Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Having children will ruin your life

I happened across this article and thought it was a joke. I'm still hoping it is. The characters names are changed and this was written by a woman who has no children.

(the title is linked to the original website)

article in black, my comments in blue

(I found a lot of Shame in this article but no Glory)

Being a mother is hard. I do not know this from first-hand experience, but a close-personal-friend is a mother, and this post will be primarily about her. Let's pretend her name is something generic like Jane, okay?

Knowing a mother is not anything close to having a child, even babysitting is not even close. Sorry. A non mother can't even fathom the love that a mother has for a child, even when she is stressed out. As a close personal friend, she probably gets the moments of venting. "Being a  mother is hard". So are a lot of other things.

Jane has a ten-month old son. She lives with the father of said son, they both raise their son, and he - we'll call him John - works a full-time job and financially supports both baby and Jane, who is unable to work. (To clarify, Jane tried to work, but both Jane and John found the cost of daycare too prohibitive to make Jane's paycheck financially worth it.)

It would be ideal for John to actually make a family out of his girlfriend and son and marry her. He's already working to care for them, just do it. Go to the courthouse. Children (I know from experience) prefer their parents be married.

This man, leaves his home and family every morning to work all day long, even when he doesn't feel like it, to financially support the family he created.  Jane is not unable to work as this article states, she made a choice to have a family. Obviously, John makes enough money for her to enjoy watching her child grow and learn. Why would she prefer someone else raise her child? . A child in daycare is with a stranger most of the awake hours of the day being influenced by that stranger and not the mother. Ask ANY child if they would rather be home with Mommy or at a strange place with a stranger. They WILL choose Mommy. Where would you want to be if you were a baby? Jane should not be ashamed that she isn't dumping her kid in some place where they don't love him, she should feel lucky that her man works so hard to take care of them. This ungratefulness is probably the reason she is still unmarried.

Before Jane had her son, she had an exciting life. She had exciting jobs, that she did very well at, and that brought her decent paychecks. She had friends. Her life is drastically different, now. She only has a couple of close friends now, whom she isn't able to see very often. She doesn't have a job, and is financially dependent on somebody else, which bothers her to no end. She doesn't go out with friends - who wants to hang out with a baby? She can't really leave the house because with a ten-month-old, where are you going to go? Her interests and hobbies have dried up, and her life revolves around her son. She's trying to go back to school, but is restricted to online classes because, like I mentioned above, daycare is just not a viable option.

I actually wanted to highlight this entire paragraph. It sounds like Jane is very selfish. When you have a child, and husband (in her case a boyfriend), it's no longer about you and how you feel. People are so wrapped up in how things make them feel and forget that  commitment doesn't always "feel good". The way this is written implies that Jane's son is to blame for all her unhappiness, that he has sentenced her to a life of sitting at home and doing nothing. "She doesn't have a job", Ah, but she does have a job, it just doesn't generate a paycheck. Raising a child/children is the MOST IMPORTANT job a mother could do. She is cultivating and influencing a human being to someday be an adult and a productive member of society.

The "being financially dependent" on someone argument always irritates me. Obviously Jane doesn't like being financially dependent on the man who loves her, but would rather be financially dependent on an employer who doesn't care one bit about her or her son and could replace her in a blink of an eye. Ladies, you are ALWAYS financially dependent on someone, even if you're self employed. No one cares more about the interest of her and her son, than John does. He gets up everyday and works to make sure she and the boy are taken care of. She should be happy he does this. Again, selfish and ungratefulness could also by why she is still unmarried.

When you have children before your friends do, you will encounter friends not desiring to do things you do. It happens. There are a lot of women who have children who are also dying to be befriended. And there is nothing keeping her from actually leaving the house, she's having a selfish pity party. Pop that kid in a stroller, walk around the block, to the park (there are moms at the park, with kids), to the store, to an aquarium, museum, the library story time. Look in the phone book or Internet (it's free at the library) for local moms groups. Seriously, if you stay inside the house all day, you could go crazy. This is true even for those without kids.

Let's examine John's life. Before his son was born, he worked, hung out with friends, played video games, went hunting, fishing, and generally enjoyed a life of no strings attached manly freedom. After said baby was born, John works, hangs out with his friends, plays video games, goes fishing and about once a month goes out to the coast to spend a few days drinking and hunting and other various manly activities. When John wakes up in the morning he spends time with his son, and when he gets home after work. But he still finds time to do all the things he did before; his life has changed very little.

