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I watched a kid yesterday, full on smack his mother in the face on the bus.

Oh wait. He was screaming "I said NO mommy!" prior to said slapping.

She did *nothing*. Not a smack on the ass, not a grab of the hands and "NO", nothing.

When getting off the bus, he refused to get out of the seat. Then kicked her.

I have a bigger problem with her, because I have an inkling she would be one of those supernanny mothers who sighs and says, "What can I do?"

How bout some DISCIPLINE?
Holy shit, Walkingbitch! If I'd been witness to that scene on the bus, I would have felt like 1)shaking the little brat, and 2)then shaking the mommy while screaming in her face, "WTF is wrong with you?!"

Yeah, I know it's easy for me to criticize parents when I've never been one myself, but that kind of behavior in a kid is, as far as I'm concerned, just universally unacceptable.

*Grrrr* to all the stupid breeders out there. That anecdote is a perfect example of why I fear for the future of our society.
geesh, walkingbitch. What's gonna happen when the kid's a teenager?

(shakes head and walks away)
doodle, i LOVE that idea. I love doing stuff like that. the person is actually forced to confront someone else changing things to suit their needs. some people dont like to acknowledge that. I might even go as far as to say...well you know a wine tasting would have been a bit more appropriate for a bachelorette party but this is fun too...or something like that.
lol doodle-fab idea!
At a real wine tasting, aren't you supposed to spit it out after you swirl it around your mouth anyway? That's how people start sommelier training as teenagers. Couldn't they just do that? Seriously, get some cheese (no soft cheese for the preggos, though) and some bread, let them enjoy that while they spit out their wine!
I work in a store and a couple of years ago a woman was trying on some clothes. When she looked at herself in the mirror, her little son said : You're fat!!
The woman said nothing. Now i know children blurt out things now and then, but this was really malicious. I wonder where he got that from.

Or a mother whose kid wants to go anywhere but the store her mom wants to go to.
Mommy!! I want to go!!!! It sucks here!!!!
Just a minute dear, mommy is changing clothes...
But sweetie, mommy will come with you in a minute, it's just that...
Rahhh! I can't believe there's no room for being strict. Don't negotiate with a 5 yr old. You're the PARENT.

Also, there was this woman, quite young, who kept coming back week after week in order to exchange a pillowcase cos she couldn't decide which one to take. She's a mother, and when we had some smalltalk the subject became kids. I don't know much about raising one, but i don't think i was that oblivious. I mean, when people have particular talk about children stuff, i don't always know all the ins and outs. So in my head i took a step back and she probably sensed that.
She asked if i had children. I said no. I thought so, she said. Like in a way she was more mature than me, more grown up, except i make decisions and don't come back to the store 4 times in a row to exchange a pillowcase?! She was truly weird.

ETA: ditto on Doodle's comment. It wouldn't even occur to me to chnge someone else's party to suit my own needs.
sonik, honest to god she was probably trying to get away from her kids and she had to have some excuse (exchange the pillowcase).
So I would like to air a grievance. I slept w/ guy the other day and come to find out he's married (who knew?). anyway, the story gets even better. So I confronted him about it and he starts trying to guilt trip ME! by saying he has a kid at home that calls him dad. should have thought about that before you go sleeping w/ other women, then, huh???? and he said it like I would totally understand and instantly not be pissed anymore. WTF????????
heee! The Onion nails it again...
cloverbee -- wtf! God, I wonder if that approach actually works on anyone.

I've dated a couple of guys with kids...the longest was this guy I dated in college who had a kid who he didn't see anymore. He often moped about how heartbroken he was to not be in his son's life, but did nothing to actually be in his son's life (his ex and son lived nearby, so it wasn't a distance thing). What an ass. In retrospect, I wish I had made it a dealbreaker from the get-go...any guy that uses their kid to win emotional points with you just sucks.

On the bachelorette party...if it was one of my bffs that was pregnant, I would have no problem changing plans to make sure she had a kick-ass time (at the same time, my bffs would have a great time regardless of what we did). Anyone else: I can't believe it would even be up for discussion. If I were pregnant, the first thing I would do in that situation is offer to be the designated driver so that everyone else (especially the bride) could have fun.
Crazy...thank you!!! I really needed that today!

clover - that guy is totally fucked up. I would've gotten snotty and asked what his wife would think of his behavior! Gah...stupid men.

