Today's society intolerant of parents?

Jenni - posted on 02/13/2011 ( 70 moms have responded )

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Has our society generally become more intolerant of parents and children?
Have you heard from others "It was your decision to become a parent." Did you agree? disagree? Feel guilty?
Do you think parents receive special treatment? Should receive it? Shouldn't? Don't receive enough?
Do you feel places of employment allow too many freedoms and benefits to their employees who are parents? Is it unfair to non-parent employees?

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70 Comments

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Jenn - posted on 02/13/2011

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I've never encountered any rude comments or anything like that, so I don't think our society is intolerant of parents. I don't ever notice anything other than people chatting it up with me and my kids or commenting on how they're cute/sweet - whatever. Maybe it's just what I choose to perceive? I don't know.

Desiree - posted on 02/13/2011

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HAHA!! I wish that were true if anything I am given a hard time. I don't believe that we should get a great many advantages but a little understanding would be nice. If I tell my boss I am late because my tire was flat it's ok but if I tell him that I am late because the baby got sick its a case of don't make your problems mine, don't be late again.. How is that fair.

Iridescent - posted on 02/13/2011

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In some ways. Part of it is that society (here) is closer, they see each other more. They aren't stuck in a sod house or farm house 11 months out of the year with nobody but their own family to talk to anymore.



I've even been insulted and told it was my choice to have kids, so deal with it. Well, yes, it WAS my choice to have kids. And I love them! But I did not ask for their health problems, which the bulk of parents do not ask for, and when they're dumped on you to the extreme they have been to us, tell me YOU don't feel overwhelmed? Need a little help? Family has never once taken our kids for even an hour. Out of almost 12 years. It's all us and a couple excellent friends. In addition, we have a couple extra kids that I did not ask for, and I was not prepared to deal with, but they are a part of my family. And they aren't easy, either. Because of a mom that wasn't a parent.



On the other hand, I HAVE told someone else it was her choice to become a parent. She had her first baby at 15. She's having her second at barely 17. She thinks everyone owes her a living, is jumping from guy to guy, and making nothing of herself. Do I owe her a clipped nickel? NO! Is it acceptable that she doesn't know how to close her legs? Absolutely not. Is it ok in my mind that she keeps bringing children into this world that she has no desire to actually parent? No. I am not tolerant of that. When these "parents" can bring their babies [dolls] to school, dump them off with a free day care, go to class all day, play with their friends, stop off and pick up their babies [dolls] after school and go have a dress up their baby [doll] session, then dump baby with THEIR parents, there is a problem! I don't tolerate it.

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* I don't care if you are a single mom/dad or not. Two people created that child and two people should be there for it. IMO rants.*

This just struck me, Deanna. What do you mean by this?
I am quite terrified of getting a 'real' job cuz I literally have NO ONE else who would be able to take care of my kids if they are sick. Yes, two people made these kids, but one of them chose to move as far away from them as he could possibly get and still be in the same state. I would never abuse the 'single parent card', but what the heck am I supposed to do? Leave sick kids home alone or send them to school (and have a bunch of people gripe about what an idiot, uncaring mom I am) or risk losing my job?

As for the op.... I haven't had any experience w/ any of that yet. I do currently have government assistance because of the kids, but other than that.... I really try not to complain and never ask for help cuz I don't want to be a burden on anyone.... and I'm royally suffering at the moment because of it.

Sharon - posted on 02/13/2011

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Sure - a few minutes - other wise no mother would ever get any shopping done.

But I had a customer stand there, with her mother, sister and brother - with a screaming kid for 15 minutes. They made zero attempt to discipline him or calm him down. They kept telling him to shut up. yeah thats going to work.

I've even given my 8 yr old (my oldest - way back when) my debit card and gone to stand outside the front door with a screaming kid until he was done. I gotta say the cashiers were AWESOME, bagging stuff and getting the cart ready to go for him, holding doors open etc. They completely understood.

But walking around the store for 20 minutes while your kid screams his bloody head off is NOT acceptable.

Krista - posted on 02/13/2011

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Don't these parents at least deserve the grace of a couple of minutes to try to calm their kids down, first? I'm not saying it's cool for a mom to just let her kid have a 20-minute tantrum while standing there and ignoring him. That's for at home, not in the middle of a store. But I don't see why we can't collectively at least give the mother a few minutes to TRY to calm things down before she says, "Okay, that's enough" and takes the kid out of the store.

Isobel - posted on 02/13/2011

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I think it's the people WITH kids that have become intolerant of society. I love kids and I'm always nice to them when I see them in public...do you know how often I get dirty looks from mothers cause I'm chatting with their kid in line? We've had entire threads about people snatching their kids away from friendly people who might dare to play with their feet.

