The Mom Gene--do you have it?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by IceAlisa, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    I don't really have any interest in having kids. Teaching them will probably suit me just fine. I suppose it depends upon whether or not I find myself in a serious relationship and what he thinks. If I do have kids, the idea of pregnancy in general isn't very appealing and I would prefer to adopt. That I feel pretty certain about.

    My first gynecologist was an asshole. I told him I didn't really see myself ever wanting kids, and he looked at me soooo patronizingly and said, "you're female. All females want babies."

    I was so pissed. It still makes me seethe when I think about it. I told the nurses they needed have a talk with him and that I was never going back there, and I didn't.
  2. TygerTyger

    TygerTyger New Member

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    I had my first child last year at 35. Six months later we acquired a second child via a family adoption (SIL is a Meth Addict.) At the time, I was convinced that taking the baby was the right thing to do, and I have grown quite fond of the boy. But, frankly, it's Hell. We are a thousand miles from friends and family, and are having financial troubles. I would LOVE to get out of the house once in a while. But I did not finish college, and could never make enough money to keep the boys in day care.
    Yesterday, my husband got a vasectomy :) Not that it was really necessary - as every time he opens his mouth I want to murder him. :rofl:
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  3. AnnieBgood

    AnnieBgood New Member

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    When the teacher, probably Kindergarten, asked me what I wanted to be, I replied, "A Mommy and Nurse." I think it was because I was a Mama's girl and I admired my Grandma who used to be a Nurse. Plus, I've always wanted to take care of people emotionally.
    I'm really looking forward to having children. I'm 30 and it feels like I've waited forever.
    I just got married. So, maybe I can get on that, soon. ;)

    Oh, and my sister was never maternal, until she had my niece. She's great with her and balances things pretty well. Her fiance takes up the other half of the load. They're so crazy about the first one that they went for a second, two years later.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  4. Hannahclear

    Hannahclear Well-Known Member

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    Aww I'm sure you are doing fine. How old is your kid? I remember feeling like you. I found the first 18 months a mostly non magical experience. It gets better.
  5. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    I think I have the mom gene. I always wanted to be a mom. I "mothered" my dolls, took care of my younger brothers, & babysat. Unfortunately, it didn't work out for me either, & even though I'm in my 60's, it still hurts at times. And people say stupid, sometimes hurtful things.

    But people say stupid things when you buy a car. Even my family, knowing how I feel, have at times blurted out insensitive things. But you have to shrug it off unless you know it was said specifically to hurt. In that case, you avoid being around toxic people like that.

    But feeling like you do, why did you open this thread? Do you poke yourself with a sharp stick because it feels so good when you stop? I have a hard time understanding how you find all the horrid people in life. Do you know anyone who treats you well? You are probably a nice person but you come off as very bitter & not only is that not attractive, it's not a trait that will make you happy.
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  6. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Wow. You just feel like attacking someone this morning or what? I'm not the only one who expressed some feelings about people's attitudes about the issue of having or not having children in this thread. Including you. In this very post I have quoted.

    And I didn't say that I considered that woman's comment intentionally hurtful. What I actually considered it was another case of women in our culture automatically making certain assumptions about those who do not have kids. The only reason I found it frustrating is that a lot of women make those assumptions--that if you don't have kids you are missing something besides a child, that you lack certain skill sets and even emotions. I have had comments thrown at me about it that I find hilarious actually. My favorite was when an old friend told me in an online chat conversation that I'm lucky that I don't have to do laundry since we don't have a child. I said, of course, because everyone knows childless people go to a special store that sells self-cleaning clothes and doesn't admit parents. She realized she had said something kind of dumb.

    I truly do think that people need to be more careful about making assumptions about why someone doesn't have kids. I have a relative who had six miscarriages before she stopped trying. The last one at 18 weeks which is a very emotionally painful experience. Some assumptions and comments that have been thrown at her by people who have no idea what she went through have hurt her very much. Just people moaning about how hard it is to have kids punched her in the gut for awhile after the last one.

    And I just have to say that you must be the one with nasty friends and family. I have never heard anyone I know make any sort of negative comment about someone's car purchase.
  7. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

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    I think Motherhood as we think of it today is a brand spanking new post WWII concept. We idolize days of yore as being one where the family, especially the mother, was the central institute of society. This is true, but our concept of family has changed drastically. It was considered duty and stability and a way to ensure a legacy or more help with the chores and extra workers. Feelings of love and companionship were there, but definitely secondary.

