Parenting Advice from Childless People
Giving parenting advice when you don’t have kids is like reading about swimming and becoming a lifeguard without getting in the water.
You’ve got to experience the blowout diapers, tantrums, anxiety, kids in your bed, and sleep deprivation. A PhD isn’t enough.
Get in the pool!
There’s no substitution for life experience.
What you learn in books or even by teaching others doesn’t incorporate the sleeplessness and emotions experienced by parents. Love keeps parents going in this 24/7 decades long job. It’s easy to look in from the outside and judge parents for losing their shit. In a professional environment, we don’t tend to lose our shit because we can take breaks or even quit a paying job. There is no quitting the parenting gig. Unless you’ve slogged through seemingly endless days with your child, been severely sleep deprived, had no time for self care, and can’t even be sick in peace, you can STFU and take a seat. Your degrees can only teach you so much. Many lessons are learned from the hands-on training taught by the child. No parenting book prepares us to be parents.
To non-parents who say, “Why did you have kids if you were going to complain? You’re selfish to want time alone.”
I want know why you go to work and complain about your job? Why do you take a lunch break? Are you selfish? Why do anything if you don’t love it every minute?
A word to the wise: If you’re not a parent, don’t give advice about how you’d handle your imaginary children.