Thursday, March 31, 2016

Having Kids is Too Hard Today: The Child Free Movement


I've gone to read the Brat-free board before. It's not always a pleasant place. Some of these child-free by choice people brag of their ability to go on vacations and do everything their hearts desire but I wonder how many choose to be child-free due to the sheer lack of money. That's one thing if a millennial is never going to be able to afford his own apartment or make money that actually feeds himself, the idea of having children is going to be put on the back shelf. Time magazine makes being child-free look like a choice of wealthy couples who want to lay on the beach, but for many people it is a "choice" coming from economic pressures and poverty.

I was mostly infertile--never had periods unless forced by drugs like birth control or Provera for twenty years. Though oddly when I went on insulin I suddenly started getting periods all the time and the doctors warned me for the first time in twenty years I am fertile, but I am way too sick to get pregnant.  Some of them seemed confused why insulin brought all the periods back. They never told me why. When you are over 45 the chances for a healthy woman to get pregnant are less then 5 percent, but it's something I didn't need looming over my head. Being this old, I am glad I did not pass down being 700lbs and having severe Lipedema/PCOS and other problems to a child. I hit a wall on my adoption search, but my Lipedema had to come from some where. Rare genetic diseases don't pop up out of nowhere. Even in this woman's case, I believe there is definitely going to be one child with a severe weight problem.

Years ago, I was not in any place to have children. Since meeting old classmates, it has boggled my mind how they got their lives so together so quickly having children in most cases in their early 20s. Well they had normal bodies, were allowed to date and did not have insane parents. As I starved and ate ramen noodles and lived out of milk-crates, they were having babies and beginning careers with actual futures. Now they are having grandchildren. I ask myself, "How did they have the money?" I never would have. Most were married and there were secure jobs in the mix even by that age but I went to an upper middle class high school in a traditional mid-sized town. Facebook can suck, they are even planning the 30 year old reunion, but I don't plan to go. I'm definitely the poorest one by far, I weigh 500lbs. There's a classmate in prison for attempted murder so maybe I'm not the absolute lowest on the totem pole but even that one had children and one day will have grandchildren.

The Child-free movement board talk about the "entitled moos" Mothers and obstinate "duhs" or Dads, parenthood seems to be trophy time among many today. Children have become trophies. I saw this among my relatives to the max. Instead of any punks or goths, obedient Eagle scouts and band nerds have predominated in my family. The child-free are sick of the bragging, and the "special rights". I don't blame them. Watching so many people treat children like trophies and like they became something special just because they had sex and bred like millions of others, has gotten especially cloying over these last ten years.

Parenting for some has become about bragging rights. You see this on Facebook where the endless achievements of everyone's children are touted. They are always winning sports awards, getting good grades or doing sell-out plays. I saw one narcissistic ex-wife of a cousin, even post her entire kid's report card. Many of these narcissists deserved drugged out sneering pot-head teens and got kids that look like they came out of a catalog. Children to many are like items on a life resume, get good ones who get good jobs, and good-looking grandchildren:  Instant bragging rights! Life for child-free ACONs like myself can be especially hell on earth as new babies are cooed over and parents congratulated and seen as full adults while you never are.

                                          I can't figure this guy out, is he being sarcastic, for real? Tongue in cheek?

Many child-free people including myself, know what it is like to be told, that you matter less because you did not have children. Some parents directly say this. I was told that I mattered less to my face because I never had breeded, infertility, health problems and others not withstanding.  My brother even admitted I mattered less because I never had children. How was I supposed to pop out babies when I was dying of sepsis and weighed near 700lbs and hadn't had a period since I was 19 years old? Most women with severe PCOS with far better health then me have to dish out tens of thousands of dollars on fertility treatments.  Our too short 9 years of working class stability still would have made having children near impossible as we were buried in medical bills and I couldn't even breath.  Churches back this up too, they bring the already overly congratulated mothers to the front of the room on Mother's day and give them presents. They hold special dinners for them. They tell you "be fruitful and multiply" and that your main worth as a woman is to have children. Non-mothers in this equation don't matter.  The child-free including me are kind of sick of it all. You can see the pain underneath the angry stances on the Child-free boards.

Families themselves have become idolized, the Duggars with their 19 children are a fertility cult held up as examples to emulate. Otherwise what is special about them beyond the ability to breed so much? Not much. All their grown children seem to be following in the parents footsteps. There's a reason that even after the scandals they kept them on TV.

