8 09/21/2012 parenting

Selfish? Hardly!

You’re here right? It’s UrbanMoms.  I’m guessing most of you reading this have kids (or I’ve harassed you into reading my work).  Maybe then this isn’t the most appropriate forum to unleash my fury.  But I don’t have boxing class for a few more days, so you’re going to get it.

The National Post, which I will note IS the paper that I subscribe to, posted an article about those selfish, selfish couples who choose not to have babies.  It’s.. I’m trying to think of a word but I can’t quite get one that gets across my outrage.  What a load of crap this article is.  
The author paints out couples who choose not to procreate as self-indulgent, yoga obsessed snobs.  Has he considered WHY these couples don’t have kids?  Here’s some ideas:
a. They don’t like kids.  Not everyone does.  I hate liver.  I’m not going to buy a cattle farm and eat liver, be surrounded by liver day in and day out.  Is that selfish? No.  It’s common sense.
b. They can’t afford it.  Some people actually consider finances before bringing kids into the world that they can’t afford to feed, clothe or look after properly.  That’s not selfish – it’s SMART.
c. They aren’t convinced this world is such a great place.  There are multiple times in a week where I think – ‘what will it be like for Will?’.  War, cancer, environmental damage, Justin Bieber…  What is this world coming to? Selfish or actually totally caring to choose not to bring another kid into that??  
Oh and Mr. Author whose name I won’t promote.  FYI.  I spent my 30s childless and was on the fence about having one at all.  Before I did, I spent 10 years looking after my grandmother.  I’m no martyr and I’m not looking for praise but I can tell you that it was emotionally draining and the opposite of selfish.  It would have been a major challenge to do what I’m doing now and look after her at the same time.  I wasn’t doing hot yoga everyday or jetting off to New York.  

383450_10151091453828884_1308390918_n (1).jpg

Such drivel.  Really drivel.  It makes me angry.  At what point can we all just agree to respect one another’s choices?  Someone told me when I was choosing to have Will that THAT was selfish.  That I was just doing it for myself and wasn’t thinking of him.  (Wow this kid looks miserable huh??)
So you couples (and singles) who choose not to have children?  I applaud you for knowing what you want (or rather, what you didn’t want).  
Soapbox.  Off.  
  • Danielle

    Hi Sara,
    I’m 25 and have never had a desire to have kids nor am I starting to feel any sort of desire yet. My reasons are all of the ones you mentioned plus I’m just terrified of the whole process. It’s just all really…unappealing.
    I AM open to one day adopting a child, preferably a Canadian child, but I want to be extremely established in a career and not have to worry about bills, etc. I don’t want to spoil the kid rotten but I want to be able to look after them well.
    Maybe my feelings towards having my own kids will change once I’m in a long term relationship but, somehow, I don’t think so.

  • Kath

    I used to think people who chose not to have children were weird. Now I admire them. There’s a lot of pressure out there in the world to conform to this social norm (married with children) and if you’re smart enough to know it’s not for you, and strong enough to stand by that choice, then good on you.
    I often remark that parenting is MUCH different than what I thought it would be, and MUCH harder and SO MUCH MORE emotionally charged. That’s not to say I would do it differently, because I desperately wanted children and I adore my daughters, but being a mom is still the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
    Selfish? Maybe smart…

  • Sonya

    exactly…it’s a personal choice and no one should judge. Everyone should just mind their own business, right?

  • Anonymous

    It’s a huge generalization. Who knows what reasons people have, not to mention
    those who are suffering in silence due to infertility etc. As usual, there are those
    who judge. I’m so sick of judges as they make assumptions about people without
    the facts. You’re judged as a single mother, you’re judged if your kids are adopted,
    you’re judged if you don’t fit into the tiny box that a handful of people fit into.
    ‘Walk a mile in another’s shoes’. Some people have to do a lot of walking before
    they develop compassion and acceptance.
    Totally with you on this Sara!!

  • Candy

    Was there a corresponding article about people who have children who really shouldn’t have? I know more people like that. Not enough money, not enough time, not enough love… it is more selfish to have children and then ignore them and their most basic needs.

  • Tracey

    I swear, I sometimes think these kinds of articles are just written to stir up a lot of crap. I mean, really. Uch.

  • Leslie

    Sara so well said!! Why would anybody write about something that was clearly based on judgment!! (something we try and teach our kids never to do, I might add). What if these couples can not have children….I say self absorb in your yoga all you want!!! Finally, there are often times I question myself on “what was I thinking” when having my kids. Perhaps these childless couples, just thought a little deeper!! Yes I love my kids and want to keep them forever, but parenting is not for everyone, I agree, good for these people to know what they want!!

  • Julie

    i guess i’m a bad person, too, cuz i don’t want a dog. how could i not want a dog????how could i not want one??? wow, that writer must not have kids. i sometimes wonder if i do…wait a minute….to late 😉
    my s.i.l. loves all of her nieces and nephews dearly but even i know from her personality she would go bonkers with little people of her own.
    the writer also probably hates when these same parents crowd the coffee shops with their strollers so they can sit and relax with a cup…SELFISHLY!!!

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