My Response to Mommyish’s ’10 Things Not To Say To An Atheist Mom’

It’s long overdue and I’ve been holding back from doing this blog, but I’m bored so…

Here’s the link: Mommyish.

I was subscribed to this website’s blog for a while. I’ve always had this feeling that some of the writers post things out of their realm of comfort; especially about  atheism. A lot of their posts about atheism are labeled wrong. It’s like they have an agnostic write those posts, or someone that’s not an atheist at all. Anyway, moving on.

 10. “What if you’re wrong?”

That isn’t something you need to worry about. I’m not trying to force my lack of beliefs on you, and if I’m wrong, so be it. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. But I live a good life, and I would hope that a just and loving deity would be okay with that. -Mommyish

If you’re going to be open and out about your atheism, you should be open to people asking questions. Answering this question isn’t forcing your lack of beliefs on them. They asked. I notice the sarcasm and condescending undertones of the response, but “a just and loving deity” is just falling right into their trap. That leaves you open for a harsh response.

9. “What stops you from stealing/lying/punching babies in the throat?”

I think I get my morality the same place everyone else gets theirs, whether they know it or not. My conscious. Why don’t I steal? It’s wrong to take something I didn’t earn. Why don’t I lie? It’s wrong to tell untruths. Why don’t I punch babies in the throat? How would I eat them, then? Common sense, y’all! -Mommyish

Seriously? Is this a serious list? I’m only at number nine and I’m already amused that my expectations were higher than they should be. This is another question that should be answered. Listen, if these people are asking you these questions, they must want to know, right? If they’re saying shit like “You’re an atheist, so you have no morals!” then okay, fine. Again you’re open and out about your atheism, answer the question. The baby eating? Why even entertain that with an answer? That’s what kills me. They say these things knowing it’s not true to get under your skin. Take note at the jail population, notice how most of them aren’t atheists, which leads me to believe babies are staying out of atheist’s stomachs. Give them that tidbit and they’ll realize they need new material. They ask a stupid question, give them a solemn answer. Don’t fall into their trap and get pissy, that’s what they WANT you to do. People ask that when they’re out of regurgitated rebuttals.

8. “It must be sad to have such an empty life!”

Nope, my life is just fine. Have I had my fair share of trials and tribulations? Of course, but everyone does. There isn’t a god-shaped hole in my heart any more than there’s a Flying Spaghetti Monster-shaped hole in yours. -Mommyish

As I edge closer to the end of this list, I’m convinced that a lot of these “things” should have the same response.  I can come up with a better list of things not to say to an atheist mom. That are actually RELEVANT.

7. “Why do you hate god?”

You can’t hate something you don’t think exists. I don’t hate your god anymore than you hate the thousands of gods folks have believed in since the dawn of time. Everyone is an Atheist, I just believe in one less god than you do. -Mommyish

I just noticed something. These statements have shit to do with an atheist mom – just an atheist. Anyone would say this to any atheist, not just a mother. OMG.

6. “You have to have faith!”

No, I don’t. It’s great that you do, and I would fight for your right to believe, but I don’t have to have faith in anything. -Mommyish

If this ruffles your feathers, get over it. Again, you’re open with your atheism. Some statements does not call for a response. This is one of them. Pick your battles. You’re a mom first. What does this have to do with an atheist mom, again? I’m still trying to figure that out.

5. “It’s all right there in the bible.”

That argument hold as much water with an Atheist as saying “It’s all right there in harry Potter” does to you. Not because we hate your bible, but because we don’t follow it and don’t believe in it. Simple as that. -Mommyish

At what point are you not expecting this to be said to you? I have to ask again, what does this have to do with being an atheist MOM? You should just live in your home, remove yourself from social networking, or keep your atheism to yourself if this is something you hate being said to you.

4. “Atheism is a religion, too.”

There might be a cult of personality surrounding certain controversial Atheist figured (think Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens) but no, Atheist is NOT a religion. It’s the simple lack of a beliefs in deities. And blaming Atheism in general for the epic douchebaggery of certain zealots is like blaming Christianity for the Westboro Baptists.

See #5.

3. “You must be an angry person.”

You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…thankfully I’m not an angry person though. -Mommyish

Mommyish’s post should be titled “What not to say to me since I’m an atheist and you know I am”.

2. “I feel sorry for your children.”

Why? I don’t. They are compassionate, loving, wonderful kids who just happen to not believe in your god or any other god. This does not constitute a CPS case. -Mommyish

Finally! This one is about being an atheist mom. Were the other statements fluff statements to climax to the real statement that has something to do with being an atheist mom? I think so.

1. “You’re a bad mom for not giving your kids religion”

This is one of the only things that truly pisses me off. How dare you tell me I’m a bad mom. My kids are loved and happy, and I refuse to let someone else’s expectation of what their “moral” upbringing should be dictate my worth as a mom. -Mommyish

How did this list start? Ascending or Descending? I’m only asking because the relevancy of this post is at the very bottom. It’s like the entire post is irrelevant until you get to the last two statements. When you make a post like this, it should be relevant through and through, not at the end. That’s like a really bad B-movie. “This is one of the only things that truly pisses me off” Really? Then why didn’t you just make a post about what pisses you off when religious zealots ask you obnoxious questions instead of making this pointless ass list?

I’ll be glad when the need to add .gifs to every blog post to support or convey an argument comes to an end.

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“The reason your son isn’t potty-trained yet is because god is punishing you.”

pottytraining

Yep, someone said that to me one of those infamous mommy facebook group pages; one of those, atheist and christians “co-mingling” together mommy group pages. She even went on to say that his speech-delay is because I’m a heathen.

I would have been insulted if I wasn’t so appalled and disgusted.

Yes, I’ve struggled with my son and his speech-delay since I first recognized it before he turned a year old. At the time, my then husband was telling me to not worry about it and he’d catch on. I wasn’t convinced, but I figured that he could be partly right. He’s now three and he’s still only pointing at objects or making “mm!” sounds when he wants something while pointing. He’ll ask for something and he’ll say it, “bwepthewpbububub sandwich!” or “dbubbububbbub outside!” It’s never a full sentence – until recently – when he yelled at my fiancé to “come back here!” clear as day and I was shocked!

It’s frustrating having to understand him sometimes. He has this word for pillow and blanket and it’s the same word for both. It’s a cross of pillow and potty – ‘prittow’ or ‘prillet’, but he can’t say blanket or pillow. He’s not making complete sentences. He can say “shut up, Tommy” easy. He can say “no” but it’s no to every thing when often times he means yes.

I had him in a help me grow/special education for children with delay program when I was in Cleveland I was also taking him to The Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center. When I moved to Akron, I was still taking him every Wednesday, 10:30 in the morning by bus, but that was getting too expensive. I’m reading to him, having to try and repeat things back to me, pointing to things and giving them labels, showing him flash cards of objects. Some he recognized, others he blubbers out the word that I say and doesn’t exactly repeat it.

As far as potty-training goes, I was told by the speech specialist that potty-training isn’t going to go too well due to his speech delay. Which makes sense to me because none of my methods for potty-training is working. The only one I haven’t tried is just buying pack of real underwear with extra padding in them and allowing him to feel the wetness; the mushiness of a dirty bottom. When I first introduced potty-training to him, he was excited and getting the gist of it. It wasn’t until my ex-husband came and took him without my permission or with me knowing while I was at work and kept him for 3-4 months. He came back and now he runs and hides and after he defecated, he’ll then reappear, and once in a while he’ll come to me by himself to get his “booty change” or he’ll just say “I peed!” Again, those are rare occasions.

My son is three and he probably won’t go to preschool because by the time I get potty-training through to him, it’ll be time to get him into kindergarten; and hopefully he’ll be ready by then. Just to add, the entire time he was up there with his jobless father, living with his parents, it was clear he wasn’t teaching him how to use the potty. That was more clear when I saw the evidence front and center this recent 4th of July.

I’m so worried about him and it’s getting frustrating. He’s huge for his age; some people think he’s six and he just turned 3 in June.

I’m at wits end here and I may end up having to take him to a behavioral specialist. I have no problem with them telling me he’s special need, I know that already. Once he get over these hurdles – the most important ones – I’ll be fine. It’s just really bad to me because he can’t tell me if someone hurt or hit him. He just comes crying and gets frustrated when I ask him what’s the matter. He doesn’t know the words to tell me what happen.

I feel like a failure as a mother and I feel like I failed my son.

So for someone who had a religious agenda to shoot at me didn’t help me at all. Religion has nothing to do with my son’s speech-delay or late potty skills. Just because that’s their copout for being naughty and disappointed their sky-daddy in the past doesn’t mean it applies to me.

Raising My Son Without Religion

My family says, “Everybody needs to believe in a higher power”. Well, I don’t; neither does my ex-husband. I’m a true and strong believer of allowing people to form and make their own decisions in life. I wasn’t allowed that luxury as achild growing up. I either had to believe or get my ass kicked. That’s just the way it was. Getting forced to go to church is not cool at all. I’m not going to do that to my son with myAtheism; neither should his father.

I will tell him about religion – when he’s old enough and let him choose what he wants to do with it. I won’t be pressed either way. I’m living my life so I’m going to let him live his. To force my non-beliefs on him would be just as bad as his grandparents from his father’s side, forcing their beliefs on their son. I’m better than that and I will not live my life through my son.

That begs the question: Will he know about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny? What about leprechaun’s? He will know about those things and I will tell him about them. I will let him have his imagination and let him be a child. The only thing that I will though is give him the story of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny from a book; a storybook for children. I refuse to sit on the side of his bed and tell him that Santa is bringing him gifts when I know full well I’m the one wrapping and putting his gifts under the tree. That credit goes to me, not some  imaginary old fart with his flying reindeer.

I simply believe that there are things children should know and there are things that should wait until they’re old enough to get the concept. If he want to believe in a deity then so be it but I want it to be his choice, not mine. I won’t love him or see him any differently. He will always be my sweetie; forever and ever. Unless he goes out and murder someone then that’s a different story.

You’re born with love in your heart, religion is taught.

To say I need some “god” in the sky to be a sane, good decision-making, moral being is absurd. I know I do not need religion to raise my son. There will be holidays celebrated because it wouldn’t be fair to him if they weren’t. I don’t celebrate holidays but that was before I had a son. As a child, he’s not going to give a damn about the origins of it — hell – most adults don’t care or even know. Why would I complicate a holiday for someone who only care about the presents and food like most adults?

This mess about the Tooth Fairy? He will know of no such thing. I’m sure this blog will have some women ready to call CPS on me (because that’s how dramatic some of you mothers are) because I’m not going to tell him about the tooth fairy. I’m going to tell him to hand me his tooth and I’ll give him 5 bucks or whatever. I’m cutting out the middle-man. There will be much more room for superman dreams and fighter pilot imaginations.

“You’re ruining his childhood!” Oh please! Try living my childhood and you’d sing a different tune. I didn’t have a childhood. I didn’t get to experience a lot of things in life as a kid. I was a teenager when I first learned how to ride a bike, go to a park, go shopping, get a hug and for someone to tell me they loved me. What’s so screwed up about that, my family wasn’t the ones who allowed me to experience those things.

I will teach my son about equality, love, respect, and compassion. Things that actually matter, things that will help him in life. If that makes me a bad parent, then, I’ll be that.