I went to the gym this evening and had a horrifying child experience of my own....these two moms were in the locker room with 7 children between them, trying to get them showered and outta there, and they were whining, screeeaming, and running around like mad. Awful. I'm in the sauna trying to relax, and wondering why they aren't using the nice family locker room provided for them - it has plenty of showers. They other woman in the sauna with me was also not pleased. When I went out into the lobby on my way out the kids were running in circles and the moms were chillin on the couch chatting....nice for them, I guess. I stopped over and sweetly told them that I would appreciate it if they would use the family locker room next time. They sort of sheepishly looked at each other, but I heard them laugh when I walked out. I belong to a nice health club, and they have great programs for kids, but the locker room...that's an adult place. And when the kids scream at me "mommy, that lady's naked" just makes me twitch.
"any guy that uses their kid to win emotional points with you just sucks."
so true, lot. thanks for pointing that out. I needed some perspective.
turbo, you did the right thing! who do these people think they are inflicting their kids on other people?
the little girl across the street comes over every time I'm outside w/ "can I pet your doggie?" with which I always reply "not today". so it's technically my fault she keeps coming over but it is truly annoying b/c after I tell her no she starts talking and I have no idea what she is saying so I usually just say "I don't know kid language" and walk away. I think it's annoying how people expect you to know what their kid is saying when it makes no phonetic sense whatsoever. It borders on condescending.
I dunno.. re: pillowcase exchange. The kid was with her most of the time when she came round.

Once there was a mother with a screaming crying kid in the store. It turned out that the kid was terrified of the mannequins. The ones we use have no heads. The mother knew this. I felt for the kid, he was really scared.

Turbo, i'm so glad you told them that. Especially when there are designated rooms for families.
Yeah, I just feel like when you are *given* a safe locker room for families, and child care on site so parents can work out, you should just do your part and use those areas and keep the rest of the club an adult space. It seems pretty simple, really.
I started having identity crisis issues last night, thinking about the possibility of moving on from the job I've been in for over 10 years.

And then I started thinking about all the women who have tied their entire identities up in being "mom" and "wife" for years and years...decades....I can't imagine being able to stand that! And SO many women end up doing that.

I have a feminist friend who wound up putting all her identity into being "mom"...and when her marriage broke up, she suddenly had to cope with finding a life (job, school) beyond her male partner supporting her to be basically an unwaged worker in the home. She went kind of off the deep end for awhile, trying to find herself.

So anyway, that made me feel a little better about the choices I've made. (ETA: NOT the part about my friend, but the part about choosing not to make "mother" my identity.)

It's not that I think women (or men!) shouldn't make choices to stay home and parent, it's that 1) I worry about women who don't have alternative plans/interests and then end up floundering when the marriage falls apart (and 60% of them do - there's no reason for sticking your head in the sand about it); and 2) I think any parent who gives up paid employment to raise a child should be subsidized with her own bank account and private funds, whether it's the working partner or the government that subsidizes her. Raising a family IS work!
I am totally with you there doodle. I look at so many women (this might sound bad) that are in the suburbs, who think they have this perfect little life and a white picket fence, they dont have any interests outside of their kids and gossiping and just kind of a smug view of anyone who hasnt chosen their path and realize that they are fooling themselves 60% of the time.

why? because their husband is the one at the bar hitting on me and my friends and bemoaning what his life as become. alot of these people are more concerned with how things look then how they really are, and i really think it hurts everyone in the end.

disclaimer-i am not saying its ok to cheat when you are married by any means, but hearing men (and women to be honest) talk about their lives married with children makes me realize why these things happen.
wow. then why do they do it in the first place????? don't they know that the road they are taking leads there (to the bar)???
Are there any guys out there who can think for themselves and see a life outside of a wifey and kiddies????
Katie..."alot of these people are more concerned with how things look then how they really are, and i really think it hurts everyone in the end. "

WORD, sista. It irks me to no end when people use their children as a mask for anything and everything. The "my daugheter has to match..." kind of bullshit.

And people (men and women) who bitch about no sex after;s YOUR fault, not the kids. I think people (men and women) use their kids as an excuse to distance themselves from partners or behaviours that were only mildly tolerated before kiddos. I'm sorry, but i have a 3 month old baby, and we have more "relations" now than before she was born!

