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Doctrix's avatar

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I think women can choose to find themselves raising babies, and can decide that being a mother is more important than doing something else instead for a while first. That said, I think a woman can also reject biological essentialism and total motherhood and give her children the gift of having a life with them "out in the world" instead of focusing all of her resentful time and attention on them, regardless of age.

FWIW, I have traveled a lot with two babies. Sure, I needed to pack diapers and money for food for them in addition to a toothbrush, but my babies and I have flown to five other states and two countries on the other side of the world, so don't hold off traveling light on your kids' behalf. The adventure is good for them.
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Doctrix
I think women can choose to find themselves raising babies, and can decide that being a mother is more important than doing something else instead for a while first. That said, I think a woman can also reject biological essentialism and total motherhood and give her children the gift of having a life with them "out in the world" instead of focusing all of her resentful time and attention on them, regardless of age.

FWIW, I have traveled a lot with two babies. Sure, I needed to pack diapers and money for food for them in addition to a toothbrush, but my babies and I have flown to five other states and two countries on the other side of the world, so don't hold off traveling light on your kids' behalf. The adventure is good for them.


That's very true. It's perfectly fine to decide to have a baby. If you are willing to do the work, so be it. I just know that most of the mothers my age that I know did not plan their pregnancy and were not prepared to have one. One has been jobless for at least a year and got pregnant and barely just got a job that based solely on commission; she has never held a job for very long, so that's why she can't get a decent one now. One that has done nothing but party since she dropped out of high school, got pregnant and still hadn't gotten a GED, and has a very low-paying job that she never bothered to leave because it suited her when she was single and still living at home. They are stepping up to motherhood, of course, but it would have been much easier if their pregnancies came at a time that they were more mature and had stability in their lives. And they hadn't explored much before baby came along. Babies are a blessing, but I think that babies are something that need more preparation for and can wait. Personally, I couldn't imagine having to take care of a child. It's hard enough having nieces and nephews.
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Doctrix
I think women can choose to find themselves raising babies, and can decide that being a mother is more important than doing something else instead for a while first. That said, I think a woman can also reject biological essentialism and total motherhood and give her children the gift of having a life with them "out in the world" instead of focusing all of her resentful time and attention on them, regardless of age.

FWIW, I have traveled a lot with two babies. Sure, I needed to pack diapers and money for food for them in addition to a toothbrush, but my babies and I have flown to five other states and two countries on the other side of the world, so don't hold off traveling light on your kids' behalf. The adventure is good for them.


I think I'm confused on what you mean by this. Are you saying that mostly all mothers feel resentful for being a strictly "stay-at-home" mother, or are you just talking about the ones that -wanted- to be out in the world and then got knocked up and decided that, whether they like it or not, their opinion was that staying at home would be better? Please clarify, I'm sure not all S.A.H mothers feel this way.
bobloon
What ever happened to young women(late teens to early 20's) wanting to go out into the world to find themselves, experience the beautiful opportunities that are available,

What do you mean what happened to it? It's still prominent. And why are you only questioning women?

bobloon
and not be tied down instead of staying at home raising babies?

I sincerely loathe the phrase ”being tied down” because it's associated with a forcefully-negative stigma. But what's wrong with people who want to start their own family instead of being the stereotypical version of their generation? Or having already known themselves?

bobloon
And to me personally, anyone who thinks they can do both is wrong because that child doesn't deserve to share you with anything else. Once you become a mother, your focus should be solely on the development of that kid. All your selfishness must go out the window.

Semantically, this is quite wrong.

bobloon
Oh, and it would be beneficial to know who you are before you give yourself up to a baby. I wanna smoke cigarettes, stay up late, stare at the tv for hours, only have school to be stressed about, have a job to be able to buy whatever I want for myself and family and friends, decide to go out whenever I want, drink soda, eat food that's bad for me, travel with only a toothbrush, etc.

