Parents or Not Parents?

June 3, 2014

It’s summer 2014 and I’m getting Facebook, Twitter, and email bombed with “we’re having a kid” notices from ex-students and friends. I guess I’m supposed to be happy for them, but if that’s what they expect they don’t know me very well. Do they?

I’d offer a general rule of thumb (with the original definition of that rule intact) for prospective parents: If you would have hated to be your own parent (think during ages 13-25) you will be a lousy parent and will raise a terrible kid. Sure, there are a tiny number of exceptions to that rule, but they mostly prove the rule.

Remember, even alligators care for their babies as does about every species on the planet, but humans need care, feeding, nurturing, patience, investment (emotional and financial), training, and protection well into young adulthood. Babies are the easy part and if you have never cared for a baby I recommend you put in some time doing that before you consider reproducing. Of course most people aren’t considering reproducing at the time of conception, anyway. They are just fucking. After they discover what fucking leads to, they pretend they wanted to be a parent all along because they’re too lazy and cowardly to hunt down an abortion clinic. Not long after that, a kid is born and lousy parenting ensues.

Still, it’s all easy and somewhat fun and games until the little brat turns into a teenager. Then it all goes downhill fast. The kid turns into a fair reproduction of the parent at that age. The “parent” loses patience with the mirror reflection of him/herself and the kid continues the cycle with another kid; or ten.

And don’t forget, if you reproduce you have to pretend to care about your kid’s future. You can fake-pretend by joining a religious cult (all religions are cults) that absolves you of responsibility for the environmental, economic, and social disasters you’ve left for your kid to suffer and clean up, but that’s just avoidance. Every generation in front of us did the same damn thing and that’s why much of the ocean’s surface and bottom are covered in plastic and human waste. It’s why we stumble from one war to the next, each one driving society closer to total war and global annihilation. It’s why our species and culture gets dumber and dumber, because smart people do not reproduce (or do in small numbers; ie. less than 2).

Of course, you could actually care about the next generations’ futures and try to do something right for your children and your children’s children. But if that’s the kind of person you are you probably didn’t meet the criteria I started out with in the beginning of this essay.

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