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katiebelle2882
these "accidents" happen way too often. also, we are mostly talking about people who choose to have children when they dont have enough money. bc that happens an awful lot.
ratgrl
Agreed. As I said in a previous post, there are plenty of B.C. methods around that no woman should be getting pregnant unless she can afford to raise a child. I mean, even women who don't have health insurance (and so couldn't go on the Pill inexpensively, for example) still have other options. Hello...Planned Parenthood, maybe? Or condoms from a drugstore? Geez, shelling out a few bucks to prevent a pregnancy is still a whole lot less expensive than going through a pregnancy and years of child-rearing would be. How is it that so many women fail to think in those terms?

And I myself was unplanned, as I said before. Sometimes I jokingly (never to my parents, though) refer to my birthday as "the day the abortion failed." Facetiously, of course: I predate Roe v. Wade, and my parents were both raised Catholic, so I'm sure abortion was never even a fleeting thought when they found out they were expecting me. So they had me, even though they had no money and barely a pot to piss in. Oh, and bonus: My sister was born 15 months after me (also a completely "accidental" pregnancy; my mother apparently thought that breast-feeding me assured automatic contraception). So my parents were saddled with little money, 2 kids, and massive debt and financial stress for many years. What's especially ridiculous is that they were both college-educated young adults, not a couple of 15-year-olds in the backseat of a hoopty. But I do know that many people were far more "sheltered" about sex, birth control, etc., back then (40 years ago). So, I guess they had something of an excuse for their "mistake" because of that. But today? With sex education in schools, constant talk about sex in the media/pop culture, and easy access to birth control? It *is* ridiculous that there are still so many accidental pregnancies.

FWIW, my parents never said to me that I was a mistake or that they regretted having me. In fact, they denied that theirs was a "shotgun wedding"(I periodically asked them, point blank) until I was 25 and my mom finally fessed up. I actually had done the math and figured it out when I was 10 years old, but they kept insisting that I was conceived on their honeymoon and that I was two months premature! As a child, I was well aware of their financial struggles, and I just think that their 20's and 30's would have been much easier and more pleasant if they'd done a little pre-planning. And that's my attitude about anyone who has an "oops" pregnancy because they just couldn't be bothered with birth control.

yuefie
Having ended up pregnant twice while using birth control (the first time the pill, the second condoms) I can confidently say there is no 100% effective bc and accidents can and do occur.

That being said, I am stunned by the amount of people who act as if bc doesn't exist. I have an aunt who has seven children. She and her husband are very poor and ended up moving out of San Diego because they could not afford the cost of living here. They were poor when they began, but they kept on popping them out. I never understood this, and now two of their daughters have had babies, and both were under twenty at the time they gave birth.



doodlebug
Hey all...

rose and altargrrrl, thanks for your posts. I wish I could respond in depth, but I'm so exhausted from dealing with politicians today, and more of that to come....I will get back, just wanted you to know that I wasn't ignoring you or anything. And yeah, I was pretty sure you didn't mean it in a negative way, rose! wink.gif Thanks to both of you for continuing to be so thoughtful and expressive in your posts....and to everyone else, too! I'm just so very tired right now...
ratgrl
QUOTE(yuefie @ Sep 26 2006, 11:36 PM) *

Having ended up pregnant twice while using birth control (the first time the pill, the second condoms) I can confidently say there is no 100% effective bc and accidents can and do occur.

That being said, I am stunned by the amount of people who act as if bc doesn't exist. I have an aunt who has seven children. She and her husband are very poor and ended up moving out of San Diego because they could not afford the cost of living here. They were poor when they began, but they kept on popping them out. I never understood this, and now two of their daughters have had babies, and both were under twenty at the time they gave birth.


Yuefie, you made a good point. I'm aware that even when it's used, birth control can and does sometimes fail: my former sister-in-law got pregnant while on the Pill. Even then, abortion's an option...but I realize that some people don't believe in it, don't have easy access to it, or whatever. While I was on the Pill (until Ratboy got his vasectomy), I lived in constant fear of becoming pregnant. Had that happened, we would have chosen abortion, for sure. But again, I understand that not everyone believes in that option.