    We have this idea that stay at home mom=lots of time nurturing children, helping with homework, drying eyes, etc. But that's not true. On average, two working parents of today spend double the time with their children than the stay at home mom of the 1950s. Well to do wives and mothers had nannies and governesses who did the majority of rearing; children of non well-to-do wives and mothers went to work.

    For whatever reason, we looooove to romanticize the past to show how society today is going to hell in a handbasket instead of acknowledging that we live in a brave new world. Of course lots of women find they don't like motherhood; it's new. We've had maybe at most three generations of Motherhood. Women of yesteryear that had children did not grow up with the idea that they had to devote their lives to raising children. Begetting them yes--that was a woman's main function in most societies--but raising them, no.

    So it doesn't surprise me at all that women express in secret or only to their closest friends dissatisfaction with Motherhood. Of all my friends that have children, which is now most of them, I think only one is happier with children than without. Most are like Prancer, and it's more of a lateral movement. A few would much rather go back to where they were before, and one is miserable to the point that I sometimes worry she might go crazy and drown her kids and herself in the bathtub. Her mother--who, btw, is a horrible bitch and was beyond a lousy mother--makes her feel guilty and small and stupid for putting her oldest child in day care three days a week, which the doctor recommended as she's language delayed. She has three kids under two--none twins--and her husband is a good man and a good father but rather depressed himself and lacking in common sense.

    It's like we as women pressure the next generation into being what we imagine we should have been, when that should have been never existed.

    And personally, I don't put much stock into what kids wanted to do when they were five as indications of what we want to do as adults. As a child, I wanted to be a: squirrel, a mermaid princess, a rock star, a nurse, a lawyer, and a classical pianist. By the time I was 18, none of those had any appeal (except the mermaid princess). There was no indication that I would be a teacher, much less like it, or somewhat enjoy public relations. I wouldn't have thought that ten years ago.
  8. Hannahclear

    Hannahclear Well-Known Member

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    Very wise post, Matry. I think you pretty much said it. There's a new book out by a feminist blogger, Jessica Valenti, that discusses this issue. It looks like a good read. I've got it on reserve at the library and am looking forward to reading it.
  9. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    I didn't post to be mean. I sincerely feel that you come off on your posts as a bitter, unhappy person, & that is something that I hate to see. If that's not true, I'm happy to hear it.

    It's true that people make assumptions & say hurtful things. You can either dwell on all your slights, or you can ignore the idiots & go on.

    ETA: re stupid things when you buy a car: why did you buy that car, it's impractical, you paid too much, etc. People often open mouth, insert foot.
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  10. KikiSashaFan

    KikiSashaFan Well-Known Member

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    From everything I can see you are a great mom and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. And he's seriously adorable too :)
  11. CantALoop

    CantALoop Well-Known Member

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    I just had a great conversation about this with a female friend, and she said something along the lines of this:

    "Mom gene? Do they mean the instinct to nurture or to spawn? I'd gladly be a surrogate if you or another gay friend ever wanted babies, but I'd rather be an aunty than a mommy.

    If a mouse had my copies of the mom gene she'd probably eat her own babies after they annoyed her enough."
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  12. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    That, and it wasn't like people had much choice about having or not having kids. My mom used to tell me all the time that she was glad she wasn't me for whom everything was a choice, because that placed demands on me that she never had to experience.

    Oh, hon, everyone knows how to raise your children better than you do and they all want to tell you how you are screwing it up.

    This will never end. In fact, I get more criticism now that my kids are 18 and 16 than I ever did before. If I think people have a point, I consider it. Otherwise, I just roll my eyes.

    When my bestest friend ever was pregnant with her first, she asked me all kinds of questions about labor. I told her not to worry about labor, because labor ends. One of the things she needed to be aware of was that she was going to be really angry at her husband for about three years and she needed to keep that in perspective.

