Author Topic: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her  (Read 18848 times)

Offline Brown Eyes

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,375
Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #60 on: March 09, 2011, 01:24:13 am »

But nobody gets  a paycheck for work-product that is consumerd only by themselves and their own families. If that were the case, men would be paid for fixing the roofs of their own homes, caulking their own windows, changing their own oil, etc.

Makes no sense.

For better or worse, there have been economists including John Maynard Keynes, who in the past have argued that wives and mothers should be compensated financially for the work they do.  It's a lot of labor that goes unrecognized in economic terms... and that by and large benefits men... since in not paying their wives, they (the husbands) don't have to pay others to do the work that they require to carry out their own lifestyles.

Please note that I'm commenting on this as a lesbian who does not believe in marriage as an institution.  But, it's an interesting argument.



the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline Kelda

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 14,683
  • Zorbing....
    • Keldas Facebook Page!
Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #61 on: March 09, 2011, 05:34:18 am »

My Mom is not subtle about putting pressure on me about my choice not to have kids (at least so far) and I'm 35 and a lesbian... so the odds are very slim really.  

Mothers around the world eh!?

My Mum is itching to have new grandkids. Both my Mum and my sister are ALWAYS making comments about when I'll have kids.. and then my nieces have heard it so often that they ask when they'll have cousins too.. this ramped up further when we moved to a bigger house back in August with three spare bedorroms:

"Wow Kelda - this would be a perfect nursery" "That space beside the front door would sit a pram nicely" etc etc...

So, around that time I told them that every time they mentioned me having kids I would add 3 months to my internal timeframe for thinking about starting to have a family.. that seems to have been fairly successful in warding off the annoying comments, given within the first few weeks I think I had about 3 years added on!!

:laugh: :laugh:

I have to say My sister is the worst and my oldest niece. My Mum has been quite good since my little talk.

I would say that any woman who has thought about the situation and taken the decision not to have kids is not so much selfish as more more self aware. Which is why this case is interesting to me.. I'd be inclined to say the woman in the article is far less self aware.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 10:15:29 am by Kelda »
http://www.idbrass.com

Please use the following links when shopping online -It will help us raise money without costing you a penny.

http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/idb

http://idb.easysearch.org.uk/

Offline Kelda

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 14,683
  • Zorbing....
    • Keldas Facebook Page!
Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #62 on: March 09, 2011, 05:36:31 am »
As someone who's childless by choice, I've concluded that some use 'I'm too selfish to be a good parent' because it ends the conversation right there.

Agreed. I've said that - or the classic line: "I have enough trouble looking after my cat never, mind a child!"
http://www.idbrass.com

Please use the following links when shopping online -It will help us raise money without costing you a penny.

http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/idb

http://idb.easysearch.org.uk/

Offline serious crayons

  • Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,211
Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #63 on: March 09, 2011, 09:44:16 am »
But nobody gets  a paycheck for work-product that is consumerd only by themselves and their own families. If that were the case, men would be paid for fixing the roofs of their own homes, caulking their own windows, changing their own oil, etc.

Makes no sense.

For better or worse, there have been economists including John Maynard Keynes, who in the past have argued that wives and mothers should be compensated financially for the work they do.  It's a lot of labor that goes unrecognized in economic terms... and that by and large benefits men... since in not paying their wives, they (the husbands) don't have to pay others to do the work that they require to carry out their own lifestyles.

Domestic work, especially caring for one's own children, carries benefits beyond one's own family that our culture exploits but does not compensate. For example:

-- Most good jobs require working at least 40 hours a week; some many more than that. In many jobs, the "ideal" employee is one who is available for work whenever necessary, can travel on short notice, etc. This is incompatible with raising children. If one spouse is caring for kids while the other is working a demanding job, then the working partner as well as his/her employers are benefiting from the caregiver's labor.

-- Our schools, among other institutions, rely on unpaid volunteer work performed during daytime hours, usually by people who are also proving unpaid caregiving at home. If those people weren't around, the schools would have to hire people to do those jobs and taxes would increase.

Well, you might argue, why not just not have kids? Then everybody could be available for their jobs 24/7 and there would be no need for schools at all. Of course that's a hypothetical extreme -- people will continue to have children no matter what (outside of some science-fiction scenario). But also, an aging population depends on the availability of younger people: to contribute to Social Security, to innovate, to operate the nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.


Marge_Innavera

  • Guest
Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #64 on: March 09, 2011, 09:51:12 am »
Agreed. I've said that - or the classic line: "I have enough trouble looking after my cat never, mind a child!"

Yes; but the "I'm too selfish" schtick gives the listener a nice little glow of totally unearned superiority.

Offline Monika

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,586
  • We are all the same. Women, men, gay, straight
Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #65 on: March 09, 2011, 09:51:44 am »
Agreed. I've said that - or the classic line: "I have enough trouble looking after my cat never, mind a child!"

My line is: I canīt even keep a cactus alive.(which I really canīt)

Marge_Innavera

  • Guest
Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #66 on: March 09, 2011, 09:54:43 am »
My line is: I canīt even keep a cactus alive.