That's nice. Not everyone has your desires.

bobloon
To be noted: all the things that I mentioned that I want to do shouldn't lead you to think that being a parent does not equal not being able to do healthy things that you love. You shouldn't smoke when you have a child;

I was impressed with a friend of mine who managed to balance smoking and an infant. She had help from the father, but she'd go out to smoke, come inside, change clothes, brush teeth and shower before handling her child. I don't appreciate cigarettes in the slightest nor have any interest in them, but I couldn't b***h, her system worked.

bobloon
you shouldn't drink soda when you have a child(because then you can't control them drinking soda), and the same for junk food;

Sure you can. It's your kid, the littler they are, the more you can control their diet (minus the things they randomly decide to test how edible an item is).

bobloon
you can't stay up late for the heck of it because it'll only be hurting you;

Doesn't really matter, you'll be up throughout the night anyway, at least for a while before their sleeping patterns synchronize to the regular day.

bobloon
you can't travel with only your toothbrush when you have a child;

I'd find that poor packing to begin with if all you carry is a toothbrush, well I guess it depends where you travel to.

bobloon
having a job means money for your child,

And bills, a shelter, warmth, food, etc.

bobloon
not for any silly thing for whomever else....

I manage my money responsibly.

bobloon
Now people are going to grumble about me stating the obvious, but oh well.

No you're displaying immense bias.
Doctrix's avatar

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Doctrix
I think women can choose to find themselves raising babies, and can decide that being a mother is more important than doing something else instead for a while first. That said, I think a woman can also reject biological essentialism and total motherhood and give her children the gift of having a life with them "out in the world" instead of focusing all of her resentful time and attention on them, regardless of age.

FWIW, I have traveled a lot with two babies. Sure, I needed to pack diapers and money for food for them in addition to a toothbrush, but my babies and I have flown to five other states and two countries on the other side of the world, so don't hold off traveling light on your kids' behalf. The adventure is good for them.


I think I'm confused on what you mean by this. Are you saying that mostly all mothers feel resentful for being a strictly "stay-at-home" mother, or are you just talking about the ones that -wanted- to be out in the world and then got knocked up and decided that, whether they like it or not, their opinion was that staying at home would be better? Please clarify, I'm sure not all S.A.H mothers feel this way.


I don't think stay at home moms are necessarily "total motherhood" types. I think stay at home moms can have their own love lives, spiritual lives, hobbies, time "out in the world" and more. Likewise, I think there are working moms who focus too much on their kids and not enough on living fulfilling lives of their own. SAHM and having a life is not mutually exclusive. It is the lack of balance that can cause resentfulness.
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bobloon
What ever happened to young women(late teens to early 20's) wanting to go out into the world to find themselves, experience the beautiful opportunities that are available, and not be tied down instead of staying at home raising babies? And to me personally, anyone who thinks they can do both is wrong because that child doesn't deserve to share you with anything else. Once you become a mother, your focus should be solely on the development of that kid. All your selfishness must go out the window. Oh, and it would be beneficial to know who you are before you give yourself up to a baby. I wanna smoke cigarettes, stay up late, stare at the tv for hours, only have school to be stressed about, have a job to be able to buy whatever I want for myself and family and friends, decide to go out whenever I want, drink soda, eat food that's bad for me, travel with only a toothbrush, etc. To be noted: all the things that I mentioned that I want to do shouldn't lead you to think that being a parent does not equal not being able to do healthy things that you love. You shouldn't smoke when you have a child; you shouldn't drink soda when you have a child(because then you can't control them drinking soda), and the same for junk food; you can't stay up late for the heck of it because it'll only be hurting you; you can't travel with only your toothbrush when you have a child; having a job means money for your child, not for any silly thing for whomever else.... Now people are going to grumble about me stating the obvious, but oh well.


