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Thread: Think Before You Breed

  1. #31
    Let them eat cheese flan Nancy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SparkleMotion View Post
    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.
    Good for you for taking responsibility for your actions! That's a rare quality nowadays.

  2. #32
    she said destroy Lágnætti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kala View Post
    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.
    Well, they won't want to admit they're ball-less wonders who find the path of least resistance the easiest, you know. Plenty of men like that. Moan, moan, moan, resent the fuck out of their wives, bitch about them to strangers, cheat when they have an opportunity, whatever. But they're too lazy to resist at any point, make a stand or leave. I find it repulsive, but apparently that's mostly just me or something.

    Slightly related to this: I work with the mother of a former co-worker who when I knew her (2006-2008) had one child, a son, as a single mother. She made no bones about despite loving him, also resenting the fuck out of him and being a single mother. She liked working full-time, she liked going out and she wanted to do heaps of stuff that as a single mother she simply could not do - like travel as I've done in my life - and was generally outspoken about it. She said, and this is a direct quote, 'If it happens again, it's abortion time!' I thought that was wise and sensible of her, to admit she had backed her life into a corner she resented at a young age and vow not to do it again. The frustration in her at the restrictions in her life was palpable to the point I felt sorry for her and for the kid.

    So, fast-forward to this year. As you know, I was off work long-term sick for most of 2011 and missed a heap of drama. When I got back to work this February, the mother of this woman (who is now 28) was also off on long-term sick. She actually called me a few weeks ago for advice regarding HR procedures regarding long-term sickness and I found out what had happened. Basically, the daughter had got knocked-up again, and had (bizarrely, but typically given the slush talked about kids and pregnancy in this society) decided to keep it. I suspect this had to do with her BFF also being first-time knocked-up and some utter fucking twenty-something foolishness about being pregnant together and wrongheadedness about it somehow all being different this time, you know, despite the fact that she hated dealing with the first one and having a newborn would tie her down to the exact same situation again for at least another five years, minimum.

    So, she has the kid and immediately succumbs to depression. Huge surprise there, not. This escalates until she basically suffered a mental breakdown of absolutely epic proportions and suffers what appears to be a total personality disintegration. Catatonia, agaraphobia, totally unable to care for herself, let alone the children. So my current co-worker, her mother has to take leave from work to become her full-time carer. It's either that or she'd be an in-patient in a psychitaric unit. She not only cares for her daghter, she cares for the new baby and deals with the older son. Of course, the stress has pushed HER into anxiety and depression too. It's a hell of a cautionary tale that could have been entirely avoided if she'd not bought into the happy families bullshit around her and paid attention to her own experiences. WHo knows how long this will go on for, either, which puts added financial pressure on the mother, as her sick benfits will run out in due course and she'll have no income. I suspect this could take years to resolve, if it ever does entirely. The wreckage is truly spectacular and I suspect the damage to her life in some ways is going to be irreperable.

    People do this all the time, I've noticed. In a hole? Go on, dig a deeper one! Ignore your lived experience and pretend life will be like the adverts for toilet paper if you just keep following the script! Funnily enough, I always figure people who've made the mistake once will make it again. It's almost inevitable, the warped mindset, it seems. I kind of watch from a distance and am glad I'm a realist about these things and always have been. There's nothing enviable about any of these miserable, pathetic scenarios.
    Last edited by Lágnætti; 06-21-2012 at 11:16 AM.

  3. #33
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the good discussion, guys. I seriously did not mean to turn this into a "Kari's on the fence about breeding" thread and I'm so pleased there is civil chat going on in here. I do think that both CF and parents can have something in common - which is discussing the how and why of their choice. I appreciate all the honesty. I definitely know people who regret having children, and even though they love their kids, I can't help but think that somehow subconsciously gets across. Then again, I'm the product of two people who carefully planned and very much wanted children, and my upbringing was a total shitshow regardless (well, ages 10-18 anyway).

    Helen - the story you tell above further reiterates to me just how insidious the anti-choice movement is. It's clear that young women are being made to feel an enormous amount of shame and guilt about abortion - even contraception! - and those consequences are far reaching and so destructive.

  4. #34
    she said destroy Lágnætti's Avatar
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    Kari, there just isn't the level of cultural anti-abortion rhetoric here as there is over there. This has to do with the near-absence of religion in daily life for most people. Anti-choice loons are generally considered just that - loons. They keep trying to make inroads, of course, clearly inspired by your lots successes in the past decade or so, but so far have been repelled on most fronts.

