Friday, February 19, 2010

Thank you for being Childfree

The other day, I came across a link called "10 Scary Childbirth Facts That’ll Alarm You More Than Your Biological Clock".  What a gem that was!  If your head is feeling crowded and you need to leak some brains out, I recommend reading it!  Then today, I came across this video called "Childfree by Choice", where some "mommy bloggers" discuss the issue.  You know, after reading/watching those things I have to say to some of the people out there, THANK YOU for choosing to be child free.  I am sure (or at least hopeful) that not everyone in the "childfree by choice" portion of society is not as ridiculous and stupid as what I have come across, but for those who are, I'm GLAD they aren't breeding.  Hell, I've been saying for ages that stupid people shouldn't breed.  At least there are some people smart enough to acknowledge that they are too stupid to breed (that makes sense, I swear)!

"I’m 99% sure when I do maybe eventually have a kid (emphasis on maybe) I’m going to have a planned c-section.  I’d prefer a scar on my bikini line than scars on my vag, thanks.  I don’t feel the need to have “the experience” of childbirth, no need at all."

You MEAN you'd rather put yourself and your baby at much greater risk, have major surgery with a guaranteed scar on your bikini line, your muscles, AND your uterus, spend weeks recovering, and possibly have a lifetime of weird and unpleasant after-effects just to avoid the small possibility of having a scar on your perineum?  Where is my forehead-sized "IDIOT" stamp?  I truly hope you are infertile.

"This is why I’m so thankful that I’m only 16. I’m giving myself another fifteen years (at least) before I have kids, and thats fifteen years to let technology develop to maybe make it just a bit easier on me"

I'll give you a break since you're only 16, but what do you expect to happen technology-wise that could possibly make it "easier"?  Perhaps we'll learn how to beam babies out of the uterus all Star Trek style!  Yeah, that's it.

"I see a child as a curse and a detriment to the whole planet." 

Wow, what a pleasant human being you are!  You realize that YOU used to be a child right?  It certainly is a good thing you don't WANT to procreate, but I hope that no one is stupid enough to sleep with you and risk an accidental "curse".   I like how another commenter responded to this gem: "So if we already have too many people for this planet, how about you be the first to help out with this dilemma?".  Haha!  indeed.

"Im terrified to have kids. I weighed 13 lbs when I was born and my mom was in labor for 2 days :( also, she never fails to remind me that she had to have 60 stitches from her episiotomy/ being ripped down there. So, Im not really in much of a hurry to pop out a little guy or gal, and Ill prolly go for a c section too…. Besides the fact that you recover waaaaaay faster from a c section than from a vaginal birth." 

-headdesk-  I...  wow.  Not even sure where to start with that one, but again, thank you for not breeding.

"GOD, having a stretched out vag scares the crap out of me. Yeah, some people’s go back to normal, but hell…what if mine doesn’t? This thought will be terrorizing me waaay after my kid is born"

Better not ever open your mouth either.  Might stretch out and stay that way, right?  You'll be doing this world a big favor if you keep your yap AND your legs shut.

"Personally I don’t want kids. I don’t want to ruin my body and put my relationship on hold for 18 years to take care of a brat. I also absolutely despise kids; screaming babies make me feel very, very violent. I’m just not a mother person."

First of all, my body is not "ruined" and neither is anyone else's.  If YOU have a problem with the way your post-partum body looks, do something about it, or heaven forbid- get over it and learn to love the new you.  As far as relationships go, they are hardly "put on hold" when you have a child.  Unless you're a stupid, selfish little brat yourself, parenting can bond a couple with unique experiences, the shared special love for your child, and even build your relationship stronger through overcoming challenges.  But ya know, I don't expect any of that to make sense to a person like you.  Thank you for not breeding.  May I suggest a therapist for those violent feelings?

I will spare my lovely readers from any more of this insanity.  I was hoping to do more exploring of the Child Free online world, but this crap just makes my head hurt too much. 

If you don't want to have a child, that is friggin grand.   I respect those that simply know themselves well enough to realize that parenting isn't for them.  There are plenty of people in this world that should acknowledge that fact about themselves BEFORE they spawn, but alas.  I'm not saying that all child-free people are like the above examples, it's just disturbing that apparently many of those that choose to speak out about it online don't even have two brain cells to rub together.

