Monday, July 19, 2010

Wait, Which One of Us Is Selfish Again?

If you're a woman who chooses not to have children, you will be called selfish by 90% of people who find out you're childless by choice. (Thank you to the other 10% who, at the least, restrain themselves from expressing that opinion.)

So I found it very interesting when a woman with a very large family, in a very small home, published 100 mostly selfish reasons to have children.

Pay less income taxes.

That's not a bad benefit, but (a) you spend a lot of money on your kids, and (b) "mommy wanted you to lower our taxes, and that's why you're named Tenforty!" is probably not something anyone should ever have to hear.

The ultimate diet plan: morning sickness and breastfeeding.

Average weight gain during pregnancy: 25-30 lbs. Around 8 lbs of that is baby. About 3 lbs is amniotic fluid and such. The rest? You do the math.

Enjoy snuggles on demand, around the clock.

A child is not an emotional security blanket. Get a dog.

Disposable diapers. There. I said it.


Receive preferential treatment in grocery lines.
Be seated first (or last, if you prefer) on planes.
Park in the "stork" space at grocery stores.

Selfish, selfish, selfish. (I thoroughly agree with stork spaces and such, but that's not a reason to have a child.)

Have an excuse to buy cool toys and cute little outfits.

Charities need those, too.

Children will love you on your worst day, and...
they think you're beautiful, even on bad hair days,
or when you're not wearing makeup.

Repeat after me: children are not your therapist, your prozac or your dog. Seriously, please leave children out of your emotional issues.

Have someone to help you when you're old.
Have someone to help care for your pets.

Children as slave labor. Nice.

Get a lollipop every time you go to the bank, along with your children.

Buy yourself some candy if you want it. You can afford to with all the money you're not spending on cute outfits.

Have an excuse to buy junk food.
Sharing your junk food means less stays on your own hips.

Get real about your eating habits. If you like junk food, eat a little. It won't kill you. Do not do what this moran recommends, which is how my mother ended up with a lifetime of disordered eating habits. (which she worked so hard not to pass on to us. Thanks, mom!)

Save money by not buying birth control.

Let's do the math, shall we? Birth control pills (one of the more expensive options available) at $30 a month for 30 years of fertility would be . . . $10,800 total. The cost of raising one child? $124,800. Um, yeah. You're not saving money with the kids.

Pregnancy requires you to eat more. I can appreciate that.

Please work on your food issues.

Learn alongside your children.

Or learn on your own. That works, too.

Improved immune system. It's a law of nature: Moms never get sick.

Really? I wish all the constantly sick parents spreading disease around my office knew that.

If you do get sick, you have someone to take care of you without your spouse taking time off work.

The one-year-old?

Expand your wardrobe: share clothes with your teens.
Gather candy from the piñata without getting funny looks.
Have help cooking.

If any of you start wearing teenagers' clothes, I will come over there. Buy yourself some candy. Order in.

Perpetually late? You don't even have to blame it on the kids. People will assume.

Perpetually rude to everyone you know? Pop out a kid and have a few months of excuses before everyone you know starts muttering about you behind your back. (Why, yes, this is a pet peeve of mine.)

Homemade friends. My children are some of my favorite companions.

Children are not a crutch for social disorders.

Well, that was a whole lotta selfish right there.


  1. I...That... Wow... It just...


    Okay, now I feel better.

  2. "37: Ask anyone who has given birth: the pains of labor are worth it."

    I have a kid, I love my kid, will never have another... fuck me labour is horrific. I vomited once just watching a comedian describe his wife's labour. Oh my Zeus, the sheer agony. The lacerations! I howled like an animal, didn't know I was capable of even coming out with such a sound, when I tore right up past my clitoris. Holy crap it's horrible. Will never do it again.

    I don't see it as "the labour was worth it". The labour happened, baby is here (great!), will not be labouring again, thx.

  3. Same anon again, should add that I stupidly went in for a "natural birth" (no pain relief) because of all the crap I'd been reading that left me with the impression that you're somehow better for birthing without it. Stupids. In retrospect I would recommend it.

  4. Wow, PersFail, you really are selfish!

  5. Anonymous, I howled upon reading "when I tore right up past my clitoris". In fact, I am howling while writing this!

  6. I have a cousin who's practically a sister to me. She recently got married, and has been pretty public that she and her husband have no interest in children. One night while she and I were out having a drink, I asked her why she came to that decision, not because it was selfish, but because it was unusual and I was curious.
    Her reasons were, of course, widely varied. Some very personal, some very practical, but all of them logical enough to have me re-evaluating my desire to have or not have children - yknow, should I ever find an unattached, non-related woman about my age willing to spend time with me again.

