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.