Fellow Child-free folk - Let's Chat: Do you feel it is risky being "out" these days?

bandit0013 wrote:

I am deeply sorry that my suggestion that when you want to maintain a friendship with an adult who is responsible for the lives of others who cannot care for themselves that you may have to take more Initiative in reaching out to them then you would with other people. My comment was a response to people that feel left out when their friends get married and have children. Don't think that we aren't aware that we aren't spending time with you and that we don't feel bad about it

Your way of saying this involved telling us how we can't possibly understand what it's like to have a child, talk of how insanely busy your chosen responsibilities make your schedule, and then a "Pro-tip", which is typically snarky internet shorthand for "doofus, get a clue". I apologize if my reading of your post doesn't reflect the intent.

bandit0013 wrote:

If you feel the need to make comments about churlishness in reading into my motives in the future please feel free to private message. This is the second or third thread where I've had to have you come in and question my motives instead of actually trying to talk about the point I'm attempting to make.

That's counter to the fact that I've addressed you once previously. PM sent to avoid further metatextual pissing contests.

Bandit, I totally understand your main point that your child is your top priority. It makes sense, and is reasonable. But this:

bandit0013 wrote:

ProTip for single folks maintaining relationship with married/kids folk: Put something on the calendar. I'm serious, arrange a freaking meeting with me. Call me, sass me, email me, force me to block space. It won't happen on its own because I'm juggling a dozen more things than you are. :)

...(to me) comes off as: "I know I said my kid is my top priority, but actually what I'm saying is that you're not my priority at all. If you bug me enough, I guess we can still do stuff, but otherwise, I'm not even thinking about you." It's a very different sentiment from "I lose track of time, I mean to schedule time with my friends and never seem to get around to it" and instead goes right to calling out your friends as being responsible for your relationship. Which is exactly what this thread is about.

Ranger Rick wrote:

...(to me) comes off as: "I know I said my kid is my top priority, but actually what I'm saying is that you're not my priority at all. If you bug me enough, I guess we can still do stuff, but otherwise, I'm not even thinking about you." It's a very different sentiment from "I lose track of time, I mean to schedule time with my friends and never seem to get around to it" and instead goes right to calling out your friends as being responsible for your relationship. Which is exactly what this thread is about.

I don't think it is saying CF friends are responsible for the relationship. I think it's saying that CF friends are responsible if they want to keep the relationship going CF-style. That there is a standing invitation open to any CF friends to join in on things like family dinner--that's how the person with child is fulfilling their responsibility towards the relationship.

ianunderhill wrote:

For all the accusations of selfishness the procreation-obsessed throw around, they sure do seem...well, selfish.

Everyone is f*cking selfish:

the childless don't want to lose their friends to eat pot brownies with and talk about the crushing grind of art and performance in NYC

the married with children want someone to keep them company in their misery and drink wine with on playdates (i.e. if my sister-in-law tells us to "now you have to move upstate and get a job here!" one more time...)

Ranger Rick wrote:

Bandit, I totally understand your main point that your child is your top priority. It makes sense, and is reasonable. But this:

bandit0013 wrote:

ProTip for single folks maintaining relationship with married/kids folk: Put something on the calendar. I'm serious, arrange a freaking meeting with me. Call me, sass me, email me, force me to block space. It won't happen on its own because I'm juggling a dozen more things than you are. :)

...(to me) comes off as: "I know I said my kid is my top priority, but actually what I'm saying is that you're not my priority at all. If you bug me enough, I guess we can still do stuff, but otherwise, I'm not even thinking about you." It's a very different sentiment from "I lose track of time, I mean to schedule time with my friends and never seem to get around to it" and instead goes right to calling out your friends as being responsible for your relationship. Which is exactly what this thread is about.

That's exactly how it read to me too. With the additional assumption that if you don't have kids you couldn't possibly have enough things going on in your life to keep you equally busy. Some of us CF people have long been scheduling time with friends CF and not in order to maintain those friendships. But it goes both ways.

