Monday, May 30, 2011

Attack on the Family: Kids are a curse?

I love my children. I wouldn't trade either of them. I know there are a lot of parents out there who agree with me. I also know that it's not popular in our culture right now. Even parents with singletons seem to have disdain for people with 2 or 3 kids. While in grad school, I once remarked to a friend that I wanted four children (this was before I met hubby). She told me that two was enough. She explained so that they would replace my husband and myself. She said the world was overpopulated.

The world is not overpopulated. In fact the world is shrinking in population. When people view the statistics, they are told about the world population as it is today including the baby boomer generation, which is still the largest generation of people. We are also including the elderly who are living longer in industrialized countries due to better nutrition and better medical care. So yes, it looks like we're overpopulated. But that won't last for long. You see the overpopulation myth doesn't account for one set of data: birth rate. Birth rates in nearly every country have dropped. Even in China, because of the one-child population, the birth rate is tiny. And in India where there is no formal birth/ contraception policy, their birth rates are only slightly higher than the the US. In other words, after the baby boomer generation, the world will no longer have the population it currently has.

This can lead to several problems. The biggest one is economical. Without a work force, we won't be able to have the plethora of goods and ideas that we currently do. Less choice. Our technology advancements will slow down considerable, putting stress on health care and communications. And because of less choice, the demand for certain goods will make them expensive then they currently are. Can you imagine that your grandchildren will consider chocolate cake to be a luxury item? That's right. Currently the cultivation of chocolate is slowing down because of destruction of the land and intense hard labor. Add to that a small population and chocolate production will be at a trickle. No more chocolate cake at a few bucks a slice, let alone a person making it at home. No more hot coco. No more smores. No more chocolate ice cream. All because it will cost to much.

And people still think children or having children is a burden. They aren't a burden. They are needed. If we continue lowering the birth rate, then society as we know it will cease. Governments will collapse and infrastructure will not be maintained. Our grandchildren could live during the beginning of a dark ages. And that doesn't sit well with me.

It doesn't sit well with me because outside from a very small group of people, the rest of the world paints a grim picture of having children. This commercial in particular disgusts me.



Are they trying to sell the minivan? Because minivans are typically bought by large families. Or are they trying to sell society on the idea that children usually run screaming through a show room and causing parents to go nuts. Or more specifically that children are horrible. I remind the producers of this commercial and the Dodge company that they were children once too.

To add to that, it's becoming more common for people to wait to have children. Many actresses are now having children in their late 30s and early 40s. And since it's very risky to have children at older ages, many actresses only have one or two children at most. I'm most impressed that Julia Roberts has managed 3. This is pretty reflective of our society.

Danica Patrick has recently revealed that she has no plans to ever have children. Granted this 29 year old is a race car driver. She could easily injure or kill her unborn child. Or she could leave future children motherless since the sport is dangerous. I suppose you could see this as being a self-less act. But she also made this remark: “I am not someone who has a strong yearning for kids at all,” she told USA Today. “I see all my friends with kids. I will get up at 10 a.m. and text them and they’ll say ‘Ha, funny. One of my sons was in my room at 5.30 in the morning so I can’t say I slept until 10.’ That’s just their life. Which makes me think that other reasons for not having kids are more selfish 1) she doesn't want them 2) she likes her life as it is.

It bothers me that motherhood is an inconvenience rather than a joy. Sure your life changes. But my life has changed for the better. I don't want to go back to the way it was. Don't get me wrong I hate the waking up in the middle of the night, but that doesn't last long.

People are finally realizing that having a career and juggling children is difficult. So people have chosen to have less children or not any children at all. Or they decide to have children and give up the career. This third path is slowly taking off, but still has stigma attached to it. Jennifer Fulwiler, from the National Catholic Register, blogged about how a co-worker asked her if she felt like she was wasting her education. She tactfully explained that raising children is an education in and of itself.

I suppose my point is that from the media/society's point of view there are just too many reasons not to have children and too few to have children. And this is disturbing because it's scaring people. Society is not painting a realistic picture of having children. Trying to juggle a career and kids is hard and at some point sacrifices either to the career or time with the kids will happen. But kids are only kids for a short while. Women only have a small window in which to have children. And children are not horrible as the commercial makes them out to be. If you want to know what it's like to have children, spend 24 hours with someone who is a stay-at-home. You'll only get a glimpse, but something is better than what the culture would have you believe. Children are awesome.

And not having children is not awesome. Our species is extinguishing itself out of existence for selfish reasons.

2.1 Kids: Stable Populations (player won't embed)

2 comments:

  1. I don't know where we were when we saw that commercial (a doctor office maybe- we don't have tv)--- my oldest daughter was so upset!!!The kid in the commercial isn't even doing anything wrong? Some people are offended even by the presence of kids when they are behaving (have you seen chitty chitty bang bang when the queen is disgusted by kids?)

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  2. and 4 kids is a very nice number... :)

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