Part of Being a Parent is Having Other Adults Hate You

Kristin Rowan
3 min readSep 11
Photo by Oleksandr P:

Hate may be too strong a word but it does sort of seem that being a parent means most people don’t like you anymore. They may not say it to your face, but there are little signs or you’ll hear them say it to other people.

People who don’t have kids and don’t want to

This group of people are often the ones who are the most obvious about not liking you. They don’t want young kids anywhere around them. Not on a plane. Not in a restaurant. No where.

They’re like the guy from Green Eggs and Ham, (a reference they might not get.)

‘Why would you have kids when things are so bad?’ they like to ask. Irresponsible to put more of a burden on the planet.

They sometimes also like to give parenting advice, arguing that they’ve been a child so they know what they’re talking about. In some cases this can be helpful. One of my sons has a mild medical condition, that I do not have, and speaking to someone with the same condition was very helpful.

But often people who are not parents do not have the context needed to give helpful advice. Before I became a parent I also thought every meal I served would be perfectly balanced and healthy. In reality we go to McDonald’s at least twice most weeks. One of the few foods my youngest will consistently eat is mcnuggets. Not chicken nuggets in general. Specifically mcnuggets.

People who don’t have kids but wish they did (or wish they had more kids)

I feel bad having something people want but don’t have for whatever reason. If someone wants kids and doesn’t have them, there’s pretty much never a happy reason.

Perhaps they don’t hate me, but because kids encompass so much of my time it almost feels like I’m rubbing their faces in the fact that I have kids and they don’t. And I have two kids!

I have a life outside of being a parent, but it usually doesn’t take too long for them to come up in conversation one way or another.

One of my son’s friends comes from a family where sadly the middle child died as a young child which means there is a big, unintended age gap between the other two children.