An apology to parents
This is to all the parents.
I’m child free by choice.
I was that person who glared at your kids in the supermarket. I was that person who gave you the side-eye in the restaurant. I was that person who muttered under their breath about unruly kids in public, and said it louder in more anonymous venues.
I was that person who cringed on the plane. I was that person who made ‘brat’ jokes (I like babies but I couldn’t eat a whole one). I was that person who whined about the ‘privileges’ of being a parent, and how ‘the world is run by the needs of kids’.
I was that person who said I was ‘doing the world’s population a service’ by not ‘breeding’. I was the person who parroted jokes about clown cars and looked on in horror as full up people movers drove by.
I was that person who made subjective calls on “good” and “bad” parents, never acknowledging the intersections of the kyriarchy or my privilege.
I was that person who did not recognize for almost 20 years that children are human beings too. Different, with different developmental needs, but still Human Beings.
I was that person who brought into the second wave bullshit that undervalued parenting, and that steeped-in-Victorian-age crap that made children ‘other’.
All this has nothing to do with why I chose to be CFbC, but it absolutely reinforces my pro-choice stance. It has to do with my socialization, and being steeped in misogyny that undervalues a woman’s choice. I can also recognize that these intersections mean that sometimes parents don’t choose to have parenthood thrust upon them but undertake it nonetheless, and I support them too.
If I can choose to not parent, it’s equally valid that other women can choose to parent, and along with their kids deserve to move through the world and public spaces just as much as I or any other person. To own being a feminist, I had to relearn what parenting means to this society. Thank you to everyone who has taught me a little more, put me a little more right, every day.
I don’t need your forgiveness parents, just know that there’s one less person doing that stupid hateful shit towards you and your kids.