My main beef is with people that can't be bothered w/ birth control in the first place. I just can't help but get impatient with people who end up with unplanned (and, sadly, sometimes unwanted) children as a result of their failure to take precautions. Especially when these same people want MY money to help financially support their mistake. I'd much rather see those tax dollars subsidize effective birth control methods AND abortions to those who can't afford to raise a kid themselves.

roseviolet
((((((((((Doodlebug)))))))))) You just take care of yourself, okay? You've been through a hell of a lot this week and it's only Tuesday!

Unfortunately, sex education in U.S. public schools still sucks. Especially if you grow up in the Bible Belt like I did. I barely knew anything about contraceptives and pregnancy rates until my first visit to Planned Parenthood at the age of 19.

My mother is an ER nurse and is saddened by the number of teen mothers she sees. Recently a 12 year old girl came to the ER. Turns out that the 12 year old was 3 months pregnant - too far along to have an abortion. Sadly, the girl's mother was also a teen mother, giving birth to her daughter at 16. Can you imagine being a grandmother before your 30th birthday? Astounding.

I have told Sheff that if we end up having a daughter someday after all, I'll take her to the gynecologist as soon as she gets her period & get her an IUD. And I'm only half kidding.
yuefie
QUOTE(roseviolet @ Sep 26 2006, 07:59 PM) *
Unfortunately, sex education in U.S. public schools still sucks. Especially if you grow up in the Bible Belt like I did. I barely knew anything about contraceptives and pregnancy rates until my first visit to Planned Parenthood at the age of 19.


You know rose, you bring up a very good point. I live in San Diego and our sex education still sucks. I can only imagine what it must be like in the Bible Belt. It's true that in a lot of those places there aren't even accessible clinics for these young women to obtain bc, even if they've managed to somehow grasp the knowledge of it's existence. Let alone abortions. It's easy for us to say what we would do if we were faced with something at a particular age, especially as educated adults perhaps living somewhere with access to say a Planned Parenthood and in a state that does not require parental consent. I was fortunate enough to have been educated on bc in school and even went to high school a couple of blocks away from a Planned Parenthood. But there were still girls at my school who wound up pregnant because they were so afraid of their parents finding out they were seeking out bc. Most often they were the girls who's parents refused to educate them or allow them to be educated at school, opting them out of the sex ed! And what about these poor girls who live in these places without the education and resources with parents who would rather force them to become parents themselves? Those parents who refuse to educate their kids, would rather be in denial that their child might be sexually active or are more concerned with what "the bible says" are the guilty ones.

I know this discussion is more about adults who should know better, but there is such an alarming teen pregnancy rate. The parents really ought to know better!

cloverbee
I grew up in the bible belt and my parents didn't allow me to participate in the sex ed classes. i was so uneducated but i still somehow knew how to prevent pregnancies. i also had a great planned parenthood in my town that provided me free bc even though it was based on family income I just lied to them. they didn't ask too many questions which was too cool.
thepointybird
well, here in the UK, contraception is completely free for everybody, and we still have this phenomenally high teen pregnancy rate! It's depressing, as I'm sure a lot of girls simply expect to become mothers at a very young age because that is the norm in their communities. A friend of mine got a Christmas job in a shop years ago, she was 18 at the time and another girl who worked there asked her "how many kids do you have?" And was then genuinely shocked to find out that my friend had managed to make it through her teenage years without spawning! I think as well as sex ed, girls need to be taught that they DO have other options, they can have a career, travel and then think about kids. And that they DON'T need to start breeding at the age of 15 just because that's what their mum did....
turbojenn
Yeah, the sex education/unplanned pregnancy prevention issue is so hard on many levels. Its educating parents, its educating kids, its about being *honest* with kids from an early age about what sex is, and the reality of parenting, especially parenting at a young age...its helping young women really understand and OWN their bodies, and that they don't have to have sex with any boy to be worthy of love, or a valuable member of the community. Its about admitting how HARD it is to be a parent, a single parent, a teenage parent, and helping parents of teens talk to their kids, and understand that contraception doesn't mean your child is going to have sex every day. I see so many young women come to our adoption agency with really tough situations, and having to make the hardest decision about parenting or adoption, and I just wish for a day when every woman had access to the health services and education they need...and that parents could take a real look at what's going on in schools.

