Twitter's piling the shame on a man who was a little too honest about his feelings on parenthood.
Anyone who tries telling you that being a parent is easy is full of malarkey. It's supposed to be tough because you're literally in charge of another human being's life. You're responsible for their development, for setting a good example and for ensuring that, to the best of your ability, you give them what they need to lead a happy and fulfilled life.
It's a crap ton of responsibility and it's not for everyone. Heck, there wasn't anything that scared me more than having kids before I found out my wife was pregnant. Now, two kids in, I love being a dad. A lot of it has to do with the fact that my wife is amazing and I've got a great support system of people around me who can help out in a relatively short amount of time.
And while no one can frustrate you more than your own kid, because you're basically trying to train them out of your own bad habits, that's one of the "rewards" of parenthood, not to sound corny.
You are forced, every single day, to set a good example and try to improve yourself so your kids can learn by proxy. Now while that all sounds good and nice, the fact of the matter is even the best of parents don't do that all the time. And an even sobering fact is that many people who are parents don't want to be. Even years after their child is born.
Like Sam McRoberts, who became the villain of Twitter for a day when he made this startling confession for all the world to see.
It all started with this tweet from Julia Galef.
It's an important question worth asking. I have tons of friends around my age who are worried about their biological clocks "running out" who rush to get married or get pregnant just because they don't want to miss out on having kids.
While plenty of them are happy with their kids (their selected partner, not so much) I know that there are others who really aren't. On the flip side, I also have some friends who are a bit older than me who've confided that they wished they had children of their own, but they're sad that the "boat has sailed" for them.
It's an uncomfortable topic worth broaching and lots of people are reluctant to even discuss it because it hits so close to home for many of us. Biology's got a stranglehold and the need to create some offspring is very, very real and people end up having children at some very inopportune moments in their lives.
Sam, however, didn't have any trouble opening up that can of worms. In fact, he seemed a little too eager to do so.
Sam claims that him and his wife both agree that having a child is their biggest life regret. Without going too much into detail describing what their lives were like before they had kids, Sam says that he "knows himself" well enough to know that having a child was a terrible, terrible mistake.
Yet he didn't give the child up for adoption.
He then went on to briefly blame society/biology for all of the "BS" that comes with parenting. Which I would argue is categorically false. I knew having a kid was a big deal when I pissed my pants on the first day of kindergarten and ruined the nice green slacks my mom got me. When she had to drive from back home to come and pick me up I remember thinking to myself, "Oh my God will I have to do this for some bratty nerd when I get older? I hope not."
Sam contended that many people who have kids didn't really want them in the first place and are only "justifying" their love for them after the fact. Which might very well be the case. But I'd also say that there are huge numbers of people who are actually pleasantly surprised by things that they thought they'd never enjoy in the first place. I felt that way about Romy and Michele's High School Reunion when I was younger. I saw no guns or biceps in the trailer and thought: "lame" and oh boy was I wrong.
When people began pointing out to Sam that tweeting such a dastardly confession is not just in bad taste but a bad idea overall because nothing is ever truly deleted off of the internet and there's a good chance that his child will see it someday, he basically said that his kid is cool with knowing his father wishes he was never born.
Apparently, in addition to not knowing that there's a lot of "BS" associated with having kids (has this guy never seriously heard any stand-up comedian that's also a parent before?) Sam also must've never heard of adoption agencies. If you hated being a parent that much after having a baby, then you probably should've just given it to a person or couple who can't have kids of their own but would love having one.
Twitter was understandably aghast with his confession.
While Sam deleted his tweet and probably doesn't want to discuss his "hot take" any more, I do think I know where he's coming from. Not that I'm justifying what he said, but like I said before, there's nothing in the world that'll frustrate you more than when your kid won't "listen" to you. All of your failings as a human being become readily apparent when you're responsible for another life. It's horrifying, but it's also a challenge, and a "worthwhile" one.
I'm not saying that everyone should have kids, but what I am saying is that when/if you do, most of us are biologically wired to love the heck out of them. There's an infinite capacity for it, and the more you make those uncomfortable choices/decisions while having kids, the more accomplished you feel about yourself. Your children, seeing how hard you work, are influenced by that and they throw that same love back at you.
I know it's easy to blame other people and phenomenon on what you are and aren't doing in your life. I live a pretty hectic and packed schedule, but always manage to squeeze time in for my other pursuits, gigs and jobs, despite having two children. Granted I have a lot of help and maybe Sam doesn't, but I really think it's cowardly for him to not mention why he regrets having his kid.
I think if we delved a bit deeper, we'd find that all of his gripes come down to his personality and unwillingness to confront certain things about himself he doesn't like.