Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mothers who act like martyrs...

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine posted a rant about how parents should always look after their kids.  She said whether the "kid" was still an actual child or an adult, his or her parents should still be around to take care of them if they need help.  If they need money, mom and dad should ante up.  If they need shelter, mom and dad should offer it.  In short, a parent's job is never done.

My regular readers probably already know that my perspective on parenthood is permanently skewed.  I never got to be a mother, even though I always wanted to be one.  Bill fathered two kids, but they disowned him, mainly over parental alienation and religion.  I know that if he'd had his daughters with me, Bill's story would be very different.  Bill acknowledges that he made a mistake partnering with his ex wife.  He should have had more self-respect and waited for someone more suitable.

Anyway, my friend is a very good person who has a son.  She got divorced a couple of years ago and, I'm only guessing, her ex husband must not have helped their now adult son with something.  So my friend took to Facebook and wrote a vague post about how parents should always be willing to help/bail out their children if they need it.

I made a comment about Bill's kids disowning him and how he's had to get on with his life.  Otherwise, he'd go crazy.  Had he been able to stay in their lives, I know he would have helped them as much as they needed.  In fact, it would have given him much joy to be helpful to his kids... probably to his and their detriment.  Bill is kind and generous to a fault.  My friend liked my comment.  Several other women started opining.

One person was someone I knew in high school.  I distinctly remember her getting pregnant during our senior year.  She ended up leaving school at some point, though I remember her attending well after she was showing.  She went on to have a daughter.  Apparently after that, she had at least one more child.  To my friend's rant about the importance of parents being "there" for their children, she made the comment that she'd do *anything* for her daughters.  She followed up by making a comment about how her children's fathers had abandoned them, but she would be there until the day she died.

Another person commented that she'd sell a kidney so her daughter could go to college.  And another commented about how she'd get evicted from her home so her kid could go to school.

I couldn't help but think to myself that while these statements are kind of impressive, they also smack of martyrdom.  I wonder how much these women really thought about what they were saying.  I don't think you've done your job correctly if you've raised a child who would willingly allow you to sell a kidney just so he or she can go to college.  I would hope that a college aged child would value a loved one's health over post secondary education.  College is important for many career paths, but it's not a basic necessity.  Having healthy vital organs and a roof over one's head is much more important in the long run.  Moreover, you can't be "there" for your children if you're very ill or dead.  Kids who love their parents don't want to see them suffer on their account, either.  Guilt is not a comfortable feeling for decent people.

As for the friend who commented that her children's fathers had abandoned them, I wonder what she was thinking when she chose to make babies with men who are allegedly assholes.  Granted, she was very young with the first child.  She probably thought the guy was much better than he turned out to be.  She and I are both products of the same public school system in Virginia.  Having had classes with her, I know she's bright.  I also know that we were taught about how babies are made well before she got pregnant.  She still managed to get pregnant long before she was really ready to be a mother.  She claims that her parents didn't help her, so she left home when she was still a teen.

The father of my classmate's child, she has stated, eventually abandoned them.  Okay, so she made a mistake when she was young and got involved with a man who wasn't a good father.  But she also has at least one more child that she claims was abandoned by the other parent.

I want to ask her why she hadn't learned from her first mistake.  Did the men she had babies with suddenly turn into jerks when they became fathers?  I suppose it's possible.  I think it's more likely that she ignored the signs that these guys weren't up to the job of being parents or partners.  Maybe she didn't think about the future when she had sex with them.  Perhaps she was living in the moment.  Or, it's possible that she's like Bill's ex wife and claims she was abandoned when, in fact, she engaged in parental alienation and pushed her children's fathers out of their lives.

This lady says she will always be "there" for her kids; but it seems to me that by having kids with men who are selfish jerks that supposedly abandoned them, she partially failed her children from the get go.  If she engaged in parental alienation, she also failed her kids.  But, because she has these kids who, regardless of the reason, are missing their fathers, she gets to be the martyr and make dramatic statements about all she would do for her children.  No doubt she and her kids have endured some difficulty and pain.  I think some of that pain could have been avoided with some planning and forethought.

I think one of the best things you can do for a child is offer them a stable, loving homelife.  If you choose to have a baby with a partner (as opposed to using a sperm bank), choose one that will do his (or her) share of the work.  Otherwise, you are complicit in making your children's lives more difficult than they need to be.  Children are not extensions of their parents, but separate beings.  It's not your job to live your life through them or make your life about them.  It's about helping them become the best people they can be.  

I think many people are far too casual about sharing their DNA.  Too many women see their children as entirely their own creations.  Children are created by both a sperm and an egg.  One parent is not capable of carrying the child in his body, but the child still wouldn't exist without his input.  Those who want to raise a child with a man and want the man to be involved should realize that it's a 50/50 partnership.  Do your best to choose a good person to be your partner.  That's one of the best things you can do for your children.  Maybe then, you won't have to *suffer* so much for your kids because there will be more than one person available to share the load.

I know this sounds terribly judgmental.  I am fortunate in that I never got involved with anyone who treated me badly.  It seems the men who liked me have all been solid citizens.  I have never been attracted to abusive or unavailable men, nor have they been attracted to me.  So maybe I lack sympathy for women who get involved with creeps.  I don't see why you'd even want to go on a date with one, let alone make a baby with one.

Ah, but I'm sure a lot of these women enjoy a special kind of joy when they can brag about being martyrs while simultaneously shitting on their children's fathers.  They don't consider that those kids know that half of their DNA came from a man their mother doesn't respect or may even hate.  I would submit that if you willingly make a baby with a person you don't respect, you are showing even less respect for yourself.  And if you don't have self-respect, you really have no business having children.


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