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Thread: Think Before You Breed

  1. #16
    she said destroy Lágnætti's Avatar
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    Exactly. One shouldn't make long-term decisions on the strength of a very short-term ego boost.

  2. #17
    Let them eat cheese flan Nancy's Avatar
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    I posted this on Facebook a few days ago and got a response from someone who was sorry her parents had decided to have her! She said her childhood was miserable and toxic, due to many factors I won't go into here. She was happy to be alive of course, and she did decide to have children, but she was most emphatic about thinking hard before you bring a new life into this world.

  3. #18
    A Matter Of How You See It Kala's Avatar
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    A couple of my ex's have told me that early on in their marriages they'd express the possibility of divorce to their spouse citing that they just weren't getting along as well as they would have liked. And then ouila!, wife gets pregnant within the next month or so (that <1% chance on the pill) and then of course they stay together. Twenty years later they're fighting in divorce court after years of misery that I would think had to affect the kids. The same kids who were created to prevent the divorce in the first place. Oh, the irony.

  4. #19
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Having a child to prevent a divorce is a terrible idea. In fact, part of the reason why we are leaning towards "no" is because I would be completely devastated if having a child wrecked my marriage. I've seen the strain that can put on a couple. The idea of never being able to spend time together without the kid feels heartbreaking and scary to me. We've been together a long time and really truly enjoy each other's company. Our marriage is in a strong place. I'd hate to do anything to jeopardize that, so I can't imagine even CONSIDERING having a child if your marriage is not rock solid.

  5. #20
    she said destroy Lágnætti's Avatar
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    The number of women who call my workplace in a state of shock after their dear, devoted husband and father has fucked off with some other piece of skirt, leaving them holding the baby and maybe a couple of other young, totally dependent kids into the bargain is quite frightening. Usually they have no job or income because of course, they gave it up while hubby kept his because that was the sensible thing to do. They can't pay the rent, they face homelessness, etc. I assure you none of them ever thought it would come to that.

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    The idea of never being able to spend time together without the kid feels heartbreaking and scary to me.
    I really think this depends on parenting style. My bro and his wife seem to think it's OMGWRONG to hire a babysitter, but my parents were completely different. I always felt like they had a really healthy balance of family time and couple time. I got to know plenty of babysitters over the years, but I also have lots of memories of family time spent together. They were also very open about drinking and partying in front of us, which I think gave me a healthier attitude about drinking than my high school peers. Anyway, I'm heading off on a bit of a tangent, but my point is that it doesn't have to be all kids all the time. I think it's possible to be a good parent and still nurture your relationship - in fact, I think it's important and it's something I've seen plenty of parents neglect.

  7. #22
    A Matter Of How You See It Kala's Avatar
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    Re my post above: Those women got pregnant (yes it takes two, but they were the ones on bc) because they wanted it all - the money, the husband, the house, and the kids (oh, and by the way, they quit working after baby was born.) I have zero empathy for them today. I took the road less traveled, and relied on my wits to support myself for almost three decades. Here I am at 51, without husband or kids, but I did it my way, on my terms, and got to do all sorts of cool stuff along the way (like traveling 6 continents) that I probably would not have been able to do if I had children. Also? I don't have fucked-up teenage kids/young adults who resent me because daddy and I divorced.

  8. #23
    Let them eat cheese flan Nancy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayPea View Post
    I really think this depends on parenting style. My bro and his wife seem to think it's OMGWRONG to hire a babysitter, but my parents were completely different. I always felt like they had a really healthy balance of family time and couple time. I got to know plenty of babysitters over the years, but I also have lots of memories of family time spent together. They were also very open about drinking and partying in front of us, which I think gave me a healthier attitude about drinking than my high school peers. Anyway, I'm heading off on a bit of a tangent, but my point is that it doesn't have to be all kids all the time. I think it's possible to be a good parent and still nurture your relationship - in fact, I think it's important and it's something I've seen plenty of parents neglect.
    When we lived in England my parents sent me and my brother to Butlins (a holiday camp) so they could have a second honeymoon in Amsterdam. We didn't suffer any feelings of loss or abandonment! My brother and I understood that they had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and would be stupid not to take advantage of it. Butlins was cheesy as hell but we made our own fun, and we didn't get into any trouble either.