Yellek wrote:
Ranger Rick wrote:

Bandit, I totally understand your main point that your child is your top priority. It makes sense, and is reasonable. But this:

bandit0013 wrote:

ProTip for single folks maintaining relationship with married/kids folk: Put something on the calendar. I'm serious, arrange a freaking meeting with me. Call me, sass me, email me, force me to block space. It won't happen on its own because I'm juggling a dozen more things than you are. :)

...(to me) comes off as: "I know I said my kid is my top priority, but actually what I'm saying is that you're not my priority at all. If you bug me enough, I guess we can still do stuff, but otherwise, I'm not even thinking about you." It's a very different sentiment from "I lose track of time, I mean to schedule time with my friends and never seem to get around to it" and instead goes right to calling out your friends as being responsible for your relationship. Which is exactly what this thread is about.

That's exactly how it read to me too. With the additional assumption that if you don't have kids you couldn't possibly have enough things going on in your life to keep you equally busy. Some of us CF people have long been scheduling time with friends CF and not in order to maintain those friendships. But it goes both ways.

I didn't get that. I think it is a fair point (and one that I have experienced with child-rearing friends) that it is very easy to have your time filled up with kid-related or kid-escaping activities that those of us without children (yet or ever) take for granted. My non-parenting todo list might be 20 items long, but my buddy who has a toddler's is probably 50+ items - scheduling time is just harder when there is more on your plate. Yeah, you lose the ability to go see movies and have an impromptu cigar hurf on a whim, but the all-weekend LAN party I am hosting and got scheduled months ahead of time is going to be 70% people who have small children.

Double posts for phone typing.

I never said impromptu or on a whim. I said scheduling, by which I mean usually a week ahead and sometimes months. The point is its not only me and CF people Doug this, my friends with kids participate in planning things ahead of time too. Of course sometimes life comes up and plans are cancelled or postponed, but everyone still actively is part of maintaining the friendships. Who wants to keep being the one to beg for time?

bandit0013 wrote:

I apologize the churlish comment just really rubbed me the wrong way because I wasn't trying to be a jerk I was trying to explain how to approach me successfully and how to be successful in maintaining friendships

Bandit you should have nothing to apologize for. I keep going back and reading your comment and coming from a single person's point of view I just don't see why everyone's making a big deal about what you said. This just reeks of a few people having a "chip on their" shoulder mentality and break down every single sentence only to find something offensive (a common occurrence on this site actually). It looks to me that this whole topic is just going out of the way to somehow try really hard to segregate a group of people from another group of people just because of life decisions. People grow up, grow apart and have children people, you just need to accept that fact. Children take up a lot of time and energy and I think it's very selfish for anyone to expect a hard working parent to go out of their way to satisfy our own selfish needs. Talk to your friends, try and work out "buddy" time and if it just can't happen then respect that. You're single yes, sure there are annoying questions that get asked but it's nothing to get bent out of shape about.

IMAGE(http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lqtjxnLRht1qbvl2io1_500.gif)

In my experience, trying to meet with my single/childless friends to hang out isn't just hampered by my home life. The thing is, every one of them seems to think that it's not a big deal to just cancel out of those get togethers. I don't resent that at all, of course, but it's not exactly easy to try and get time to hang out.

The Conformist wrote:

People grow up, grow apart and have children people, you just need to accept that fact.

The "have children" part of this is actually untrue in the universal sense you seem to be implying.

Which is kind of the reason this thread exists.

Yellek wrote:

I never said impromptu or on a whim. I said scheduling, by which I mean usually a week ahead and sometimes months. The point is its not only me and CF people Doug this, my friends with kids participate in planning things ahead of time too. Of course sometimes life comes up and plans are cancelled or postponed, but everyone still actively is part of maintaining the friendships. Who wants to keep being the one to beg for time?

Sure, I was tying back to the pot brownies and random hangouts mentioned by other people. I took his point as more statistical frequency than a 'never' situation. My wife and I generally want to do more things in a given period of time than our friends with kids. Partially because they are already doing many more events with kids/family than we are, partially because child care is time/cost intensive compared to the absence thereof. As I understood him, bandit was pointing out that the most reliable way to do stuff -you- want to do together was to schedule it early, rather than ask a day or two in advance(ie, SOP from my college days). It isn't that you or I shouldn't expect a couple with kids to ever initiate plans, it is just that the frequency of events is going down compared to pre-kid days because they are busier.