This fall, chicago is starting the very first pilot program of offering frank, honest sex ed in all public schools, and the emphasis is on middle schools - 6-8th grades. Planned parenthood has a contract to teach every child in the public schools about sex ed and contraception. And sadly, the largest spikes in teen pregnancies we're seeing is in 12-14 year olds.
thepointybird
Actually, this all resonates so much with me Turbo, as I was born to a 14 year old girl and adopted as a baby. This was 1974 in Ireland, so I'm guessing my birth mother probably didn't have a lot of choice in the matter! But it seems to be virtually unheard of for girls to give up babies for adoption in the UK these days. It's almost like it isn't presented to them as an option. Also, I agree that the basic self-respect thing that you talked about definitely ISN'T what girls are being taught. Maybe it might be a better idea to have someone young and funky that these girls can relate to to come in to schools and talk about these things. At that age your teachers seem ancient, but maybe a girl a few years older would have more resonance? Or maybe celebrities could get involved? I just think it's horrible to see girls so young effectively throwing their lives away...
turbojenn
Yeah, adoption in the UK is NOT really an option, and particularly in Ireland. We actually have women from the UK call us, and want to work with us, and a couple times a year, we do...and they have to fly over here to have the baby in order to relinquish parental rights, as it would be caught up in the courts for months there, and is really hard on birth parents. Its very sad. Also, its very difficult for adoptive parents to adopt in Europe at all, so most families end up adopting through the US...its all very strange. Its even difficult for Euro families to adopt from countries like Russia and China where there are thousands of available children, and they usually end up working through a US agency. Its a sad reality. Sorry about the work chatter, there.

And I definitely agree that mentorship is an awesome thing for teen girls. I speak periodically for Girls Get Digital, a club for at risk teen korean girls to teach them about the digital arts, and those girls just suck up all the information and mentoring we can give....and it makes me feel like I'm so much cooler than I think I really am, 'cause they think I'm cool. cool.gif My attempt to mentor in my own neighborhood has not been as sucessful, and was very stressful for me, so I'm not doing that anymore. I may start tutoring again, though...that was at least beneficial for both me and the students.
thepointybird
QUOTE(turbojenn @ Sep 27 2006, 02:33 PM) *



And I definitely agree that mentorship is an awesome thing for teen girls. I speak periodically for Girls Get Digital, a club for at risk teen korean girls to teach them about the digital arts, and those girls just suck up all the information and mentoring we can give....and it makes me feel like I'm so much cooler than I think I really am, 'cause they think I'm cool. cool.gif My attempt to mentor in my own neighborhood has not been as sucessful, and was very stressful for me, so I'm not doing that anymore. I may start tutoring again, though...that was at least beneficial for both me and the students.


We think you're cool Turbo! tongue.gif
faerietails
pointybird, you just brought back a surreal memory for me! several years ago i was hanging out with my little cousin, who was probably 6 or 7 at the time. she asked me how old i was (i was about 19 or 20), and when i told her her eyes grew huge and she asked incredulously, "20?!! And you don't have babies yet?" our other cousins who were my age had already begun having children in their late teens, so to her this was kind of what people my age were supposed to do and i was the abnormal one. i was so horrified. i had to give her a little talk about how important it was to finish college first and stuff, but i was so taken aback at how she had initially looked at me. it's crazy.
thepointybird
Oh dear Faerietails! How old is she now? Please tell me she didn't go on to have babaies at a stupidly young age!
katiebelle2882
"My main beef is with people that can't be bothered w/ birth control in the first place. I just can't help but get impatient with people who end up with unplanned (and, sadly, sometimes unwanted) children as a result of their failure to take precautions. Especially when these same people want MY money to help financially support their mistake. I'd much rather see those tax dollars subsidize effective birth control methods AND abortions to those who can't afford to raise a kid themselves."

