Friday, February 13, 2009

'Child Free By Choice' by a Child Had By Chance

On one of the lovely Rebecca Woolf's most recent blog posts, she touched on the topic of 'responsible breeding.' Very timely, since the world has been aflame with questions and judgements about a certain woman who recently gave birth to a certain batch of octuplets thus filling out her already full family into a family of 14. If that isn't crazy enough in itself, add to the fact that said woman is currently jobless, recieving government assistance, and pretty much burdening her own mother (the children's grandmother) by filling her humble home to the seams with her offspring. OH, and also keep in mind that she used settlement money to pay for IVF in order to concieve her newest broad of babies. Settlement money that probably should have been used to help support her six other children, but then recent interviews with this lady have led me to believe that her common sense is well...lacking.

So there's that bit of current events for you to make your mind up on (personally I found it selfish and irresponsible both on her part and her doctors who should have their liscences revoked).

Woolf also brought up the Child-Free By Choice movement. Its a more recent movement involving people that have made up their minds to not bring children into the world. Simple enough right?

Well, upon further inspection of their site ( if you're so inclined) I began to form more of my own opinions about the whole topic. And will go on record as stating-

I am 100% supportive of a persons right to choose. I guess I'm pretty liberal if you want to go that far. BUT (and there are a lot of 'buts' on this topic for me), reading that site and coming across things like countless lists of why being child-free is just so excellent (using points that are both INSANELY close-minded and superficial as well as false), derogitory terms used to refer to people that have children and children themselves while putting themselves on pedistals, and an overall hateful elitist tone made me skeptical if not angry.
I have always respected people who have told me they 'just don't want kids'. Whether that stance is temporary or permanent, I'm not going to question their motives or try to convince them otherwise. That would be rather annoying on my part. At the same time I can't help but wonder what exactly sites filled with an 'us versus them' mentality like the aforementioned are trying to prove.
Don't want to have kids? Great. Don't. I believe people that know themselves enough to know their limits are being responsible and that is commendible. However, why must people judge ME and MY child for MY choice.
I carried an unplanned pregnancy to term and thus I am now the mother to my son Jack. Before discovering I was pregnant, I was undecided on my stance regarding childbearing. 'Maybe I'll have one, maybe I won't. I'm going to enjoy my life regardless. '
And then the choice was made for me.
People have asked me if I had ever thought of abortion when I found I was pregnant. I was young (19) , un-married, recently un-employed and just overall unready. I have answered them openly and honestly with a 'yes'. The fact that I was very (and am) very much in love with Jacks father, and the fact that he wanted to go through the pregnancy made me leave the option of abortion behind. We decided to go it together, no matter what.
My history aside, I can completely understand why people choose not to have kids. It IS hard, relentless, tiring and at times you feel you may unravel. On the other hand it is (for me) one of the most rewarding experiences ever filled with unconditional love and new perspectives. This isn't always the case for some (I've seen cynics turn into lambs and lambs turn into cynics when i comes to babies) and I'm not going to say that being a parent is all sunshine and rainbows or that the world starts and ends with my baby. I have been guilty of rolling my eyes at soccer-moms, martyr-moms and mommy-and-me-moms. I have let a snarky sigh and under-my-breath-but-audible sentiments escape my throat when seeing women assume that their child is precious enough to run rampant in a restaurant.
BUT as someone who goes to great lengths to make sure her child is well-behaved and not annoying a soul, I'd feel as though I'd be free of being lumped into the oblivious parent cliche sites like CFBC have coined. Alas, not the case. So here I am feeling pissed off and just as judgemental of CFBCers (ones that frequent sites like that anyway).
I suppose it all boils down to respect. Respect me and I'll respect you. Roll your eyes at me when I walk into Starbucks JUST because I have my son in my arms, and you'll probably meet my bitch hand. Don't be a patronizing ass and I'll try my best to make sure my son doesn't let out a scream in the midst of a restuarant (I'll also NOT be bringing my son to non-family oriented restuarant during prime-time hours). You get what you give.
I'll continue to raise a respectful son if you give me the benefit of the doubt to do so.

Thanks an that's the end of this tirade.