Ever since TIME magazine published an article about how great it is not to have kids, women on both sides of the fence have been chipping with their two cents (or twenty dollars, depending on the article).
One of these opeds I found particularly entertaining and borderline offensive. Jill Filipovic began her article attacking conservative women for having the audacity to think children are a blessing and joy to have in the home.
According to Filipovic, having children is selfish and mean because how dare you impose your religion and principles on others?!
At one point, the author even went so far as to compare childrearing with eating sushi or skydiving, just another adventure to try that may not work for everyone. While I agree not everyone is meant to be a parent, I would argue that the decision to raise a child moves beyond deciding where to have dinner on Saturday night.
Then there’s the argument that children don’t belong in the world because potential parents might abuse them.
And by the way, I would be very curious to hear more about this “compulsory parenthood” that is being forced upon women like Jill. In my opinion, women in the United States are being pushed in the very opposite direction as we push for HPV vaccines on younger and younger girls and tell junior high students they don’t need parental consent to get an abortion.
This doesn’t mean everyone should just stop having kids (like this guy), rather we should step up to the plate and take responsibility for well being and growth of our children. I don’t have children right now, but I grew up in a family of seven, and I understand the importance of a stable environment. While many question my parents’ choice to have so many children and there are days keeping them all in line is tough, I know my parents love us and consider us a huge blessing.
Miss Filipovic may have been well intentioned in calling parents who choose to have large families selfish, but in my opinion, choosing to bring a life into the world and raise that child to adulthood is perhaps the least selfish thing a person can do. Parents are daily (and even hourly) laying down their lives for their children.
I would agree with Filipovic that “making choices that center on our own needs and desires isn’t selfish. It’s radical. It’s transformational.” ……………until you’re about 18.
Right about then, the world somehow ceases to revolve around what you want and starts telling you to grow up. If you’re lucky, this process starts much sooner.
Miss Filipovic, I will not judge you for choosing to remain childless, especially here in America, that choice is up to you. But do me a favor and don’t make the mistake of thinking everyone with more than one kid hates you for being different.