Rant, ahoy!

Jun. 3rd, 2014 10:19 am
liandriel: (Me)
[personal profile] liandriel
As a single mother, one of the things I've heard a lot from the men I've dated is, "I don't want to compete with your son for your attention." Sometimes, they get creative with the phrasing; usually not.

But after ten years of hearing various iterations of the same thing, I have one thing to say about that:

Bullshit.

Kids require attention. Require. Good parents pay attention to their kids. My son is ridiculously extroverted and needs interaction. It is my job, as his parent, to interact with him.

You, however, are a grown-up. While I probably really like you and enjoy interacting with you, it is not my job to interact with you. You, as a grown-up, should have learned to entertain yourself a long time ago.

It's not a competition.

I am not your mother.

Be a fucking grown-up.

Either you want me in your life, or you don't. But if you are going to resent my son for being a child and for being my responsibility, then we really don't have anything else to talk about.

One of the things that I appreciate most about [livejournal.com profile] whitebuddha is that he gets this.

Date: 2014-06-03 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kittles.livejournal.com
You nailed that one. It doesn't have to be kids, either - one guy I dated was jealous of my video games. DUDE, GET YOUR OWN HOBBIES.

Date: 2014-06-03 02:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liandriel.livejournal.com
Someone called me a helicopter parent this morning.

My son routinely spends time alone in our apartment--an hour or so between the time he gets home from school and the time I get home from work, most of my trips to the store, a few hours when he doesn't feel like going with me to a double-header. He's old enough and responsible enough to mostly fend for himself around the apartment for a little while without burning the place down or getting into trouble.

When he falls in his roller derby scrimmages and other parents are like, "MICHAEL'S HURT!" I nearly always look over and say, "He's fine." Because I know my kid, and I can see that he's not injured.

The fact that I wouldn't abandon my eight-year-old to spend hours or days with someone who didn't want to "compete for [my] attention" doesn't make me a helicopter. It makes me a parent.

I am so sick of this bullshit.
Edited Date: 2014-06-03 02:35 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-06-03 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liandriel.livejournal.com
... And yes, it does apply to more than kids. You are absolutely correct. Sorry, I didn't mean to ignore your point. I'm just still pretty pissed off.

Date: 2014-06-03 06:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kittles.livejournal.com
It's okay, I can only relate if I personalize. ;)

And I just can't see you being a helicopter parent. I've never picked up anything like that from you. And so what if you were? What would be wrong with being devoted to the upbringing of your child, really?

Date: 2014-06-03 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liandriel.livejournal.com
It just pisses me off, because he was using it as an insult, when what it actually means is, "Your totally normal parenting was a problem for me, because it was inconvenient to my desire to be 'spontaneous' by asking you to come over with no advance notice and at all hours of the night, and stay until one of us has to go to work."

Date: 2014-06-03 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liandriel.livejournal.com
I am, for the record, pissed off about a WHOLE LOT MORE right now, but this is the ad hominem argument that I latched onto today, because it's applicable to a much broader cross-section of my life.

Date: 2014-06-03 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lemonhd06.livejournal.com
That person is definitely not worthy!! Neither are the others who suggest such a thing. Obviously they don't have children or what?

Crazy!

Boy comes first, period.

Date: 2014-06-03 03:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] evelynne.livejournal.com
I am not a parent and this is among the stupidest things I've ever heard.

Someone like that has no business even THINKING about dating someone who is a parent. I can't believe someone would even SAY that!

Who's WhiteBuddha?

Date: 2014-06-03 03:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liandriel.livejournal.com
He's my boyfriend, Jeff. His daughter is a few months older than Michael.

Date: 2014-06-19 03:41 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-06-03 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hopefulspirit.livejournal.com
It shouldn't be a competition. I agree it's bullshit.

Date: 2014-06-03 07:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeffpalmatier.livejournal.com
Holy cow! What idiots. Then don't date somebody with a child. Duh.

Date: 2014-06-03 07:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liandriel.livejournal.com
Exactly. Do single parents a favor.

Date: 2014-06-04 02:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seekingzen.livejournal.com
As a former single mother - now happily married - I call bullshit on the whole "don't want to compete with your kid" thing. It doesn't get much more insecure, self-centered, and downright lame than that nonsense. People who spout that are basically saying they require all your love and attention and won't feel loved and secure if you're giving love and attention to someone else. To be so unable to see the difference between a parent-child relationship and a romantic partnership as to think it's a competition signals to me that somebody needs some serious therapy AND should never be involved with a person with kids.

If you don't want kids in your life then stay away from people who do! Parenting doesn't end when they turn 18. Lots of kids stay in their parents' houses well after entering legal adulthood, and continue to call their parents for help, guidance, solace, advice, etc. for the rest of their lives. Someone who doesn't want to be my partner when I'm raising my children will not want to be my partner when they're grown, either. Something will always come up and a person who thinks they need to compete with a young child will definitely think they need to compete with a grown one, too.

And you are NOT a helicopter parent. Helicopter parents can't let their kids out of their sight, do everything for them, go to extremes to keep them from experiencing anything challenging, and make all the decisions for them. You are committed to raising your child to the best of your ability, which is your job as his parent. Calling you a helicopter parent is a neon sign that they're just being petty and jealous, and being jealous of a person's kid is pathetic.

Date: 2014-06-05 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liandriel.livejournal.com
Not being involved in my kid's life at all, dude would have no actual idea of how much freedom and independence kiddo has (nor how much kiddo HATES it, being the extrovert that he is). But clearly the fact that he's a good kid who (by and large) follows the rules is obviously a clear indication that I am RUINING HIS LIFE BY CARING TOO MUCH.

I know it's bullshit, but it still pisses me off.

Date: 2014-06-06 03:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seekingzen.livejournal.com
I don't blame you one bit for being pissed.

Date: 2014-06-04 03:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] redqueenmeg.livejournal.com
I have a feeling my kids are Reason #1 nobody has shown one single bit of interest in me since my husband left two and a half years ago.

Date: 2014-06-05 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liandriel.livejournal.com
Is it horribly cynical of me to say that wouldn't surprise me in the least?

Date: 2014-06-09 12:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] redqueenmeg.livejournal.com
Nah, just realistic.

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