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Thought provoking opinion piece

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

When I read something good (which is usually almost every day, if I'm on the computer that much) I like to share it. I hope you don't mind me sharing this one with you.

 

Unlike the author, I do know someone who regretted (regrets?) having become a mother, so I pray that she will be able to put that behind her and love her children more, if that's what needs to happen for her to be happy.

 

I didn't want children before I got married, but now they are my life and it's hard to imagine a different lifestyle.

 

Anyhow, here it is:

 

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/08/09/time-magazine-asks-who-needs-kids-anyway-extols-the-child-free-life/

post #2 of 20

thanks, Catholic Mama!

 

I wanted to share this with the group, too:

 

<iframe width='498' height='375' src="http://riffsy.com/embed-view/3466586" frameborder='0'></iframe>

 

This is really funny... and refreshing to see a comedian who is both a loving dad, and a dad to 5 kids! Even if you aren't Catholic you will find this funny and share it with your spouse! Because Dads of Many need to know that they are cool too! 

 

The book is Called Dad is Fat... and it is about being a dad to 5 kids... the family is Catholic, but that isn't really brought up. It is more about just having a large family. <3
 

post #3 of 20

The opinion piece on the TIME article is great...it's pretty much what my reaction to it was too.

 

Oh my gosh, I LOVE Jim Gaffigan.  I never laughed so hard as when I watched his stand-up movie.  Even the second time I laughed as hard.  He is hysterical!!  And my husband and mom both loved it too.

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by forestmushroom View Post

thanks, Catholic Mama!

 

I wanted to share this with the group, too:

 

<iframe width='498' height='375' src="http://riffsy.com/embed-view/3466586" frameborder='0'></iframe>

 

This is really funny... and refreshing to see a comedian who is both a loving dad, and a dad to 5 kids! Even if you aren't Catholic you will find this funny and share it with your spouse! Because Dads of Many need to know that they are cool too! 

 

The book is Called Dad is Fat... and it is about being a dad to 5 kids... the family is Catholic, but that isn't really brought up. It is more about just having a large family. <3
 

 

You're welcome!

 

I saw a very short video of someone zooming in on a pug, called Dramatic Pug, not a comedian. Do you have another link so that I can see and hear what you're talking about?

post #5 of 20
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thank you forestmushroom, that was pretty funny! I might put his book on my Christmas list.

post #7 of 20

Yes! I am going to try to get it from the library... I could use a laugh ! LOL

post #8 of 20
Wow! I really enjoyed reading that. I was just talking to my mom yesterday about my soon-to-be-married SIL, who says she doesn't want kids. She's great with kids, but has always been very self-centered and is unwilling to "go through a pregnancy". I'm secretly wondering how much of this is really her decision & how much is the fiance's, who happens to already have 4 children by 4 different women.
As a kid, the only people who didn't have kids (like an elderly aunt who had only one stillborn son, and my aunt who never married) seemed so sad to me. They didn't because they couldn't, but now choosing not to isn't sad, it's chic. How did that happen?
post #9 of 20
Ok, so I just read the Jim Gaffigan article, and enjoyed that one even more! Can't wait to get the book for my hubby! Every year in our area there is a big Catholic Men's Day...I bet he would be a great speaker to line up for the next one!
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihave7kids View Post

Wow! I really enjoyed reading that. I was just talking to my mom yesterday about my soon-to-be-married SIL, who says she doesn't want kids. She's great with kids, but has always been very self-centered and is unwilling to "go through a pregnancy". I'm secretly wondering how much of this is really her decision & how much is the fiance's, who happens to already have 4 children by 4 different women.
As a kid, the only people who didn't have kids (like an elderly aunt who had only one stillborn son, and my aunt who never married) seemed so sad to me. They didn't because they couldn't, but now choosing not to isn't sad, it's chic. How did that happen?

I was like your soon-to-be-married SIL before I was married. I didn't want children, and now I have four. But God and my husband knew better. :)

 

I don't know how to answer your question. Whatever happened though definitely isn't good.

post #11 of 20

There are lots of people who regret having children. Many credible studies have been done on this topic -- not ones from religious organizations, that is -- and regret or mourning a lifestyle one never got to live is quite common. Not a majority, but it's common. Just as regret is common over not having children. And all this really says to me is that it is in the nature of humanity to wonder about the road not taken, whether that's children or no children. There are also some people who are just plain unhappy, and would be regardless of their path in life. They're just wired that way.

 

I give the writer a teeny bit of a pass, since she states right in the first sentence that she just had a miscarriage and wants but has been unsuccessful in having children, it's obvious that she is not in a position to give a rational opinion on the topic at the moment. But that's all the more reason not to write reactionary pieces like this when you're dealing with something that throws all hope of balance or neutrality out the window. I guess this is why I don't like opinion pieces though.

