June 25, 2014

Dear Lack of Reading Comprehension:
Reader doesn't understand Dear Prudence, accuses her of slight to childfree

Tuesday, Dear Prudence's Part 2 went up for this week. I have a morbid fascination with Prudie, and follow her on Facebook so that I can read her letters and other work. Sometimes, she drives me to absolute distraction, but this time around, I actually felt frustrated on her behalf.

Here's a screenshot of the exchange:

The quote from Prudence's letter being referenced is this:
Being a mother is the most important thing I’ve ever done and I’d rate myself a 7.5. (At this late date—my daughter is 18—it’s unlikely I’ll break an 8.)
It was written in response to a woman who was afraid her husband found her less attractive after having children (which is an extremely simplified version of the letter, but will do for a synopsis).

There are a ton of people out there that are absolutely insufferable towards the childfree--any childfree, but especially those that are childfree by choice. But moments like this are nonetheless frustrating. If I say, "Motherhood is one of the most important things I've ever done," there's no reason for anyone to generalize that statement to themselves or anyone else. It's not a slight to your accomplishments; it's a personal evaluation of my life.

I'm glad to be a mom. I couldn't care less whether you want to be one or not--be happy. This person doesn't sound happy; they sound insecure. It strikes the same note with me as people that insist that everyone wants kids--those parents strike me as insecure in their own choices, and thus projecting onto other people.

I honestly don't know how Prudence could have clarified the statement anymore. Motherhood is important to some people--and that's okay. It's not a commentary on childfree people.

If I said, "Blogging is the most important thing I've ever done", would any of you reading this who aren't bloggers decide that I was dissing the blog-free? If I say, "Reading is the most important thing I have ever done," does that mean I'm dissing the illiterate?

I don't understand this mindset. What's important to me has as fair a chance of not being important to you as it does of being important. That's normal. That's natural. That's okay.

But for the love of all nonexistent deities, please stop reading into every statement mothers make.

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