  9. #24
    Senior Member Jezebelle's Avatar
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    I'm pretty gun-shy about posting in here but I do want to share some of my experiences. I became a mother for the first time at 33 and a second time at 35. My career was established and I had done a good bit of travelling. My husband and I wanted kids - this was part of our plan. They're now 5 and 3 and I can now see some of my life returning to "normal". They play together and I have more time to myself. My kids are in day care and I'm damn proud of it. I HAVE TO WORK. I did a year at home and it was maddening. I still run, work full time, and get out with friends every few weeks. We not only get babysitters, but our best friends are a childfree gay couple who LOVE having our boys over for an overnight about every 6 weeks. They have been a godsend to our marriage and ability to maintain friendships with dear friends who had not yet had kids or where not planning to. The all encompassing baby phase is so short and brief - then its all the growing up and cute language stuff - and then they're at school. I'm now looking forward to having one in public school - giving us an extra $1000 a month. Is it all worth it? I don't really know yet but I'd have to say yes. I love my boys - they're a lot of fun and they adore me. They honestly think I'm a pretty princess and believe me - my looks do not live up to this ideal! But my life isn't "my life" anymore and I don't know that it ever will be again. I get to sleep in and have my lazy days but it just can't be all day. Eventually I have to get up and do stuff for the kids. But having kids has made me a more compassionate and organized person. I do view things differently. And I am also far less judgmental overall; especially for women and specifically mothers. It can be very hard and there are no definitive answers.

    I do think you only change in some ways but for the most part you're still "you" just with more responsibility. I'm still perpetually 15 minutes late, adore my husband, and am really a slacker deep down. I just now have two little boys in tow with me most places. ETA: as far as my marriage goes, its stronger now that it was when we first got married. Some of the giddy sappy love is takes a longer time for us to get to, but we have shared experiences that only the other one can appreciate.
    chillin in kyoto grand with my man Skrill

  10. #25
    the reichenbach hero fox in socks's Avatar
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    i think thats an honest statement though jez. its the mothers who come in all "i dont get any sleep, my kids always sick.....but its SOOOOO worth it" with that judgy intonation as though youre somehow fucking up the system by not sheeping. as if their condescension will suddenly spur conception or something. it might be worth it to you, but not to me.

    not all women lose their identity to their kids (see the people who's forum handles are "katelynnsmummy") but some do. i have one friend where our friendship has barely changed (afternoon wine dates vs. dinner dates) and a former friend who always flaked out because of the kid, condescended because of the kid (i cant go out tonight D, i'm a mother), and brought him along to any coffee date (which sucked because he was whiny and screamy and drooly and sticky--so sticky ). its sad when that happens because i do think there can be a balance. you can have a life and a kid!

    but i dont want that life. i want this one. i honestly see kids, of my own, as a burden. one im not down with. i get tired of my niece/nephew after a little while as well. its a tedious yet exhausting schedule. again, props to those who can parent well. seems terrifying.

    re: babysitters--its weird right? parents seem so uber protective of their weans whilst i remember being a (marginal) babysitter when i was 12 or 13. now everyone seems to want a background checked, security cleared nanny if anything at all. i blame the media and their nanny cams!

  11. #26
    Sleeps to dream entropy's Avatar
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    I didn't want kids. But when my husband and I were dating, I had a pregnancy scare.
    Much to my surprise I was disappointed that the test was negative. Thus I the second part of my statement of "I don't want to have children, but If I did I would adopt" was activated.

    Once a pregnant student asked me what is like to be a parent. I told her that you are always a parent. There is no off button. When you are sick, you are still a parent. When you are in a bad mood, you are still a parent. This, however, is not the same as the child becoming the sole purpose of your life.

    Whatever decision is made, it is a permanent one. I am surprised that people seem to overlook this obvious fact.

    Being a parent isn't the OMG best thing EVER, but it isn't hell either. My husband and I make time to spend with one another, but it was a huge adjustment.