    She told me later that that was the best advice I gave her :lol:.
  13. spikydurian

    spikydurian New Member

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    A friend once swore that she didn't want any children and could not stand children. When she got married and had kids, she couldn't leave them out of her sight! Couldn't holiday without the kids!
  14. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    In other words, PDilemma, taf is encouraging you to ignore the mean and assumptive things she has said to you in this thread and move on. It's the only thing she said to you that I agree with.
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  15. pat c

    pat c Well-Known Member

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    No one knows your child like you do. Your child loves *you* and will adolize *you* until they turn 5 if not before. ;) Ignore the know it alls as much as you can.

    I was a sahm and then I went back to work part time when my kids hit school. I could not abide yakking about my kids and nothing but my kids. Luckily, I had friends who were the same. We talked about the damndest things, drank coffee or alcohol, ditched our kids at the first opportunity or dragged them along. And damn they survived. My kids were not my whole life, nor am I theirs. Nor should it be like that. Wings and roots and all that.

    And I love them to pieces, I tell them so, and support them in what they do.
  16. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    I think taf was spot on. Not be be mean but assumptions can be drawn from PDilemma's posting history.
  17. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    I think it means you have the fashion gene. :glamor:
  18. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    Speaking of, where's the latest fashion thread? I need to bitch about my shoe shopping! :drama:

    (((shout out to everyone who's had a tough time on anything related to topic)))
  19. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    I've been looking for it myself--perhaps not hard enough.
  20. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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  21. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Why yes. :shuffle: Thank you.
  22. Bunny Hop

    Bunny Hop Accept no substitutes

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    I will never understand the 'selfish' argument. Surely it's better to recognise that you aren't interested in having children than bring one into the world you're likely to resent or couldn't care for. That would be more selfish in my view.

    The other argument thrown at those of us who don't want children is that we should think of all the people in the world who want them but can't have them. Obviously that is tragic and I feel for anyone who is unable to have children and wants them, but how would me having a child make that better?

    Oh, and my other favourite (I'm on a roll here) is "But what if everyone felt the way you do?". Well, clearly they don't, so that is just irrelevant.
    Reminds me of a doctor who told me, in relation to a 'female problem', that it would likely fix itself when I had children. My reply was "What's this 'when' business?". :lol: In fairness, he did correct himself. I've also since heard from many women that what he told me was a load of rubbish anyway.
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  23. Lanie

    Lanie Well-Known Member

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    He's only four months old. I did get lucky with a super happy, happy baby who hardly ever cries. It's just sooo overwhelming.
  24. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    It is, Lanie. It gets easier when they get a bit older, hang in there.
  25. Oreo

    Oreo Active Member

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    I discovered at a young age that I had a talent for killing house plants. No way was I going to have a kid.
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  26. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

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    Lanie, I'm not a parent so my opinion maybe doesn't mean much but what I've observed is that the first couple of years is completely overwhelming. Especially for the first child it changes your life dramatically and as much as people say they're prepared, they never are. It seems to me that the parents that admit that it's hard and isn't always super awesome make the best parents though. I don't know you personally but of all my numerous new parent friends the ones that are honest about how hard things are seem to have the best grasp on parenthood, IMO. They're the ones that are least likely to lose their identities to their children and are most likely to take care of their own needs which directly benefits the child(ren). Hang in there.
  27. Hannahclear

    Hannahclear Well-Known Member

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    Yes it is. I felt that every hour alone with baby took about 10 hours to elapse. Now he's happily watching calliou and I am having some mental space. Hang in there!
  28. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    Hmm, yes, but people increasingly DO feel that way and there are implications, some of them rather dire, for society as we know it.

    Which doesn't mean that people should have kids they don't want, just that I don't think the question is irrelevant philosophically :p.
  29. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Adding a second child when the first is six months old would exhaust anyone, and when you add financial challenges and being far from family to the mix :( Really lucky for the little guy that you took him in, but tough nonetheless. Is there a mom-group you could join to meet up with other moms for some social time for you at no cost?
  30. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    I pretty routinely kill off plants, but it hasn't seemed to affect the mom instinct. And despite my kid being nearly done with college, I still have napkins, tissues and band-aids with me most of the time. :)
  31. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Whoops - duplicate.
  32. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

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    Lanie - your baby is adorable, and healthy and you are a great mom. Don't let others tell you differently.

    Well, as a kid, I played with dolls all the time, and loved it. I want to have kids, badly, but it's more of one of those "in the future, sometime" kind of things. I don't think most people who know me would describe me as particularly motherly; and I can't change a diaper or know shit about raising a child. All I know is that I really want to have a child at some point in my life, and would be very upset if I couldn't have one.

