Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links, August 9

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

“Is Being Childfree Selfish? Debating Time Magazine’s Touchy New Issue” [via Yahoo Shine]

The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In [via The Times]

Keeping a Family Together is Hard, Whether You ‘Opt Out’ or Not [via The Atlantic]

My friend, Sarah Brown, who is a kick-ass karaoke singer and an even better writer, wrote this hilarious essay about making her Barbies hump. You know you did it too. [via Dooce]

Best Missed Connection Ever [via Gawker]

“Do Children Bring Happiness—or Misery?” [via Time]

Girlfriend bats away baseball game marriage proposal: First rule of public proposals: be certain your partner wants to marry you. [via The Telegraph]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

111 comments… add one
  • avatar

    cdobbs August 9, 2013, 1:54 pm

    as far as the time magazine article regarding children….not having children is not selfish…..there are over 7 billion people on earth with a predicted number of 9 billion by 2050…..the planet is way over populated….most of the problems occuring now: lack of food, global warming, pollution….comes down to one thing…..the planet can only reasonable sustain a population of less than 4.5 billion….we can reduce, reuse and recylce all we want, there came a point where that just didn’t matter anymore….with no population control in site I can only see conditions getting far, far worse

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    • avatar

      rachel August 9, 2013, 1:58 pm

      It’s ridiculous – neither having nor not having kids is selfish. We need for some people to have kids, and some not. And people will do what’s best for their own life.

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    • theattack

      theattack August 9, 2013, 2:01 pm

      I really don’t even understand why people say it’s selfish. For an act to be selfish, doesn’t it have to ignore the needs of others in favor of your own? There is no other in this scenario. Not having kids doesn’t like, neglect your unfertilized eggs or something. It literally affects no one.

      And okay, even if it is selfish (it’s not), that’s perfectly fine! Making the biggest decision in your life based on what you want for yourself is probably a pretty good idea. Wtf?

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      • theattack

        theattack August 9, 2013, 2:02 pm

        Also I haven’t read the article yet, so my comment might be redundant.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 2:17 pm

        I totally agree. There is no logic behind that. If you don’t want kids, don’t have them. Why would anyone want someone who doesn’t want kids to have them?!

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark August 9, 2013, 4:50 pm

        Having more than two kids is fucking destroying the planet and fucking selfish. Thank God for the ever rising suicide rate. Too bad only tge intelligent kill themselves… Meanwhile the mentally challenged breed like rats while shopping at Walmart.

        Mankind disgusts me now more than ever.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 4:54 pm

        Why 2?

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark August 9, 2013, 4:55 pm

        Because you and your partner are those only replacing yourselves…

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 4:56 pm

        Ah, gotcha.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle August 9, 2013, 5:43 pm

        That makes sense, actually. I would in NO way want the government to enforce a child limit (a la China), but as a therotical thought to play with, my brain likes this.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark August 9, 2013, 5:57 pm

        The One child manifesto is about the ONLY smart idea in all of modern China. Oh well, good thing we’ll all be dead in fifty or so years so we won’t have to be here when everything truly worthwhile shall have long ago been lost…

        Everybody around here is so touchy about suicide. But the reality is that we, as a species, are all killing ourselves slowly. Sure, it is all spread out. But THIS generation had already swallowed the fatal overdose that will kill if not the very next generation then the one shortly thereafter.

        Killing the planet = killing ourselves.

        The only thing tragic about it is that we’ll take everybody else right along with us. Man’s demise the more than deserved as we are killing all other life on this planet simply because we are too fucking stupid or selfish to care.

        Have a great weekend, everybody! Go shopping! Spend! Buy plastic shit you don’t truly need! Consume! Trash! And destroy! Jesus will surely just love you for it….

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      • Amybelle

        Amybelle August 9, 2013, 6:34 pm

        I planned to have 2 but my second pregnancy turned out to be twins. I suppose I should have aborted one, so as not to destroy the fucking planet, but I selfishly kept them both.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark August 9, 2013, 6:47 pm

        Much obliged. Thank you for proving but one of my many points.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow August 9, 2013, 5:45 pm

        Yeah, the *choice* to not have kids isn’t selfish. That doesn’t even make sense. I always thought, when people used that word, that they were describing the *person* as selfish for not wanting kids. It’s a slight distinction. Both lines of reasoning are dumb, if you ask me.

