In times of tragedy, we look to teachers for guidance and hope. I can think of no better teacher than Fred McFeely Rogers for his gentle wisdom on children, humility, grief, and the specialness of every person.
Here’s another one that boils my buttons.
My rant…. Ever notice how the childed are so quick to criticize because “Our kids will be supporting you in your old age by paying for your pension” but fail to see the hypocrisy in that statement? They’re quite happy to use the taxes of the childfree in the form of all the entitlements they can claim from the government simply because they’re parents!
Not only that – but have they failed to notice that while they are spending every cent they earn on new toys and kids’ shoes, WE are putting that money to good use through investments and savings – which will support us in our old age.
I won’t be relying on any government pension in my old age – I’ll have enough of my own money saved up – because I actually think about my future instead of just letting it happen!
Yet another article supports the fact that choosing to remain childfree incites no regrets.
“Many voluntarily child-free couples are loath to sacrifice a rewarding, creative, and often spontaneous lifestyle that includes travel, entertainment, sports, and hobbies. In short, they cherish their unfettered freedom. Couples also mention the peace, quiet, and order of a child-free home. Minimizing stress is yet another common factor many child-free couples consider when making their choice.”
My parents seem to have been born to be a mom and dad. I was planned, wanted, and had all the love and care a baby could ever hope for. It was the late 1960s. Everybody, it seemed, was getting married and having children. It’s “what everyone did.”
For our own parents, adding to the family was a phase that occurred relatively early in the marriage. Sometimes, Junior popped into the picture barely 9 months following “I Do.” Dad usually worked outside the home. Mom’s world WAS the home.
One income was not only doable, but it was the norm. Little Billy or Annie simply rounded out the portrait of domesticity.
Fast forward to my own adulthood. By the time DH and I were married, kids weren’t even on the horizon because at the time, we had relatively new jobs, lived in an apartment, had just paid for our wedding and start-up, and had a car payment. Simply, we could not afford a child.
As the years rolled by, life became more complicated: work was all-consuming (DH also started a new career), we joined organizations that entailed frequent participation and we had friends and a social life. We bought a townhouse and then traded up a couple of times to a nice single-family home.
At some point, we had “the jobs, the house, the health insurance and blue ribbon schools” and it seemed all systems were go.
DH and I decided to dump the BC, and let the cards fall where they might. Pregnancy never happened. We opted against extreme measures because we by that time had achieved such a full and content life that we didn’t need to “change” or add to it. We were already complete.
Frankly, we weren’t all that broken-up about it. DH seemed to crave getting a Dachshund far more than he ever did a baby anyway. The stresses of parenthood didn’t look like something we would want to bring into our already busy life as a family of two.
I sometimes wonder how things might have been for us as that ’60s couple.
As 1990s-and-beyond adults, we face far more choices than our parents ever did. We had more of a “window” during which to plan and contemplate life with and without children. And in this day and age, the idea of raising a family on one income is just laughable (at least in our geographical area).
Perhaps DH and I might have just gone on and taken the baby route had we been adults back then. Maybe not. While I’m happy with a life without kids, it’s important to recognize that different times present different choices, and that might have been a significant factor for us. We also have had a lot more time to develop our interests, and we’re just not inclined to alter the life we’ve cultivated so radically.
It’s also much more difficult to be a parent now due to changes in laws and society’s expectations, not to mention economics and the dangerous nature of modern existence (school shootings, child abduction, etc.) and pollution. The “job” appears even less attractive under those circumstances.
And what is it with all this STUFF parents “need” to buy for their kids, whether they have to (forever-changing car seats) or want to (endless accessories, needed or not).
Regardless of the times, it is obvious that parenting has always been über demanding.
Just ask “the Stones.”
For those of us who are not moms, we take the time to recognize our own mothers. I’ll miss my mom forever and can’t imagine the love she must have felt for me. Thank you Mom, and to all my friends who are doing a wonderful job of it, Happy Mother’s Day.
Comment by amylecomte, “All Joy and No Fun: Why Parents Hate Parenting”.
Bravo to this commenter. I, too, prefer order, peace and a sense of purpose that does not have to involve bringing another life into the world. To those who do, and are good at it, kudos.