The Parent Crap

I am not someone who has ever wanted to have children, and I feel that this is quite unusual. It seems that most of the people I knew from college now have kids, and part of me wonders why. The thing is, I know why, to a certain extent. Beth sometimes tells me she’s surprised I don’t want to be a father, considering that my tastes and sense of humor are such that children might appreciate more than fellow adults. I just don’t think I could handle the responsibility. No big deal, certainly, but it’s yet another way I feel I don’t fit in with society in general. It seems that even a lot of people who don’t have kids have at least considered the possibility, but for me it was always a no. I don’t feel I have the biological urge to reproduce, you know?

Well, according to an article that Trista DiGiuseppi recently referenced, people who don’t want kids are weird. No, scratch that. It’s just WOMEN who don’t want kids who are weird, so I guess I’m off the hook. That does make me wonder how straight men who don’t want children are ever supposed to have long-term relationships, but I have a feeling Ms. Sarler didn’t really think this through.

Indeed, her whole premise that mothers are more responsible than non-mothers is rather absurd, and obviously based entirely on anecdotal evidence. According to Sarler, “It’s not the mothers, for a start, who are going to turn up late and hungover after a night on the razz; they’ll have been up, dressed and alert for hours, having cooked a family breakfast and delivered their children to school. On time.” Yeah, because mothers are NEVER irresponsible. There seems to be some kind of prevalent belief in our society that having kids automatically makes you responsible. While this would be nice, it isn’t the case.

Not to mention that the only reason some people have kids is that they were being irresponsible when having sex. So, yeah, Sarler is as full of crap as a baby’s diaper. I guess women who don’t want children are “weird” insomuch as they differ from the norm, but is that necessarily a bad thing? Also, why does no one want to acknowledge that not having kids doesn’t have to mean you want to get ahead in the cutthroat business world or take extravagant vacations? Maybe, and I’m just throwing this out here, some women (and men) just want relatively hassle-free lives.

Speaking of parents, has anyone managed to figure out Mitt Romney’s position on mothers? He objects to the idea that being a homemaker doesn’t count as work, but also said mothers of two-year-olds should be working (and he obviously meant outside the house). I guess taking care of a family is only work when his own wife does it, not anybody else’s. But trying to figure out Romney’s position on anything is just about as difficult as understanding how he made millions of dollars without ever producing any actual products.

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10 Responses to The Parent Crap

  1. tristadigiuseppi says:

    Romney’s wife doesn’t do much, considering they make so much money she mostly like has 8 nannies and housekeepers at her disposal.

    I have no problem with people who actually decide to have kids, and are proud of having their kids – it just pains me when anyone (parents, nonparents) reprimand the childfree for choosing to live that way. Though, it gets easier as you get older. People leave you alone more. When you’re in your 20’s, it’s not as feasible to say you want to be childfree. No one will believe you because you’re just a hop away from your teens.

    I’m in my 30’s now and people have stopped telling me I’ll change my mind. They do, however, tell me that what I am doing is “so sad.”

    Our society is pro-natalist. And women feel the brunt of it more than men, unfortunately. For instance, I would have a hard time of finding a doctor to sterilize me. Typically, medical professionals refuse a woman of childbearing age who wants tubal ligation. (Unless she has already had a standard amount of children.)

    If a woman does find a doctor who is willing to perform the surgery, the typical protocol is to force the woman to wait two weeks before okay-ing it. That way she is forced to “think it over” in that time frame. What’s another two weeks? Sure, it’s just two weeks and then a woman can get the procedure done, but the principal of the issue is: No doctor has ever made a woman wait two weeks and “think on it” when she announces she is trying to get pregnant. Becoming a parent is every bit as lifelong as being sterilized. And becoming a parent is life-changing, whereas sterilization is not. After you’re sterilized – nothing changes. That’s the point, isn’t it?

    When has a doctor ever asked a prospective mother, “Are you sure you want to do this?”

