Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by IceAlisa, Sep 28, 2012.
Why yes. Thank you.
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?". 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.
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.
It is, Lanie. It gets easier when they get a bit older, hang in there.
I discovered at a young age that I had a talent for killing house plants. No way was I going to have a kid.
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.
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!
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 .
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?
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.
Whoops - duplicate.
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
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
It does get better but sometimes a kid and a parent have personalities that just don't mesh and that can be very hard.
Her husband ought to get the snip instead - it's a much less invasive surgery.
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%.
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.
I think this is only partly true. It's expensive to have a child and I think there are a lot of people out there who think they cannot afford a child.
However, I also think that the declining birthrate is connected to women being able to say no these days while they didn't really have a choice a century ago. Women were expected to have children once they were married. I don't think the question of whether someone wanted to have a child or not never came up. But women's rights have changed, and children aren't needed to take care of their parents at old age anymore. So, now if you don't want a child, you can not have a child.
It's going to suck for EVERYONE, not just old people.
There are arguments that the world would be better off with less people, but again, population isn't the issue. If we all lived like New Yorkers, the world's population could fit in in Texas with a little overlap on other states. We have more food than we need and sufficient water for everyone. The issue isn't lack so much as distribution.
There are also arguments that the more people there are, the more human ingenuity we have to mine. And there's evidence for that, too.
Why would we?
Highly unlikely, actually, unless something throws society back into the Dark Ages. Declining and low birth rates are most closely correlated with education. The world hasn't had widespread education until recent times, and reliable birth control hasn't been around, either.
If there is a cycle of some kind, it is not yet apparent. There is, however, a very clear and predictable pattern of declining birth rates since the 1700s. And given that that birth rates can be controlled and access to natural resources is limited, I don't see any particular reason why people would suddenly start having children again. We need workers, but there is no particular need for children except as longterm future investment, which requires individuals to decide that the sacrifice for the greater good is worthwhile. I don't think it's likely. France, which recognized this all a long time ago, has the most overt pro-natal policies in the world, and their birth rate, while the highest in Europe, is lower than ours and still declining.
I'm not familiar with that prediction. The only prediction I know of was that over the course of a lifetime, 50% of all marriages in the US would end in divorce. And as nearly as most demographers can tell, given that the lifetime isn't over yet, that's going to be true. The current divorce rate is based on annual percentages, which has never been 50%, but the annual percentage doesn't have a lot to do with the lifetime percentage.
The one thing I really appreciate about FSU is there are so many open minded people on here who when it comes to topics like this really accept that people are either one way or the other and don't stereotype.
A friend of mine really has to stereotype people and put them in pigeon holes all the time. He assumes that everyone has a desire to have children, that is natural for women to want them, but then puts those opinions on you. I have said for years that I have no desire to have children and he has always said "Ah but one day ...." I think that I am now 46 and haven't gone out seeking a partner to procreate with has finally convinced him that maybe I am right and he has accepted that the desire is not there.
Wanting to be a mother is not natural for everyone.
I believe the plan is for both of them to do it. My friend has turned into one of those very intense childfree people.
Global climate change is going to affect ability to grow food. Less food + more population = a bad situation.
Yes, I think global climate change is a big issue.
There are people who wring their hands and say that we're going to die out if more people don't start having more kids. I don't agree with that and I gather you don't either.
I am thinking that at some point the population will be small enough that it becomes more economical to have more kids. If there is more land available, real estate will get cheaper, for example, so you can now afford and extra kid that you couldn't before. There are definitely people having less kids than they'd really like due to economic issues now. Not everyone is having exactly as many kids as they want so there is room for the number of births to go up or down depending on what happens.
You need to read more People Magazine!
Seriously, I get so sick of reading "if things continue as they are now, at X point we'll be in big trouble!" in popular news outlets. As scientists know, there is this thing called "regression towards the mean" and also things NEVER continue as they are now forever.
Generally, there is a pressure that starts a trend in response to the pressure. And the change eventually relieves the pressure and now there is no pressure and the trend levels off at it's natural level whatever that may be.
Except the current rate has held steady for quite some time. So why would it ever go above 41% if more people aren't divorcing at higher rates? Which they don't seem to be.
Don't we all know women who married (usually later) a man who was not "the" one, just Mr. Right Now, because they just wanted to be married and have kids (like their friends have)? It amazes me that women will settle for a lifetime commitment with a guy they aren't really deeply in love with, yet also I feel that some women are encouraged to do just that.....you know, the don't put off having/adopting kids too long comments?
But the population rate is declining.
If that were broadly true, the rich would have more kids and the poor fewer.
Thank you, no.
So stop reading them.
I'm taking a class in global populations myself. I like to think it's at least a tiny bit more accurate.
Because the two numbers are not related. The first is calculated by looking at the number of marriages that occur within a year and dividing that by the number of divorces that occur within the same year. The second looks at the number of people who got married in, say, 1972, and how many of them divorce before they die.
Those are the headlines. You have to read the headlines to know if you want to read the article.
The last article on the subject I read said that only 25% of first marriages end in divorce though.
I think I'm falling into the don't want to have kids camps. Most of the time I cringe at the amount of time, attention and care I would have to give a child. I love my "me time" and got a cat because she provides some companionship but doesn't require too much care.
One of the reasons I quit working at a school was because I just didn't like working with children. I don't feel comfortable around babies. I have a friend who had a baby a little less than a year ago and I never feel comfortable enough to hold or play with the baby. I mean the baby is cute but I don't feel a mothering urge around her or other babies. I find children cute from a distance most of the time but when I really think about the care required, it scares me.
There are times when I think I want to have a traditional nuclear family but then I read online about women who don't get this overwhelming joy or happiness from being mothers and I fear I'll be part of that camp. I just don't want to have a child and then be unhappy and resent the child. I feel like that's not fair.
The main problem is that men in my religious group still expect women to have children because it increases the "ummah" (Muslim community) and all that jazz. I'm sure I want a spouse eventually but I'm not sure about the children.
This from someone who nurtured her dolls and even tried to breastfeed one after seeing her sister do it.