An article came up on my igoogle page last week from Wiki. I usually don't read them, but when I do, they are really fun. They are a how-to type thing. This one was called, How to Explain Why You Aren't Having Kids. I didn't read it right away because I was busy, but I kept thinking about it. Why would anyone need to write an article on that? Isn't our generation the most anti-life generation EVER? Then I read the article. It was really good. And then it made sense. It was how to explain why you aren't having kids to people like your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Because people in my generation, the ones not having babies, already have the same mindset of- "Having kids? No, maybe not." It is the older generations that still think having kids are essential to life and need the explanation. So I got to thinking, why is it that my generation is so anti-life?
When I use the term anit-life, I use it because we are more accepting of abortion, and birth-control than any other generation. Most girls don't even think about it, when they get married or become sexually active (whichever comes first) that of course, they will go on the pill, or whatever type of hormone treatment they think is most convenient. They don't consider that some pills actually act as abortificants. Because that is what we do. We avoid making babies, at least until it is convenient. We also have a bad attitude when it comes to children in general. When people we know have babies, they usually are ostracized from their former peer group, because babies can cramp your style. Toddlers are to be avoided at all costs in restaurants, and movies. Children are herded to Sunday school so they do not make noise during church and distract those that are there to "worship." When we hear of a woman who has more than two children, many people look upon her with pity. Oh, and stay-at-home moms, what is THAT? When my generation has a baby, they usually go right back to work and drop their kids off at the closest daycare center. So, that is what I mean when I say we are anti-life.
What if we are anti-life because our first round of the parent-child relationship wasn't so great? We are the first generation to be the offspring of the liberated couples where the woman went to work, and we had joint incomes in our home. We experienced more divorce than any generation before us. Many in my generation were not valued and did not feel loved at home. I read a book recently, and it was by far the best book I have read on parenting. It is called How to REALLY Love Your Child by D. Ross Campbell. He discusses how many children do not feel loved even when their parents adore them. Why? They are not getting one or all three essential things:
1. Eye Contact. I don't know why, but this has made a huge difference for Ethan. The tantrums I was experiencing with him many times per day have dwindled to one a week maybe.
2. Physical Contact. Many parents feel uncomfortable with this after their kids are 5, yeah?
3. Focused Attention. Um, blackberries anyone? Checking email, facebook, twitter?
During my second pregnancy a good friend of mine said that I should get fixed after it was over because it would be terrible to have THREE babies. It made me really sad. Why did she hate the idea of new life so much? Then I remembered, oh yeah. She has one of the most horrible stories when it comes to having a Mommy Wound. Why should she understand how beautiful and amazing it is to have a mother-child relationship? She couldn't, of course she couldn't.
Is that how it is for many people my age? Is that why they don't want children? Is that why many people can't understand why I would want to stay at home with my toddler and baby? Maybe to them it is unthinkable that I see raising my kids to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. I only get one shot being their mom. Only one time will Ethan be a crazy, loud, boundary-testing, negative, joyful, exuberant, funny, happy, curious toddler that steals markers and writes on the wall and runs to me to kiss his boo-boos, and joyfully shouts, "Momma!" when I enter the room. Only one time will I get to breastfeed Noah, and sometimes it takes FOREVER and I just want to get up and do something else already, but only one time will he light up with adoration and joy just because he saw my face. Only one time can I watch him discover he can put his foot in his mouth--literally. When my generation doesn't want children or drops them off at daycare, they are missing precious moments with their kids, and then what will happen? Will the next generation be like us or even more anti-life? At least they won't need a wiki article to tell people why they don't want kids.
Please feel free to leave comments and tell me how wrong you think I am. I welcome feedback.