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Old 08-31-2006, 12:45 PM   #31
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:46 PM   #32
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very interesting ... i remember a few years ago watching Sen. Mary Landrieu debate her opponant (who's name escapes me) on "Meet the Press."

it was unbelievable how nearly every sentence began with the phrase, "Well, Tim, speaking as a mother ..."

i actually took it less as an example of the importance they placed on being a mother and more as a calculated appeal to their constituents, that a woman couldn't possibly be interested in politics unless it were an extention of her god-given role as wife and mother and that no matter what else, she is a mother first and a politician second.

and while that's true, i wonder how many men have to reiterate how they are fathers and husbands first, and then politicians (or whatever) second.

and mad props for "placenta-brained twit."

though i'd love to shift the conversation away from "parents we can't stand" and try to focus on the pressures to become parents and how we respond to them, and why people have chosen not to have children.

for the people who have chosen not to have children, why? how do people react when they find out you are childless?
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:51 PM   #33
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I think this has to do with the fact that "mommy" has become almost an industry. You have a billion Mommy and Baby and Mommy and Mommy bonding, yoga, massage, music, shopping and I dunno what other kind of classes and seminars you can join. When this is all these women do on a daily basis, is it any wonder that their lives become insular?

I still know plenty of people with kids who didn't go Mommy nutty like that, so obviously it's possible. But there is that really annoying segment of society out there that behaves as described in the posts above.

What bothers me more than anything though is when some women have kids and then attempt to convince the rest of us that we must pop out a baby as well, preferably ASAP. And the ones who take their screaming children (usually toddlers) out to the mall or the grocery store or wherever when it's clear the kids should be napping and then they scream at the top of their lungs, or run up and down the aisles or toss things on the floor. Or they just let them run wild around. I remember when I worked for a hockey arena and parents would bring their kids over for junior hockey games and then they'd sit and chat with each other while their kids climbed railings, dunked popcorn into Coke and threw it at other kids or the ushers, ran around with reckless abandon, and swore at anyone in a position of authority who actually told them to stop. I can't tell you how many times I went to the parents' seats to complain and they would say to me something like "Give them a break, they're just kids, and give us a break, we need a bit of time to ourselves." I'm not your child's babysitter, you ingrate! Your kids may be cute to you, they ain't to the rest of us.
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:02 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511


for the people who have chosen not to have children, why? how do people react when they find out you are childless?
well.. My plans for the future never included having kids, because I want to do so many things: I want to travel, to work, to be an artist, and I just don't want the responsability of being a mom.

I don't really care if others think that I'm selfish, but I can say that it would be really unfair to have kids that I can't raise because of my Life style. Besides I have to deal with many emotional stuff that makes me a very loner and closed person, I don't want a kid to suffer with a mom who is emotionaly unestable and is always struggling to be happy and pursue her dreams.

It is funny, but the worst reactions come from people who are outside my family. My mom knows me and she agree with me that having children isn't the best option for me. Many people have told me that I'm selfish and women must have children because thats part of their nature.
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:08 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

though i'd love to shift the conversation away from "parents we can't stand" and try to focus on the pressures to become parents and how we respond to them, and why people have chosen not to have children.

for the people who have chosen not to have children, why? how do people react when they find out you are childless?
Alrighty, back on topic.

I think I hold similar views to yours, at least from what I've read here. I'm not dying to have kids by any means, but I wouldn't say that I wouldn't have them with absolute certainty. I am pretty sure I don't want biological kids, though, because ever since I was young I always saw adoption as something that appealed much more to me.

Why no kids? For a variety of complicated reasons, I guess. While I love babies and I love teenagers (go figure), I've never really loved kids. Doesn't mean I despise them, but I was never one of those people who got warm fuzzies being surrounded by 6 year olds. I've always really liked my career and academic life and wanted to have certain freedoms there to move around and make decisions based on my on interests and well-being, and not that of any dependents. Some will say that's living selfishly, and that's fine, it's their prerogative, but I think it's imperative to realize what's important to you and then prioritize accordingly rather than blindly going with the majority rule. So I'm not bothered by it too much. And the last reason is that I'm not keen on marriage at all, and am just more comfortable with people moving in and out of my life transiently, probably because it's how I grew up, up and moving around the world on short or no notice and never really developing roots. And I'm not really sure that I'd want to raise kids on my own, so that factors in to the decision.

As for how people react - mostly I don't care. My close friends all know how I feel and I never have a problem with them. My parents are better than I could have hoped for, and the only people who really care are my grandparents who would get in their (offensive) digs over and over again. However all three of them have very advanced Alzheimer's and don't know my name anymore so it's really no longer an issue. And professionally, the career I've chosen is rather conducive to a childless life anyway, so I don't see it as a problem.
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:13 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
for the people who have chosen not to have children, why? how do people react when they find out you are childless?
I've known I didn't want kids since I was a teenager. I work best alone, and the only person whose company I can enjoy for an extended period of time, besides my own, is my husband's, and even then I go off by myself quite a bit.

I didn't want to share my life with someone I'd have to put first. I believe that your child is your top priority, and I didn't want to do that.

I tend to have a rather strong personality, as you may have all guessed, so when people discover that I don't have any kids, they keep their thoughts to themselves. My family's happy with my choices, although I suspect my mother-in-law would have liked some grandchildren from her surviving son. She's just too classy to ever say anything though.

