Monday, May 17, 2010

Stroller Wars

In the Washington Post, a story about the conflicts generated by the increasing number of young children in what used to be child-free yuppie enclaves:
Politicians and planners have heralded the return of young families to such areas as Washington, Boston and New York as a sign of resurgence. But as the ranks of parents and their tykes have swelled, so, too, has resentment over having to accommodate them in public places. Skirmishes have erupted on buses, in parks, on playing fields and in bars. Often, the conflicts pit parents against childless adults who, after decades of middle-class flight, have gotten used to the sense that they have the city to themselves.
"I find parents to be tyrants," one woman remarked, after her dog freaked out a mother by paying her toddler too much attention. Strollers are the focus of a lot of angst. It is DC policy that strollers have to be folded up on buses, and a recent discussion of this on a local board led to all sorts of fireworks:
"Why do people with children always think that they should be catered to?" commented one poster. "Fold your damn giant stroller (which seem to be getting larger and larger these days) and shut up."
Reading about this stuff I can only imagine that the animosity is driven by feelings of uncertainly about our own decisions. People with children are troubled that they long for the freedom of the childless, and so resent them, whereas people without children are troubled that they long for family, and so resent parents.

Folks, the world is under no obligation to validate your choices. Live your own lives, and don't worry about what anyone else is doing.

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