I started this blog with the intention that I'd use it to critique my fellow advice professionals. There are a lot of us out there, and most of us suck. (Including me, occasionally.) But I quickly bored of that idea and began writing all about myself and the things that interested, fascinated, and repulsed, the all-important me. So much more interesting, right?!?!
But today I'm returning to my roots to yell at Slate's "Dear Prudy" columnist, Emily Yoffe. After hitting the nail on the head when she advises a lesbian granny to try and talk things out with her newly fundamentalist idiot daughter (and if that doesn't work, just ignore the ignorant bitch), she blows it but hard in her next reply.
A woman in her thirties writes in saying that she's very happy to be getting married, but that she and her fiance have decided not to reproduce and they're getting sick of people pressuring them to procreate. And rightly so. Would you really want anyone to base a major decision like having a kid on peer pressure? I've always felt that why are you having a child is a much better question than why aren't you. Giving birth and the subsequent 20-something years of a the kid's life are a huge responsibility and not something to be jumped into on a whim. You'd think Dear Prudy would get this.
But no. Instead, she tells her this:
You are about to get married, and as life's circumstances change, it is worth re-examining your goals, especially this one (and yes, I know, I am offending all happy childless people). You're only in your 30s—if you have children now, they'll be grown by the time you reach your late 50s! You say you love children, but as close as you may be to your nieces and nephews, that's no substitute for having your own. The people who know and love you best hope you and your husband have children—that alone makes it something worth considering.
What the fuck?!?! You should have children because your friends think you should and they know best? Are your friends and family going to have the episiotomy for you? Will they be changing the diapers and dealing with the the kid when it hits its mouthy teenage years? And who's going to pay for college!?!? Will that also be a group activity? And yes, having nieces and nephews is not like having your own children because you can send those kids home when you get sick of them! Having children is not for everyone and I'm sick of people treating the child-free like they're somehow too stupid to know what's best for them. Aaargh! Believe me, by not having any kids, I'm doing everyone a favor!