We've never been asked to babysit -- for which I'm sure are good and sufficient reasons -- but if we ever should be, we'd have to make a full disclosure; i.e., if the house catches fire, we rescue the dogs first.    :laugh:

Offline serious crayons

  • Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,211
Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #67 on: March 09, 2011, 10:23:06 am »
I've seen this quite a bit.  I work where I can read reports on families with children who have genetic problems.  These children suffer horribly, will probably die before they're adults and the doctors simply shake their heads - outside from where the parents can see them, of course - and wonder why these people continue to have children even though they know the risks to their offspring.  Because you see, if you cast any kind of aspersion on someone's desire to have children - no matter how misguided their reasons will be - you will likely get verbally stoned by society.

That seems kind of extreme, though. I mean, if the doctors are shaking their heads to other people, then presumably those other people aren't stoning them. Maybe the doctors aren't shaking their heads where the parents can see them not out of fear of getting verbally stoned by the parents for having un-PC ideas about procreation, but out of a professional reluctance to blame the families for their patients' health problem. I'm not saying the parents made the right decision. I'm just saying that a doctor saying, essentially, "This is all your fault -- you should never have had kids in the first place" is probably not considered ideal bedside manner.

I don't know anything about these cases. But I would bet that the parents had hoped, however foolishly, to beat the genetic odds. And if they didn't, they're no doubt suffering considerably, too.

Quote
They love children!  It's an inalienable right!  How dare you criticize them for having children?!?!  And the kids suffer and suffer and suffer and I cannot imagine why these parents can't be locked up for child abuse.

People continue to have children even when they cannot feed their children because it's a mark of their manhood or womanhood.  And they'd rather sacrifice the children they have - their lives sometimes - than go against their status in their society.

I find myself thinking that whenever I see those "Save the Children" commercials.  You see this tiny child living in appalling conditions and I wonder why her mother and father even thought to bring a child into their world.

It's interesting to see the kinds of pressures felt by people who don't have children. I really don't think the pressures are that great in my community (and by community, I mean friends, family, coworkers, etc., as well as geographic neighbors). I know lots and lots of people who don't have kids, including straight, married couples (for whom it would have been relatively easy and "expected"), including several close friends, my thrice-married step-mother, and my three female cousins, now in their 50s, who grew up very traditionally on a farm in Iowa and have all been married, two of them for decades. I've never heard of anybody saying anything about these people's non-breeding (not that I'd know about all family conversations, of course).

I myself never felt any pressure, and I had my first child at almost 37. On the contrary, when I told my dad I was pregnant, his first question was, "Are you going to ... have it?" Which even I have to admit seems odd to ask, given that I was married, healthy and financially secure! Maybe he just didn't want me to make the same mistake he did. :laugh:



Offline serious crayons

  • Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,211
Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #68 on: March 09, 2011, 10:40:55 am »
The other thing about the "selfish" issue is, if a person who doesn't have any kids is selfish, then isn't a person who only has one or two kids at least somewhat selfish, compared to a person who has more than that? Is there some kind of moral obligation to have as many kids as you can, in order to give life to as many other people as possible?

Of course not. In fact, the opposite is far more arguably true now that planetary resources are strained.

Historically, people had kids for "selfish" reasons -- they needed workers around the house/farm/business, and needed someone to care for them in old age. Only in recent times have we shifted our views about parenting, and come to see it (culturally, I mean) as an act of love in which the effort is supposed to go almost entirely in one direction, from parent to kid. Kids should not be required to do more than a few basic chores, and parents should not be a "burden" to their children when they get old.


Offline milomorris

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 6,426
  • No crybabies
Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #69 on: March 09, 2011, 11:17:08 am »
Domestic work, especially caring for one's own children, carries benefits beyond one's own family that our culture exploits but does not compensate.

So what's next? Do we compensate children for playing nicely together because they grow up to be caring citizens? Since when "should" we pay people to do the right thing?

I understand the corporate, institutional, and social benefits that emerge when there is a population of families where one parent can stay home. At the same time, that parent sees benefits too.

- Employers are compensating stay-home parents. The worker gets paid enough to provide for his/her family, otherwise both parents would need to work. Additionally, most employers who offer health/dental/vision/life insurance have plans that offer family coverage. Beyond that, employers who offer retirement plans create the possibility--in the event of the death of the employee--for the stay-home partner to obtain funds that were generated by both the company and the employee.

- As far as volunteering goes, non-profits (correctly) tell us about the benefits volunteering brings to the volunteer. Volunteering offers (among other things) the opportunity to help one's community, positive human interaction, and networking possibilities. For example, I was looking for additional work back in 2003. David suggested that I volunteer for the Republican candidate because, as he put it, "Republicans either have companies that need employees, or know someone who does," He was right. After one week of volunteering on the phone bank making get-out-the-vote calls, the campaign manager offered me a paid part-time position working in one of the neighborhood offices. That in turn led to a full-time job offer with the marketing firm that was supporting the campaign. As I have heard a United Way leader say, "Volunteering is its own benefit."
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.