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    • Copa

      Copa August 9, 2013, 2:04 pm

      I couldn’t really bring myself to do more than skim the first few paragraphs of the debate about the selfishness of not having kids — I pretty much lost interest as soon as I read that the couple on the cover looked “lazy”. In any case, my reaction to the title & what I skimmed was WTF? It’s not selfish, and I’m not sure what the arguement would be…?

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    • avatar

      Megan_A_Mess August 9, 2013, 3:30 pm

      I love people who use the “well, that’s selfish” retort on me when I tell them I don’t want kids, and then they ask me, “who will take care of you when you’re older and can’t? You won’t have any kids!”

      Isn’t it MORE selfish to have children just to take care of you when you’e older? 😉

      I know that isn’t their point, but still, it really frustrates me. My husband and I both don’t want children. And yes, I may change my mind (I’m still in my 20’s, but just barely, but he’s 35. We’ve been through so much, and we’re still putting our lives together, why would we want to throw another helpless human into the mix? On the plus side, I have gotten really create replies to people when they say the same four lines to me over and over again.

      I just wish I still wasn’t viewed as some sort of monster, just because I don’t want kids.

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      • avatar

        Megan_A_Mess August 9, 2013, 3:32 pm

        Erm … Creative** … I’ve gotten really creative in my replies to people.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 3:36 pm

        haha, such a good point in your first paragraph!

        funny bumper sticker: be nice to your kids, they are the ones who will choose your nursing home.

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      • Copa

        Copa August 9, 2013, 4:17 pm

        One of my co-workers isn’t a huge fan of kids, but I’ve overheard her say that she wants them because when she’s old and grey, she doesn’t want to be alone & they’ll take care of her. It doesn’t seem like a good enough reason to reproduce to me, but to each their own, I suppose…

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      • theattack

        theattack August 9, 2013, 4:19 pm

        There’s really no guarantee that your kids can or will take care of you when you’re old either.

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      • katie

        Katie August 9, 2013, 4:19 pm

        Ha actually one of the very few positives for menfor having kids is having someone take care of you when your older lol, and I feel like its terrible selfish to even have that thought.

        What are your creative replies???

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      • avatar

        Megan_A_Mess August 10, 2013, 1:56 pm

        Well, you could always go your standard route with answering them in an snarky yet honest tone, but some of my favorite answers to just the general “why” /”when”?: (Some of these I have found online, and some I have heard from friends.)
        “We’re waiting to see how yours turn out”
        “When they sell for more on the black market”
        “As soon as I figure out how”
        “I’ve done such a great job with my parents, I don’t think I could do better” (Please don’t claw my eyes out for that one, but it is a big reason as to why I don’t want kids. I was a parent to my parents, and to some of my older relatives. Only in the last year has my mom been not dependent on me, and I’ve officially cut ties with my father because he’s so emotionally draining, I can’t do it. Most people in my family know this, and they still ask anyways … Fucking really?)
        “Well, why did you HAVE kids?”
        “When I kick this nasty meth habit …”
        “What? And pass all this crazy on? Don’t think so …”
        A favorite of mine stolen from a friend was “Every time someone asks us, we add three years on from the day they asked us. So adding your three years in, puts us at … ” then name a random year that’s after your child bearing years. Of course you could always go with the stand-bys:
        “When people stop asking us that question”
        “When I grow up” – For me, this is especially fitting, since I won’t be graduating from my Bachelor’s program until after I’m 30.
        “When you learn to be polite”
        “When we can afford it” they reply “Oh, you’ll never really be ready” then you say “Oh, perfect!” with a polite smile on your face.
        Or you could go into a really long winded explanation of how rude their question is and painful it would be for someone who can’t have children to try and answer that question. When I’m in the company of family, I usually try and behave with a “Well, my answer to that question is one that isn’t well liked, and the reasoning for it, although sound, makes for terrible dinner conversation. I prefer not to talk about it.” And then I’ll try and ask about someone or something else, or hopefully they change the subject themselves. I still don’t understand why it’s still seen as something that is everyone’s business. It’s just so crass …

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    • avatar

      Lily in NYC August 9, 2013, 3:57 pm

      I worked at one of the big three news magazines for a long time – this article was nothing other than a desperate attempt to get people remembering they exsist. Only controversy gets them any attention these days.

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    • avatar

      HmC August 9, 2013, 6:21 pm

      I agree. The way I think of it is, if you spill milk, it’s your job to clean it up. It doesn’t make me selfish to not want to spill milk and then clean it up. It’s only selfish if I want to spill milk and then not clean it up. Did anybody follow that? No? 🙁

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    • avatar

      John Farrier August 11, 2013, 10:56 am

      There’s no problem with overpopulation. The long predicted “population bomb” never, ever happened.

