When I was engaged my least favorite part was the unsolicited advice and terrible jokes.
“Your life will be over the minute you get married.”
“You will never have freedom again.”
“Just remember… happy wife, happy life.”
“Happiest day of my life is when I got divorced.”
On and on it went with these bits of wisdom from people I wouldn’t consult with on what type of toilet paper to use.
These people think they are being funny and creative.
They think they are dropping golden pieces of wisdom that will help make a happy relationship.
If you are one of these people, stop. Don’t do it. If people want relationship advice from you, they will ask. And, if they don’t ask? Well, there is probably a reason that they aren’t asking you…
I get it, it is a bit of hazing as you enter a new club that so many before have joined. But, it is akin to pulling up next to someone at a stop light and saying, “I see you’ve got a car there. Let me tell ya, if you want it to keep running, you should be sure to put gas in it.”
After getting married, all that stopped, it was such a relief. The reprieve was short-lived as a new group of personal life invaders appeared.
“Soooo, when are you going to have children?!”
Guess what? Whether a couple is going to have children is none of your business.
If you do this, stop. Don’t do it.
This is as inappropriate as asking someone, “what do you and your spouse like sexually? Please, be as descriptive and specific as possible.”
Maybe they aren’t ready. We are in the 21st century and people do not always procreate immediately.
Maybe they are trying but are having trouble that is putting stress on their relationship that you couldn’t possibly understand.
Maybe they never want to have kids and don’t want to see the stupid, confused look on your face when they tell you this.
Slowly, this tide of people does retreat back to sea (with the marriage advice dopes) as people start to assume that you just won’t have kids for some reason or another. Which they love just as much. Why? Because then they tell other people on your behalf that you are not having children.
Seriously, I thought the personal life invaders had left but, alas, I was sorely mistaken. I have encountered what seems to be the worst yet.
Pregnancy, birth and parenting advice givers.
I get it you have had one child or more and now you are an expert. You have the wisdom to impart that I must hear lest my child peril due to my lack of knowledge. You have come to my aid in the nick of time, Super Douche.
I’ll take my chances but… thanks.
“Has your wife been really moody and eating weird things? Because my wife was a total bitch when she was pregnant.”
Well, what a lovely way to talk about the mother of your child. While she was going through one of the most difficult life experiences that a human can encounter, your thought was “what a bitch?”
What is the endgame here? You want me to tell you that my wife is not in the best of moods and that will somehow make you feel better?
“You don’t understand how expensive children are.”
There is no way you can escape this comment. It is always stated as if it is the biggest revelation in the history of mankind.
Obviously, children are expensive. Thank you for being the John Madden of my life stating the obvious. Thank you for stating this and not following up with any helpful advice or tips on how to reduce costs. You have either learned none, or, you are a sadist that is looking forward to watching parents fail financially. Which is it?
And, finally, we come full circle back to the moron that was giving imparting wisdom before marriage. He has since had a child and would like you to know…
“Your life will be over the minute your baby is born.”
“Live it up now because once you have a kid, you’ll never have fun again.”
How terrible is your life? These are the same people that long for the days of high school when they felt like the popular kids.
I didn’t make the decision to have a child without considering what life would be like afterward. Of course, I will have less time to go out to bars and do the things I have done for the past decade. I will now have a human life that is depending on me to be responsible and make sound decisions…
Oh dear god, what have I done?
Unlike these people, I am happiest when spending time with my wife and now there will be a child that is joining us. I can’t think of anything that I would want more than that.
So, what’s the point?
The point is: mind your business when you encounter people in any of these stages of their life. What is coming next is exciting and terrifying for them. They do not need your weak attempts at humor and life advice.
Stop telling people horror stories because you are insecure about your perceived failures or shortcomings as a spouse and/or parent.
However, if you must give your unsolicited advice. Talk about the good stuff.
Talk about how amazing it is to start a life with someone that you are crazy about.
Because it is amazing.
Talk about how wonderful the time spent as a couple without kids is.
Because it is wonderful.
Talk about what an unbelievable blessing it is to have a child.
Because it is…. well, I don’t know about this part yet. But, I believe it will be. Even though the personal life invaders have tried to convince me otherwise.
I have decided these people are the same as the people that give a one-star product review on Amazon because they couldn’t figure out how to correctly put the batteries in their new label maker.
I want my own experience with being a parent. It will be nothing like yours. I am going to make a million mistakes that other people will roll their eyes at.
That is my decision. It has nothing to do with you. Soon, you will move on to the next expecting parent within arms reach and “help” them.
I guess we will meet again when you need to fill me in on the proper way to retire and die…