    Probably very seldom.

    And you’re right about the cutthroat business staple. It’s not true. I’m living proof. I’m a stay-at-home wife, essentially. Yeah, I’m also an author, but it’s nothing cutthroat. There’s no getting ahead. It’s just a lucrative means of artistic expression. (A hobby that pays a bit. That’s all.) I could very well take care of a baby given my situation. But guess what? Not for me.

    I put in my time with kids for over ten years. I worked in preschool and special education – there’s some birth control for you. I’m good with kids. I like them, actually. Do I want them in my house? Hell no.

    Also, no one ever mentions that maybe a woman doesn’t want to have kids simply because she does NOT want to be pregnant. Everyone thinks it’s a woman’s lifelong dream to get pregnant and experience the pregnancy thing. You know what I see when I see a pregnant woman? A plethora of health problems: Pelvic prolapse. Gestaitional diabetes. Gestational auto-immune disorder. Weight gain. Painful, engorged breasts. A flipped cervix, a ruptured anus, and vaginal tearing.

    Women who are stoked about that (to me) are weird.

    • Nathan says:

      I don’t really think there’s much shaming of guys who don’t want to have kids, but I do feel kind of out of place for not wanting to, you know? Overall, it’s definitely women who bear the brunt of the discrimination. I’ve had a vasectomy, and it didn’t take that much effort on my part to get one. If I’d been a woman wanting to be sterilized, I think it would have been another issue altogether.

      As for pregnancy, I guess there’s always adoption, although that costs more money. But yeah, I’ve heard of women enjoying being pregnant, and I don’t get it. Maybe as a man I wouldn’t, but I know other women who don’t either.

      • tristadigiuseppi says:

        My husband and I plan to get a (get *him* a) vasectomy within the next year or so. We are waiting on our healthcare coverage to improve. It should fairly soon.

        I’m excited about it, but in a way, I’m bummed out. I want to be sterilized. I mean, he can do whatever he wants with his body – but the bottom line is… I’m still able to get pregnant. I simply do NOT want to be able to get pregnant.

        What if he died? Am I back to square one? Should I castrate every man I date thereafter? Should I go back to birth control after it has given me so many issues? Should my first question on every date be: 1. Do you want kids? and 2. Do you possibly have a vasectomy? (Would you like to get one?)

        It’s a huge hypothetical, I know. My backup plan is if he were to ever disappear, mainly due to death (I don’t foresee any other reason, short of kidnapping), I would hunt around for someone to do the surgery. Unless of course I’m old as hell. Then it doesn’t matter. Everything has turned to dust by then.

      • I actually enjoyed BEING pregnant, but I did NOT enjoy how long it took my body to recover AFTER pregnancy. That was one of my biggest reasons for deciding I’m done having kids –I don’t want to go through that first post-natal year (both in the state of MY health and the dealing-with-a-newborn issue) again. But there was something weirdly cool about being pregnant. I felt POWERFUL (like a fertility goddess), and the moving baby was funny, and it was an excuse to eat more ;), and an excuse to REST, and it made my hair AWESOME. And my complexion awesome with the first one, not with the second– or I would have mentioned it with the others. There was also a great deal of heartburn and back pain, but I still have mostly pleasant memories of pregnancy, mostly good-riddance memories of the post-natal period.

        So yeah, if I ever decide I want more kids, I’m adopting. And not a newborn. But also yeah, I don’t regret the two I do have, either! (Well, USUALLY).

      • Nathan says:

        It does seem like it would be an interesting experience, but not one worth having for that many months!

  2. halinabq says:

    Well Nate, speaking as a would-be grandfather, I always thought you’d make a good Dad!

  3. as far as kids are concerned, I’m more afraid of having them than anything. Leaving out my personal issues, it just seems reaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllly difficult and I wouldn’t want to be responsible for screwing up a child.

  4. Pingback: The Peter Pan Epidemic | VoVatia

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