Some of the child-free do seem overly resentful of crying babies and seem to have Republican stances, that anyone who is poor made "bad choices" and should not have children. I have marveled myself though at extremely poor people having gobs of children, knowing the realities of the welfare system. It doesn't pay out that much anymore and how did they take care of them all? It seems being a parent today would be very hard. American society is not set up to take care of children especially ever since men and woman got caught up in the feminist two for one deal. A workaholic society set up for constant competition and endless moving is not setting up a stable crucible for children. The expectations on parents when there is no extended family or "village" to help out are insane.

It seems a lot of people get into parenthood now knowing what it is all about. I had no such illusions. I worked in day care centers, was a teacher, and was even basically an " in loco parentist" being a group home "family teacher" and residential counselor for several years. I knew babies meant hours and hours of no sleep, puking, clean-ups, constant diaper changing and scary illness. Teens [well I had the most crazed versions of them] meant arguments, confrontations, lack of impulse control and other insanity. Motherhood because of the work I did, didn't have this filmy haze over it of Kodak Moments. I knew parenthood took cash and stamina, I simply never had. Even being infertile all those years, I was doubling up on birth control to hedge my bets. I was on a drug that caused severe birth defects too for over 15 years so that made the vigilance even more important.

In the back of mind too, since I was basically raised by a sociopath with the feelings of a rock, I also knew that parenthood would be more problematic for me. My husband says he thinks I would have been a good mother and marvels still at watching me teach some little kids art once which I did at a volunteer gig.  One odd thing about life now is I spent my 20s surrounded literally by children and teens and now I'm one of those old curmudgeons who definitely doesn't understand the "young" world anymore.

Many of the posts on child-free boards, talk about how people find parenthood to be very hard. They talk about how some parents post on the internet that they didn't know what they were getting into. They are in shock and traumatized about how everything is so complicated. I believe some stances about parenting today have made it more difficult. All the helicopter parenting where one must hover over their child ever second, seems exhausting beyond belief. The constant working and lack of time and ability to have a decent home life, makes having children even harder.  The child-free board are right about the  weird worship of "natural child birth" where in reality in the old days many women died of it, and about the hidden physical effects of giving birth. There is a strain of martyrship in "mommyhood" that seems toxic to the max and it's not about taking care of the kids but about showing off. They rant about the bad parents who don't teach children right from wrong, or in respecting others and enable behavior. In a growing narcissistic society, having calm children who are taught to respect others, is growing far more rare.

Some people have children today for the wrong reasons. It seems some have children so they won't be alone and if you get into it, expecting the kid to meet your needs then it is a recipe for disaster. Some say have children so you are not alone and old! Even that isn't always a guarantee since the kids can move away or die before you or even go no contact if you are a rotten parent. I often wondered thought my own narcissistic parents had children because they "were supposed to" but actually did not enjoy children or their demands. We bothered them. They probably would have been happier people child-free. Maybe not. They needed their trophies. Hopefully now with birth control so common, more people who should not have children won't. A lot of the narcissists out there get disappointed because it seems many believe they will have little Mini-Mes. DNA doesn't work that way. Perhaps some of us ACONs who remained child-free missed a bullet, in giving birth to someone who may have matched the rest of the family or had their tendencies. My DNA connection to my own family is dubious, but I had the thought, "What if I had a kid, and it got the personality of my mother?"

So while I am not technically child-free by choice, one can see the themes out there. Many young people are choosing not to have children because this society is not set up properly anymore for the nurturing of children. They are too broke and poor and can barely take care of themselves. Or if rich enough, they are made to work long hours with everything dedicated to the career. They know having children is very hard today. The money, time and stamina are short in supply even for the healthy and able. The relationships and marriages don't last long enough and in the land of throw-away people, things aren't as stable. Our world and society are growing harder, more cold and difficult to survive in. Having children is not as easy at it used to be and the narcissism is making for children to be treated like trophies, badly educated with negative character training where many people who are without children in society simply don't want to deal with them.

I even think of a bible verse when I think of today's child-free movement:

Luke 21:23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

The times have come now where people don't want children. Even as the churches idolize families and judge those without children, this is the reality. The growing narcissism of society has made having children much more difficult as well. So wonder there is even such a thing as the child-free movement. 


