Author Topic: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her  (Read 20278 times)

Offline Lynne

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2011, 04:34:38 pm »
I had several points, guys.   ;D

One point though:  the woman didn't abandon her children.  She just became the non-custodial parent.  She still sees her kids and is involved.

Yes, that's how I read the article as well.  I believe it stated that she has a better/more involved relationship with her children now.

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Quite a few men are in this position.  One of my points as Milo noted directly.  This is so common for men, it doesn't even make news or even blip people's consciences.  But this woman is dragged through the mud by the comment makers for doing the same.  Double standard.

Not a blip unless the man isn't paying child support and sometimes not even then.

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Yes, children are not a car or a house.  But how do you 'try out' kids first, to know if you will or won't be a good parent?  Babysitting?  Not quite the same thing.  And it took her five years to come to her decision.  There is nothing that she could have done to determine whether she would or wouldn't be a good mother.

So while I'm sure plenty of people consider how children will effect their lives, they can't know the reality of it until they actually do do it, then of course, it's too late.

I have several friends who are mothers who now tell me - because I asked bluntly - that although they love their children and do not regret them, there's no way they would do it again.  They are great parents.  They just didn't realize how little time and energy would be left for themselves post-children.  Of two women I'm thinking of specifically - one works outside the home and the other is a stay-at-home mom.  I imagine some of those feelings are related to the extent of the involvement they feel our society dictates they must have to maintain their status as 'good moms'.

When I was growing up, my mother was involved as much as she could be, but I only had a couple of extra-curricular activities that required her presence weekly or for her to drive me...not six days out of seven, which seems to be the norm now.

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And no one should subjugate their lives for ANYone else.  Sure, kids should be a top priority, but they shouldn't be the be-all, end-all priority.

I agree.  Definitely having children is an enormous responsibility that should not be entered into lightly.  But at the same time, it should not become the whole of your existence for a couple of reasons.  I'm mostly speaking from personal experience here - one data point doesn't make a trend - but by-and-large, children emulate their parents, no matter what their parents 'teach' them.  It would have been nice to have parents who also put their own health and personal development on par with that of their children.  Also, children are supposed to grow up and make lives of their own - healthy birds leave the nest.  That's a damned hard thing to do for a young adult when they're looking at a parent - particularly a single parent - who essentially has no life outside of them.

And as for both parents needing to be involved for emotional development, extending even to the child abuser or addict, I'd like to see more studies done.  There's no way my common sense buys that a child is better off maintaining a relationship with a parent who is unfit, especially while that child is still developing emotionally, and maybe not even afterward.
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Offline Kelda

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2011, 05:00:13 pm »
For me though it was interesting why she is not the custodial parent. Not because she didn't want to be/couldn't be with her husband but that she didn't want to be with her kids full time. What about her husbands needs and wants outside of being a Dad?

I understand you can't try out parenting. But she's obviously a smart woman.. she's got to ihave n the back of her mind when she deicded to have kids.. "This might not be what I enjoy when I am actually doing it", but she took that decision anyway and for me anyway, that's the point.

She took the decision so she should stand by it in my opinion and do her fair share. For me, I'd be saying the same thing if it was the husband.

But I can see where you gusy are coming from saying that many people wouldn't think like that if it was the husband.

I had several points, guys.   ;D

One point though:  the woman didn't abandon her children.  She just became the non-custodial parent.  She still sees her kids and is involved.

Quite a few men are in this position.  One of my points as Milo noted directly.  This is so common for men, it doesn't even make news or even blip people's consciences.  But this woman is dragged through the mud by the comment makers for doing the same.  Double standard.

Yes, children are not a car or a house.  But how do you 'try out' kids first, to know if you will or won't be a good parent?  Babysitting?  Not quite the same thing.  And it took her five years to come to her decision.  There is nothing that she could have done to determine whether she would or wouldn't be a good mother.

So while I'm sure plenty of people consider how children will effect their lives, they can't know the reality of it until they actually do do it, then of course, it's too late.

And no one should subjugate their lives for ANYone else.  Sure, kids should be a top priority, but they shouldn't be the be-all, end-all priority.
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Offline Lynne

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2011, 05:20:00 pm »
For me though it was interesting why she is not the custodial parent. Not because she didn't want to be/couldn't be with her husband but that she didn't want to be with her kids full time. What about her husbands needs and wants outside of being a Dad?

I understand you can't try out parenting. But she's obviously a smart woman.. she's got to ihave n the back of her mind when she deicded to have kids.. "This might not be what I enjoy when I am actually doing it", but she took that decision anyway and for me anyway, that's the point.

She took the decision so she should stand by it in my opinion and do her fair share. For me, I'd be saying the same thing if it was the husband.