This is written to make John look like a jerk. When in actuality he works at least 40 hours a week, away from his girlfriend and son, not counting driving time. He only gets to see his boy for a small amount of time in the morning and evening. I don't think this childless author understands the stress that the sole financial provider is under on a daily basis. (I used to be the one who worked and my hubby stayed home, so yes I understand).

Jane has ALL DAY LONG to play video games (babies nap) hang out with friends (there are women with kids at the park), the difference is, if she doesn't feel like doing something she really doesn't have to. Unlike John, who has to work whether he wants to or not. Jane could show some interest in his hobbies and go with him fishing. A baby can go fishing. Babies don't walk, so they can go anywhere you want them to. His life may appear to have changed very little, but it has changed a lot. Before he had freedom to be frivolous and carefree, now he has to make sure there is enough money to care for 3 people. I'll bet if she stopped nagging him and resenting him he would want to be around her more (and probably marry her too).

There is nothing people love to do more than shame mothers. The glory and miracle that is breastfeeding is touted by doctors and parenting magazines a like, but stories of companies kicking out breastfeeding mothers - like this one - are far from uncommon. And let's not forget the job issues: according to a 2008 study, not only will mothers be "100% less likely to be hired" than non-mothers, and if they did get hired offered $11,000 less than their just-as-qualified-but-childless female coworkers, but "fathers got higher ratings than non-dads." And in academia, fathers are much more likely to receive tenure, even more so than childless men, while the reverse is true for women.

Breastfeeding is wonderful. It would be nice if all women breastfed. Still, breasts are seen by men as sexual body parts and it would be respectful of breastfeeding mothers to use a light blanket or cover while feeding their baby in public.

Out of the hundreds of job applications and interviews I have gone on, I have NEVER been asked if I was a mother. If you go in to an interview wearing your kids soccer photo pin, they may know you have children. A company hiring doesn't need to know anything about your personal life, they only need to know what qualifies you for this job. Telling them you are a parent is voluntary on your part.

Why are women punished (and shamed, don't forget shamed) for motherhood but men are celebrated as fathers? John (see above) has managed to cram fatherhood into his life without affecting his social life very much. Jane, on the other hand, is practically a different person than she was a year ago, with radically different interests and aspirations. Why is this?

Jane is not being punished. Jane is being put on a pedestal by her man. She needs to wake up and see the wonderful gift she has been given. His life hasn't changed much? He again has much more responsibility then he did before. She has ALL DAY LONG to do whatever she wants. He has to juggle work, a son, a naggy girlfriend (you know it's true), his hobbies, friends, the car, the bills, sleep etc.

Please don't get me wrong, her life did change drastically. And YES staying home and raising children is tiring, challenging, stressful and some days you just want to run away. But, Jane has much more freedom than she thinks she has. She has much more than if she was employed outside of the home. Then she would have to be told when she could see her child, when she could eat, pee or make a phone call. She would have to deal with her child being sick all the time from daycare, and would have even less time to worry about the friends and hobbies she no longer can participate in.

Motherhood is a lifestyle. Fatherhood is a job. That means that mothers never stop being mothers. They are always there to cook meals, wash clothes, help with homework and, if employed, litter their cubicle with pictures of their kids. Fathers? Well, men can wake up in the morning, go to work, and fatherhood isn't a big part of their life. They don't have to take time off for school events or paternity leave. Fathers aren't the parent that is called if the child gets in trouble at school. When men get home from their job, then they can be fathers. It's a hat they can take on and off, and no one begrudges them that right. Fathers can take business trips and relish their alone time. Mothers are only allowed these trips if they make sure and Skype with their children and poor lonely husband every night. Fathers have dens, and garages; mothers get kitchens and bedrooms.

There are so many things wrong with this. This makes it sound like he is going to work for fun, like he's leaving to drink beer and play poker with his buddies. He "gets" to go to work, he "gets" to go on business trips. HE'S WORKING TO SUPPORT THIS UNGRATEFUL WOMAN AND HER SON! Of course he's a father when he gets home, how is he supposed to father the child while he's out slaying dragons all day so she can sit on her fat butt and complain that she has no life?

