Mom’s Speak – REALLY???

Another week, another controversial magazine cover.

If it isn’t the prodding at Kate Middleton’s post-baby bump (really?), or the celebriefied (I totally just made that word up) appearance of the Boston Bombing Suspect on the cover of Rolling Stone, then it’s definitely something else that’s totally woeful.

This week, the dubious honors belong to Time Magazine, their latest cover blaring in full-force “The Childless Life.” Two people, a dude and a gal, are aying on the beach, sunglasses in place, perfect bathing suit bodies, coy smiles on their face – the poster children (no pun intended) for the child-free life.

While, no, I must admit that I haven’t gotten to actually read the article itself, I have had to settle for the juicy tidbits that I have come across in other write up’s about the article’s content. In short, there is this new ‘phenomenon’ occurring, where each year less and less people are choosing the route of parenthood and opting for a more fulfilling lifestyle by investing into their careers, their vacations and themselves.

**Before you all think that I’m some crazed and textbook example of a “right-wing nut” who is merely concerned with the female reproductive organs, or at least, reproductive organs in general, let me dispel that notion very quickly with this: first of all, if you think that is, by definition,  a pillar of conservatism then you’re dumb and number two, you’re being biased if you think that marital reproduction can only be a one-way conversation to only be had and decided upon by women.**

OK, so anyway, can you all tell how much this ruffles my feathers, people?

And it isn’t because I think that ALL that human beings are meant to do is reproduce and that if we can’t do that, then we’re simply worthless. NO, silly heads, that really isn’t what grinds my gears.

This cover is yet another glaring reminder of the erosion of our society. Yes, those two glossy (and kind of shiny) people on the cover of Time are a red flag for me. No, not because I think laying on the beach, being married (or unmarried) with children by a certain age is a small crisis in and of itself or because I think that people shouldn’t worry about exploring the world or traveling before or after children (I’d take plane ticket to somewhere with a beach right about now, if anyone wanted to offer one up.) It’s because those Cheshire Cat grins indicate something else. Another author put it so perfectly that I’m totally going to borrow her wording.

We are the “Selfie” generation.

Let’s tune out everything else, because I’m talking. It’s about my gratification, my hopes, my dreams, my timing, my wants, my possessions, my needs, my smart phone, my Facebook, my car, my dislikes, my likes, my….

It’s endless.

There are people who practice healthy family planning, yes. There are certain people who are probably better served by not having children, yes. There are people who are waiting to have children, yes. There are people who are not naturally able to have children, yes. There are people who bypass having their own biological children and instead adopt, yes.

None of the scenarios that I just listed up there ^^ are bad. But this attitude that we would be better served if we weren’t having children is slowly becoming THE NORM. Where as 40 years ago it was 1 out of 10 women and these days it’s now 1 IN 5 women who are deciding against diaper duty. Something is strangely amiss there. Is this something to be celebrated? I’m not sure. No, I don’t advocate for casting out people who choose not to have children, no. But should magazines be having a one-sided discussion about this topic? No!

There are many reasons that one may decide against having children all together. I think the most popular one is preservation: I want to preserve my body (or my wife’s body), I want to preserve my time, my space, my career, my goals, my hobbies, my Fridays, my this or my that. When in actuality, do you know what comes knocking at your door when you blow out the candles on your 65th birthday cake? Regret.

Your body is going to end up shriveled one day no matter what you do, you’ll retire from or switch jobs or get a new career all together, traveling will only get you so far (pun intended) and are you really going to wish that you had more time for watching Doctor Who? reruns on a Saturday night when you’re 76 instead of having raised a progeny and cultivated a heritage to leave future generations? Probably not.

The point I’m trying to make about any of those things is: they’re fleeting excuses.

 

Another reason I think that this is occurring: a gradual deemphasis on the societal role of family. The value of the cohesive family is being pushed to the side in the pursuits of other more “fulfilling” outlets. People grow up these days not realizing the important role that strong families holds in our society and the beautiful function that they serve. Parenting and children are not valued as much as they were 60 years ago and this is evident in the eroding behavior of our children these days, the fact that adults are opting out of having kids all together and our ever rising divorce rates.

I am not knocking people who plan, people who have goals, people who dream. NO. My husband and I waited to have children. Not long, but three years. There is nothing wrong with being slightly pragmatic about your family planning.  I am not condemning people who have had divorce or never had children or never married. But I can’t help but think there is more to the “childless” attitude than simply being logistical about having children. It’s the idea that there are BETTER things to invest in than children. That we have more important work to do, that there are things more worthy of our time.

I bet you’re glad that your own parents didn’t feel that way, because I sure as heck am. 

So there ends my rant (for now.)

What do you guys think? Is the childless life a problem or not? What do you think causes it?

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4 thoughts on “Mom’s Speak – REALLY???

  1. amanda says:

    I whole heartedly agree. I think the MAIN (not ONLY) reason people are choosing to no longer have children is selfishness. Even Christian couples who say that it doesn’t fit in with what they feel like God is calling them to (which HOW do you argue with that- that’s the conversation ender right there) I would ask 1) Is that REALLY the reason and 2) If so, is there a Biblical example of that anywhere? Again, there are exceptions all over the place, but I think the mentality of this generation is exactly what you are saying.

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  2. I Am Jasmine Kyle says:

    I can understand why your put off of the whole no children choice but I am not going to judge those who choose that life. I would not want my decision to have kids and career judged or have people tell me I can’t have children for what ever reason. Everyone has there own path to walk and I try to learn what I can from each lesson presented to me. When I see those two I think… YOU KNOW one day your children will be gone how are you setting up your life for that? Because I want the healthy body and the intimacy with my husband while my children are here and after they have started families of there own! I want a life after my children which means I have to build one! The great thing about kids is you have to SLOW down and you REALLY get to understand your self and what you want. I think when people hit success to young often later in there life they are not happy. I feel it’s because you didn’t know your self till you got what you thought you wanted. Anyway I could go on LOVE THE DISCUSSION!!! Thanks for that it was a treat!

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    • ashleylecompte says:

      I agree with what you’re saying. I hope that this post doesn’t sound like judgement being passed on people without babies because that isn’t my intention. I wanted to address those who are staunchly anti-child rearing and address reasons why they should reconsider.

      You bring up great points, and I wholeheartedly agree with you about having outlets BESIDES your children and in building good foundations with your partner so that when they’re gone your life isn’t empty. I don’t think people should be 110% devoted ONLY to their babies.

      I hate thinking about the folks who might miss out on the joy of having children. And part of me thinks that this is symptomatic of where we are in society. It’s really not a matter of meeting an expected number of babies being born each year, it’s more of a concern about if we are valuing what truly matters in the end.

      Thanks for your comment! I appreciate it! I love chatting about stuff like this, too.

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      • I Am Jasmine Kyle says:

        Oh I didn’t think you came off negative AT ALL! I just wanted to put in my 2 cents! You know everyone I have ever spoken to who didn’t have children has regretted it. So in the end when your looking back on your life I do think people regret making that time investment! I really enjoyed our conversation too! Follow my blog and I’ll follow yours and well keep the chat going! 🙂

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