I respect the choice to be child-free, but don't spew mis-information and mis-perceptions about pregnancy, birth, and parenting in general.  Just own your choice and be happy with it.  No need to put down children (you WERE one) or parents (you have/had some).  Parenting is hard, and yes, sometimes just plain gross, but at the end of the day, it is infinitely more awesome than it is hard or gross.  If you don't have the mental and emotional capacity to understand that, then I actually feel kinda sorry for you.  If you don't want to go through the hard stuff so that you can experience the good stuff, that's fine with me, but don't act like the rest of us are crazy for actually appreciating the process and the gift of human life despite the challenges that go with it.  Maybe your mother bugs you about having children, but I think it's safe to say that most of the world doesn't give a shit whether you do or not, so just relax and enjoy your life, childfree or not.


lostinrain said...

I don't understand the whole c-section/epidural thing at all! At the end of natural child birth you get the biggest high ever that doesn't cause withdraw symptoms later. As a teenage, I did my share of illegal drugs, and other ways to experience "highs", but none of that comes close to comparing with the shot of amazing when that baby comes out!! I was hoppin excited when my second labor started bc I knew at the end I would a)not be pregnant any more! and b) have that high for the last time in my life.

Daisy said...

Yup, read it as well as the comments. There are no words for the stupidity included.

Diana J. said...

Nice post, as always!! :) Love the "you recover faster from a c/s than a vaginal birth." Mmmmm.

Tiffany said...

Yep, I read that as well when you posted it on Facebook. I was so appalled, I couldn't even comment to it. *Sigh* There are some very good people who are childfree out there, but there are plenty of idiots like this who will probably get knocked up on accident and then be horrible parents. Ugh. Sad... just sad.

Thinkbirth said...

Many of those women that you mentioned sound terrified of birth - that's the result of 'horror stories' verbally shared by well meaning 'others' like the woman whose mother kept telling her about her difficult birth and stitches :-( plus the incessant media nonsense. There is no doubt that fear does terrible things to our physiology. My thinking is that they are fearful and ignorant, rather than stupid. A great quote is that "people always argue for their limitations" - that's self protection isn't it. Those who 'hate' children - goodness knows what happened to them as children, but something sure did to create that viewpoint. Unravelling unhelpful perspectives is a big task. No matter what someone's bias is, triggering change is challenging. You are doing a good job with your blog - helps the reader open their mind and think of things from different angles.

Jessilyn said...

awesome! I couldn't believe the comments flying out of people's mouths.

Albany of the West said...

I am 6 months pregnant and just finally (I hope!) finishing up with a nasty case of HG - I clicked over on that article hoping it would amuse me somehow..."OOO, what scary pregnancy stuff don't I know yet!?" WTF is wrong with people? Great post and I hope you and the kids are feeling better soon.

NavelgazingMidwife said...

What a great response to the Childfree by Choice groups of women. You can imagine their near-horror when they meet me (a midwife), totally expecting me to try to convince them to have a baby. When I thank them for not having any babies, most are simply shocked. I, too, feel there are plenty of babies/people already here and if they know they don't want any, good deal! I wish *everyone* who shouldn't have kids could realize it before they do. The horrible groups of sad and being-damaged kids might have moved on (spiritually) to live with a different family.

Really great response.

Anonymous said...

I think I might be in love with you. Is that okay?


Aubrey said...

yikes, lots of tension here. I don't care why people choose to go child free, but someone's got to do it. If you don't feel maternal, then DON'T. There's no room for those who choose to have more than 2 either. You're taking away the freedom of other people who are more concerned with population growth than pleasing their instincts. If 2 kids supports the current population, then 5 kids supports a FIFTEEN billion population! You think the earth can handle that? Not trying to make mothers mad who have already done it, but if you haven't, don't.

mamapoekie said...

loving your blog! I added you to my bloglist

Erin S. said...

I guess I should be thankful that certain people choose not to have children. There is the population argument, the bad parent argument, the general jackass argument, etc. However, I just can't help but feel sad for people that can't comprehend that the pure joy of a child outweighs every negative part a million times over. I had an idea of how wonderful it would be but until I had a child, I could NEVER have imagined how wonderful/incredible/no-adjective-is-good-enough it would be. And I am writing this after being up most of the night with a feverish 16 month old.

I especially despise the whole "I don't want to ruin my body" attitude. Seriously?? Are you that shallow? And "raising a brat" isn't a given, it's more of a choice if you decide not to put the effort in to learn what kind of parent you want to be.

Do you really think we were put on this earth solely for the purpose of wearing skinny jeans?

Ally said...