My husband has neither a den or a garage. I wish he did have these things, since I get to have a kitchen where I can prepare food for my family and a bedroom where I can relax with my husband.

I didn't know that seeing your child in an event at school was punishment. Mothers have maternity leave because they gave birth to a human being, who needs to be held, hugged and fed. The child need his mother to train him, hug him, feed him, love him, teach him, take him hunting for bugs. Hold his hand, kiss his boo boos, show him how to color and make playdoh snakes. MOTHERHOOD IS A WONDERFUL GIFT. It's not a punishment.

You say we've moved beyond these 50's-era suburban parenting stereotypes. You say parents come in all shapes and sizes, and parenting is evolving. And I would say that you're right, except the "norm" is still that 50's-era suburban stereotype. Pop-culture articles attempting to explain why mothers can't be feminists is part of it. A man can be a father, a husband, an engineer, a democrat, a republican, an animal rights activist, an NRA sponsor, a race-car driver. A woman can only be a mother, or a feminist, or an engineer. Women are generally not allowed to define themselves under more than one category, so when a woman - who is a mother - is not acting as motherly as is socially accepted, here come the pointing fingers and cold stares.

The idea that women should abandon their small children and work outside of the home for an employer who could care less about them, then pick up their child who now has behavior problems and a cold from a place where he was neglected all day, then drive through Mc Donald's because she is too tired to have planned a healthy nutritious meal for her family, come home and put the child to bed, and then tell her husband she's too tired to be intimate with him, is better than the 50's stereotype? A 50's era stereotype where women were able to actually be home and raise their own children, to capture the miracle that only comes from seeing the world through children's eyes, to be able to actually prepare healthy meals, too make a warm and cozy place for her family to dwell, to be able to take a quick rest so she can share the beauty of intimacy and love with her husband. I'd rather take the latter. The lives of children would we better if more women went back to the 50's era of actually raising the children they create. It's about the wellbeing of the CHILDREN.

Maybe to the outside world a woman can only be a mother, feminist or engineer, but to her husband and children, she is life. She is, a hero, the one who makes life worth living, who keeps them safe, clean, fed and cuddled. She is a dancer, an actress, a storyteller, a teacher, a princess, a queen, a Dr, a healer, a genius, a friend, a soft and safe place to go, she is the air they breathe, the sun during the day and the stars at night. Their worlds revolve around her. Being a mother is the most important thing she could ever do. She is missing out on a lot of happiness and love.

Her job can replace her, but her husband and children can't. Who cares what the outside world thinks. To her husband and children she is the whole world. That is ALL that should matter.

Jane complained how it's not fair that John gets to spend so much time out of the house but she is stuck inside it. She received a lecture from her mother about how "that's just what being a mother is about." Jane attempted to take classes at a community college but ended up failing because John was not willing to rearrange his schedule - or sacrifice his social life - to get home in time for her to leave for class. Interestingly enough, this was not seen as a failure on John's part, but rather on Jane's. Jane did not work hard enough, and if she just put her head down and powered through...well, you get the picture.

Sounds like Jane needs to get a clue. Jane is a spoiled selfish brat. I feel sorry for her son. It must be depressing to be home with a mother all day who would rather you be away form her. I wish I could go get this sweet baby boy and bring him home. Sadly, he's not the only one who's mothers would rather hand them off so they can "feel good" and "look good" to people who don't matter anyway. I feel bad for John, who shows his love by taking care of her and her son, and will never receive any appreciation from Jane. The grass is not greener. Jane will find herself no longer being an at home mom, because John will get tired of her and leave her (still never marrying her), and she will have her dream of a daycare raised child and an employer who doesn't care about her. WAY TO GO JANE!!

It hurts my heart to see so many women have been brainwashed to think that they are more worthy if they bring home a paycheck. This is so not true. They hold the most worth in the eyes of their husbands and children. Choosing to raise your own children, could pose some financial changes. We went from a huge yearly salary, to a very very small one. We had to rearrange our finances, and budget better. I wouldn't have it any other way. I couldn't imagine dropping my girls off with strangers all day.

It's sad that people are more careful with their money than they are with their children. Their money is in a high security bank, and their children are with strangers. Just because they have a license doesn't make them love or care about your child. Background checks only check what has been discovered. There can be molesters, abusers and weirdos who's backgrounds have not yet been discovered.