  1. Dear Peeps and Friends, yeah, I wonder too, if the real reason for no kids, is the same sort of rationale (LIE!!!!!) used by so many retIIIred people who are working low-wage jobs. Why can't people just brave up, and either tell the truth, or say nothing!

    1. They have to keep the economic collapse hidden. If the younger generations knew how much they were being screwed with the student loans and inability to have family-supporting careers and life building wages, there probably would be a lot more "revolting" then the "owned" Occupy movement. I believe that was just a steam valve anyhow run by Soros. Its tiring that the media pushes this as a rich "selfish" entitled people just want to party and go on vacations instead of the truth being there's no money to support families anymore.

  2. I think it is in vogue now to have children and let the grandparents raise them.

    1. Me too. I saw this in the inner city of course. The younger set have no money to do it anymore.

  3. I count people putting me down for being single and/or childless as a red flag and a prompt to NC them. I actually went No Contact with one flying monkey in my family on that ground, along with his insisting that I should reestablish contact with my mother even though he admitted that she seemed "poisoned with hate". Funny logic, the latter.

    I decided to never have children for what I bet is the reasoning of many ACONs: One, I doubt my parenting skills given my upbringing. Two, if there is a genetic component to narcissism, I may be a carrier. Of the four people in my immediate family (counting myself), at least three are screwed up beyond repair.

    Also, Peep, I get you about school reunions. Tried it a few times earlier, and I think I will stay clear of future ones. I feel I have nothing in common with my former schoolmates. In my early 40s I am single and childless, I have no notable career (though I did have a satisfying job), or possessions to show off. Not that I'm complaining - by myself I'm quite content with where I'm at now. But I would feel utterly out of place with them.

    Oh, and one important thing: Above I was talking about my high school, where I was treated relatively normally by my peers. Now in my country's equivalent of junior high, I was severely bullied by my classmates for several years, and this class holds its own reunions. So when I went to their reunions, I noticed that those who once bullied me in school would today still abuse me given the chance.

    Little psychopaths grow up to be adult psychopaths, a fact my then therapist seemed not to understand. When I discussed with him whether or not to go to the first of these reunions - and I didn't want to go, thinking it fair to what I had suffered - he convinced me to go, told me that the abuse was not malicious but just part of their growing up, that I should not hold grudges for 15+ years, and all that. But now I know that what I did by going was validate the abusers, who as adults are still abusers, and I regret it. It would have been just and fair, and self-respecting of me, if I had refused to show up.

    1. I agree go NC with people who put you down for being single or childless. Even in the churches I was treated as a freak for never having children even though my physical appearance should have given them a few hints while there weren't any. I noticed the church I left put "FAMILY FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE" on their Yellow page ad, they didn't want any childless people.

      My family was sickening in its treatment of the childless. Aunt Scapegoat got it, and well my brother told me the last time I talked to him that my mother didn't consider me as important because I never had children and this was acceptable to him. Of course now with my medical neglect, guess whose feet we can lay that at.
      Oh sure I have the flying monkeys who tell me to restablish contact even as they admit my mother and others treated me badly. They want me back in line for more. I was supposed to stand there forever and take it until the day I died just like Aunt Scapegoat and then get dumped in a box and called "rebel" and "blacksheep" and dishonored in death, since she's the first to be banned from the family cemetery.

      With class reunions, I am friends on Facebook with some nicer classmates, not close relationships more like acquaintances--my N parents made sure I had no close friends in high school, but I agree about the little psychopaths becoming bigger ones. The "don't hold grudges" crowd don't live in reality, my high school was more wealthy like my parents and the last reunion every dinner cost at least 100 bucks. I think its better not to go, it does validate abusers and it's doubtful they changed. That is one myth in society that most "will see the light" and become nice people. At competitive American high school reunions showing up being disabled 20 years and having no children or trophies to show off, is a recipe for a very bad time.

  4. Can't help but to also wonder if stone-hearted families are more common than we realize, and so there may be a lot of kids who equate raising a family as a miserable experience. Too many less-than-halmark memories perhaps.

    1. My parents whined and complained about how horrible children are, and I suspect this is true in many places now, that many kids as they are being screamed at think, "I'm never having children". I hated families by the age of 10. Add in the US lifestyle where there is only moving, loss, no money to pay bills, and people think NO WAY. I think even for Generation X and below the sheer logistics aren't there. There's no aunties and normal mother to help with the baby, no securely employed man. Some other cultures grandma helps with the babies as well as extended families but not for many. The break down of societal connections means less babies and having children. I know one engulfing narcissists who had two children who decided never to have children because they did see it as a "miserable" experience. She would whine and wail why aren't you having children where's my grandchildren? Their lack was at her feet. Families are no longer places of solaces for kids and then add in the divorce and broken homes in a lot of places too.

