. By Tuesday I also have to write an account of a violent episode I've experienced.
Did I mention a few weeks ago BEFORE I started school that I'm totally overwhelmed with things to do? So multiply it by ten now. And how am I coping? By complaining on my blog and reprimanding ignorant commenters. That's productive, right?
When I first signed up for this class I thought to myself, I haven't suffered any kind of excessive abuse like I've read about, nor have I been a war orphan, etcetera -- what on earth will I write about for this class? But then when I started to think about it, I have a lot of violent stories to tell. So I have plenty of fodder it turns out -- if I could just find some self-discipline. Oh, and if I could get my kids hooked up with some internet predators to chat with online so they'd eat some chips and leave me alone a little bit, I suppose that might help too.