I agree, I see so many of my friends, and my little sister's friends at a young age getting married or having trouble. Not that I think that everyone should have kids at a later age, some people can have babies at that age. I do see a lot of kids and young adults having babies and a lot of them think that it's there parent's to raise and not their's. I know some who were completely selfish people and their child changed them into a better person, and they are amazing parents.

I'm like you I'm only 25 and while I have done more than most at my age but I am not ready to give that up either.
bobloon
Doctrix
I think women can choose to find themselves raising babies, and can decide that being a mother is more important than doing something else instead for a while first. That said, I think a woman can also reject biological essentialism and total motherhood and give her children the gift of having a life with them "out in the world" instead of focusing all of her resentful time and attention on them, regardless of age.

FWIW, I have traveled a lot with two babies. Sure, I needed to pack diapers and money for food for them in addition to a toothbrush, but my babies and I have flown to five other states and two countries on the other side of the world, so don't hold off traveling light on your kids' behalf. The adventure is good for them.


That's very true. It's perfectly fine to decide to have a baby. If you are willing to do the work, so be it. I just know that most of the mothers my age that I know did not plan their pregnancy and were not prepared to have one. One has been jobless for at least a year and got pregnant and barely just got a job that based solely on commission; she has never held a job for very long, so that's why she can't get a decent one now. One that has done nothing but party since she dropped out of high school, got pregnant and still hadn't gotten a GED, and has a very low-paying job that she never bothered to leave because it suited her when she was single and still living at home. They are stepping up to motherhood, of course, but it would have been much easier if their pregnancies came at a time that they were more mature and had stability in their lives. And they hadn't explored much before baby came along. Babies are a blessing, but I think that babies are something that need more preparation for and can wait. Personally, I couldn't imagine having to take care of a child. It's hard enough having nieces and nephews.
I'm assuming most of these pregnancies were accidents? It's hard to plan for being a parent and harder to plan how the child will be raised. Most 16 year olds probably wouldn't be planning on getting pregnant, it's just happens because they have sex. My sister had my nephew when she was 19, she smokes, but apart from that she's the best mother I know and she's still following her dream of becoming a criminal psychologist and might I add, she still manages to look after her looks.
catspook
What about fathers? Are they not allowed to have lives either?

Seriously, just because your child is your first priority does not mean they have to be your only priority - I've seen mothers who made their kids their whole lives; the kids didn't do so well.


not really possible to have any other priority if your first is a child

not any SERIOUS priority... that actually goes huge places, or means anything profound, or rewards you hugely in any way
i think children are huge investments and this is why.

having a child is a huge selfish investment in the same way having a huge dream is a selfish investment
Doctrix
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Doctrix
I think women can choose to find themselves raising babies, and can decide that being a mother is more important than doing something else instead for a while first. That said, I think a woman can also reject biological essentialism and total motherhood and give her children the gift of having a life with them "out in the world" instead of focusing all of her resentful time and attention on them, regardless of age.

FWIW, I have traveled a lot with two babies. Sure, I needed to pack diapers and money for food for them in addition to a toothbrush, but my babies and I have flown to five other states and two countries on the other side of the world, so don't hold off traveling light on your kids' behalf. The adventure is good for them.


I think I'm confused on what you mean by this. Are you saying that mostly all mothers feel resentful for being a strictly "stay-at-home" mother, or are you just talking about the ones that -wanted- to be out in the world and then got knocked up and decided that, whether they like it or not, their opinion was that staying at home would be better? Please clarify, I'm sure not all S.A.H mothers feel this way.


I don't think stay at home moms are necessarily "total motherhood" types. I think stay at home moms can have their own love lives, spiritual lives, hobbies, time "out in the world" and more. Likewise, I think there are working moms who focus too much on their kids and not enough on living fulfilling lives of their own. SAHM and having a life is not mutually exclusive. It is the lack of balance that can cause resentfulness.


trying to strive for a balance with children is absurd
if you want children just get hobbies. if you want a real career ... it wont happen if you are in two places at once. not in this economy, and not with the pressures on an individual to deliver
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Phallic Wonderland
What makes you think raising a family is tying yourself down? Sure, it takes dedication, commitment and patience, but it can be as rewarding as you want it to be. You do not have to be a helicopter parent, and children need to learn that people have other things to do rather than come at the childs beck and call. Teaching a child to self-soothe and be independent makes both parent and child happy, if it doesn't go overboard into lack-luster raising of a child.