Ok, breeder rant over.
turbo, your story about bringing their kids into a the adult locker room when there is a family locker room is just...perplexing. Rude too of course, but seriously...trying to relate to those parents as the parent of a dog, I'm wondering under what circumstances I would decide to go into a non-dog friendly area when there is a dog-friendly area right next door. The only thing that I've come up with is that all seven kids must snap at and bite the other kids.

As for the staying home/parenting of the reasons I'm not interested in having kids is because I know to afford one, we'd both have to work and, frankly, I know my limits. Some people may have the energy for it -- I do not.

Of course, as doodle pointed out, one parent (ususally the mother) staying home is problematic too. I so wish that there were more options available to parents like good, part-time work (and I don't mean 35 hr jobs that are just trying to get around paying benefits), or like more flex hours and telecommuting, for both parents (so that one parent doesn't end up shouldering all the parenting while working too). I could go off on a rant about where "real" family values fit versus capitalism, but I'll stop myself.

I also think that a lot of people have a problem with mothers who aren't exclusively enraptured with their children, and that this encourages women to identify themselves solely as mothers and drop their other interests. I feel like some women go too willingly into that pit, but...I don't know. It always makes me sad when I hear a group of women talking, and they're not even communicating, just waiting for their chance to say what their kid does/is like. None of them are interested in the other women as people.

And I can't help thinking that identifying yourself solely as a mother will always backfire. Even if your marriage stays strong, and you don't find yourself in doodle's friend's situation, your child will grow up and not be thrilled at the prospect that his/her mother's life revolves around him/her. Unless you have multiple kids over a few decades and then start parenting your grandkids, you will have to find some other interests and purpose in life.

sheesh. Sorry for the long post.
heehee, lot. I guess it is the same the child/dog thing. I do always wonder or ask if it's okay for me to bring my dogs places. As I get older I've struggled with being more kid tolerant. Maybe I should think what would I do if it were my dogs?

But the locker room thing, kids just don't belong in adult locker rooms. There are a lot pervs in the world. Not to mention it's awkward changing infront of little kids. They aren't shy about staring.

Moxie, way to go on keeping the love alive! Awesome breeders like you are always welcome in this thread.
yesterday i got into an argument with my mom...first it was about my cat being her 'grandkitty' and then it escalated to me and my husbands relationship with god and then she started to go off on how kids are part of my future and how it will be a blessing and that i will realize it when i have my own.

excuse me while i hurl in this round file next to me.

so this argument(while never being finished) made me late to run hubby calls me...i relay the info...and he's upset over it...and then i have to calm him down and tell him this is between me and mom...i'll let you know when to step in to back me up.

We have decided not to have kids until we can afford them. We also don't want them while there is no where to put them, i.e. house.

So we will probably adopt if we decide to do the kid thing. which is fine with everyone except my mom. which is odd since her sisters have adopted children, which we have accepted as our own flesh and blood.

And once we get a house...between me, mr. gb and you busties...i am telling her i am infertile...just to see her go nuts. Call it a simple payback for all the times she's doubted me and told me...or the fat comments and the 'oh we'll pay for your diet food if you want"..comments. bah.

I don't know about you, but having a tense relationship with my mother makes me feel even less like becoming one.

Props to you for knowing how out of line she is.
thanks lot49...i wrote a big rant in the 'letters' thread. which made me feel quite a bit better...40 mins. till the weekend!!! Have a great one!
(((msgoofball)))definately tell her your infertile. Or tell her you have decided to sell your ovaries for extra cash!
It's great to read all of your thoughts. I agree with so many things said.

I do also think it's important to remember that many people who seem happy or satisfied are NOT necessarily that way. And I can say that because I meet a lot of those women in my job, who are sometimes very unhappy with their cheating and/or abusive husbands, or just generally very oppressed by the expectations that are put on them as wives and mothers. And a lot of the time, there aren't as many ways "out" of the situation as we might think. People really DO stay together for the sake of the children, and mothers especially will often tolerate hell itself, if it means their children's well-being. Even when women aren't faced with direct abuse, they will often sacrifice their own happiness to stay in unhappy marriages, because they know they can't support their kids at the same level on their own, OR they know that their male partners will fight them for custody/access, even when that custody/access may be a worse situation for those kids...sometimes it may seem better to stay put, where women feel they can protect their kids better, or at least ensure their kids will be able to afford university, which many single mothers can't ensure.