Being a teacher automatically cuts me some slack with people though. I can say that I have 30 kids during the school year. That seems to appease people.
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:34 PM   #37
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I never really had any burning desire for kids, it just didn't exist for me. A slight yearning exists now- once in a while I feel somewhat sad or something about it.. it's hard to explain. I have always believed the job of motherhood is so critical, and I would want to be so good at it. Somehow I still had this "fantasy" that I would meet someone who I would be so in love with and I would think would make a great Dad that I would just want to have a child with him-that never happened and it's not going to. I still hoped I might be in a financial position one day to adopt if I wanted to, but that didn't happen either.

It is annoying and offensive when people ask you if you have kids or are married, and act and react as if something's really wrong with you because you don't and you're not. I know my mother is unhappy about it (it's unspoken but obvious all the same), I'm sure as the only daughter she had fantasies and all that. Well she had grandchildren from my brothers so that takes care of that.

I don't envy anyone their unhappy marriages. Obviously not all are unhappy, but so many are. Because of my parents' marriage I have always had a negative view of marriage. Let's just say at the very least I have no delusions about it. You can have kids without marriage of course-but a bad marriage or relationship is so destructive for kids, that's just my outlook because of my life experience.

I know someone who I feel basically got married because he was almost 40 and didn't have kids and wanted them-he was already divorced once and shouldn't have gotten married again, at least so soon. He married the wrong person for the wrong reason and is thus divorced again, with a young son that he sees occasionally. So he has that child now, but at what price? The price has been high for him and maybe for the child too-time will tell. I know that people are only human and life is messy and we all make choices that are just that and not necessarily right or wrong. But just for me personally, I make the choices that I want to make and it works for me- at least I know I am not responsible for anyone else's unhappiness.
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Old 08-31-2006, 03:46 PM   #38
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My reason for not having kids. I just don't want to have kids. I love being an auntie, but I don't have a maternal bone in my body. I like having a fairly unencumbered life and having the ability to be spontaneous. I know that sounds selfish, sorry.

But I'm not that much of a monster Having more time gives me a chance to focus my energy, time, and money on things I believe in. I love to write articles about people who are making a difference in the world and I hope to continue doing that for years to come. Maybe my writings are my children.

And on a more superficial note, spit up doesn't go with cashmere.
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:41 PM   #39
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I've never seriously thought about having kids until recently. Maybe its because I'm getting older and a lot of people around me are starting to have kids. I would like to think its because I'm at a place in my life to where I could actually handle having one.
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:11 PM   #40
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Children are wonderful, they are gifts from Heaven. Even through all the ups and downs. You can see the world through their eyes, teach them things, learn FROM them. If I ever had it to do all over again I would definately have children!
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Old 09-01-2006, 08:33 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally posted by Golightly Grrl

But I'm not that much of a monster

You know what though, people do still feel that way. Like someone is some sort of a "monster" or an incomplete, unfit woman if she doesn't want kids. That attitude really does still exist.

But no guy is an incomplete male if he doesn't want kids
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Old 09-01-2006, 08:45 AM   #42
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Quote:
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But no guy is an incomplete male if he doesn't want kids
That's not entirely correct. I, and my siblings, wouldn't be here if that was true.
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Old 09-01-2006, 09:15 AM   #43
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What's left unspoken is that these "childless" articles generally have a racist undertone to them, and that's because these arguments generally originated from racist organizations.

The thing is, non-white populations are generally having plenty of children, so if we're afraid of the extinction of the human race, it's not likely going to happen. But that's what scared racist groups, and that's why they started this kick condemning childless (white) couples; it's because they feel increasingly threatened by brown people. And eventually, their arguments ending up filtering into the mainstream (probably via conservative talk radio, which is usually the direct conduit from racist organizations to the rest of the world).

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Old 09-01-2006, 09:22 AM   #44
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The point I was trying to make is, how many guys-when you meet someone, when you're at a party or any other social function..how many times to you get as the first question, are you married or do you have kids? I have had strangers I meet on a casual basis ask me if I have kids.

Society in general is far more accepting of men who don't have kids/choose not to have kids. In fact, a guy who has many "conquests" and lives let's just say a happy single life without the commitment of kids and marriage, is applauded. That's my viewpoint and experience. But there's something wrong with you as a woman if you choose not to have kids or don't have them for whatever reason. Most people won't say it out loud, but they think it.
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Old 09-01-2006, 09:59 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
a guy who has many "conquests" and lives let's just say a happy single life without the commitment of kids and marriage, is applauded.
That's an awfully sweeping generalization...for one thing, I think it's more often "accepted" than "applauded," and that also it's far more accepted in middle-class WASP culture than in other circles. Certainly in the subcultural niche I grew up in, the prevailing idea was that you aren't a "real man" unless you're a husband and father, period, even though job success was also important (and nowadays, your stereotypical Jewish grandmother is more likely to be overheard advising her granddaughters, "Take your time...go to grad school, do an internship, and if you want to be a homemaker, at least do some volunteer or part-time work in whatever field you studied for, so that you've got a foot in the door for later when the kids are grown"). My black and Latino male friends generally report being raised with similar ideas. Plus, unmarried childless men do get sermons all the time from their married-with-children male friends on all the wonderful things they're missing, I'm-telling-ya-man-it-really-grows-you-up, etc. I also think--and I suspect this is kind of what indra was saying--that a lot of men do choose to marry and have kids out of little more (or really, not enough more) than a vague sense that they haven't really "arrived" as a man until they can claim to have produced and suported a family.

What is broadly speaking different is that childless men--again, especially WASPy ones--are less likely to feel like they owe some sort of apology for their choices. In that, I agree there is a difference. But it's a pretty vast oversimplification to say that the Playboy philosophy is the predominant male ideal.
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