      But to the point: is not having children selfish? The question presumes that being selfish is wrong. It’s not the least bit wrong to do what is best for your own life.

      Do you want to have kids? Go for it. Do you want to be childfree? Go for it.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 1:58 pm

    Do children bring happiness or misery? I was going to say they bring both, but then thought, no, the child brings happiness, and the worrisome parent brings the misery on herself. (projecting? haha)

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    • theattack

      theattack August 9, 2013, 2:10 pm

      I definitely think it changes from person to person. I pretty much feel miserable around children. Ten minutes with a child feels like four obnoxious hours to me. Maybe only parents get the happiness though?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 2:14 pm

        Oh I meant your own children, not just random children. I don’t really like other kids either, haha. If me having children required actually planning to have had children, I never would’ve.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 9, 2013, 2:18 pm

        IMO, that’s what is so scary about choosing to have kids to me. I think I could really love having my own child, but since I’ve never especially liked kids before, it’s a big risk. If I don’t like it, I can’t just keep the receipt and exchange it for store credit. Honestly, I secretly hope that either I accidentally get pregnant or we find out we can’t have kids so that the decision is made for us.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 2:24 pm

        I really don’t know how ANYONE makes the choice to get pregnant deliberately.

        I mean, yea, odds seem to be in your favor tremendously that you would in fact end up loving your kid and even loving that you have your kid. But then sure, there are moments you say to yourself, as its throwing up on you in the middle of the night after you’ve gotten no sleep, wtf was I thinking? I can’t do this. This isn’t fun. But then the next day, it does something like climb into your shoulder and you realize I’m so glad I did this. Until the next time it sucks again, and then til the next time its awesome again.

        Anyway, I agree, I think if it weren’t for accidental pregnancies, or even “accidental” ones, like 5 people would end up having kids.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 2:26 pm

        That article backs me up I guess. 94% of parents say for all the troubles, its worth it.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 9, 2013, 2:30 pm

        Is there a formula like there is for relationships? I think it’s John Gottman that says you have to have 5 good moments to ever 1 bad moment for a relationship to work. Five silly faces and sweet hugs to every One temper tantrum?

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      • Copa

        Copa August 9, 2013, 2:33 pm

        I never threw a temper tantrum in public as a kid. SO proud of myself on that one. 🙂

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 2:38 pm

        Idk. Interesting question. Pushing the age of a kid to a teen, I was awful, with no 1 good moment probably for years, and my mom still loved me.

        She says you don’t always like your kid, but you do always love them. I think that is true, and speaks volumes as to how parents are in general. I mean, even parents of ax murderers usually still love their kid.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 9, 2013, 2:40 pm

        hahaha, Good point. Your mom is very honest. I wish more people were honest that way.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 9, 2013, 2:29 pm

        haha, Very true. And even if you know you want to have kids, planning a pregnancy and trying to have one seems really high pressure and terrifying. Obviously people frequently have to do that if they want kids, but there’s no way I could have sex while thinking about soaking up some baby batter. The thought of morning sickness and labor pains and dirty diapers doesn’t put me in the mood for doing the nasty.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 2:30 pm

        hahaha. Ok, you’ve got me down to 2 people. 2 people would deliberately have sex to make a baby.

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      • avatar

        painted_lady August 9, 2013, 2:55 pm

        Yeah, no wonder couples doing fertility treatments tend to have problems in the marriage while they’re trying to conceive. Like, “Knock me up, baby!” isn’t exactly going to do it for a lot of people.

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      • Copa

        Copa August 9, 2013, 2:31 pm

        I’ve been told by a few different people who have & love their children (but don’t love OTHER people’s children) that when they’re your own, it makes a big difference. You’ll still find other people’s kids obnoxious, but you’ll love your own to death & think they’re fascinating! Not to say that I think parethood is a breeze, but I think it’s typical for people to adore their own children even if they don’t adore children generally-speaking.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 2:34 pm

        Oh I would agree with those people. I think my kid shits gold and is the most fascinating amazing creature that’s ever existed. Other kids? They usually suck. Haha.
        Bias?

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      • theattack

        theattack August 9, 2013, 2:37 pm

        Those stories really do give me hope, but I just don’t understand how you can know that before you meet your kid. How do you KNOW you’ll like that one? It’s an enormous risk to intentionally have a kid when you haven’t always liked kids.