And I think those women in particular are the women who retreat into what we see as a more "shallow" world of seeming to have nothing to talk about but their families. They do it often because they are dependent on proving to themselves that where they are is the "right" place for them to be, and that they have made the "right" decision in putting all their energies behind their kids.

My mother stayed home with my brother and I for 11 years. She went back to work when I (the youngest) entered kindergarten. My father was physically, psychologically, and emotionally abusive towards my mother, but it was not until she built up her confidence through her work and earning ability that she finally found the courage to leave him (and in the end, she only wound up with custody of me, while my father went on to apply his mental abuse to my brother)....and, it must be said, that it was also her working (independence, having a harder time keeping up on the housework/childrearing - which my father did NONE of) that increased his abusiveness (loss of control). But people outside the family had NO idea what was going on, and thought that BOTH of my parents were the nicest people in the world. (And for years, even after they split up, my father kept up the psychological abuse by threatening to take me away from her.)

Anyway, that's sort of off-topic, but it's not really. My mother's experience (and grandmothers' experiences, and so on), plus the experiences of the women I meet every day, were at the top of my list when it came to making decisions around motherhood.
lot, and what happens when the kid leaves the house? what will that mother who obsesses over the kid have to obsess over then???
doodle, it's no wonder you don't want kids, sheesh!
doodle, i used to work in an almost similar field (child protection), so i sometimes worked with families where abuse of spouses (usually wives/mothers) was happening. that, combined with all the other things i saw, affected my views of having my own children. i've been away from the field for a couple of years now and am starting to change my views...anyway. but that's just me.

but i just wanted to say (and i've read your posts in other threads, as well), that i admire you for doing the work that you do!! sorry, a little off topic!
oh doodle, as always, putting everything i am thinking far more eloquently then i ever could. i agree with every single thing you said. i too think its very imortant to remember that people who seem or think they are happy many timesarent behind closed doors. and i absolutely agree with the part that women who are the most unhappy are the ones who put all of their energy behind their kids and who talk about them constantly almost as if to convince themseves that what they are doing is the right thing.

i do want to add that its really not easy for women to leave and become single mothers, however an excuse is often "for the kids" just like you said doodle. i think its important to note that kids can almost ALWAYS tell that their parents are unhappy/abusive and in the end it does far more harm then good to stay together for the children. that being said, its easier said than done b of the lack of opportunities and help single/abused wives receive in this country.

moxie-you're awesome, congrats on having such a great relationship with your husband.

Ms-i dont even know you or your mother but i feel like i got kicked in the stomach by what shes saying to you (maybe cause i am actually adopted i dont know). good for you for not bowing to her skewed view of things, and also for standing up to her. please do tell the story to us after you mention to her you are infertile! i am sorry you have to deal with this though, as strong as you are being and as much of an asshole she is being, well shes still your mother and these things suck.

Thanks katiebell2882 and everyone else...she hasn't mentioned anything since we got back..but like i said comes in waves...

although i have an interesting story to tell,...

we took the catalina express to catalina this weekend and upgraded to the commodore lounge to 'get away'....we ended up sharing a booth with this couple(very well to do) and their two kids...a boy about 6 who looked 10, and a girl about 2 who looked like a 4 year old. basically, the girl whined almost the whole trip except when she was sleeping...and the parents gave in to her 'needs' tryin to shut her up. the dad says to us, "do you have kids." ...'no'...."thats good. they aren't easy", the mom didn't look all the thrilled to be on the boat...motion sickness and all.

and then there was another toddler running around the chairs and a very prego woman running for the time, we are getting the private lounge with the crappy champagne. lol
I am currently in therapy b/c I feel so alienated from society b/c of my views about children. Yes, people around here treat me as a pariah b/c I do not dote on children and I have none for myself. I find it hard to make friends due to my beliefs. It's hard going against the grain, ladies!
I have, however, come to some conclusions about why people have children in the first place. 4 reasons, hear me out:
1) existential anxiety (death anxiety) = need genes to survive in order to alleviate anxiety about the finality of death.
2) ummm......I didn't know I had the choice to NOT procreate (it's just what we do, duh)
3) I had a cool childhood and want to go back there. Only way I know how.
4) so I can fit in.