exactly. and also exactly to what yuefie said. i ended up pregnant when i was on the pill as well so i know there is no 100% guaranteed way but try SOMETHING. bc while there is no guaranteed way, it sure works a hell of alot better then nothing at all!
maddy29
word yuefie-this is what i was trying to say:

" It's easy for us to say what we would do if we were faced with something at a particular age, especially as educated adults perhaps living somewhere with access to say a Planned Parenthood and in a state that does not require parental consent. "

And yep, birth control fails all the time, and not everyone is ok with an abortion, and I don't think anyone should feel guilty about NOT getting an abortion, and choosing to raise their child even though they don't have much money.
martoocha
Just wanted to share with you what was included in the "BustLine" email that's sent out every 2 weeks, i believe.

Hot Topics
Here’s what the gals are gabbing about in the BUST Lounge right now...

"I personally think that NOT having kids is a privilege, because it's really such a new thing that's becoming more and more normalized. And many women still don't have the access or information to make that choice. Hopefully that'll change, and parents will be people who have chosen that life, not just fallen into it.” maddy29, Childfree by Choice!
turbojenn
How cool! We're famous! Now watch all the CBC-curious come pouring in here!

On one hand, I think its cool for them to have an ear to our discussions, and highlight us in their newsletter, but when I read the mag, and see comments from the board lifted and folded into articles...I get a little testy, because there's no attribution. But, then, I suppose we're all here by the grace of BUST, and we're a good research area, I'm sure.

maddy29
holy crap! something i wrote, someone actually, like, thought was good? hee hee! we are soo famous y'all!

now i feel bad cause i've never actually read bust magazine smile.gif heh heh - i was going to write that in the confessions thread...

i wonder why they didn't include the first line in my paragraph???

"I don't know about saying having kids is a privilege, since it's just something that happens when you fuck without b.c."

tee hee
pollystyrene
(I didn't get my BustLine....grrr.)

I'm not even trying to turn this into a CBC issue, but it sort of relates to the recent comments in here.

I don't care how much the doctors assured this woman the baby was OK- being born 3 months early is nothing to sneeze at. It just seems really selfish to me- i know it was unexpected, the kid being born 3 months early and on her wedding day, but I think having a baby (and a premature one, at that) is a pretty good reason to postpone your wedding, and your guests should be more than understanding.

My SIL had a bad reaction to the anesthesia when she had a c-section, and was out of it for about 10 hours after her baby was born and she felt super guilty about missing those first hours of the baby's life, and that wasn't even her fault/choice.
musicnerd
[size=2]Ok, first post here. My daughter, age 16, gets BUST. I'm 54 and think its quite good. Dont know why, but I wanted to comment on the subject of Childfree by Choice. It SHOULD be our choice; no one elses. As a mom and fellow female, I have always told my daughter that having children or not is an intensely personal decision, and one to never, EVER be made lightly. We have discussed many many times how if you know deep down having children, getting married, any of those BIG life choice issues is not for you, then for heavens' sake honor yourself. Dont allow yourself to be bullied into whatever it is by a person, your peers, or our media.

Pregnancy, and the control of it, has always been an open and discussed subject at our house. I have a son, age 23. When he was quite young, we started talking about sex, reproduction and so on. When he was in middle school, I took him to Planned Parenthood to pick up a kit they have to teach kids about birth control and so on. Has all manner of stuff in it, along with literature and such. He actually did a report on it for a science class. Since his dad and I are divorced, it was me who had the talk with him. When he went away to college, I would check in with him now and again to make sure he had condoms if he were sexually active. He said yes, and said that the dorm he was in the RA had a basket of them readily available. I cant tell you how weird it was for me to sit back and say geez, here I am, his mom, checking with him about condoms and stuff...but better me than no one.

