Dear Businesses: Here Are Some Reasons You Might Make More Of An Effort To Embrace Families + Kids
It’s not just important for the community, it’s also important for the bottom line
When I was still young, wild, childless and free, a friend of mine would regularly lament the idea of having kids. She appeared to be anti-children. She was in a Facebook group for people who had no intention of having kids. She would often say cruel and bitter things about women who had children, or children in general. I never really understood her beef with kids. Maybe she couldn’t have them, maybe she just didn’t want them. Whatever her reasons, she made it clear, often, that she had no place in her life or in her heart for kids, and a very small amount of room, if any, for people who had kids.
That’s fine and all, but it’s also kind of weird. She was a kid once, but it’d been so long, she’d forgotten that someone stayed up with her all night long, held her when she cried, wiped her butt and her tears, taught her how to tie her shoes and brushed the knots out of her hair.
Maybe she hadn’t forgotten, but maybe she just never knew the truth about what it took to get her to the present. It wasn’t just a flippant errand, it was a life long commitment that someone had made. How could she know? She wasn’t a mother herself.
I didn’t know what it took to get me to the present until I had my own baby. Then in a matter of days, it all clicked — all the nights my mother woke to me screaming for reasons she couldn’t be sure of, all the long sleepless nights my mother spent, trying everything to calm me down as my teeth came in. As my bones painfully stretched and grew, as my muscles strained and tightened across my limbs, how much my mother worked to assure that I’d one day have my own family.
People simply can’t know just how much goes into having children unless they have them. And for those who don’t have them, unfortunately, there is a huge disconnect. There is little way for them to understand just what goes into the process, and what went into the process on their own behalf, even. It’s hard for them to have compassion or sympathy or understanding or care at all about what a large swath of the population, including their own…