    The most practical (and least personal) reason she gave has always stuck with me. She explained simply that when she's out and sees another person's baby, she goes "Awww look at the baby" like everyone else, but at the end of the day she just doesn't want one of her own. She realized she can't MAKE herself want one, and to procreate with her attitudes would just yield a fundamental sense of unhappiness for her and the child.

    It's not a selfishness thing (in most cases), it's more of a "this is the way I am and there's nothing that'll change that" thing.

  7. Speaking as someone who has no plans to have children and who intends to commit myself to a mental institution the moment I start wanting them...

    I loathe lists like this. The moment a person (woman or man) has kids, the next 18+ years of their life will be devoted entirely to them. Whatever personal ambitions they had? Gone forever. By the time they can start working on them, they'll be a changed person.

    Julia Gillard chose not to have kids, and now she's the Australian Prime Minister.

    Besides which, population growth needs to slow sooner or later. The current rate is not sustainable. Mars isn't going to be ready for us any time soon, so we need to work on keeping ourselves from exhausting this planet...

  8. Okay, that last post came out a bit bitter. I guess it's because I know a lot of girls from school who got knocked up and are now spending the best years of their life raising kids, many of them alone.

    I don't hate kids, but I do hate people who think that they're the sole reason for existance.

  9. I have grown twins. I love them. This list makes me nuts.

    7.Disposable diapers. There. I said it.

    As opposed to cloth diapers, which cause less diaper rash, are healthier for your child, and don't clog landfills with plastic-wrapped excrement? Either way, you're still wiping somebody's ass several times a day. There, I said it.

    36.Have s*x without worrying about pregnancy. It's fun.

    Yes, it is fun. It's called birth control. And some of us can even say the whole word "SEX" without blushing. And some of us have time for great sex because we don't have 9 kids to take care of.

    47.Help raise the languishing birth rate.

    Wait, what? Languishing? I don't think that word means what you think it means.

    57.Kid will say what you wish you could say, but can't.

    Why can't you? Aren't you entitled to opinions of your own? Ask your husband. Maybe he'll let you speak your mind once in a while (if you'll let him have s*x on you).

  10. and it's just...

    i mean - have a kid or don't have a kid, unless you're the type of person who has to weigh every single con and pro, lists like this make NO sense.

    overall, i feel like i am the OPPOSITE of selfish, not getting pregnant. i mean, it will KILL ME to try and have a baby, and how the fuck would i be justified doing THAT to my family and friends and loved ones???

  11. Hey now, if there's one thing I've learned from fundy Christianity, it's that a woman's place is punching out kids and making me a sammich...

    Yknow, even when I was a "believer" I had issues with that... go figure.

  12. Off topic, except as far as 'pregnant spies' relates to- Ow! Dammit, Leona! Stay in your own story! Don't you have anything better to do? Like, f'r instance... this:

    Major Lulz - Chapter 7

    Aargh! Okay, that's it! I'm getting a restraining order!

  13. I love my kids and they are a huge focal point of my life but I acknowledge there is a big downside. I am kind of on the fence about the whole selfish unselfish thing. I had kids because I wanted them so that is selfish, but I do a good job as a dad so that is unselfish.

    As to women not wanting them I can only say this, I know a lot of young women in their early twenties who say they absolutely will not have children because they would be terrible mothers. Some would call this selfish because they freely admit they don't want to give up all of the perks of being childless, money, parties, free time, freedom, sleep, etc. I call this unselfish because the truly selfish ones are those who have children despite being unwilling to give these things up.

    When I see bad and neglectful parents I thank the FSM for those "selfish" people who wouldn't have children they were unwilling to raise.

  14. Ryk;

    you make total sense. lots of people tell me that i'd make a good mother - but i am not physically capable of being a mother. i need, at minimum, 10 hours of sleep, and if i'm woken up before 10 hours i can NOT wake all the way up - last time this happened, i tried to poor ranch dressing into my hot chocolate [i thought it was MILK] i shudder to think of the indignities i'd force upon a child.
    and then there's the whole "not allowed to pick more that 5 pounds" - and it's been proven conclusively that 10 pounds is enough to dislocate my shoulder. not to mention the nerve damage, that would probably cause me to DROP said baby.

    i could go on - no need. the most selfish thing i think i could do would be to attempt to care for a baby. ANY baby.

    PS: are you Ryk SPOOR???

  15. Quasar -

    if i don't get that Epic Climax - which better be *both* EPIC *and* CLIMACTIC - i shall weep.

  16. The "you're selfish for not having the kids you don't want" argument reminds me of another one. Several times, I ventured onto Christian, anti-gay blogs where commenters informed me that I, a lesbian, was living selfishly for just not marrying a man. As though marrying a man that I didn't at all want to marry would result in a remotely good marriage outcome.

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