    What there IS - and I find it just as damaging in its own, much more insidious way - is these endless sentimental, soppy, stupid and bingotastic attitudes being promoted that seem to be increasingly leading young women to think babies are fashionable accessories or will somehow Change Their Life In Amazing Ways, which is obviously at odds with the actual reality, especially if you're young, not able to earn a very good living independently, don't have a reliable, long-term partner with whom you actually bothered to plan the pregnancy and be realistic about your future behavior and ambitions and so on. There's a really wince-makingly pathetically dumb pro-natalist bent to a lot of popular culture right now, something that is actually shared with the USA. It seems to go right along with the middle-class 'let's play at being a maid, sorry, domestic goddess' shit that's been vomited over women as a class by the media for some years now. It's all based on retreating into total fantasy unless you're basically kept by a man or wealthy, up there with Marie Antoinette playing at shepherdesses.
    Last edited by Lágnætti; 06-21-2012 at 01:37 PM.

  5. #35
    fluid, affectionate, chaste, mature Mackerel's Avatar
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    ... I'll add my two cents and say that I think a lot of unnecessary misery in child-rearing comes out of permissive parents not quite understanding that THEY are the ones who give orders, THEY are the ones in charge. They're making their own job a lot harder by not laying down the law and letting the kids know that, yes, there is a hierarchy here, this is not a democracy, there are rules, and you need to obey what I say. I know I come from a strict background, but all the same I can't wrap my mind around some of the things I see American parents letting their young children/toddlers get away with. If my child hit me, yelled at me, or showed me any equivalent form of disrespect I would stop what we were doing immediately, lecture them in my scariest voice, and make them stand in a corner with their hands on their head. Instead, I see parents saying "stop hitting mommy" in a bored/annoyed voice, or giving them what they want to get them to stop yelling. I don't care if you're hungry/want me to take off your shoes/need to go to the bathroom, you say it respectfully.

  6. #36
    Let them eat cheese flan Nancy's Avatar
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    There's a parenting column that appears in my local paper that always catches my eye because the writer is critical of permissive parents, calls for parents to establish clear boundaries and authority, and usually has a sensible take on things:

    http://www.rosemond.com/columns.htm

    I think he's a born-again Christian too.

  7. #37
    she said destroy Lágnætti's Avatar
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    Oh, Carol, that's not just America. Same species exists over here, pathetically pleading in the wimpiest manner and the most submissive tones of voice with kids who take one look and practically crap themselves laughing at them and carry on doing exactly what they're doing. I mean, a dog would laugh at these adults trying to get a kid to behave with the methods they use - refusal to ever use a sharp tone or raise their voice, refusal to ever actual act on a given threat - no wonder kids have zero respect for them! A two-year old can figure out they're hot air and no action in a matter of minutes. I have no idea what possesses a grown adult to allow any small child to dominate them - whether it's a natural doormat personality or adherence to some laughable parenting guru's moronicity, but really. It's pathetic, it's embarrassing to watch and it results in kids who are ugly, vile bastards who no-one likes, not even other kids. And it's everywhere. Every time I go to the post office, for starters, there's some yummy mummy with an infantilised, sing-song voice and some irksome, beribboned little ape she has no idea how to teach to behave in public. Ugh.
    Last edited by Lágnætti; 06-21-2012 at 02:47 PM.

  8. #38
    Sleeps to dream entropy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carhole View Post
    I see American parents letting their young children/toddlers get away with. If my child hit me, yelled at me, or showed me any equivalent form of disrespect I would stop what we were doing immediately, lecture them in my scariest voice, and make them stand in a corner with their hands on their head. Instead, I see parents saying "stop hitting mommy" in a bored/annoyed voice, or giving them what they want to get them to stop yelling. I don't care if you're hungry/want me to take off your shoes/need to go to the bathroom, you say it respectfully.
    This is the exact punishment I give my daughter. I have been called a drill sergeant amongst other things. But the same parents will tell me that they wish their spawn would behave like mine. Jeez, a little effort goes a long way. Its pretty pathetic when my ADHD kid behaves better in public than most other kids I see.

  9. #39
    thundering blissful towards death stillorbiting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by julius ebola View Post
    I have no idea what possesses a grown adult to allow any small child to dominate them - whether it's a natural doormat personality or adherence to some laughable parenting guru's moronicity, but really. It's pathetic, it's embarrassing to watch and it results in kids who are ugly, vile bastards who no-one likes, not even other kids. And it's everywhere. Every time I go to the post office, for starters, there's some yummy mummy with an infantilised, sing-song voice and some irksome, beribboned little ape she has no idea how to teach to behave in public. Ugh.
    Two things possess grown adults to act this way.