My 2 cents, I didn't see anything offensive in your post bandit0013. I mean, it's an example of the kind of perspective most CF people have to deal with all the time, but nothing unexpected.

Dimmerswitch wrote:
The Conformist wrote:

People grow up, grow apart and have children people, you just need to accept that fact.

The "have children" part of this is actually untrue in the universal sense you seem to be implying.

Which is kind of the reason this thread exists. ;)

Hah. Understood. But chances are you know at least ONE friend/family member who has a child.

Tanglebones wrote:

IMAGE(http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lqtjxnLRht1qbvl2io1_500.gif)

Calls em how I sees em

I don't have kids.

I love my friends.

But my friends are deluding themselves if they think that they're a higher priority than my wife or girlfriend, who are family.

My family is always going to be my primary concern, and if that means I grow distant from, or lose entirely, some friends, then c'est la vie.

That applies regardless of the existence of my progeny. Nothing changes with that heirarchy of priorities when I have a kid.

We get the "I'm juggling a dozen more things than you are." stuff constantly and it carries the implication that our schedules must be either free or else full of meaningless easy to cancel activities. That may be the case for some people but in general parents are juggling DIFFERENT things, not necessarily more things, nor even more important things.

That's not to say raising your kid well is not important, it absolutely is and in taking that job on I should hope it is the most important thing in YOUR life, but that doesn't mean there are no other meaningful or important ways to be contributing to this world.

Jonman wrote:

I don't have kids.

I love my friends.

But my friends are deluding themselves if they think that they're a higher priority than my wife or girlfriend, who are family.

I think it's great that you have an open relationship.

The Conformist wrote:

This just reeks of a few people having a "chip on their" shoulder mentality and break down every single sentence only to find something offensive (a common occurrence on this site actually).

Actually factually? If it's that bad, you're always welcome to leave. But if you're choosing to stick around, I invite you to come out and actually say things directly instead of pulling nonsensical "some people!" third-handed generalizations. Hand-wringing is hand-wringing, regardless of positions or perspective, after all. If you want to talk, have at it. If you want to talk smack from the safety of the sidelines? Do it under your breath.

It looks to me that this whole topic is just going out of the way to somehow try really hard to segregate a group of people from another group of people just because of life decisions. People grow up, grow apart and have children people, you just need to accept that fact.

I'm hard-pressed to see where anyone's suggested that this is something that doesn't happen or isn't a societal norm. This thread exists for the purpose of providing people who haven't gone that route with a space to talk about issues related to their experiences. That's it. Are you really suggesting that this is a waste of time simply because you're disinterested/in disagreement, or what? That'd be like me going into the gun owners thread and saying, "I think this is a bunch of bullsh*t and you ammo-hungry nutjobs are just tryin' to feel special" just because I'm not a firearms enthusiast.

Jonman wrote:

But my friends are deluding themselves if they think that they're a higher priority than my wife or girlfriend, who are family.

My family is always going to be my primary concern, and if that means I grow distant from, or lose entirely, some friends, then c'est la vie.

That applies regardless of the existence of my progeny. Nothing changes with that heirarchy of priorities when I have a kid.

I think this is an excellent point that everyone can appreciate (except spinsters, but f*ck'em, get your own thread!). Maybe there was the first time your friends started complaining you were spending too much time with your girlfriend/boyfriend. "Bros before hos" becomes "Bros before, um, bambinos", I guess if you have obnoxious friends who like to coin tortured phrases.

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I am just gonna sip a pint with Barak and watch this go down.

Never understood why there have to be winners and losers, we got into this in the hypothetical topic on sex partners who are trans.

How come if I made the right life choice for me, that is different from the life choice another makes, one has to be right/wrong, better/worse, easier/harder?

Life is not as clear cut as Porsche vs Ferrari.

krev82 wrote:

We get the "I'm juggling a dozen more things than you are." stuff constantly and it carries the implication that our schedules must be either free or else full of meaningless easy to cancel activities. That may be the case for some people but in general parents are juggling DIFFERENT things, not necessarily more things, nor even more important things.