 

I would not want to live without children now that I've had them, and have for most of my adult life. I don't believe that just because would feel a certain way, others must too. would also feel empty without my horses. I think they're just about the best thing ever, other than my kids. They're almost equal to my kids in my mind (not in a 'child and horse both dangling off the cliff who do you save' scenario, but just about everything up to that!). I've ridden since I was 3 years old, have never been without one since and that bond with the animal is crucial to my happiness in life. Does that mean people who are afraid of, don't like, can't afford, or just don't care about horses are living an empty shell of a life? No.

 

If there's anything that irritates me about people, it's the insistence that their values, their joys, their beliefs, their passions, are the one true way or a superior way, and those who choose something different can't possibly be happy, fulfilled or balanced without it. It disturbs me that large family parents (not specifically you guys -- generally speaking from RL and other experiences over time!) are often especially condescending to the choices of childfree people. Aren't we in the same boat as they are? Don't people with no kids or one or two kids often degrade, question, scoff at our choices? Don't they assume that we could not possibly have a quality of life equal to that of "normal" families? There's a thread here filled with tales of others people's nasty, uninformed, and condescending opinions, comments, attitudes that we've faced for our choices, including the accusation of selfishness turned around on us for having so many children. Should we really be discussing the choices of others in the same way?

post #12 of 20

I read it more like the author was overstating her perspective for effect, to be thought provoking. Obviously, nobody has children to get rich or have a clean home, or have tons of free time. Having kids doesn't really make sense from a "I need to fulfill myself" point of view. I think your example with the horses is a bit different because the horses are a means to an end, but people (children) are never means to an end, but an end in themselves. There really isn't anything else in the world like being a parent... at least in my experience. I guess having pets comes close, but even then, it is very different.
 

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by forestmushroom View Post

I read it more like the author was overstating her perspective for effect, to be thought provoking. Obviously, nobody has children to get rich or have a clean home, or have tons of free time. Having kids doesn't really make sense from a "I need to fulfill myself" point of view. I think your example with the horses is a bit different because the horses are a means to an end, but people (children) are never means to an end, but an end in themselves. There really isn't anything else in the world like being a parent... at least in my experience. I guess having pets comes close, but even then, it is very different.
 

That's just my point -- to you having a pet may be a means to an end, but to others having them may be the end in and of itself. The trouble comes in when we start trying to quantify love or family like that and say that because someone else's choices are different, thye don't mean the same as our own or are less than our own or they don't/can't feel the same about them as we do, simply because they're not the ones we would make and not how we would feel about them.

 

And I would disagree that having children is not a means to an end. Many, many times, it is. Children are used before their very conception for many peoples' purposes: carry on a family name, be a playmate for a sibling (the horror, the horror of only children!), insurance against childhood death so the parents still have at least one, care for the aging parents, siblings are occasionally conceived to be a potential blood, bone marrow or organ donor for a sick child, more hands to work land, or just plain vanity. We've all seen those parents who seem only to have a child so that they can parade the kid around and brag about them, but seem to abandon all care for the child when they don't bring home the right trophy or grades, right? What about children conceived through deceit to trap a person in a relationship? Or ones had to try and fix a relationship? What about ones had to appease parents who desire grandchildren? Children born to fulfill their parents' desires to breed an army for Jesus and to be a sick form of birth evangelism? What about children born to fix a parent's loneliness and desire for something to love them, that can't run away from them?

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dela View Post
 

That's just my point -- to you having a pet may be a means to an end, but to others having them may be the end in and of itself. The trouble comes in when we start trying to quantify love or family like that and say that because someone else's choices are different, thye don't mean the same as our own or are less than our own or they don't/can't feel the same about them as we do, simply because they're not the ones we would make and not how we would feel about them.

 

And I would disagree that having children is not a means to an end. Many, many times, it is. Children are used before their very conception for many peoples' purposes: carry on a family name, be a playmate for a sibling (the horror, the horror of only children!), insurance against childhood death so the parents still have at least one, care for the aging parents, siblings are occasionally conceived to be a potential blood, bone marrow or organ donor for a sick child, more hands to work land, or just plain vanity. We've all seen those parents who seem only to have a child so that they can parade the kid around and brag about them, but seem to abandon all care for the child when they don't bring home the right trophy or grades, right? What about children conceived through deceit to trap a person in a relationship? Or ones had to try and fix a relationship? What about ones had to appease parents who desire grandchildren? Children born to fulfill their parents' desires to breed an army for Jesus and to be a sick form of birth evangelism? What about children born to fix a parent's loneliness and desire for something to love them, that can't run away from them?