        I’m surprised so many people are 100% sure they want children. If you’re the type of person who loves every single child ever then it makes sense, but otherwise, I don’t get it.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 2:44 pm

        You don’t. Or at least I don’t think anyone does.
        But I think you love your kid no matter what they are like, so you lose that risk of will I like THIS kid. You know?
        I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I hated my life throughout my pregnancy. It was honestly the worse time of my life, and if I didn’t want to not have an abortion, I would probably killed myself. I didn’t want a kid. I didn’t want anything related to any of it. Weeks before I got pregnant, I was telling a gf that I never wanted kids. I knew I wouldn’t want THIS kid. Driving to the hospital, I still was hoping to get hit by a car. I wouldn’t even push at the hospital because I knew that meant I would have a kid sooner. The nurses finally told me she would die if I didn’t push. And then she popped out. And like right out of a movie, I was instantly in love. I would’ve gone through all of that 100 more times if it meant I could keep her.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 2:46 pm

        Oof, could I be more dramatic? Sorry.

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      • Copa

        Copa August 9, 2013, 2:49 pm

        I liked that story!

        Out of curiousity, was putting lil up for adoption not something you considered?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 2:51 pm

        I had considered that. I actually had a few couples approach me about it too. But I never got past just barely considering it. It was one of those things I guess I just knew I couldn’t do/would regret. I think women who are able to do that are fucking amazing and very brave.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 9, 2013, 2:54 pm

        Not too dramatic at all. It’s honest, and I like it.

        I think you and I were in similar places but with different views on abortion. I knew that if I couldn’t get the money for an abortion or if I couldn’t get it in time that I would kill myself because I hated kids and absolutely didn’t want one.

        Does Lil know that she was unplanned and that you didn’t want kids before she came along?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 2:57 pm

        Yes, she knows she was unplanned. We discussed it when I had the sex talk with her. I’m not sure if I ever said I didn’t want kids though. Not to hide it or anything, just not sure if it ever came up.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 3:00 pm

        How old were you when you had an abortion? I was 20 when I got pregnant (21 when I had her).

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      • theattack

        theattack August 9, 2013, 3:04 pm

        18, and I was already suicidal before that anyway. I could barely keep myself alive as it was, so I definitely wasn’t taking care of any kid I didn’t want.

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      • Copa

        Copa August 9, 2013, 2:46 pm

        I dislike kids — particularly when I am out in public and hear a tantrum — but consider myself undecided on wanting kids of my own. The idea of actually having one freaks me out, but the idea of not having any makes me feel like I’d be missing out on something. I’m also surprised when people are 100% sure. It’s such a huge, life-changing thing (with no give-backs!) that OMG! How can you ever be sure!? And how can you ever be ready!?

        Also, I think you can be pretty confident that you’d love your kid, but I think liking them gets a bit trickier. I’ve heard exactly one person say that he loves his son, but doesn’t LIKE his son (like, his personality). I wonder how many parents feel that way.

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      • raptor

        gillociraptor August 9, 2013, 3:20 pm

        My dad said something along those lines once. Not, “I don’t like you, gillociraptor,” but “I have to love you, but I don’t have to like you.” Which I, of course, interpreted as “I HATE YOU.”

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl August 9, 2013, 2:46 pm

        No one KNOWS that they will like their kids. That’s part of the gamble. Chances are if you and your partner are pretty awesome, you’ll have pretty awesome kids. But there is always the small chance you’ll end up with a total asshole.

        I’m 100% sure I want children. I want to help mold a little person into a productive member of society and do all sorts of cool shit with a mini me like go to the zoo and see the ocean for the first time. I don’t love every single other kid, I generally like maybe 50% of other kids I meet. I LOVE maybe 5% of kids I meet and think the other 45% are massive shitheads.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 9, 2013, 3:27 pm

        I think part of the reason that I’m in the either none or 3 camp is that if I’m going to do it I want to make sure I like at least one of them. You know I’m going to get a random token asshole kid. And I don’t want it to be my one and only.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 9, 2013, 3:30 pm

        hahaha!

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      • avatar

        AliceInDairyland August 9, 2013, 3:08 pm

        …that’s about the percentages I would place on adult humans as well. 🙂

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle August 9, 2013, 2:52 pm

        The %100 certainty is something I don’t think I’ll ever have, either. I used to be firmly against having children, to the point of being obnoxious about it (this was ages maybe 14-20-ish), but then I realized I actually liked children, in general (although I do feel awkward around them, since I never grew up with any). Then around 24, something happened where I was like, “maybe I’ll have kids!” I kind of wish I still didn’t want kids, because now there’s all this other stuff to worry about & decide.