If your kid throws a temper tantrum in a busy Walmart on a Saturday afternoon (which is already hell on earth BEFORE you add a screaming child) pick him up and leave. period.

There's no ignoring it because that's what your parenting books tell you to do. That is my space as much as it is yours, and it's the respectful thing to do to remove that child before my ears start bleeding. While I understand that you NEED to get that shopping done, you'll have to do it later either with a behaved child or none at all.

The guy obviously shouldn't have hit the kid, but nobody should hit kids.

Krista - posted on 02/13/2011

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I don't think parents deserve "special" treatment...but they definately deserve some empathy, understanding and to not be given evil glares everywhere they take their young child.

Exactly. I don't expect "special" treatment as a parent, but a little bit of patience? Yes. I would hope that people would show a little bit of patience towards me and my son, or towards the elderly lady who is taking a long time in the cashier line, or towards the celiac who has to ask 5 minutes' worth of questions at the restaurant to make sure that the dish she's ordering won't make her sick.

We've become so impatient and angry and stressed, and have no tolerance for anybody who has the temerity to inconvenience us, even in the slightest. It's ugly. I've been guilty of it, when I'm in a bad mood and in a hurry, and I'm ashamed of it.

As a culture, we all need to take a deep breath and ask ourselves, "Is this REALLY worth getting upset over?"

By the same token, as Katherine and Sharon said, there are some women who use motherhood as an excuse to not pull their weight at work, and that's not fair.

It would be nice if more companies instituted "personal days". My employer gives me 5 personal days a year, on top of my 5 sick days. So if my son is sick, I can stay home with him. And my coworkers don't resent it, because they have the same allotment of personal days, that they can use for their dental appointments, or if they need to go over their sick-day allotment, or what-have-you.

I think that if employers (and everybody else) recognizes that we're all human beings, and that our lives can sometimes be messy or noisy or inconvenient, and has patience with that, then our society as a whole would be much kinder.

Sara - posted on 02/13/2011

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I think workplace policies in the US are behind, they don't promote families at all. The amount of vacation/sick time/maternity time and job security surrounding that are lacking, IMO. I think that as a society, we should support and promote families. I mean, we want there to be a new generation to take over from us when we go, and we want that generation to be capable and educated, don't we? Everyone should want that, even people with no children.



As a parent, there are tiimes that i've had to take off work or leave work early because of a sick child. As a pregnant working mother, there are times I've been too sick to do my work. Do I think I deserve special treatment? Well, not really, but I do expect that my supervisors would try to understand that I'm normally a productive employee and that special circumstances do arise.



But I do know of the parents who use their children as an excuse all the time, and I'll admit that is fucking annoying!

Sharon - posted on 02/13/2011

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It happens, of course it happens. But constantly? a couple of times a week, every week, month after month? And the parent pulls the "but I'm a single mom/parent, you have to accomodate me!"

Katherine - posted on 02/13/2011

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I can tell you when I used to work in an AFC home the woman with kids NEVER had to work doubles and I always got stuck working them.

It was because they had kids, and I always said I should have kids so that I had an excuse.

It is right in the handbook that that might happen and that you have to make arrangements and be available. If it only happened a few times it would be no big deal but it was constantly!!





Edit to add: People without kids and even with kids are VERY intolerant, they act like it never happens to them.

Mary - posted on 02/13/2011

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Perhaps it depends on where you go, Jodi, because my experiences with 2 y/o have been almost the polar opposite.

I can honestly say that I have never had anyone give me a dirty look, or say anything negative, when we have eaten out with her. In fact, it's usually the opposite. Strangers tend to be very friendly, entertaining her with funny faces across the room, or even coming up to talk to her and make a fuss. It's a rare outing when at least one person doesn't come up to us and say something nice either to her or about her.

Even at places like the grocery store or Target, both random strangers as well as employees are generally both friendly and engaging with her. Even the normally brain-dead teen-aged cashiers at Target at least say hello to her when she says "Hi" to them.

Last week we were grocery shopping, and the girl was in a bit of a mood. We usually use that god-awful beast of a car-cart because she likes it so much. Sadly, she has figured out how to undo the buckle of the strap, and can now climb out of it. She had done just that, and proceeded to sit in the middle of the aisle. A lone older woman was behind us, and could not get by her. She looked down at Molly, and said, "Beep, beep! You're holding up traffic, miss". Molly thought this was funny, and started to laugh. She then said to the woman, "We need to make a train!" Damn it if that woman, and another old lady who had come up behind her didn't oblige her by lining up, and making choo-choo noises behind us up and down two more aisles!