Yes, I agree that people can have children as a means to an end, but that is abusive to the child. All people are ends in themselves and not means to an end. I agree that people do judge others choices, when it is their own free will to decide whether to have children or not. Children are not for everyone. :-)

post #15 of 20

Very interesting article. 

In many ways I agree as I have one of those self centered friends. She does not want children(in her late 20's been saying so since her teens). Her reasons are: Kids are expensive, can't be left  alone, aren't 100% loyal and they ruin your body.:eyesroll  At the same time she is a huge animal activist with an insane amount of dogs and cats. She spends a LOT of money on her 'furbabies' for their clothes,grooming,fancy food and even birthday parties.(I would bet she spends more on them than i do on my kids in those same areas.) She considers herself their mama and finds it appropriate to join in on 'mom conversations' comparing her pets to our children... It really seems she DOES have a maternal instinct but trying to fill that yearning with pets because she is too selfish to give up her partying,multiple relationships and freedom. I too think her and those like her will be lonely and regretful one day.

 

With that being said, there are women with some valid points for not wanting kids.

Example,my cousin. After her parents divorced,her mother remarried and had 2 more children. When not out on a crack binge ,the mom would be starting physical fights with her husband. The marriage didn't last long. The loss of income added to her mom's drug and party lifestyle and she'd be M.I.A. for days. While my cousin was only 10ish, she loved her brothers enough to look after them. Pretty much spent her childhood raising them and continued into her mid 20's. Actually they treat her more like a mom figure and because of how/where they grew up they get in trouble and call on her to 'fix' their mistakes. So I understand how her response to the "don't you want kids?" is something about already raising them. Ofcourse now,in her mid 30's she's fallen in love and it's changed her view a little bit. Time will tell.

 

I'm not trying to judge anyone; I hope I didn't come off that way? Just trying to understand as I AM biased seeing that I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mom and can't imagine anything else.;)

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by FaerieMom4 View Post
 

Very interesting article. 

In many ways I agree as I have one of those self centered friends. She does not want children(in her late 20's been saying so since her teens). Her reasons are: Kids are expensive, can't be left  alone, aren't 100% loyal and they ruin your body.:eyesroll  At the same time she is a huge animal activist with an insane amount of dogs and cats. She spends a LOT of money on her 'furbabies' for their clothes,grooming,fancy food and even birthday parties.(I would bet she spends more on them than i do on my kids in those same areas.) She considers herself their mama and finds it appropriate to join in on 'mom conversations' comparing her pets to our children... It really seems she DOES have a maternal instinct but trying to fill that yearning with pets because she is too selfish to give up her partying,multiple relationships and freedom. I too think her and those like her will be lonely and regretful one day.

 

With that being said, there are women with some valid points for not wanting kids.

Example,my cousin. After her parents divorced,her mother remarried and had 2 more children. When not out on a crack binge ,the mom would be starting physical fights with her husband. The marriage didn't last long. The loss of income added to her mom's drug and party lifestyle and she'd be M.I.A. for days. While my cousin was only 10ish, she loved her brothers enough to look after them. Pretty much spent her childhood raising them and continued into her mid 20's. Actually they treat her more like a mom figure and because of how/where they grew up they get in trouble and call on her to 'fix' their mistakes. So I understand how her response to the "don't you want kids?" is something about already raising them. Ofcourse now,in her mid 30's she's fallen in love and it's changed her view a little bit. Time will tell.

 

I'm not trying to judge anyone; I hope I didn't come off that way? Just trying to understand as I AM biased seeing that I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mom and can't imagine anything else.;)

Lots of people find pets just as fulfilling as children. If that's her preference, who are you to say she'll regret it? Perhaps you will regret spending years wiping snot and changing diapers that you could have spent doing other things.

post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dela View Post
 

Lots of people find pets just as fulfilling as children. If that's her preference, who are you to say she'll regret it? Perhaps you will regret spending years wiping snot and changing diapers that you could have spent doing other things.

IMO pets and children are not comparable it's like an insult to children.

 

I mustn't have delved deep enough into my friend's life to get my point across. But to know her it's obvious she has a maternal instinct but afraid to give up the life society and media have programmed into her brain. So my bad;I'm new and didn't really expect anyone to read my newbie response.

 

I have to say that last sentence really disturbed me. I CHOSE this life and I've wanted to be a mom since I can remember. One day they will be grown and then I will have ample ME time so no regrets there. I don't really have words for how this makes me feel. I feel sick in my stomach to have someone imply I would regret any or all aspects of my life as a mother. Please be respectful and more optimistic when dealing with strangers. :namaste

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by FaerieMom4 View Post
 

IMO pets and children are not comparable it's like an insult to children.