That's not to say raising your kid well is not important, it absolutely is and in taking that job on I should hope it is the most important thing in YOUR life, but that doesn't mean there are no other meaningful or important ways to be contributing to this world.

Thanks krev82. I wanted to say something like this as a follow-up to Jonman's post but didn't know how to get out of the "see, childless people have families, and families aren't really anything but the tightest societal unit around an individual" bag. Some of us have a selective family, and it might be unconventional in its composition, down to the point where someone outside of it might not be able to see it as such without claiming it to be some kind of analogous unit rather than what's functionally the same damned thing. Similarly, we all have different priorities. And similar to the "what's a family, anyway?" question, I don't see how one set of priorities can be automatically claimed as more important or more serious or whatever than someone else's. People who aren't you making choices different from yours? Yeah, they probably understand their decisions better than you understand their decisions.

ianunderhill wrote:
The Conformist wrote:

This just reeks of a few people having a "chip on their" shoulder mentality and break down every single sentence only to find something offensive (a common occurrence on this site actually).

Actually factually? If it's that bad, you're always welcome to leave. But if you're choosing to stick around, I invite you to come out and actually say things directly instead of pulling nonsensical "some people!" third-handed generalizations. Hand-wringing is hand-wringing, regardless of positions or perspective, after all. If you want to talk, have at it. If you want to talk smack from the safety of the sidelines? Do it under your breath.

It looks to me that this whole topic is just going out of the way to somehow try really hard to segregate a group of people from another group of people just because of life decisions. People grow up, grow apart and have children people, you just need to accept that fact.

I'm hard-pressed to see where anyone's suggested that this is something that doesn't happen or isn't a societal norm. This thread exists for the purpose of providing people who haven't gone that route to talk about issues related to their experiences. That's it. Are you really suggesting that this is a waste of time simply because you're disinterested/in disagreement, or what? That'd be like me going into the gun owners thread and saying, "I think this is a bunch of bullsh*t and you ammo-hungry nutjobs are just tryin' to feel special" just because I'm not a firearms enthusiast.

I have no issues with any experience a person has that in any way has somehow made them feel less accepted. Experiences that are a direct result of a friend or family member treating you differently or badly because you yourself do not have children is one thing. Feeling like you are somehow being mistreated because a friend or family member simply can't find the time to hang out with you is another. I myself am single and have no children, I've experienced the loss of time with friends because of wife/children, I don't find it a bad thing, or feel they are being somehow snarky when they can't find the time for me. I understand the complications of parenthood and marriage.

Also I felt the need to chime in because when I see someone being "bullied" because they made a simple statement that to me was just saying "Hey, single folks, try this approach" , I feel the need to stick up for their point of view. He seemed to be just trying to help, and I don't feel that picking on the guy/gal for it helps matters any. Like I said, in my opinion there are many people that seem to just take everything offensive and to heart, when the original intent wasn't even geared to harm.

The Conformist wrote:

Also I felt the need to chime in because when I see someone being "bullied" because they made a simple statement that to me was just saying "Hey, single folks, try this approach" , I feel the need to stick up for their point of view. He seemed to be just trying to help, and I don't feel that picking on the guy/gal for it helps matters any. Like I said, in my opinion there are many people that seem to just take everything offensive and to heart, when the original intent wasn't even geared to harm.

I know this isn't the first time this has been brought up, but does intent matter if someone is still insulted or harmed?

ianunderhill wrote:
krev82 wrote:

We get the "I'm juggling a dozen more things than you are." stuff constantly and it carries the implication that our schedules must be either free or else full of meaningless easy to cancel activities. That may be the case for some people but in general parents are juggling DIFFERENT things, not necessarily more things, nor even more important things.

That's not to say raising your kid well is not important, it absolutely is and in taking that job on I should hope it is the most important thing in YOUR life, but that doesn't mean there are no other meaningful or important ways to be contributing to this world.