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      • Copa

        Copa August 9, 2013, 3:05 pm

        I’m super awkward around kids, too. I don’t know the right age-appropriate questions to ask & I’m super terrible at playing games with them.

        Side story: I remember once being out with a friend of mine in college, and we bumped into someone he knew (a co-worker or something?) who was with their kid. The kid was trying to play with us and at one point “zapped” my friend with his “zap gun” (his fingers), and my friend got down on the ground and played along like he’d been brought down by this zap gun. I stood there awkwardly when it was my turn to get “zapped”. I remember that incident and I’m like, “yep! kids hate me as much as I hate them!”

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle August 9, 2013, 3:15 pm

        Ahh! That story is a perfect example, yeah. I basically don’t know how to play with kids like that— I’ll happily play a board game or draw with them or something, but I’m amazed by people like your friend who can just naturally be that way with kids. I’d probably just be like, “oh, haaa” if a kid “zapped” me with a finger-gun 😐

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      • avatar

        AliceInDairyland August 9, 2013, 3:11 pm

        Thirding the awkward around children thing. I help out with a lot of outreach stuff with the veterinary school and I feel like I make jokes and no one thinks they are funny and then it is insanely awkward. For example, I was talking to middle schoolers about the texture of the inside of a cow stomach, and as I showed it to them I said, “It’s gastroturf…. get it? …like…astroturf…but in a stomach…” and then they just all stared at me silently for like 30 seconds.

        Apparently I was a small child who kind of skipped right to speaking more like an adult, so I caught people off guard. Hopefully my future human larvae will also do that and we can just get on with the normal-talking right away.

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        painted_lady August 9, 2013, 2:37 pm

        And it’s those parents I dread taking to.

        I’m the opposite, actually. I love kids in general, even though the majority of them are little sociopaths at some time or another, but the idea of having my own freaks me out, partially because I saw how helpless my parents were with my brother.

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  • avatar

    rachel August 9, 2013, 1:58 pm

    The missed connection was awesome.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 2:20 pm

      I don’t get it.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 9, 2013, 2:21 pm

        Me either.

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        painted_lady August 9, 2013, 2:34 pm

        It’s making fun of the whole idea of “missed connections” being more romantic than actually going up and fucking talking to someone. They could have had a conversation, but instead, they sat and stared at each other for literally years, and he wrote about it with the weird hope that she would see it.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle August 9, 2013, 2:42 pm

        Yes, exactly.

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      • avatar

        rachel August 9, 2013, 2:34 pm

        I just took it as poking fun at the ridiculousness of missed connections in the first place. But mostly I appreciated the commitment to the story, haha.

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  • avatar

    bethany August 9, 2013, 2:09 pm

    Why does it even matter if having kids is selfish or not? Everyone does shit every day that’s selfish. People speed when they’re running late, putting others on the road at risk. People butt in line, talk loudly on their cell phones in public, take up 2 seats on the bus with their shit and make others stand because there’s no room. All of that stuff is selfish, but all those things actually affect other people in a negative way.
    How is me NOT having a kid affecting someone? That’s what I want to know.
    In my opinion, It’s really not of a concern to anyone else, so people should quit talking about it.

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  • avatar

    bethany August 9, 2013, 2:19 pm

    Did any of you look at the Poll for the Do Children Bring Happiness of Misery article? For the question “Do you think people are “selfish” for choosing to not have children?” The responses were 8% YES, 92% NO.

    If 92% of people think Childfree folk aren’t selfish, then why are we still asking this question? The Media needs to just let it go already.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle August 9, 2013, 2:48 pm

      SERIOUSLY. I am so sick of the debate, for real. Every other day there’s some flurry of bullshit about it—no one cares!! I don’t get it, it’s like falsely created anger. The media asks the question so people get tricked into forming an opinion on something that doesn’t even matter. Or something.

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    • katie

      katie August 9, 2013, 3:11 pm

      i think that its the reaction to going against the norm, kind of in general. i mean some religions believe that not procreating is a sin against god, you know? so if a larger and larger chunk of the population is going against this supposed social norm that EVERYONE is supposed to want and do, there is going to be general negative reactions to it. so this time they picked “selfish”. with some other thing- like marriage rates dropping, or whatever it could be, they will pick another negative thing about it.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 3:17 pm

        Are there religions that think that? I thought, at least for Catholics, that it was simply about only having sex for purposes of procreation, but that so long as you aren’t having sex, its cool to not procreate.