True, but I will say that there are some parents who are shocked, SHOCKED, I say, when they find out that they can't do everything exactly as they used to when they have a baby. Yes, you don't have to give up your whole life, but it's naive to think that babies don't change anything. Parents with that particular mindset have a hard time adjusting, they find that going out takes a lot more work, they can't go to adult places without finding a babysitter. They can't really do whatever they want any more because they might not have the time or money. Travel becomes harder, if you had plans for that you might have to wait a few years. But yeah, I do agree with your point that your life doesn't have to be 100% babies. Helicopter parents do their kids a disservice, really.

I'm sort of reminded of a Facebook status my roommate posted that turned into an argument between her and someone else. A teenage acquaintance had gotten pregnant and she was annoyed that everyone was telling the girl how great having a baby is and whatnot. She felt like they were downplaying how hard things were going to be. My roomie's friend chimed in and argued that the pregnant girl needed support, not lectures. My second roommate went in to back up our roommate, then I went in to agree and added that while the pregnant girl does need support, it's a bad idea to raise her expectations and act like her life will be nothing but better. Life would be totally different, especially since she's a teenager and not really in the ideal position to have a kid.

Anyway, OP... I'm pretty sure today's ladies are waiting longer to have kids than in the past. But just as well, as long as they're happy with their decision, why do you care? Not everyone has the same desires of you, some women know that they want a baby at that age.
Doctrix's avatar

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seal pup tirade
trying to strive for a balance with children is absurd


So no fathers are good parents? I strongly disagree with your statement, although balance doesn't HAVE to mean a career. I think that one of the greatest gifts a parent can give to children is to have a life and goals and motivations outside of the children. It gives much needed perspective, relief (of pressures on both kids and parents), opportunities for other family and community members to help raise the children, and modeling of proper work-life balance for the kids for when they are adults themselves.
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seal pup tirade
catspook
What about fathers? Are they not allowed to have lives either?

Seriously, just because your child is your first priority does not mean they have to be your only priority - I've seen mothers who made their kids their whole lives; the kids didn't do so well.


not really possible to have any other priority if your first is a child

not any SERIOUS priority... that actually goes huge places, or means anything profound, or rewards you hugely in any way


And what is your basis for claiming that? Especially considering all your qualifying terms are relative: what qualifies as "huge places", "profound meaning", or "huge rewards"? Because I know plenty of parents who would argue that their careers or other pursuits have granted them some if not all of those things, but still their child(ren) is the best thing in their life and their first priority.
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I've been thinking about this, too. I don't think I'll be able to be a father for at least 10 years, and by then it would be dangerous to allow my girlfriend to carry a child, for both her and the kid.
I was thinking about adoption, but I don't know if I could fit a kid into my schedule, properly. Sure, I could have a full time job and be a part time dad, but that isn't really very fair.
Kids need tons of attention, and not because they're needy, but because it's important. It's frustrating to decide when the right time to have a kid is, and how much should actually be given up for them (we wouldn't want to make them entitled)
Reading through this thread, the following statements made me feel the need to point a few things out.
bobloon
I meant that a mother has to breast feed.

Look up breast pumps and formula. Your statement is false and and sounds ignorant.

bobloon
MOST young women have unplanned children,

Source of this information?

bobloon
or decide to have kids before experiencing some of what life has to offer to us as free young women that aren't expected to be house wives anymore and have every opportunity at our feet.

Who is expecting a woman to be a house wife? No one says men can't be stay at home dads. And no one says a woman cannot work and be a mom.

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