Sooooooo........ if someone else has any ideas this list is malleable.
Cloverbee, I think it's mostly #2. Like 9/10s of the mothers I've met were like that. I knew a mother who had her first kid at 15, then at 20 really made an effort to have the second. And we're talking unemployed mentally ill husband (schizophrenic), food stamps, and she worked 50 hours/week at a barely above minimum wage job. I asked her why she wanted to have another kid when her situation was so hard anyway, and she said she wanted to have her kids young so she would still be young enough to have a life after they were grown. Like, it didn't occur to her she could just NOT have kids, so she was trying to hurry up and get it out of the way "early". God.

Also, I used to cater lunches at a private high school, and the "stay at home" volunteer moms would come in to "help" with lunches. They were the most depressing bunch of women I have ever met! The most telling conversation I overheard from them was at the end of an hour of going on and on about their kids extracurriculars. One of the moms said "and to totally change the subject, my doctor just changed me to Prozac from (I don't remember what), how is the Prozac working for you...." Every mother there was on antidepressants. Every. Single. One. I just kept thinking, she really didn't change the subject, did she?

These are the same type of women who try to make women who don't want kids feel inadequate, and I think maybe it's because misery loves company....
Cloverbee, your dead on! But you forgot:

People who had bad childhoods, and have children to fix everything that went wrong in thier lives.
well, if the list really is maleable, and as the resident breeder...

we had a child because we wanted the experience of parenting. i'm not so sure how to quiet explain it, but we've experienced alot of other things, events, stages, and wanted to explore parenting. I definitly think that most people have kids just cause its "what we do". We thought long and hard about what kind of family we want, how we want our household to shape up, etc. Children fit into it. Seeing the joy our daughter brings to our family (both sides), and feeling an incredible sense of accomplishment myself is really worthwhile to me.
moxie. I heart your post.

which makes me think -- clover, I would only change the list to say those are reasons why people have children without more consideration and planning. All the things you mentioned (plus ginger kitty's addition) are reasons why people just plunge headlong into parenthood whether they have the money, time or sanity. It seems like parents who "think long and hard" about becoming parents are relatively rare.

and (((clover))). I have three great friends who are all childfree as well. It makes such a difference being around people who don't perceive children as the default position in life.
It's funny, I think about this all of the time, because I am on both sides of the coin. I have been pregnant, terminated the pregnancy and I have had a miscarriage. Now I am a step parent half of the week, though I do not want kids of my own.

In my sitaution, it was an easier decision for me to take on my role, because the kids were so young, I knew that I would not have to experience the "You're not my real Mommy" right off of the bat. I normally pay no attention to Dr. Phil's words of wisdom, but I do think he has a lot of goos insight into parenting. One of his tips is that a step parent may not and should not discipline a child unless the parent has been in this child's life since before the age of 5. That makes a lot of sense to me.

But, when I decided to embark on this relationship, I don't think it really accured to me how serious the decision was. I have always been a career and goal oriented person. I never really considered marriage or children when I was little. I thought about love, but I remember when I was 8 yrs old, telling my mother I thought it was important to live with your boyfriend three years before getting married. Then when she asked me about kids, I said maybe one day after I own my own company...Though I might get a bassett hound instead. laugh.gif

My Mr and his ex really have concentrated on being GOOD parents and raising emotionally healthy children. they have not been perfect, neither have I, but who is. But, even though their kids were surprises, they really weighed what this was going to do to their lives and what beong a GOOD parent actually meant. Not meaing, giving them what they want, but what they need, education from a young age, freedom of expression and individualism, and freedom of choice.

This is where I thnk a lot of people lack. Instead of considering what makes a GOOD parent, they think about how adorable babies are and how to dress them up, and show them off, like a puppy. They just don't realize, that with kids, it is the same with puppies, if you don't train them, they shit on the floor. So, I have a lot of respect for Mr. amd his ex on the reering techniques they have used. I don't always agree with them, but I respect them, which matters the most. I will say that when he and I first got together going out in public with them was a little like Lord of the Flies and took some "GGG doesn't give shit, doesn't take shit and is NOT in the shit business" attitude to straighten it out, but it is to be expected;)

