Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sacrificial Parents

Blogger buddy Elizabeth has a new post in which she writes about her choice to be childfree in a light-hearted, jokey manner, and, boy, have the commenters made my blog finger itch.  Rather than start a profanity-laced war in her comments section, I figured I'd make use of this dusty old blog instead :)

To get right to it, here's a couple of comments that piss me off:
"[W]e should respect those who are sacrificing themselves for someone else's sake. Even when they keep telling us that "we'll change our mind"."
Ew, no.  Respect is a two-way street.
"To me, the best thing about having children is having grandchildren."
Look, I get that people are half-joking when they say this, but having kids for the sake of grandkids is a risky investment and a poor return on your time.  (Also applies to any plans to have your offspring or your offspring's offspring support you in your old age.)  Maybe it'll work out, or maybe one of the following will happen: your kids don't want kids, your kids aren't able to have kids, your kids are assholes, your grandkids are assholes, your kids move far away and no-one has the money for frequent visits, or you become an asshole that your kids want nothing to do with.  (Or, your kids aren't able to support you because of ill health and crappy insurance/exploding student loans/expensive children of their own.)

Mostly, though, we need to jettison this rhetoric of "sacrifice."  If you think that our society depends on something, don't obligate people to "sacrifice themselves" to produce it.  We need to value labor, especially child-rearing, and that means paying for it.  Round up some more taxes from us childfree folks and send those parents a box!