    1) They want to be a friend, not a parent. They are afraid that discipline will interfere with the ~unconditional love~ they always go on about. It's the greatest gift of having a child, don't you know? And surely you can't have a healthy, loving relationship if you set boundaries and ever use a mean tone of voice.
    2) They are laboring under the delusion that their special snowflakes have to be able to express themselves at all moments or they will grow up to be emotionally stunted wastes of life without a shred of independence or confidence. ... Oh, wait.

  10. #40
    Who's Deanna? SparkleMotion's Avatar
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    Yesyesyes to all of the posts about parents as friends bullshit! My neighbor treats her kid like she's her best girlfriend. It's horrendous. And now the girl is a spoiled little bitch. Plus she's dangerously overweight because no one says no to her. We were in McDonald's once and I saw what her mother ordered for her (she's 8, mind you): a double quarter pounder with cheese, medium fries and a shake. I can't even eat that much! When she was 6 she was so proud of herself because she got to eat off the "big girl menu." That's not an accomplishment, honey. You're eating your way into an early grave. One night I overheard her and her mother making plans for the evening: pizza and watching Big Brother. WTF??? But this is the shit that happens when you treat your kids like your pal and don't give them boundaries.

    I know my kid gets upset with us but he'll be glad for it later. As it is he's had his Nintendo DS taken away indefinitely because he was giving us such major attitude. I've also never understood the whole special snowflake thing. My kid is special. TO ME. Not the whole freaking world. /hijack

    Kari, it's good that you are taking this seriously. Never be afraid to voice your ambivalence. Especially here. So many of us understand on both sides of the decision.

  11. #41
    A Matter Of How You See It Kala's Avatar
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    Of interest. On a very popular internet dating site, I discovered that within a 25 mile radius of where I live there are 99 males between the ages of 55-60 who have specified that they either definitely want to have or better yet "someday" want to have children of their own - this being one of the criteria in selecting a potential mate.

    Do these lovely gentlemen not realize the energy it takes to raise a child as you grow older? Or is the lucky mother of their offspring supposed to do most of the child-rearing? Who knows. Just a few of the comments:

    Age 55
    Looking for a female version of me, tick-tock bio-clock and all.
    Age 58
    Are you a woman interested being a partner in a life-long covenant marriage; to bask in a loving family life of joy and gladness and to create and love a child?
    Age 55
    Looking for someone who does not have children but is young enough for that to be a realistic option.
    Age 57
    Dedicated and Determined to have a family to share my retired life with and the rest of my life with!

  12. #42
    she said destroy Lágnætti's Avatar
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    ^Oh look, more 50+ men who feel entitled to have 20-something/early 30s at best girlfriends to medicate their midlife crisis. Sad bastards. I doubt they'll get many bites. After all, the kind of woman they want generally has her pick of y'know, men her actual age. And yeah, of course the woman is going to do all the childcare work in their little fantasy. Like, duh. You ever know a bloke who really, when push came to shove, thought otherwise?

  13. #43
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Well, there's the other thing. My husband is older than me (but he didn't marry me to be a broodmare...in fact he married me partially bc we both didn't want kids and then we both got ambivalent AT THE SAME TIME WTF), and I feel like it would be unfair of me to wait TOO much longer because being a first time dad in your mid 40's can be tricky business. But yes - this happens. men get married young and don't want kids, wait too long, and then find themselves single at 50 looking for a lady young enough to breed.

  14. #44
    A Matter Of How You See It Kala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by julius ebola View Post
    ^Oh look, more 50+ men who feel entitled
    hah! that was just the men from ages 55-60 mind.
    there are literally hundreds more out there on that site between 50-54 who want young women to breed with.

  15. #45
    she said destroy Lágnætti's Avatar
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    Honestly, they need to give it up if they're pushing 60. Their sperm has gone to shite like eggs do in Teh Older Woman and they're looking at having teens in their 70s and being legally responsible for a minor when they're pushing 80! That's if they even make it out of their seventies. I mean, changing your mind is an option but there's a window past which you're basically a fucking moron looking for trouble to think about it. It's like women wanting to shit out kids in their 50s. It's dumbfuckery writ large on all fronts. What is so hard about being realistic?

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