    Now, that's just me, and I don't care what other people want or think :lol:

    One of my close high school friends is very sure she does not want to have a child. She's married, and her husband feels the same way. However, she can't find a doctor who will tie her tubes because she will "change her mind". :rolleyes:
  33. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    But on the other side, what if everyone felt the way the Duggars did? It seems to me that this POV is also gaining in popularity among a certain segment of society. Luckily they balance each other out.

    Which is why I don't understand the "not having kids is selfish" line of thought. I actually think HAVING kids is selfish particularly with our environment straining to contain the population we do have. I know I didn't have kids for any noble reason either. I had them because I wanted to. And I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. Or with not having them either.

    (The only unselfish choice when it comes to kids is adopting one that no one else wants IMO.)

    When it comes to kids, I think it's important to do what you want and not have them if you don't want them and to have them if you do because it serves no one to have kids if you don't want them or not have them if you do.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
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  34. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    When asked if I have kids, I say "No. We rent." I've never met a parent who wouldn't happily part with theirs for a few hours, or even an overnight. So, we borrow children whenever we want to do something that might appeal to them.
  35. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    Most people did what the Duggars do for most of history. It's likely that a lot of her children would have died early and/or she would have died in childbirth at some point and not had any more. So IMO, the number of children they have is more due to medical advances and better nutrition than them making a particular choice (even though it seems unnatural because of how society has changed).

    IMO whether it's selfish depends on one's individual reasons. I will totally admit that my primary reason for not wanting kids is selfish - I don't want to take care of a person who's going to be totally dependent on me. It's too much work. Others decide not to have kids because as you said, they don't want to burden the environment or maybe they want to be in Drs without borders or something and don't think it'd be fair to drag the kid with them. My great-aunt desperately wanted children, but she became a nun and ran an orphanage instead, so she liked to say she could have had a couple of her own children, but instead she got to raise hundreds of children. That's unselfish.

    And lots of people have children for very selfish reasons, so yeah, you can't judge it based on broad strokes.
  36. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    It *is* overwhelming. It DOES get better. Of course there are phases. My lovely daughter had the terrible twos. and threes. and fours. . . and at 11 she still has her tantrum-y days (and likely will through adolescence!). But it DOES get better.

    I try to keep in mind that families with multiple children can have their kids turn out as many ways as they have kids. I and my sisters are all different, but we're all functional members of society, so I feel like my parents succeeded. Then there are other families where a couple of kids will be stable and successful, another will be a traveling bohemian, another will be an addict and a wreck. Kids were all parented the same but turned out different.
  37. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    It does get better but sometimes a kid and a parent have personalities that just don't mesh and that can be very hard.
  38. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    Her husband ought to get the snip instead - it's a much less invasive surgery.
  39. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    Well, no, they don't, because there are far, far more people not having children or having only one or two children than there are Duggars. The birth rate in US is, in spite of being the highest in the developed world, below replacement level.

    Every nation on earth has a declining birth rate, including countries like India where the birth rate is still high. And the birth rate will continue to decline everywhere.

    The environment can sustain the population just fine. It's our lifestyles that strain the environment.

    Those of us who live in developed societies are about to get whacked with a major societal problem because of declining birth rates--high numbers of aged dependents and insufficient numbers of people in the work force to adequately support them. Right now, one of out of every five people in the world is over 60. By 2050, the ratio will be one in three, with most of those older people living in developed countries. By just 2035, the ratio of taxpayers to retirees in the US will be 2.5 to 1. By 2030, taxpayers in the US will have to pay 31.9% in taxes to support retirees at current rates, which isn't too bad really--in Japan, the rate will be 53.2% and in Italy, which has a very low birth rate, it will be 71.5%.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/global-trends-quiz.html
  40. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    It's going to suck for the older people for a while but I think everything works better with less people on the earth.

    And, no, we won't die out. These things go in cycles. At some point people will have more children because it's advantageous to do so. Also, at some point it all levels out. People have less and less children for a while but eventually it gets to a point where people are comfortable and they stop having less and less and just have the same.

    Kind of like the divorce rate leveled out at 41% when people were predicting that by the year XXXX everyone will have been divorced at least once. :rolleyes: