There are many, many, many, many things which terrify the living shit out of me about the prospect of having and raising a child. Some examples:

The extensive history of both mental illness and crap dental health in my family such that I am dooming my hypothetical (VERY hypothetical, Mom, put the Babies R Us catalog DOWN) child to a lifetime of braces, fillings and therapy.

My inability to speak in anything but newsroom-ese, such that any kid what grows up in this house is gonna boom out, “Where the fuck is my math homework?” on the second day of school.

The fact that my favorite episode of Murphy Brown is the one where she plays with her baby by teaching him to “feed Mr. Fax Machine.” Because, yeah.

But I think what scares me the most about a rugrat (she says in the most loving way possible) is the idea of admittance to this school of people that participates in actively telling parents that their method of raising their children is bullshit. See Brooks, David, and the comments to this post of Heather’s, esp. the ones at the very end. GAH.

Truly, girls, what is this? A righteousness contest? I saw the same kind of thing a couple of weeks ago over at Gilliard’s place with the foreign adoption posts, comments on which were all about “Anybody who adopts a Chinese baby just wants a fashion accessory and it’s abusive and you’re a racist because you don’t want a black child but if you have a black child you won’t raise him right!” Clusterfuck central.

I get well-meaning advice. I get “hey, you have a problem? This worked for me with my little angel. Here’s a book. And a bottle of brandy.” As my friends with children will tell you I am nothing if not the Girl of A Thousand Questions, most of them along the lines of “how did you survive this?” But there’s a fairly big difference between dispensing advice when it’s requested and attacking somebody else’s choices as being ZOMG CHILDABUSE!!11!, especially when those choices don’t appear to involve putting cutlery or car keys in a kid’s hands and filling the little darling up with Pixie Stix and crack.

Is it a fear of not knowing what you’re doing and looking at other people and saying, “at least I’m not doing that like that whore over there?” And is this new or has it gotten worse, this whole subgenre of asshole that uses “I’m only thinking of the children” as an excuse to get around common courtesy that dictates you not push your life on somebody else? I’m trying to remember, I was 10 when my sister was born, if my mother got this kind of horseshit from her friends, if it’s a generational thing. I know what my grandmother the former pediatric nurse would have said to anybody who dared tell her what to do or not do with her kids. It would have involved several choice insults in German and probably hurled wooden blocks.

And (most horrifying prospect of all) is there a surefire way to avoid BECOMING the bee-yotch at the party who goes on and on about how her way of doing things is the best way?

Help me out here, people, because if this is my future, a world full of hypercritical sniping and job performance evaluations from near-strangers, I’m sticking to ferrets.