But I can see where you gusy are coming from saying that many people wouldn't think like that if it was the husband.

Yes, the article didn't really go into any details about why they divorced, so we're left to wonder if that was also because of her career move and change-of-heart, or if there were other marital issues.  I don't think we have enough information to know one way or the other definitely.  Those would have been good questions to ask, including how her husband felt/feels about being left with the children - it could range the gamut from ecstatic to completely used and taken advantage of...
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Offline delalluvia

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2011, 07:31:31 pm »
Yes, the article didn't really go into any details about why they divorced, so we're left to wonder if that was also because of her career move and change-of-heart, or if there were other marital issues.  I don't think we have enough information to know one way or the other definitely.  Those would have been good questions to ask, including how her husband felt/feels about being left with the children - it could range the gamut from ecstatic to completely used and taken advantage of...

The woman hinted that the marriage had not been working for sometime, he was an ex-pilot or something.

Interesting conundrum.  What if neither parent wanted to parent full-time?  That's where this mother would have no choice but to accept joint custody, I suppose.

That friend of mine, a teacher, made mention of a family - mother and father are surgeons - who wanted their daughter to go to a ritzy private school 30 some odd miles from their home.  They apparently were too busy to drive her themselves, so they paid the extra $10s of thousands of dollars to board her at the school.  i.e. not come home unless they had time for her.  And she is only 30 minutes from home.

Offline Marina

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2011, 08:29:48 pm »
I thought this was interesting as well - apparently this woman bought in to the societal pressure that a woman should become a mother, and found out it wasn't for her after all.   I don't fault her; I think the children would benefit more by having a happy mother than one who put her own needs a human being last.   While I don't think it's acceptable by society, men sometimes do abandon their families, and a lot of the time have generally a lesser presence in their childrens' lives.  I do know of a few instances where the husbands "man up" and assume full responsibility for their children, one where the mother couldn't handle having a handicapped child, left the family and her husband assumed the full raising of the child, and did a damn good job from what I hear.

That said, once you have children, you have a big responsibility.   I do think it is true that a lot of people don't realize how big a responsibility it is until they become parents themselves.   A two career couple might be wise to consider what it is they really want in life, because I don't think one can have everything in this life.   That's another false bill of goods that we're sold.    You have to make choices.   It also doesn't always have to fall squarely with the woman, some men are nurturers and some women are not.

Parenthood isn't, and shouldn't be, for everyone.   Just one look at some of the newspaper headlines about abused and neglected children tells us this.
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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2011, 12:25:24 am »
no, exactly the opposite.  The lack of contact with a noncustodial parent is detrimental:  TO THE CHILDREN.  I would have thought from the context and the way I restated it a couple of times, that this is what is meant.

You stated it just fine and I got it. We're in agreement here, take a deep breath........................... ;)

Brad

Offline louisev

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2011, 02:21:46 am »
You stated it just fine and I got it. We're in agreement here, take a deep breath........................... ;)

Brad

forgive me if i missed the too-subtle innuendo criticizing 'others here'  -maybe instead of dragging me into your criticism you can just talk directly to the people you disagree with.
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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2011, 02:51:00 am »
I sometimes see women suffering because of their parental commitments.  I don't just mean exhaustion at the end of a long day, but real turmoil because they aren't free to do the other things they want.  I feel really lucky - I want to be a full time mom.  But as I have said many times, it's a good thing I didn't start parenting in my 20s or probably even my 30s - I would have been one of those women chafing.  I was still too selfish.


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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2011, 11:50:58 am »
For me though it was interesting why she is not the custodial parent. Not because she didn't want to be/couldn't be with her husband but that she didn't want to be with her kids full time. What about her husbands needs and wants outside of being a Dad?

Again to Del's point -- if the genders were reversed I doubt we'd be reading any speculation re 'his wife's needs and wants outside of being a Mom'. 

And you rarely hear of men with families whose careers consume their time described as selfish. On the contrary, if they spend any time at all with their kids they're praised for being involved.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #39 on: March 08, 2011, 12:06:53 pm »
And you rarely hear of men with families whose careers consume their time described as selfish. On the contrary, if they spend any time at all with their kids they're praised for being involved.

That's true, up to a point. But men who take time off work to care for their kids are also sometimes penalized in the workplace. Women are, too, which is why mothers pay a wage penalty compared to both men and women who don't have kids. But those women are considered bad workers but good mothers. Men who forgo work for kids are sometimes considered bad workers AND bad fathers because they aren't "good providers." So for example, even in companies that offer paternity leave, men are afraid to take it.

Our assumptions regarding gender roles, parenting and work are very screwed up, and both men and women pay the price.