I honestly just read this post to make sure you weren't serious. Deciding not to have kids=fine. I think you're missing out and you should do a very thorough analysis of your reasons if you're choosing to have regular sex but not produce children, because that's not really the way the species was designed to work. But there are fine reasons out there. But the whole "vasectomy prevents abortion"/"cats not kids"/"voluntary human extinction" (I kid you not, I have seen it perfectly seriously) movement just rubs me absolutely the wrong way, gives me the heebie-jeebies. I don't like to say this often, but there's just something wrong about it that I can't put my finger on.

Also, the body image/fear of injury/fear of birth thing goes past ignorance and into conspiracy theory. Who came up with those ideas?

Anonymous said...

I find this to be overly judgmental. For these people, it seems that having children really is an awful thing, and this is unique to them. Just like you truly believe that parenting is amazing, they believe the opposite, and both sides shouldn't be criticized for their opinions. Their beliefs are their truths, for them. Similarly, some people believe that circumcision is mutilation, while others believe its a mandatory health/religious procedure, or that abortion is murder, while others believe it to be otherwise.

You can have your own opinions about what is right for you and only you can decide what is your personal truth.

Further, I think that the people who choose not to have children should be commended. Regardless of the reasoning they use for it, these people can at the very least acknowledge that parenting is not for them. This is a special thing to do given that there is a societal expectation that one should get married and procreate. Going against the grain of how one 'should live their life' is, in my opinion, impressive.

Erin S. you say "I just can't help but feel sad for people that can't comprehend that the pure joy of a child outweighs every negative part a million times over." Again, for them, it may truly be a negative thing. You don't live their lives, so you are in no position to make such an assertion. Not to mention that it seems kind of ignorant to dismiss over-population entirely and say that having a kid outweighs that. When you can't feed your child because there isn't enough food or water to go around, you may realize that the benefit may not outweigh the cost.

Ann said...

I agree with Anonymous. How sad that everyone here would like others to be respectful and understanding of their parenting choices. And yet, here many of you are ripping on people for having their own parenting values. You may not agree and they may not be technically correct (more scarring, heal quicker), but they aren't technically incorrect for every woman either. Every birth is different and some women and babies do heal quicker from a c-section than a natural birth. Some have worse scarring in a natural birth. If those possibilities are enough to scare these women into making this choice, let's respect them just like you'd like to be respected for choosing a home birth, extended bf-ing, elimination communication or whatever parenting philosophy resonates with you. Judgment hurts everyone. Respect heals us all.

Anonymous said...

Have to say I`m unimpressed by the way you quote someone then attack their statement.
Not everyone is capable of being a parent or wants it. As for the part where you expressed a relationship isn`t on hold during child rearing. That is true you do indeed share some unique accounts but that`s having a third person into the mix. If that is needed just try a threesome if you need a third person in the mix & it doesn`t last 18 years (cause you`ll be VERY sore). You do loose out on having time just the two of you, you miss out on being spontanious. The more children you have the more outings are like Military Operations for planning & equipping & travel.

Some people want to be parents & some DO NOT. Don`t preach or make them look selfish/ arrogant/ foolish. You only make yourself look more foolish with your priggish attitude.

Dana Seilhan said...

Ann, saying that being childfree is a "parenting value" is like saying being a fish is a "breathing air" value. (We'll studiously ignore the maybe half-dozen species out there that do breath air--you know what I mean.)

Anonymous, the simple fact is that it is not a normal or natural attitude to hate children. It's one thing if you like your own kids better than someone else's--you could at least point to that as an evolutionary strategy. But *hating* children is suicidal. These people have got serious issues and UW is being much kinder to them than I would be. They're trying to present a disease as a state of normal health, and so are you.

Aubrey, you're assuming that every single person on the planet is going to reproduce. In terms of changing the fertility rate it's more effective to educate women in developing countries than it is to guilt-trip women in the First World. If China's one-child law can be routinely flaunted, I don't think your preaching is going to do much good. Bet you feel better, though.

In any case I have far more respect for someone who has looked at all the facts and concluded that parenthood is not for them, than for someone who never grew up, never learned how to cope with people of different age groups than themselves, and doesn't know the first thing about childbirth, making a permanent decision for themselves when they don't even know who they are yet. OK, someone who is in that state of existence right now shouldn't be having a kid, but that doesn't mean they won't grow up later. I can't believe people make Social Movements(tm) out of dysfunction, but there you go, they do...

anita enriquez said...

you do realize that 16 year old girls are stupid, don't you? regardless of how they feel about procreation. and no, not all people who choose not to breed are idiots. there are many, many intelligent reasons to choose not to breed, and they do not all stem from being stupid. should I assume that all people who do breed are smart? I think not.

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