Thanks krev82. I wanted to say something like this as a follow-up to Jonman's post but didn't know how to get out of the "see, childless people have families, and families aren't really anything but the tightest societal unit around an individual" bag. Some of us have a selective family, and it might be unconventional in its composition, down to the point where someone outside of it might not be able to see it as such without claiming it to be some kind of analogous unit rather than what's functionally the same damned thing. Similarly, we all have different priorities. And similar to the "what's a family, anyway?" question, I don't see how one set of priorities can be automatically claimed as more important or more serious or whatever than someone else's. People who aren't you making choices different from yours? Yeah, they probably understand their decisions better than you understand their decisions.

Except what makes those things parents are juggling DIFFERENT in the first place also makes them more of an obstacle than many equally important or meaningful things.

Tanglebones wrote:
The Conformist wrote:

Also I felt the need to chime in because when I see someone being "bullied" because they made a simple statement that to me was just saying "Hey, single folks, try this approach" , I feel the need to stick up for their point of view. He seemed to be just trying to help, and I don't feel that picking on the guy/gal for it helps matters any. Like I said, in my opinion there are many people that seem to just take everything offensive and to heart, when the original intent wasn't even geared to harm.

I know this isn't the first time this has been brought up, but does intent matter if someone is still insulted or harmed?

My answer is: Possibly. (edit) It's too complex a question for a simple yes/no universal answer.

Tanglebones wrote:
The Conformist wrote:

Also I felt the need to chime in because when I see someone being "bullied" because they made a simple statement that to me was just saying "Hey, single folks, try this approach" , I feel the need to stick up for their point of view. He seemed to be just trying to help, and I don't feel that picking on the guy/gal for it helps matters any. Like I said, in my opinion there are many people that seem to just take everything offensive and to heart, when the original intent wasn't even geared to harm.

I know this isn't the first time this has been brought up, but does intent matter if someone is still insulted or harmed?

I don't disagree at all Tangle you are absolutely correct. And I could be absolutely in the wrong in my way of thinking, but where do you draw the line between just being overly sensitive and "chip on your shoulder" like, and truly being offended? But don't answer that because it's completely off topic and I've already seemed to derail this enough. I just think that his post could have been approached differently and not such in a condescending way. Also, now that I look back at my posts I also could have approached the situation differently. I do apologize however (more specifically to ianunderhill), I just feel the need to stick up for someone who I feel is being mistreated or misunderstood.

The Conformist wrote:

I do apologize however (more specifically to ianunderhill), I just feel the need to stick up for someone who I feel is being mistreated or misunderstood.

That's a very understandable impulse, and the apology's quite generous. Thank you. I'll stop short of trust falls and group hugs, though, don't worry.

Tanglebones wrote:

I know this isn't the first time this has been brought up, but does intent matter if someone is still insulted or harmed?

Of course it matters. But it's not like that negates a perfectly valid reading. I'm substantially less bothered by bandit's post now that he's explained things in a clearer and more tactful fashion, but the fact that I'm not the only one who read his original post and felt that way suggests to me that I'm not just "some person" suffering from a bizarre persecution complex.

As someone who has a child, I'd like to commend all you CF people for making the correct choice. Kids f*cking suck. And anyone who ever told me 'it's different when it's your child' is on my sh*t-list. Actually, I guess they were correct - it IS different when it's your child. It's worse. When it's someone else's child, you can just leave and not ever deal with them. It's a bit harder when you're responsible for the kid.

billt721 wrote:

As someone who has a child, I'd like to commend all you CF people for making the correct choice. Kids f*cking suck. And anyone who ever told me 'it's different when it's your child' is on my sh*t-list. Actually, I guess they were correct - it IS different when it's your child. It's worse. When it's someone else's child, you can just leave and not ever deal with them. It's a bit harder when you're responsible for the kid.

I have no idea if you're being serious or not, but goddamn, man, the thoughts it brings to mind. That whole "oh my god, you're being a rotten little sh*t and I am responsible for making you know that's not cool while your brain's still incapable of making complete sense of my correction of your behavior!" business is something I'm thrilled to not have an inside understanding of. I lived with a married, single child family for a few months after my separation as I was getting my affairs in order, and the number of moments where I thought either of the parents were just going to lose it were way more numerous than I would've liked. And she was a reasonably well-behaved kid most of the time, and they were rather chill in their demeanors, too. I don't like to throw the word "respect" around willy-nilly, but nobody better confuse my choice with thinking parenting's stupid.