I read Elliequent's blog (she is a skilled and rather lyrical writer, so I enjoy reading the blog even though she has some serious psychological issues). She is "childfree" (aka someone with no children who's self-righteous about it), which in itself doesn't bother me at all. It's great that people know what they want (no kids) and are willing to pursue it despite societal judgment and expectations. Good for them!
But her post about how she is entitled to give other people (strangers) parenting advice is truly horrible. It sort of encapsulates all the worst stereotypes about non-parents: their ignorance of children and everything pertaining to them, their self-righteous "I could do it better" attitude (thus the joke "I was a great parent before I had kids"), their idea that they are so helpful and considerate to parents (hahahahaha)...Just to complete the stereotype, she often refers to her dog as her child.
Actually, though, the post is a good learning opportunity. I tend to be judgmental and opinionated myself, with strongly held beliefs on all sorts of topics, including those about which I know almost nothing. This is a reminder of how obnoxious such an approach is, and how important it is for me to continue to strive for empathy, tolerance and understanding when making statements (or even thinking about issues). It doesn't come easily or naturally to me, but it is essential.
Speaking of which: I need to cultivate such an attitude about Ellie herself (after all, she was expressing concern about children: a nice impulse in essence even if her execution was bad). I was so irritated by the post that after I read it I wrote her a long, critical email (she doesn't allow comments). This was probably a really bad idea (certainly not falling under the category of "What Would a Loving Empathetic Person Do?") and I am now rather regretting it. So maybe the post was also a good chance for me to think about improving my impulse control and emotional reactivity. Food for thought: I guess I owe Ellie thanks after all!