To be on MN even though I don't have children?

(110 Posts)
IwantaPetFox Wed 09-Jan-13 08:32:34

I know this argument has been done to death, but still on so many threads I see people being questioned as to why they're here if they don't have DCs and aren't/can't ttc.

I'm not a regular by any means but I ended up here after a Google search threw up one of the funniest threads I've ever read (Medieval Mumsnet - I'm a historian and it tickled me). I signed up because it's such a busy forum full of highly intelligent women around my age and I've since seen some of the best relationship advice and arguments for feminism I've ever read.

And as most people are parents it's not like I'm trying to infiltrate an exclusive club. I'll probably have kids one day but even if I don't, I will still be surrounded by them because they are a huge part of human life!

But if anyone has any genuine objections as to why it's wrong/odd for non parents to be here, I am interested and open to them.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Wed 09-Jan-13 11:00:14

I'm not sure that fingo was denying that, Slug!

Let's not start a debate about who pays the most taxes smile

IwantaPetFox Wed 09-Jan-13 11:02:37

Yes, let's not, because this is MY thread and I know nothing about taxes blush Actually that's the reason I don't post on child benefit threads, not because I don't have DCs.

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 09-Jan-13 11:04:00

It did start as a parenting site, but it's so much more now.
It would be far too late to change the name though, it's a 'brand' now, for want of a better word.
I have one teenager, but I never go on the parenting topics.

jumpingjackhash Wed 09-Jan-13 11:15:30

I'm not a parent and have been on MN for a few years now - I like the wit on some of the threads and the though-provoking nature of others. I tend to stick to certain areas of the site to match my interests.

I do however sometimes feel like a second class MN-er when some posters suggest opinions non-parents have aren't valid when it comes to threads about children (whatever the focus). This pisses me off a bit and is thankfully not the norm.

On the whole I think this site is a great place to come, share and seek advice and support for all sorts of things.

FingoFango Wed 09-Jan-13 11:22:25

Was trying to make point that people without kids do have views about benefit as someone above implied they didn't / couldn't.

Yes I know parents pay taxes too. I have parents myself and they both do

KellyElly Wed 09-Jan-13 11:24:16

Of course you're not being unreasonable. The ones without children on here who are unreasonable are the ones who get judgey about toddlers throwing strops, children behaving a certain way in public when they haven't experienced it themselves. When you have no experience or understanding of a situation you shouldn't come on a thread and judge IMO.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Wed 09-Jan-13 11:26:57

But kellyelly, how can you know that just because someone hasn't actually given birth that they have no experience of toddlers throwing strops etc. You can't. Someone else has said upthread that the childless may work in a nursery, be a teacher, have little brothers and sisters, have little nieces and nephews. They could well be perfectly qualified to offer opinions, which is what they are often doing when accused of "being judgey").

IwantaPetFox Wed 09-Jan-13 11:35:54

I see where you're coming from Kelly and I do think MN has given me a bit more of an understanding of how hard having children can be. It's given me a tendency to think about what might be behind certain behaviour rather than just judging - but that might have come with age and experience eventually anyway.

Another non-parent poster here. I had to look up some things for work, read two threads about facebook and hated it, then read a few more (probably AIBU) and got hooked.

I like that it's mumsnet, and the whole 'by parents for parents' thing, because that really is the site's primary aim, that's what the books are about, that's what the advice is about etc etc. It's only in the talk section that everything goes mad! (and I mean mad in a good way smile )

I hope it's still going strong if/when I have littleuns. I was scared to post at first, and tbh would still get quite excited if any MN royalty commented on something I said, but I think that is probably due to being a newbie and nothing to do with not having DC's myself...

Well, I've spawned but you'd rarely be able to tell on here. I use MN for loads of reasons, but parenting advice is not high up that list. I don't know who has/hasn't got DC on here, and I don't much care <other peoples reproductive choices are boring.com>

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Wed 09-Jan-13 11:45:19

Arf at "spawned".

Lottapianos Wed 09-Jan-13 11:50:15

Great thread smile I agree with you that there has been a bit of extra snideyness on some threads in the last few days about just why on earth people without children would be on MN. To use a very MN word, they are being 'precious'. Ignore them.

