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accidental breeders

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Aug. 21st, 2008 | 06:56 pm
posted by: shannonmariah in badparents

Hi. First-time poster. Here's what I have to say today ... why I should be and am part of the badparents community:

Holy frick; I could have written this paragraph:

Bennet-Speer says she'd never been very interested in children, but had assumed she'd have them because "that's what you do, get married and have kids." When she met her husband and he told her he didn't want to be a father, it hit her that parenthood was a choice, and she didn't have to choose it. "It sounded perfect to me," she says. "I truly was fine with [not having kids] as soon as he suggested it as a possibility."

I found this in a Salon article. It's SO interesting.

Yeah, when we were dating (actually, I think Steve waited until we were engaged to drop the bomb) and Steve confessed that he had no desire to have children, it was if he had just told me he didn't think we should breathe anymore. And it's funny that I even thought that way, because I remember telling my mom growing up that I wouldn't be having any children. At first I was just voicing a desire, and when it got such a negative reaction, I kept it up to piss her off. Partly I didn't think any man would ever want me, and partly I just really had zero interest in children. I still don't really. I mean, not in a maternal way. I have never been interested in holding people's babies. Until I had Emma and then started teaching, children scared me.

Steve's anti-child campaign really made me question my own desire to have kids. After a year or so I realized that I didn't want kids either; I was just following The Plan. (Not God's or anything, but the mandate of society to settle down, buy a home and breeeeeed. Yanno?) Once I started to play around with the idea of having a choice, I really started to get used to and excited over the idea of a child-free life.

And then I went off the pill because I'm drug-phobic. And for almost a year I charted my body's comings and goings, and then one Boxing Day 2001 we got frisky (the rents had just left and we had a curtain for a bedroom door and a shoe box for a house), and I had neglected to check my fluids that morning and thought really -- in a healthy woman at any given time there only like a 33% chance -- so what the hell: let's just do IT. And WHAMO: along comes our little Emmie. And I love her, I mean ... well ... I could have written this part too:

"You will find women who say, on the one hand, 'I love my children, they're profoundly fulfilling and I can't imagine not having had them.' But on the other hand they'll say, 'Boy, this is really stressful."

And we took Emma to Wal-Mart tonight. Which, really, is always a bad decision. Have you ever seen a happy family at Wal-Mart that makes you think "Golly gee! Those little whippersnappers are so gosh darnn adorable that I'd sure like to make some of my own!" No; I've only seen the "screaming and out of control" variety. The ones that make you SO glad you get to go home, walk to your bedroom without worry of stepping on Polly Pocket limbs, and take a NAP!

Anyway. I honestly DO love Emma. She's beautiful and amazing and I can't believe that she's mine and part of me. And then there are days when ... fuck: I can't believe she's mine and part of me.

Oh my little munchie-munch ... don't be damaged by this when you read it. Your mother adores you and is doing the freaking best that she can. But this is seriously the HARDEST thing she's EVER had to do. And I just want to do it so well that it paralyzes me sometimes. I'm super glad you're alive and part of my life. It doesn't stop me from being overwhelmed, unfortunately. And tired. And seriously lacking a social life. And longing for naps. And impatient in Wal-Mart. 

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Comments {27}

like fine china

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from: martina_d
date: Aug. 22nd, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
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It's so refreshing to be in a community where parents can actually say that without a cyber-bitchslap! It's just not all fun and games, and I don't think people really tell you that before you do it. Or, you don't hear it... =)

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DreamWeaver

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from: dreamweaver523
date: Aug. 22nd, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
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oh I completely TOTALLY agree with you. I am not perfect. My children are not perfect. My grandkid is not perfect. I have days where I want to close my door and read and not worry about soccer practices or volleyball games or kindergarten supplies or dinner. Now that the youngest kid is 13, I do that sometimes. She doesn't appear any the worse for wear.

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shannon

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from: shannonmariah
date: Aug. 22nd, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
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I don't think, traditionally, the generation before us really did talk about the hardest parts of parenting. And, yeah, if they did, we didn't hear it. But I really believe that's changing. Take this community, for instance!

Talking about it takes the isolation and loneliness of those dark spaces away, I think. I'm so thankful to be able to talk about it in safe places.

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DreamWeaver

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from: dreamweaver523
date: Aug. 22nd, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
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agreed....and yes, this is a great place.

I do know my mom has pointed out to me that the pill became available and that's why I am her last baby LOL She didn't say it in a nasty, bad way or anything, but yeah, she was DONE.

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Crash Test Mommy

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from: popchex
date: Aug. 22nd, 2008 04:07 am (UTC)
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hahah I can just imagine that conversation. "Why did you stop after me?" "Why honey, that's when the Pill came out *blissful smile*"

Compared to my conversation with my mom - why am I here? The pill doesn't work for everyone. hahah :P (Although I'm sure I'm more a product of user error than failure!)

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