Why not a Non-Parents Day?

I’ve written before how I think that Mothers and Fathers Day are bullshit holidays and nothing but hallmark holidays.  It’s not that I am jealous or bitter that I’m not a parent it has more to do with the idea that we shouldn’t need one day a year to show appreciation for our parents.  We should do that everyday.  I wish we would just dump them as holidays but that will never happen because there is too much money to be made off of them.  And to a lesser extent some parents (not all) with egos need these holidays for themselves.

These holidays isolate those adults who are not parents either by circumstance or by choice.  It’s as if these people are second class citizens and lesser people because they lack children.  They are not worthy of their own day to be recognized so the rest of society knows they exist.  They are seen as people who aren’t worthy of being celebrated.  I’ve seen some alternatives such as “Aunt’s Day” where the Monday after Mother’s Day this “holiday” is celebrated.  But you don’t see much about it because it’s on a Monday when people are at work.  It’s a half hearted attempt by the Parent community to do something.  To me there is a better way.

As an alternative I propose Non-Parents Day (The third Sunday in July) to celebrate the contributions and sacrifices that those without children by choice or circumstances make to better society.  The people who pick up the slack in the work place when those who have children are on maternity leave or have to leave early to tend to their children.  They make it possible for those with children to take that time off to tend to their kids without the work place falling a part.  The people who help take care of their friends and families children when their parents are unable to.  The sibling who takes care of their aging parent when their sibling with kids is unable to.  The people who give back to their communities when parents don’t have the resources (time or money) to do so.  These people are just as important to our society and make just as important contributions to society as parents do.  Yet we don’t have a day to recognize or thank them for that.

I think having this new holiday is important not only to recognize those who are childless/free but also to teach the next generation to value those who are childless/free and the sacrifices they make to society.  For those who attend church children should see these people stand up so they are recognized in their community as being valued.  I know for me when I grew up I didn’t look at my Aunts and Uncles who didn’t have children the same way I did my Aunt and Uncle who did have children.  Looking back on it now I realize that it was wrong and I wish it took something other than infertility to help me realize their value to society.  I don’t think I’m alone in how our society teaches kids to devalue those who don’t have children.

I don’t expect this blog piece to generate anything that leads to a Non Parents Day to being created. At best I would only expect the half hearted “Aunt’s” and “Uncle’s” days to be put out there.  But I hope it hits home to people with kids to value their childless/free friends and family members more than they might on the surface.  Our world wouldn’t be what it is today without the contributions that those without children have made and continue to make.  Those people deserve to be celebrated and thanked for their contributions and sacrifices.

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Why not a Non-Parents Day?

  1. Mali

    I always had a better relationship with aunts and uncles who didn’t have kids, because they actually could be bothered to talk to us. The parent aunts and uncles were either a) relieved to escape from their kids and chat to my parents/their siblings and in-laws and have a drink, or b) too involved with their own kids to be interested in or be able to pay attention to their nieces and nephews. When my childless bachelor uncle died, one of my cousins said a really lovely thing. He commented that because Robin never had children, he really belonged to all his nieces and nephews. I though that was a beautiful sentiment, and hope my nieces and nephews feel that way about us too. I know that I have a closer relationships with some of my nieces (in particular) than their other aunts and uncles simply because we’re there and we dote on them!

    Still, I hear you! If it “takes a village” then it is time to recognise all those people in the village. But I also agree that it’s not likely to happen. Sigh.

    Not to mention that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are not only difficult for us, but people who have lost their parents, or never had/don’t have good relationships with their parents, or whose children are unappreciative or live a long way away or are estranged. I often wonder about the cost-benefit analysis of these days – do they overall make the community feel better, or worse?

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      Love your comment about if it takes a village it’s time to recognize people in that village. Also agree that it’s hard for people who have lost their parents or even those who had to place their kids for adoption or those whose children who have passed.

      Reply
  2. Infertility Honesty

    Love the sentiment here, Greg. Anything that questions the status quo and contemplates inclusion for those minimized and often overlooked is an important part of the conversation. Like Mali’s cost – benefit analysis thought to – definitely and important contemplation.

    Thinking of you today.

    Reply
  3. Arwen

    You are absolutely right that people without kids should be recognised. I would totally support this holiday.
    I was thinking of you yesterday, I hope you managed to have some distractions xxxx

    Reply
  4. Geochick

    These are weirdly isolating holidays. In fact in adoption world they call the Sat before Mother’s Day, “Birthmothers Day”, like a woman who placed her baby for adoption isn’t allowed to celebrate Mothers Day. How lame is that?

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I was shocked when I heard about the concept of Birth Mother’s Day. I didn’t understand why they aren’t celebrated on Mother’s Day the same way any type of mom is. They’re mothers and should be treated that way even if they aren’t raising their child.

      Reply
  5. ProsperityAndCalamities

    I can’t quite tell if you are saying we should get rid of mothers day and fathers day and instead celebrate non-parents day or keep mothers day, fathers day and add in non-parents day. I think the best solution is to just dump mothers day and fathers day – problem solved. Those “holidays” can be hard on people who don’t have children, but I think it’s even worse for the kids who have horrible parents and then have to go through a “holiday” celebrating them! And it’s also a really hard time for children in foster care that have been taken away from their parents for whatever reason.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s