This is where I am different. I don't want to sacrifice anymore than I have to be a parent, then to be where I am. If I had to give more up than I already have, it would have to be under DIRE circumstances that DON'T include me having my own child. People look at me like I am nuts when I tell them that the 2 stepkiddies are enough for me, because they are not "my own". I look at them and say, "I have been through learning to walk, talk, jump, potty, read, losing teeth, starting school, etc. I have NOT had to go through sleepless nights, hemoroids, pregnancy, breast feeding, wanting to kill my parnter, weight gain, (I gain weight when I damn well want to!:)) etc. Why the hell would I want to change my experience?" I am soooooooo grateful to Mr's Ex for giving birth to two wonderful children and the sacrifices she has made for them. I just don't have that in me for anymore kids and neither does he.

And maybe get a bassett hound.
Hahaha (((Ginger))), YOU are right on!
(((Moxie))), thank you for your addition to my list. I do believe that there are some people out there, like yourself, who truly want to better the world through parenting a child. and that is the hardest job of all (to create people who will better the world).
(((girlygag)))), sounds like you have the best of both worlds, there! I have a feeling a lot of us childfree people will eventually end up w/ stepchildren.
(((lot)))) I wish there were more people around here like us.
Ahhhhhh....let's keep this thread alive.
i am agreeing with all that has been said....

last nite i had dinner with some of the neighbor kids that i used to babysit...none of them made remarks of 'when are you going to have kids?' it was mom, who in the past and i am sure in the future, has stuck her nose where it doesn't belong...did me a favor and when i walked downstairs with my cat, jake, she introduced him as her grandkitty. point 1 for mom.
totally off topic, but girly girl, your little icon just made me laugh SO freaking hard.

i agree Sixelecat that *most* (cause i know a few super cool ones) stay at home moms ARE a depressing bunch. in fact, its those people who pretty much reinforce the idea that i dont want children. i look at them and see completely empty lives, they arent even filling it up with REALLY raising their children (a la moxie). they just do it cause they never considered anything else, and frankly probably feel too entrenched to change anything about their pathetic existences.
I hate it when people have kids b/c that's what were are here for!!!!!!! I have so much respect for parents like moxie, but I think they are few and far between.

It's a pet peeve of mine when people have think they are bound to have kids, just b/c they have sex. BIRTH CONTROL!!!!! You can have sex w/out making babies. That is by far the worst excuse for having kids, Inevitablity.
I'm in a somewhat similar boat to girlygirlgag, but my mister's daughter lives across the country so we only see her once every 3 months or so. Which is another, very unjust story that I won't go into here. One consequence of this though is that we're not involved in the day to day work of looking after her, which, frankly, makes my life easier. She may come to live with us in the future, which I'm willing to take on because I think it's the right thing to do. She's a great kid which helps. But if I'm being brutally honest, I'm happy it's just us two most of the time, although I think it's not right she doesn't see her dad very often. Despite this, I support his efforts to get her living with us because I think it's better for her.

I feel that focusing on building a good relationship with her is enough for me. I have a role model in this in my dad's second wife, who lived with us for years and was really sensitive about boundaries with us kids. I think of her a lot when I'm hanging out with the mister's daughter.

I never really wanted kids, and now that I've thought about it long and hard, and discussed it with the mister, I'm surer than ever. My relationship with his child is enough for me.
*pokes head into thread, looks around and finds sane people*

The last time I went home my Mom told me that one of her friends (whose daughter-in-law just had a baby) was bugging her to bug me about having kids. My Mom told her that it was none of her--the friend's or my mother's--business and that as long as I was happy that's what counted. I don't know how I would a handle a mother harassing me to have kids. I told my parents when I moved out that if they wanted grandchildren then they better get busy and make another kid because they weren't going to get any from me!

Occasionally I get people asking me when I'm going to have kids, or telling me that I'll feel different once I ahve them (because it's not possible not to get knocked up?), but not by people who've known me a long time. It's not a topic that I'm willing to discuss with people just to satisfy their curiosity. I've found that the best answer to "Why don't you want to have kids?" is "Why do you want kids?" Usually whatever answer they come up with (unless it is a sincere one that acknowledges that it is a personal choice) can be countered with "but why?".

QUOTE(katiebelle2882 @ Jul 15 2006, 01:33 AM) *

totally off topic, but girly girl, your little icon just made me laugh SO freaking hard.