 

I mustn't have delved deep enough into my friend's life to get my point across. But to know her it's obvious she has a maternal instinct but afraid to give up the life society and media have programmed into her brain. So my bad;I'm new and didn't really expect anyone to read my newbie response.

 

I have to say that last sentence really disturbed me. I CHOSE this life and I've wanted to be a mom since I can remember. One day they will be grown and then I will have ample ME time so no regrets there. I don't really have words for how this makes me feel. I feel sick in my stomach to have someone imply I would regret any or all aspects of my life as a mother. Please be respectful and more optimistic when dealing with strangers. :namaste

 

So it's totally okay for you to judge and speculate how others feel about their choices, but not for anyone to turn it around on you because somehow your choices regarding children are holy and sacred and must be treated with utmost praise and respect, while theirs regarding their pets and lifestyle are fair game and "not comparable?"

 

Sorry, I'm not going to get on board with that. People find fulfillment in different ways and places. Your fulfillment in children is no more or less valid than your friend's fulfillment in her pets and other things in her life. The implication that your friend's choices are lesser or not comparable to your own just because YOU don't understand it is pretty sad.

 

Pets and children are not comparable TO YOU. That does not make it a universal sentiment or a universal truth.

 

Like I said further up in re: to another poster, I'm appalled that so many large family moms are quick to judge and denigrate the family choices of others, as we're so frequently the target of the same behavior from childfree and 1/2 child people. I sincerely hope all of you who are so quick to judge others' ways of fulfillment in life never complain here about your treatment at the hands of others for your large family. Hypocrisy is a very ugly trait.

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by FaerieMom4 View Post
 

Very interesting article. 

In many ways I agree as I have one of those self centered friends. She does not want children(in her late 20's been saying so since her teens). Her reasons are: Kids are expensive, can't be left  alone, aren't 100% loyal and they ruin your body.:eyesroll  At the same time she is a huge animal activist with an insane amount of dogs and cats. She spends a LOT of money on her 'furbabies' for their clothes,grooming,fancy food and even birthday parties.(I would bet she spends more on them than i do on my kids in those same areas.) She considers herself their mama and finds it appropriate to join in on 'mom conversations' comparing her pets to our children... It really seems she DOES have a maternal instinct but trying to fill that yearning with pets because she is too selfish to give up her partying,multiple relationships and freedom. I too think her and those like her will be lonely and regretful one day.

I think Dela is responding to the bold part of the quote. It's a negative and presumptuous statement about your friend. Your friend has very personal reasons for not wanting kids just as you have personal reasons for wanting them, both reasons and choices are valid and should be respected.

 

I like other people's dogs (I always say I love other people's dogs because they are so easy to take care of :wink). I don't want a dog. I had a dog once and hated it (not the dog but the work involved). My mom's dog passed and she was thrilled to take mine. So maybe that's how some people feel about kids shrug.gif Kids just aren't their thing. You don't have to understand it to accept it.

 

There was an article about a couple who underwent IVF and were upset that they got pregnant with twins. When they wrote about their distress they were attacked by people condemning them for not being happy. I couldn't believe what I was reading. How could people be so angry at this couple for expressing their feelings? All I could think about was my current pregnancy, it was planned and very much wanted as my last pregnancy ended in loss. Still there have have been times where I was puking for the 6th that day and thought, "this was the worst idea ever! why the hell did I think I wanted to be pregnant again!" I felt bad for the parents being judged so harshly. This thread kind of reminded me of that.

post #20 of 20
I liked the article. Most of my friends from high school and college do not have kids and never plan to have kids and it makes me sad. I don't think they're bad; I just think they are missing out. I do think that the obsession with pets is an outlet for the instinct to have children, and that the idea that children ruin your life is responsible for this. Pets are inherently lesser objects for love and care than children, because the pets will never give back to the world. The children will. It is not the same.

I have examined my life and the choices I made. I "gave up" a very lucrative and respected career path when I fell in love with my husband. We both wanted five kids, and that career path was not compatible with a large family. Over the ten years since then, I have considered what my life would have been like without them. It would be different, but not better. Kids are so awesome. People! They're people! Funny little people, who will have dreams and fears and experiences and then make their own little people and so on and so on... I enjoy being a part of that so much. I am voting for the future with my uterus, as Mark Steyn says.

I dislike the opinions voiced here that we should not even think or say that we pity the child free. They mock us. They think they are more interesting or free or whatever than us. Their very choice of label and lifestyle of "child free" is inherently a judgment of those who have children. If we cannot discuss this in a group for moms of many, where can we? I would never go into a childfree forum and yell at them. The reverse is inappropriate here.
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