    I hate the "babies are always a blessing mentality." Matter of fact, I think that if I became pregnant right now, I would become utterly depressed. I said this to my sister and she looked at me like I had three heads. She's of that mentality.

  12. #27
    Royal Bitchess of Snarkdom Em's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kala View Post
    Re my post above: Those women got pregnant (yes it takes two, but they were the ones on bc) because they wanted it all
    I suppose the men had never heard of condoms or that they had a choice whether or not to create children......? Sorry to butt in, and am pretty sure I'll be reamed for it, but that comment reeks.

  13. #28
    A Matter Of How You See It Kala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Em View Post
    I suppose the men had never heard of condoms or that they had a choice whether or not to create children......? Sorry to butt in, and am pretty sure I'll be reamed for it, but that comment reeks.
    You're not butting in and you certainly are not going to get reamed by me! Sure they could have used condoms - but I honestly think they were blindsided when their wives "forgot" to take the pill.

    That said, I asked this question to the men: Why did you then go on to have one or two more children if the marriage was so awful? And I never got a satisfactory answer. Never.

  14. #29
    Who's Deanna? SparkleMotion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy View Post
    I posted this on Facebook a few days ago and got a response from someone who was sorry her parents had decided to have her! She said her childhood was miserable and toxic, due to many factors I won't go into here. She was happy to be alive of course, and she did decide to have children, but she was most emphatic about thinking hard before you bring a new life into this world.
    I've lived with the knowledge that my parents shouldn't have had me for a long time. My dad is wonderful. My mom...once she realized I wasn't a living doll she could parade around and control every movement of she was no longer interested. Like many women, I think she felt having me would fill some void and then she'd finally be happy. So you can bet your bottom dollar I thought long and hard about my motivation to have my son and what it would do to my life. I learned from my mother's mistake. I wish more people would do the same in their own lives.

    Believe me, I'm at a point in parenthood where I am miserable more than happy. I love my son but he is such a pain in the ass. And there are times when, no, it doesn't seem like it was soooooo worth it. I refuse to delude myself with that. But I made a decision and, being a responsible adult, I'm going to see it through. My son deserves that. I see it as my duty to make sure he grows into a responsible, thoughtful, and self-sufficient young man. Honestly, if I had to do it again, I don't know that I would. Not because I don't love my son but because parenthood brought up a lot of past issues I wasn't prepared for and it affects how I feel as a mother. It's more of an internal battle for me because I refuse to mire my child in my issues. That's the toughest thing of all and no one really talks about that. Parenting is hard enough all on its own but if you throw in your dramas you had with your parents it makes it harder.

    Funnily enough, I've found some major comfort in the comedy of Louis C.K. He talks about his parenting issues in a funny but brutally honest way. It's great when someone says out loud the things you've been afraid to even think.

  15. #30
    she might not be so bold fullofwish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Em View Post
    I suppose the men had never heard of condoms or that they had a choice whether or not to create children......? Sorry to butt in, and am pretty sure I'll be reamed for it, but that comment reeks.
    Those kinds of 'accidents' while on BC are why I have never relied on it as the primary contraceptive in any of my relationships. I would hope/expect that any partner of mine would trust me to take BC properly to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, but I don't want that responsibility for myself. We are both having sex so we both take responsiblity, and the best way to "share" that responsibility has been to wear a condom. We both take part in that decision. In my last relationship it was our only form of contraceptive (since I was not into BC at that time for a few different reasons) and we never had trouble. We break up, he shacks up with my friend who will only use BC and within six months she is pregnant Birth control has been great for giving women control over their bodies and sex lives, but I still firmly believe contraceptive in something both parties have to practise together, and not rely on one or the other to do something that can have live-changing consequences.

    In terms of the original topic, looking at parenthood through a philsophical/ethical lens is really interesting and something I wish more people would do. Last year one of the ethics units I did at uni covered philosophical issues around parenting, like whether people have a right to have a child and if so, how far does that right extend, whether parents should be licensed, etc. For many people, family and babies are central to their lives but they are also attached to powerful and pervasive social expectations and assumptions. Stepping out from those asssumptions to take a more intellectual and critical look is really important imo.

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