Personally, I am an Early Years professional and I came on here to find out how parents manage things like potty training, sleep, weaning and setting boundaries so that I can better advise parents I meet in my job. And I stayed for the fabulous Style and Beauty tips and the always interesting AIBU section!

I totally agree that some childfree people have lots to contribute on the topic of parenting. I have worked with young children for 12 years and I know a hell of a lot about early development, if I say so myself wink Obviously I don't know what it's like to be a parent from the inside but I have given advice on some threads that other posters seemed to find useful. Of course, the parenting sections are easily avoided - there are so many other things to discuss. As a feminist, it's a great place to chat with other women and you can pretty much always find someone who shares your views or someone who will challenge them in a thoughtful and interesting way.

Lottapianos Wed 09-Jan-13 11:51:30

'But kellyelly, how can you know that just because someone hasn't actually given birth that they have no experience of toddlers throwing strops etc. You can't'

Agree 100%. In fact, some childless/free folk know a lot more about children than some parents do!

Itsjustmeanon Wed 09-Jan-13 11:53:18

I joined three years before first child, from a random google search. I go through phases of using mumsnet all the time, to not logging on for six months.

IwantaPetFox Wed 09-Jan-13 12:00:51

Well this thread has completely put my mind at rest and I will ignore all snidey 'but WHY are you here?' comments from now on! Actually ignoring snidey comments in general is probably a good rule to live by.

<waves at Lotta> grin

Proudnscary Wed 09-Jan-13 12:08:07

I am a proud mummy of 2 precious angels...

Oops sorry thought I was on Netmums there for a moment...

I've got two dc but threads about parenting are probably the ones I least visit - I love Mumsnet for the humour, advice, wisdom, intelligent thoughts, views and bunfights.

I started a thread about how mumsnet had changed me a few months ago and hundreds of posters said the same - in the four years I've been on here it's relighted my interest in so many things and broadened my knowledge.

I've not seen the snide remarks you mention but I love that non parents are on here too. More the merrier.

About Mumsnet's name. Don't forget that there's a whole sight out there with articles and advice etc that's mainly aimed at parents. It's not all about the talk boards you know. except it is for me. grin

I agree there's so much more to Talk than parenting and also agree that those without children have just as much to offer about parenting as those with dcs.

IwantaPetFox Wed 09-Jan-13 12:21:01

Theonewiththehair I'm afraid I had forgotten that entirely and have never read a single thing on it grin

KellyElly Wed 09-Jan-13 13:30:36

ArielThePiraticalMermaid because the many children act up a lot more with their parents than they do at school or with a child minder so unless you have been a parent yourself and in that position how can you judge. I'm not saying don't offer useful advice as a teacher, nanny, aunt etc.

KellyElly Wed 09-Jan-13 13:31:08

ignore the random the in my first line!

KellyElly Wed 09-Jan-13 13:36:19

Agree 100%. In fact, some childless/free folk know a lot more about children than some parents do! General theories which apply to children in general you mean. That would be a silly to say that a random childless person would know more about the behavior of an individual child than their own parents. Each child is different you know smile

Pinkerl Wed 09-Jan-13 13:36:48

I don't have kids - the reason I'm here is simply because I don't know a better forum where that has more discussions on just about anything

IwantaPetFox Wed 09-Jan-13 13:43:40

Pinkerl me neither - if there was such a forum I would be there like a shot!

Goldenbear Wed 09-Jan-13 13:55:40

Lotta, yes I'm sure you may well know a lot more about very young children than some parents exhibit but having a greater understanding of 'parenting' due to your profession is not the same as an awareness obtained from experiential learning.

There's no doubt that people who don't have children can offer some sound advice but on some subjects you can theorise all you like but as a parent you come to realise that your child is the teacher on how to parent them and that often the generic stuff just provides the foundations. Equally, that small concept of 'Love' makes acting on 'parenting' advice more complicated- if you're not a parent the advice you give on these threads can only go so far.

Spero Wed 09-Jan-13 13:57:42

Yes, just ignore the snidey. Or respond in a polite calm way, that seems to upset them even more.

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