I love it, too laugh.gif
tatiana, we must have similar mothers!

I am so grateful that my mother isn't the least bit interested in pestering me about anything that I do with my life! She is also not interested in grandkids, but even if she were, my mom is a very private person who respects other people's privacy totally, which includes the private decisions one makes about one's own life. Thank the goddess!! She's become very brave about calling people on their nosiness and gossipy-ness, too, which is fun. smile.gif

I think I do understand the situation of the women who wanted to have her 2nd child so young, though. It may have indeed occurred to her not to have another child, but obviously, she wanted more than 1 child, and that's her right. And if that's the case, why not have the 2nd child so it's near in age to the 1st one? Who wants to be going through all that childrearing crap a 2nd time when the 1st one is nearly grown up? It would be easier to get it over with all at once. Maybe it's a financial/emotional struggle, but it's the mom's choice, and her right, to have a 2nd child. If I really wanted 2 children - which I did at one point - then I would absolutely want them to be close in age.

I don't think it's fair to judge people who have kids by assuming they never understood they had a choice. I think some people come to regret it, but many people who have kids, regardless of their age, genuinely wanted kids, and genuinely enjoy being parents, even if they do make mistakes (who doesn't?). My mom wanted us completely, and still says she really enjoyed her time as a stay-at-home mom...and this is despite having an abusive husband. She was 26 when her first was born. Of course, this was 1964, when such things were more typical, but the result was no different.

Personally, I think there are two schools of thought on having kids young, and I kind of agree with both of them: 1) you are too emotionally young and too financially insecure to raise children in your early twenties, and 2) if you DO want kids, get it over with when you're young and have more energy and aren't totally career-driven, and so that you can enjoy your solo time afterwards, when you are still young enough to enjoy it. It's six of one, half a dozen of the other. I know lots of stable, well-adjusted adults who are the product of young parents. I know lots of fucked up adults who came from more "mature" parents. And vice versa, of course, but we hear about them a lot more.

I also know lots of mature parents who are still parenting in their 50s - who wants to be doing that when you're nearing retirement? Ugh. If I were to have kids now, which is the first time in my life I feel like I'm emotionally ready enough (though I don't want them), I would be 38 when my first kid is born. I'd be going through the menopause while they were going through puberty, and I'd be 56 before I sent the first kid out the door to university, presuming they didn't want to just stay home and go to the local one. If they DID stay home to go to uni (which is more likely, giving the rising costs of attending post-secondary school), I would be at least 60 years old before my first child was out the door. UGH!!!!!
Tatiana, I so agree w/ everything you said. I asked a guy just the other night why he had kids and honest to god, he said "we ran out of condoms." WTF?????????? People like that really give parents a bad name. I, personally, am beginning to resent kids and parents.
Has anyone seen that Kathy Griffin My life on the 'D' list show where she does that corporate party and in one of her jokes she mentions how she hates kids. later on that night a kid from the audience comes up to her and asks her why she hates children and she says "oh, it's just a joke". no, it's not. she really hates kids and I am starting to feel the same way. I know that I would probably love MY child if I had one but how selfish would that be? I wish people would stop trying to convince people to HAVE children and maybe convince them to adopt instead. We are overpopulated as it is. What is your kid going to matter in the world when there's 12 billion people in it?
Ya'll, I am so happy to come home from a six hour drive after a long weekend of my uncle's wake and funeral, and find all of you sane people here to affirm our personal parenting and non-parenting choices.

I am absolutely exhausted down to my last ounce of energy, and I cannot imagine having done the trials of this weekend with a toddler, as my cousins did....sure, they didn't have to travel, but they were there for all 9 hours of the wake, and 12 hours of funeral, luncheon and gathering afterward. Of course, I was the one trying to mediate and keep the warring factions of the family separated and keep the truce for the weekend...some of them still need parenting at age 45, 50, 65...

BUT...I was asked no less than 20 times when we were going to start having kids like cousin x and y....gah. Now, my little neice and nephie are so sweet and cute, and my new little cousin who's two, and moxette is just the best little babe....but seriously, after seeing them all this weekend....I still have no urge to have my own. How hard is that to understand? Kids are great, and a gift, but so much work, and frankly, I'm not up for it, and I feel like that's a good decision. And at a funeral, I just really didn't feel like getting into my personal feeling with people, so I just kept trying to redirect to my cousin H, who is full of baby and due this winter....

