No one can make you feel inferior without your consent, but they can sure take a good crack at it.

The script for this strip actually comes from a patron, though I didn’t know she was a patron at the time. She posted a rant on a parenting subreddit about talking to her childfree friends, and it 1) so perfectly summed up the feeling of talking to people who see you as inferior because you have kids, and 2) reminded me so much of myself when I was a little childfree shit, that I had to message her and ask if I could lift some of it for a script. Turns out she’d just pledged to my Patreon that morning, so the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Thanks for the assist, Jessica!!

Seeing as how I was definitely the person on the left for a good, oh, ten years or so, making the decision to have a child carried a lot of baggage for me. I still feel it sometimes, a sort of preemptive embarrassment.  I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone’s eyes glaze over when I mention motherhood – especially biting when that person is the cool artsy type, because no matter how sanguine I am about my life, there’s a part of me that’s never going to move on from the lonely, desperately uncool child I used to be.

(There’s a lot to unpack in that – disdain for traditionally feminine caregiving roles being at the forefront, along with a distrust of heteronormative pair bonding (joke’s on them, though it’s not immediately obvious.))

Anyway. Point being, being a mom has brought me a lot of joy, but I’m keenly aware of how many people reject that choice, and see me as inferior because of it. And I stand by it: parenting’s not for everyone. It’s just… it’s hard to try to overcome the shame I feel sometimes, for no reason, because I’m always expecting a milder version of this conversation as sort of karmic retribution for my own past shitheadedness.

(PS: May the Fourth be with you!)