(well, maybe it's not the FIRST one in which I've gotten ranty and mean)
Okay, so the other day I was on Twitter and someone in my stream was involved in a conversation with people that I do not follow. I was interested enough to click through a few people (whom I ALSO do not follow) and came across some dude who was getting all judgy and shouting "HEY PEOPLE QUIT BITCHING ABOUT MISSING OUT ON SOCIAL EVENTS BECAUSE YOU HAVE KIDS! FAMILY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! I WOULD GIVE UP ALL SOCIAL EVENTS IF I HAD MY KIDS FULL TIME!"
Or words to that effect.
And I agree - family IS the important thing.
But here's the what: You DON'T have your kid(s) full time. You have ZERO FUCKING IDEA what it's like to have your kids with you 24 hours a day. ZERO. NONE. NADA.
You're FREE to flit about at a moment's notice. You're free to drop what you're doing when your friends call and say HEY MEET ME AT THE BAR/RESTAURANT/BEACH/WHATEVER.
You don't have to have 3 weeks advance notice so that you can arrange a babysitter.
Also? If you have "regular" or "normal" kids that you can leave alone, you STILL have no idea what MY life is like.
I realize that we ALL have things we take for granted, even when we don't mean to. But I resent people who think like THAT guy trying to make people like me (oh, not ME personally, I don't even know the dude) feel bad for occasionally wishing for a short escape from family.
My twins just turned 15... and I have been a single parent for about 13 of those years.
My son is severely disabled, as most of you know -- he's like an infant. He doesn't do anything for himself, he can't hold a cup, he has to be fed and lifted and carried and diapered.
You can image the number of babysitters, including family, who are just CLAMORING to sit for me. Uh huh.
(If you guessed "NONE", you would be correct)(that is NOT A COMPLAINT, it is a simple FACT)
Besides the fact that I can't AFFORD a nanny or babysitting service, not many people want to be responsible for watching a kid who is heavy but has to be lifted, who has to be cared for as though he is a 3 month old, who has a seizure disorder.
They say "it's scary". And so it is.
I AM NOT COMPLAINING. I AM SUPREMELY HAPPY AND THANKFUL FOR EVERY DAY THAT MY CHILDREN DRAW BREATH. I am not blaming anyone for the way things are, for my situation. I deal with it, I try not to bitch about it very often - it's my job as a parent.
But I am mostly tied to my house. My son is too heavy to carry and he has a special wheelchair, not a regular one that can just fold in half, so it takes about 20-30 minutes just to take it apart to load it in the car.
I go practically NOWHERE except to work while the kids are in school. Or to the grocery store. And for the last 2 years I have been so lucky to get away for a weekend to go to Blogher, and it took at least 2 months of arranging to get THAT figured out, even though it was their FATHER who was to have them at that time.
AND since we're on the subject: working at a daycare, being a camp counselor or a teenage babysitter is a whole different animal than being a parent. The feelings you have are different, the LEVEL of the feelings you have are different, your thought processes are different.
So if I say I'm sad to miss out on this event or that social gathering, don't tell me how I SHOULD act, how I SHOULD feel, how I SHOULD parent.
Don't you DARE imply that I am LESS THAN AN EXCELLENT PARENT simply because I might occasionally say "OH I WISH I COULD GO TO 'this event' OR 'that social gathering'".
You talk to me when you've walked a couple of miles in my shoes. Until then? SHUT YOUR LAMEHOLE.
And also, fuck you and the high horse you rode in on, pal.