This morning, on our way back from MI, we got up early and drove out to my SIL and BIL's house for breakfast and to see the neice and nephew....who are so smart, and energetic, and full of their own thoughts about the world at age 3.5 and 2. But watching my SIL and BIL juggle the two of them brilliantly was both a wonder to see their parenting skills, and exhausting to me, to see that we really couldn't have any non-kid discussion, and seeing how TIRED my SIL is....and she asked about us having some cousins for their kids. I finally got honest with her, because I feel she can handle it.

I told her that just watching them this morning was making me tired, and that parenting is more work than I really feel prepared for. And they were honest and admitted that it is more work than they could have imagined to parent thoughtfully, and raise respectful kids, but you just do it, and know you'll get through it. And said that the rewards of a cute, smiling kiddo help balance the scales. And I'm sure it does balance the scales for them, but it doesn't make it for me. And I still don't think I could afford a child...

So thank you, my dear friends, for making my afternoon....
Oh turbo...I'd be lying on the floor if I had to spend that much time around kids!!!

I think I'm lucky people in my life don't ask me about kids anymore. Likely because I've never married, and I've mainly preferred to live alone, plus I've had relationships with women as well as I *have* been very career-driven and politically-driven over the past 10 years. People don't know where to put a woman like me on their scale of "normal." Maybe they just quietly discuss amongst themselves that it's better a freak like me doesn't have kids, LOL!

Now strangers, on the other hand, always seem to ask, but they usually seem pretty accepting when I say I never wanted kids. Maybe a couple of people have pressed, but it's rare.

This may all be a Canadian thing, though. I think we have a more "live and let live" attitude (part of our legendary politeness, I guess) than many of our U.S. counterparts. Which is why we have gay marriage and y'all don't. smile.gif

Of course, I do work to keep my private life pretty private, which is something I've had to learn to do, because my job puts me in the public eye a lot. Plus I don't trust gossipy people at all. When people start asking me personal questions that I perceive as "intrusive," I usually reply with something vague and then turn it around. Very few people in this community even know whether or not I have a partner! But anyway, I've discovered that people think you have a wonderful personality if you ask them lots of questions about themselves! laugh.gif
Oh, I hear you turbojenn. Sounds like you had quite the trip. It sounds like your B and SIL are at least aware that children are taxing and that not everyone is up to the task.
I had to go out to lunch today w/ my roommates sis and new baby. it seemed like no matter what we were discussing, the conversation always went back to the baby and what the baby likes to eat and how the baby reacts to every single thing in the universe like I fucking care. I always just ignor the baby and the stupid conversations. Parenting really makes you selfish and distracts you from reality. no wonder we can't get anything positive accomplished in the world today, people are too wrapped up in their damned kids to notice the state of the world.
Turbo, I've heard before that the beaming face of one's child makes up (at least
partly) for the endless slog of raising them. And I believe it. I think (from what parents have said to me) that you do fall in love with your own child to an extraordinary degree, and it is this feeling that motivates you through all the hard work of childrearing. And I think that impulse needs to be there because otherwise your only motivation is a sense of duty... which itself can be pretty strong, reinforced as it is by society, but for me duty alone is a hollow motivator.

But like you and many other women here, I'm not willing to risk it. I don't want to work that hard, or work hard *in that direction*. I like my 'work' work, even love it sometimes, and that's enough work for me, if that makes sense. Every weekend I see parents sheparding their kids around, I read Sunday paper supplements listing activities to keep these kids entertained, and it just seems like what it probably is, an endless merry-go-round of looking after all the needs of small, helpless people.

Just writing that makes me feel selfish, like other people are doing this so why do I feel exempt. That feeling of guilt motivates me to do good work, better research (I'm an academic) which will actually benefit people. I do believe in giving back, but there are many different ways to do that.

(Also, forgive my last post, which was a bit: 'I want to do this, but I should do this, but I want to do this'... re-reading it it seems inherently contradictory.)

ETA: Apologies for double posting; this new board keeps fucking up my posts...
I like kids, I just don't want one.

I am down with OPB (other people's babies)smile.gif

We had a "ladies brunch" yesterday and I got my fill of baby head smell, and went home to a restfull evening and 8 hours continuous sleep.
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