This might be somewhat of a continuation of my post on how parents seem to preface most sentences about their kids with “I love my kids but…”, but parents- more so than ever in this current era of baby worship- are boring. Some of my saddest moments are realizing that perfectly interesting friends with hobbies, interests and relevant viewpoints on the world have now turned into mindless drones. Goodbye stimulating discussions on world events, hello insipid insights on how baby seems to enjoy one type of mashed fruit over another.
Once upon a time, parents used to have lives. They’d have adult discussions at the supper table while the children were respectfully silent. They’d send the kids outdoors to play, while they watched their shows. It seems as though these days mothers give up their entire existence when they have children, while fathers do almost the same (although they do tend to hold onto the things that make them actual people- and not just parents- a little harder, in my experience). And that’s not either gender’s fault. Instead, I blame a society that makes women feel as though they have to subsume their being to be a ‘good mother’, and forces fathers to cling tightly to the few things they can hold onto that define who they are.
Women now spend as much or more time with their children as mothers did in earlier decades when they generally didn’t have full-time jobs. This means that almost every spare moment a women has is spent with, or caring for, her children. And fathers are just as burdened. Its no wonder they lack for conversation. They’re focused so intently on their children that they don’t have time for the rest of the world, the future, or the past. How can you have empathy if you don’t care about anyone but your children? How can you perform civic duties- including voting- if you can’t see the big picture? How can you innovate if you can’t take time to think beyond what’s right in front of you? Maybe boring conversation is just the tip of iceberg. And that is something I for one find terrifying, in many, many ways.