I know there are situations where daycare is necessary, and I'm not saying all daycare providers are evil and abusive and don't love children. It would be nice if it was a very last resort choice and not a first. Kids need their moms, at home. Period. I'm concluding that the author of this article must be very young and/or brainwashed by anti-children/husband feminsta women.

Psalm 127:3
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.


Sarah said...

I know a lot of women who complain in the same ways about their job, and I'll admit it, sometimes I complain. But I would not trade this job for anything. I am adding another job in the fall (making some money) but will not be giving up hardly any of my job of being a mom. And that's okay with me. What a sad article.

Zsuzsanna said...

Great post! I shared it on facebook, too. Did you read the comments at the end of the actual article?? Who are these crazy women, and who has sold them this bill of goods??? Wow.

Kimmie said...

My goodness I did read those. I don't know if I've been out of my feminist shell so long that it's gotten worse? Yikes. I was most surprised at the teenage girl who said she couldn't see how any child could be worth a hiatus in her career, wanted to have her tubes tied now. I almost want to send her a message and tell her I'll pay for it, so she doesn't destroy some poor child's life.

Anything but Ordinary said...

Wow! Awesome post! It's sad that somebody actually wrote that article. I wouldn't give staying home with my children, taking care of them and my husband for anything in the world!

Anonymous said...

See, here's the thing. Not all of us want to be wives and mothers. I am bewildered how you can say that she "chose" to have a family. I thought God made that decision when she was blessed with a child. I'm assuming here that you wouldn't want for her to choose abortion. So why is Jane miserable? Because she didn't want this. A lot of us don't want to be wives and mothers. I'm sorry if that's not okay with you, I'm sorry I'm not normal. I am how God made me. And he made me in such a way that I don't want to be a mommy. Every person is different. It's clear you really really really wanted to be a wife and mother. You and Jane are not the same, so you cannot expect that she would want the same things. Furthermore, I think it's unfair to berate "Jane" based on a second-hand account written by her friend. You have no evidence that she nags her boyfriend, and you assume that it is the man's choice to not get married. Maybe it's hers. Maybe she won't marry him.

Anonymous said...

Can we just agree that both your comments and the original article are ignorant and self-serving?

Mindy said...

Perhaps there is a welfare (by which I mean, money from the government in order to support a person or family.) I have a cousin and his girlfriend who had premarital sex, and she became pregnant. Although they both wanted to marry each other, for both their well-being and the well-being of their child. They chose not to, as if they married, she would lose the benefits coming to her.

(They later married, much to everyone's relief.)

It's a case by case business, sometimes. What if the husband is disabled and the wife must become the one with the job? There are a thousand other 'what if' questions.

Really, the only suggestion I would make to you on this one is to use a brighter or different color, I had to squint to see which was your remarks!


Kimmie said...

Hi Mindy,

I think it's sad that the government forces couples to remain unmarried by promising them benefits and money. I'm glad your family members made the responsible decision to marry.

I don't think there is anything wrong with a woman working. The Proverbs 31 woman worked. She ran a home business. The Bible says that women are to guide the home and be keepers at home. Of course there are times when a woman has to help her family, and if the husband is disabled they would to figure something out.

Anonymous said...

Tell me, that time machine you used to get here from the nineteen fifties, did it take long to build? If being a mother is so great and edifying, why do you even care what other people think of it? Why are you spending so much time on the Internet, pulling apart an article which you disagree with? Shouldn't you be in the kitchen baking apple pies for your brood or darning your husband's socks by the fire? Methinks you doth protest too much.

As for your comment about non-mothers not having experienced the depth of love that mothers do for their offspring, nonsense. The 'love' you purport to feel is actually a complex mixture of hormones, yep, you're tripping! If you don't believe me, look it up, it exists to prevent you from killing your own baby because of it's incessant demands. Simple biology.

Get. Off. Your. High. Horse.... And go do some parenting.

Anonymous said...

wow! so i guess the only aspiration jane should have is cleaning, changing diapers, cooking, caring for her family and if she s good someday her mighty boyfriend will marry her. if you want to be a 50s throwback it s your choice but some people might want more in their lives. i suggest that you read "feminine mystique" by betty friedan.

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