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      • katie

        katie August 9, 2013, 3:55 pm

        oh yea. i mean some people hold procreation as the entire purpose of every single person’s life on this planet. they say its un-natural to not want kids, its goes against everything we are and are made of. a woman is nothing without a maternal instinct, a man is nothing without lots of kids. ect.

        but my general point was just that something that is so ingrained in us, when it changes, is going to get negative reactions no matter what.

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      • avatar

        AliceInDairyland August 9, 2013, 6:10 pm

        There’s a religious movement called quiver-fulls or something and a big part of their life’s mission is to create as many human larvae (what others refer to as children..) as possible.

        Here:

        It’s an evangelical Protestant movement. Read it and then get sucked into the internetz..

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    painted_lady August 9, 2013, 2:31 pm

    I kind of feel like the answer to the implicit or explicit questions all the kids vs no kids articles ask is, “None of your fucking business.” Really? We need to defend all of our reasoning for doing something? We need to dissect a woman’s resume and reasoning behind being a SAHM to decide whether she’s a brain-dead idiot? Just because she hasn’t been doing a nine-to-fiver doesn’t mean she’s been stagnating in a puddle of baby vomit for however long. Are parents happier than non-parents? How about figuring out a way to make it easier for people – namely, women, but people in general – to do whatever the fuck they want with their lives without feeling like they owe anyone an explanation as long as they don’t hurt anyone else?

    So what if never being a parent is going to make me miserable? It’s my decision to be miserable, and it’s mine to determine whether I’m happy or not. So what if I decide in ten years that I want a kid and it’s too late? No one gets to say “I told you so” without my thinking you’re a genuine asshole. So what if Jane down the street chooses to be a SAHM and discovers it’s boring for her, and she isn’t nearly as happy as she thought? NOT MY BUSINESS. If she decides to go back to work, and she’s kept up with technology and up-to-date on the latest trends in teaching and we’re applying for the same job, if she’s a better candidate than me, HIRE HER. Don’t question her loyalty to work because she chose to be a mom full-time for three years or even eighteen years – if she’s better, hire her!!! No one owes me anything by favoring me simply because I had the time and resources to expend on throwing my soul into my work. I chose to do that, just as much as she chose to stay home. And I shouldn’t be labeled less of a woman because I chose that, or like I’m some narcissistic bitch because I like my career and my free time to travel and knock down girls on skates better than I thought I’d like play groups and potty training. It’s not selfless, this choice, but then I’m pretty sure the women who have kids don’t have them solely for the benefit of society either. AND THAT’S OKAY.

    We need to get over this mentality that other people’s lives (marriage, kids, abortion, gay marriage, WHATEVER) have anything to do with us. I’m so, so, so tired of this debate and this bizarre obsession with what everyone else has done and how it reflects upon us.

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      MissDre August 9, 2013, 2:40 pm

      Couldn’t agree more.

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      lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 2:46 pm

      We need to get over this mentality that other people’s lives (marriage, kids, abortion, gay marriage, WHATEVER) have anything to do with us.

      Love it.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson August 9, 2013, 3:07 pm

      I’ve decided I’m either not having kids or having 3. Weird? Yes.

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        painted_lady August 9, 2013, 3:10 pm

        I love your weirdness.

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        rachel August 9, 2013, 3:15 pm

        me too.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 9, 2013, 3:16 pm

        I love you both for loving my weirdness. Someone needs too. I’ve also decided if I do have them that I’m rapid firing them out. Like hopefully 3 in 3 years.

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      • Copa

        Copa August 9, 2013, 3:19 pm

        That’s like 3 years without a beer. 😮

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 9, 2013, 3:25 pm

        Oh I’ve thought about it. I don’t know for sure – but I could see me being that Canadian lady that has half a glass of wine at the end of the pregnancy. Probably not because I have catholic guilt issues, but I wish I could be that pregnant lady that acknowledges it has almost zero negative health benefits to have small amounts of alcohol at the end. I won’t. But man I wish I could. Also I’m only boobing it for 6 weeks.

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        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 3:29 pm

        We went out to eat with my gf who is pregnant a couple weeks ago. I “warned” Peter not to be surprised if she has a glass of wine with me. He was shocked. So glad I mentioned it first so he didn’t ogle at her or something. People are still worried about it, likely due just to ignorance.

