Of the more recent conversations on Like It Is, this one has garnered an amazing number of comments. 104 to be exact. When I wrote the post I of course had no idea that it would generate such a lot of interesting comments from men and women who already have children, where no more children are wanted and yet more children are planned – at least by the partner who does want more children.
Given that this is a childfree blog (yes, I have to say that yet again, so that the anti-childfree, and those who wish to convert the childfree can look away now and stop reading) I was surprised at the number of childed folk who also posted. Aside from those who never bothered to read the actual posts and comments, – and the fact that I’m not encouraging childed posters on Like It Is unless they want to contribute positively to childfree conversations, I have to say I was surprised at the number of people who are actually in what to me would be an untenable situation.Where one partner’s choices are deemed less important if the choice does not contain a baby as the end result. I found many of the comments from the men very interesting – and certainly an education.
As I’d suspected, it seems that many men given the choice would either rather not have children at all or, at the very least, would prefer to limit the number of children they did have.
And where they’d had one or two from previous relationships would rather not have added to the number. And often, they found themselves in a hapless and helpless position faced by the immutable, immovable almost physical desire for a child by their partner/wife.
From my vantage point as a childfree women, I am of the firm opinion that if a child isn’t 101% wanted by both parents, they’ve no business having one. Very few of the women who complained their husbands didn’t/no longer wanted to have kids mentioned the potential impact on the child. Perhaps because it never occurred to them to consider it. I also believe (lest I be accused of siding only with the male sex) that anyone who is seeking to manipulate someone into having a child is wrong, whether that person is male or female.
My impression of the childed women commentators overall though, is that with very few exceptions is that they come across as whiny children, sulking and throwing a tantrum when their spouse doesn’t bow to their wish for a child – often another child – and maybe even more than one child. The women seem to care only for the fact that they want another child. Or they want a girl. Or they want a boy. In many cases their desire for a child is more important than their marriage and their spouse. Reasons can range from “Well, I’ve always wanted one,” to “it’s been a deep longing within me ever since —-“ or “my friends are having children and I feel I have to have one.” Common denominator? I. Want.
Tactics can include flat out ultimatums or simply being passive-aggressive. It doesn’t seem to matter that the men don’t want a child, don’t feel confident in their ability to be a good parent (and this can be based on the man’s recent experience) or simply like their relationship the way it is – having seen how children can sap the life from even the strongest relationship. Meanwhile, it seems some relationships, with the potential time-bomb of a child wanted by one and (secretly) not the other partner, are headed for the rocks. Sooner or later they will get there.
The women find it hard to believe, that their men would not willingly want to have a child. I find it hard to fathom just why they hey find this so hard to believe. I can only believe that conditioning to breed is so deep seated that they allow it to control them more than they know. Meanwhile, many men seem unable to articulate their lack of parenting desire. The only thing that matters to these women is that they want a child, and if they didn’t get one life would be made unbearable.
If this isn’t selfishness then what is?