  5. I heard one today, it was interesting. A young couple having a baby was told they couldn't afford it. For he was only an apprentice and she didn't work. Otherwise, they would be loving parents. I know they don't have a lot of money, but to be told that, what did they expect them to do now with the baby on the way?

    1. That's sad. Yeah what will happen to younger people as they can't afford apartments or families and see devastated lives? The "new normal" stinks. I know they have impossible demands on people now and telling them too bad you can't afford your baby stinks.

  6. There is a ton of social pressure to have children and I marvel at the total inadequacy of some of these "parents". I was idly flipping through a book on eating disorders and found an entire chapter on anorexic mothers. This should be a contradiction in terms as starving women are infertile, at least under the wise rules of nature. These days anorexic women can get pregnant through the fertility clinics. The book was talking about the problems of the children who are competing with a major mental illness, who take second place to the "parent's" addiction and have a high chance of becoming an orphan in their teens and presumably an unpaid caregiver before that. This sort of selfishness boggles the mind. A lot of people just assume the presence of a baby turns any "parent" into a saint.

    People have lots of selfish reasons for having children like cementing a new relationship or just because everyone else is doing it. That doesn't mean they have any interest in young people or learning how to treat them competently. Childhood is an inconvenience and the boring parts of child raising are ignored in favor of the fun parts like competing with the other "parents" and turning the child into a human racehorse.

    An incredible percentage of kids are put on Ritalin and other drugs to make them as little trouble as possible. Dr Peter Breggin's videos points out the major neurological consequences of a childhood spent on legally prescribed stimulants.

    The interests of children and the interests of "parents" conflict in major ways. Children are interested in the outside world and finding out about it. "Parents" often lose all interest in the outside world, claiming the kids take all their time. Often the kids take very little time, between daycare, school and summer programs and Ritalin, but the "parents" have set up a private kingdom and queendom of their own and don't need to bother with the outside world any more. It boggles my mind how little interest "parents" have in the world their kids are going to live in. I would think "parents" especially would be concerned by issues like global warming. But the opposite is the case.

  7. Hi, Peep. Rereading my comment above, I fear I was not addressing the main point of your blog post which I assume to be that poverty keeps people from having children they would otherwise have. I apologize. I usually keep my lip zipped on such subjects so when I can express myself, I tend to burst forth in full fury.

    Lots of poor people have children as you mention. Maybe poverty keeps the more conscientious, thoughtful sorts from having children. Nothing seems to stop women hellbent on having children from having children, especially not the good of the child.

    I tend to see things from the point of view of the child. Living in a rich family doesn't necessarily benefit a child who may see very little of that money anyway. No amount of money compensates for having cruel parents. As the Bible says, better a dinner of herbs in a poor house with love than a fattened ox without love. That's a very rough paraphrase. On the other hand, poor parents can be cruel too.

    On a cheerier note, I think a lot of parents are on the run. Withholding information, especially about sex, used to be a big source of parental power. That's not possible any more. When I started my periods, I knew absolutely nothing. Even then, my mother refused to tell me anything, saying that if I knew, I would just go out and do it. That must have been projection. I was terrified of the whole thing. That was the idea my mother had of me; I was just a little tart, about to go crazy at a moment's notice. I was eleven.

    I read a really interesting article in the UK online Guardian, 26 March 2016, titled I paid to have my daughter kidnapped. This Florida mother drugged her seventeen year old daughter and had her carried off to a sort of survivalist reform school in order to keep her from going to hairdressing school instead of university. According to the article, the daughter came back a reformed character, went back to being a little girl who never challenged her mother and went to university and onto a professional career. Of course, there is no input from the daughter. We must just automatically believe the mother is right because she is a mother. Interesting. Sounds like desperate times call for desperate measures for parents on the run, for parents who just want to be left to abuse their kids in peace.

  8. Being childfree and 40 is the best decision I've ever made in my life. I love everything about it....It's my life, my choices. And the freedom is the best, best part!!!!!!!!

    1. Hi I am glad you are glad you made the best decision for you to be childfree. Well I am near 50 and never had children. I hope you are around people who respect the child free lifestyle.