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        GatorGirl August 9, 2013, 3:30 pm

        Pump and dump honey! You can drink some while breast feeding, you just dump the alcohol laced milk! (Also, it takes like 6 weeks to even get the hang of breastfeeding. At least stick it out for a quarter!)

        I’m totally going to be the prego woman who has the occasional drink. And I’ll eat lunch meat sometimes. Because I like to live on the edge.

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        kerrycontrary August 9, 2013, 4:07 pm

        My sister is SO cautious during her pregnancy it’s insane. Like she flips out if there’s a canteloupe around because it MIGHT touch something she touches and then she’ll get listeria and the baby will get listeria and die. She is actually worried like that. I can’t wait until she’s un-pregnant and I hope she goes back to normal. But she probably won’t because then she’ll just be a worried mom…My goal is to be so busy that I don’t have time to fret over my children.

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        GatorGirl August 9, 2013, 4:28 pm

        Holy smokes. That must be exhausting!

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        Amanda August 10, 2013, 1:55 pm

        I’m in my second trimester and I haven’t had the urge to drink. If I get the urge before the end of pregnancy, I will definitely have a glass of dry, red wine! Don’t listen to GG ;), 6 weeks is definitely long enough to breastfeed if that’s what works for you, if breastfeeding works at all. I don’t have a breastfeeding plan as I’m going to see what works, but my mom breastfed my sister and I for 2 weeks and we turned out fine. Formula is pretty awesome these days.

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        bethany August 9, 2013, 3:36 pm

        I plan on having a drink here and there while I’m pregnant, too. I don’t see what the big deal is.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 9, 2013, 3:23 pm

        I have another confession deleted thread style. Now that the fog has lifted from my DE (during Ethan) life I’ve discovered that my desire to have kids is essentially 100% dependent on whether they have a good father. Like DE I was totally against it, not because of him specifically, but I was never willing to pass on his genes. I entertained the idea of adopting kids because current mental breakdown aside, I think he’d be a good dad.

        But now with Colin I can see myself wanting to have actual mini mes. Calm down everyone I’m not baby crazy. But like when I look at MY future – I can see kids assuming they had a good Dad. That might not be Colin or it might not happen at all – but it’s like this switch went off where I remember what it’s like to even entertain the idea of kids. Like having sex, my desire to have kids is completely based on who I’m dating. I can’t bang people I’m fighting with and I can’t have kids with unstable partners. I could never be one of those women to “do it on my own”. Even if I was married I would never have kids with someone that didn’t want them MORE than me. Like I could be totally fulfilled without kids, but I want to have kids with someone that HAS to have them.

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        painted_lady August 9, 2013, 3:30 pm

        No, that makes sense. You get to decide what your deal-breakers are, and kids aren’t necessarily one of them. Walter felt that way as well – wasn’t absolutely set on kids wasn’t totally opposed.

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        TECH August 9, 2013, 3:31 pm

        I think that’s a very healthy attitude. You should only have kids with someone you think would make a great parent. Anything less than that could turn out to be a nightmare. I would like to have a baby with someone I know would be a great parent. But if I don’t find that person for whatever reason, I also don’t think I would be completely crushed. I can imagine a million different directions my life could go in, and I can imagine myself being happy with any one of those different paths.

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        GatorGirl August 9, 2013, 3:36 pm

        Totally makes sense. I didn’t want kids until GGuy and I started dating. Now I’m 110% on the baby bus.

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        bethany August 9, 2013, 3:38 pm

        DRINK.

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        GatorGirl August 9, 2013, 3:51 pm

        It’s Friday, I thought y’all might enjoy the early start 🙂

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        Megan_A_Mess August 9, 2013, 3:50 pm

        That makes total sense. I am decidedly against having children, but the only person I ever considered it with was my now husband. And that’s part of the reason that lead me to believe that he is the one for me. When my ex fiance and I broke up, he flat out told me he needed to have children to feel fulfilled. I didn’t. It’s not ever a role in my life that I pictured playing. So we broke up.

        Cue my mom asking me, after I had driven from AZ to MI by myself, nervous breakdown and all, “Doesn’t it bother you that he wants kids more than he wants you?” Actually mom, I had never thought of that, so thanks for pointing it out. And that lead to the drunkest June I can’t remember in my life.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay August 9, 2013, 5:31 pm

        I’ve thought that way too. I’m pretty sure I don’t want kids, but I’ve always said that if I got serious with someone who really wanted kids and seemed like a great father, I’d be open to it. I guess that’s a little tricky to navigate because I think it would be a bad idea for me to be with someone who really wants kids, so I’m not sure that I’d even want to test it, but I definitely understand the feeling.