As for "special" treatment...no, I don't think that should be expected. I think basic human decency and courtesy need to be more widespread, but I don't believe my choice to be a parent should warrant special considerations by my employer or others, particularly if it would force an imposition on them.

Sharon - posted on 02/13/2011

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Has our society generally become more intolerant of parents and children?

Our society started out with parents being an almost hush hush thing. It wasn't allowed in the work place. Then it was realised that was an impossible directive. And companies began to be more accepting - mostly because the law said so. But now parents are shoving their rights up everyone elses nose. "I have a baby and you all can suck my left nut." kind of shit. i have THREE kids and I'm sick of it. One of cashiers pull this shit all the fucking time and she's not even out of her first trimester with her first baby by the convict baby daddy.

Have you heard from others "It was your decision to become a parent." > no. 1. no one would have the guts to say that to me. 2. I never shoved my parent status in anyone elses face. Why? Because I always had fall back options. My husband, to pick up slack. When the flu was running through the kids, we took turns missing work so neither of our jobs was feeling the full brunt of a missing key employee.

Did you agree? disagree? Feel guilty? If my choice to be a parent had impinged on some elses life (like the boss missing a huge concert because my babysitter didn't show up) yeah I would have felt a bit guilty.

Do you think parents receive special treatment? Alot of them do these days. EXCESSIVE special treatment.

Should receive it? Not really. I'd love to fire that bitch at work. She was lazy before and she's worse now.

Shouldn't?

Don't receive enough? Not from the government. The government needs to recognise that a SAHM IS a job and tax credits and SSI credits need to be applied accordingly.

Do you feel places of employment allow too many freedoms and benefits to their employees who are parents? Some.

Is it unfair to non-parent employees? A bit. When the non parent employee has to constantly give up their days off to accomodate the slacker "parent" employee, you start to see some tension in the workplace.

People slapping other peoples' kids - NEVER should be allowed. If you feel that strongly - tell the mother the truth. She's a slacking asshole who feels accomodating her pain in the ass spoiled brat toddler or worse, older child, is more important than an entire store full of shoppers.

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Society in general is fine in my book. My kids are well behaved and know their manners so we don't have as many problems as some parents do. ( I have seen those parents and though I understand I still don't approve of misbehaving in public.)

I have never heard the "It was your decision to become a parent." Sorry but I am a proud momma and will toot it to whomever will listen. Most understand that I choose to be a mom and love every minute of it.

I have seen some instances where parents have been treated abruptly and others where they were given a lot more leeway. Mostly because of the way their children are behaving though not always. However, I personally think they need to be treated like everyone else.

I do feel employers give to much leeway to parents. I am a mom. I have worked nights so I can be a SAHM to my kids. I have used my own sick days when I needed to stay home with my kids. I have seen so many moms abuse this and it makes me angry to see it. I don't care if you are a single mom/dad or not. Two people created that child and two people should be there for it. IMO rants.
Yes it is unfair to non-parents as well.

Jodi - posted on 02/13/2011

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I am not a violent person, but I'm pretty sure if someone took it upon themselves to hit my kid...two adults would be getting arrested that day.

Yes, I do believe today's society is incredible intolerant of parents. I can't say how many times I've gotten the comment "You decided to have kids." yeah, I also decided to choose you as a friend...that one is negotiable. People can bitch about their jobs, their houses, their spouses their cars etc etc etc and that's fine...but bitch about being a parent after a horrible day and yeah...we have no right. But, tell someone bitching about their job or house or spouse that they decided to have it that way...well..by golly...they need THAT specific job, and there's nothing they can do about their spouse and what not. Everyone is entitled to vent...except parents.

I don't think parents deserve "special" treatment...but they definately deserve some empathy, understanding and to not be given evil glares everywhere they take their young child. But, doesn't everyone, parent or not, deserve that?

Sometimes, i specifically choose not to do the grocery shopping because I get sick of the looks...and those are before my kid EVER makes a peep...we dont' go out to eat anymore because the rude comments are just too much and ruin what should be a nice family dinner...again...before my kid misbehaves one bit. The problem is, it's everybody...and it seems the most judgemental of all are those in the same boat...parents...even parents of young children. I have heard, on multiple occasions, people (at say, a restaurant, shopping, and even once at a music festival in the PARK!), not just people, parents...say something along the lines of at least they were smart enough to leave their kid with a sitter, or why is that they go out ot get away from their kids just put up with someone elses little brat...etc etc.

Yes, society is intolerant of not just parents...but children in general...and I am slowly becoming intolerant of society! lol

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