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    Matcha August 9, 2013, 3:03 pm

    That proposal was so painful to watch.

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      Matcha August 9, 2013, 3:05 pm

      Thankfully, the awkwardness wasn’t real! I did think it was a little odd how the announcer kept pushing. Phew.

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        lets_be_honest August 9, 2013, 3:07 pm

        What is the point of that? Dumb prank if you ask me.

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        Matcha August 9, 2013, 4:54 pm

        I think so, too. As a minor league baseball team, is anyone going to see that and go, “Man, I really have to get tickets to go watch a game there!” Pfft.

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        MissDre August 9, 2013, 4:19 pm

        I was wondering that…. I actually thought it looked rather staged.

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      • Copa

        Copa August 9, 2013, 4:29 pm

        I’ve seen several videos like this where the guy proposes and the distraught girl runs away in tears. I suspect all of them are fake because I assume most couples discuss marriage/engagement before the proposal? And if they’re not fake, I have little sympathy for a guy who would propose like that. (Not a fan of public proposals.)

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle August 9, 2013, 3:04 pm

    So I couldn’t watch the proposal one with sound, but that looked terribly awkward. (And the mascot bopping around in the back just makes it worse… he’s like a one-man Greek chorus? only instead of reacting with song, he’s reacting with exaggerated arm motions. Just all-around so-bad-it’s-funny)

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  • peppers87

    peppers87 August 9, 2013, 3:20 pm

    Hey Wendy — Sarah Brown’s piece doesn’t have a link posted!

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  • Tracey

    Tracey August 9, 2013, 3:57 pm

    Re: “Is deciding to be childless selfish?”

    In a word: No. You know what is selfish? Someone daring to challenge a person’s major life decision and diminishing it because it doesn’t align with that person’s beliefs.

    In the child free/child bearing debate, this cuts both ways. Child free people (like myself) need to stop responding to the needling about having a child. Childbearing people need to understand that not everyone can and will have children. Both sides need to stop probing the other as to why they’ve made their choice. The answers, thought, and reasoning behind each decision is deeply personal and only the business of the individual.

    To each his/her own. Looking over one’s shoulder to watch (and try to control) what everyone else is doing keeps one from living one’s own life to the fullest.

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  • Lindsay

    Lindsay August 9, 2013, 5:26 pm

    I think that people who say not having kids is selfish mean less that the act of not having kids is selfish, but that a person who isn’t willing to give up whatever you have to give up to be a parent in order to put another person’s needs first is a selfish person.

    Not that I agree, especially as someone who doesn’t want children. Like some people have said, having kids is just as selfish because you’re making a decision based on what you personally want. It’s not like their orphans who need a home; they’re little people who wouldn’t even exist unless you choose to have them. And it’s VERY easy to be selfish as a parent. Sure, you might give up sleeping in or taking spontaneous vacations, and all the other things that a person has to give up to parent a child. But my and my friends’ parents all have this tendency to not look at any decision we make based on how it will affect us, but based on how it will affect them. If I tell my mom that I’m getting a new job or moving, the first thing she asks is how it’ll affect my next visit with her. I’m not saying all parents are like this, but being selfish and being a parent are certainly not mutually exclusive. A person is going to be selfish or selfless regardless of whether they choose to have children.

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      Megan_A_Mess August 10, 2013, 2:07 pm

      Your first paragraph is spot on. That’s why when people give me that line “selfish” line, I automatically launch into this long story about how I have already been a parent to my parents and I have been so SELFLESS, that I never really got anytime to be selfish. I never got to go out and party, or pick up and move, or pursue a long term college degree program. or just live on my own, really. I always had to put someone else’s needs before mine. And do that again, for the rest of my life, just because “that’s how it’s supposed to be” isn’t good enough of a reason for me.

      TL:DR – I get to be selfish now because those around me have been so in the past.

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  • AJ

    AJ August 11, 2013, 10:52 am

    I thought what’s selfish is to bring a child without having the necessary means to give that child a conducive start in life (stable household, food and housing, etc) all because ‘they have always wanted a big family’.

    This couple – who had not work in 7 years – with 6 kids are the perfect example. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2365312/Jobless-couple-claim-27-000-year-benefits-want-new-council-house-theyve-SIX-children-accident-living-bedroom-flat.html

    And please let me stress that I’m not saying people with depression or without jobs shouldn’t have kids. I’m saying that when you have more kids than you can care for, just for the sake of it, is way more selfish than not having any at all.

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