One thing both of them have heard besides the honor yourself thing is that I dont EVER want to hear one of them say either they are pregnant or the GF is pregnant unless thats what they want. Too many ways to prevent it these days, even though yes, I understand it can still happen despite all precautions. So far so good...

I had my children because I wanted them, not because I was pushed, bullied or otherwise felt my justification as a human being depended on me reproducing.

Somehow related to all this is I like BUST as it is picking up where a lot of the now gone feminist centered magazines and publications left off. As a dinosaur from that era who was on the front lines in the beginning, at times I think the state of feminism is almost worse off than before. There are many bright spots, but some things have absolutely retreated to the dark ages again. BUST at least encourages women to be themselves, know themselves, be strong.....

Anyhow...blathering off...cheers to you all.
maddy29
this is frickin' adorable: "He actually did a report on it for a science class"

i love that! my mom actually talked to me and my older sister a lot about pregnancy too, and made it clear that we shouldn't be afraid of going to them if it happened, and that we'd deal with it together, etc. She also did some fun condom demonstrations with a banana that I have apparently blocked out smile.gif because I don't remember them but my sister tells me they were agonizing...smile.gif but still! i knew about condoms and pregnancy and stuff, that is part of a parent's responsibilty for sure.

don't know if this is the right thread for it (prolly not) but i'd love for you to share your thoughts over in the F-word-about feminism and how you've seen it change and stuff, and more about the stuff you were saying in your last paragraph.

welcome to the boards smile.gif
katiebelle2882
my mom is 54 too. you are one cool mama music nerd. wow!
turbojenn
musicnerd - thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here - it really cheers me to think that there are parents out there really talking honestly with their kids about sex and contraception. My parents *never* talked to us about sex. But, I had horrifying periods as a teenager that would pretty much take me out of school for a full week, so she did take me to the doc to get BC pills when I was 16, for which I am so grateful. But not a word was mentioned about...uh, other uses for BC pills. Funny.

I hope we see you 'round here more, musicnerd!

pollystyrene
Yay, musicnerd and other pro-REAL-sex-education parents! When my sister and I were teenagers, and we each had a couple of friends or friends-of-friends who had unplanned pregnancies, my mom went out, bought us a box of condoms and said, "I don't care where you put these, I'm not going to look for them or count them, I don't care if you use them or give them to your friends, just make sure they get used wisely and let me know if you need more!" I think it was a really good move.
ginger_kitty
maddy, heehee! But you don't read Bust? Go buy a copy now! biggrin.gif

Welcome musicnerd, thanks for sharing!
maddy29
i know, i'm going to have to. i've been meaning to, actually so now this motivates me to get a copy...heh.

polly your mom sounds rad.
musicnerd
Thanks everyone for the nice welcomes and comments.

When I was growing up we never, ever discussed sex at my house. What I learned, I learned from books. Never did pay too much attention to the street stuff or what my peers tried to tell me. Believe me, I was one of the first in line when BCP were being prescribed. I'll never forget the day I went to the GYN for my first appointment to get them. I arrived, and there were so many women there for the same reason, the office was FULL, and they had chairs set up down the hall; also full. I bet there were 25 women waiting. The poor Doc was sitting behind his desk looking a bit frazzled. His nurses said it had been that way ever since the FDA approved the pill, and his appointment calendar was packed for the next 5-6 months.

Daughter now has those bad periods, and we are in the process of doing a GYN workup. I can tell you how its going to wind up; she'll probably take the pill. Fine with me, even though you should see the DOC's faces when I say taking the BCP is perfectly ok with me, if it will help her. I guess they think I am going to pass out and need a funeral parlor fan to be revived when that particular regimen is recommended. Not.

Maddy29, exactly where were you referring that I should go on the other forum or board or whatever? I would like to discuss or view the state of feminism from a young womans perspective..I'd like to see how it is now. Thanks...

maddy29
The "F-word" thread has some good threads that you might want to check out I mean, really any thread in here you'll be able to see quite a variety of opinions.

This: "As a dinosaur from that era who was on the front lines in the beginning, at times I think the state of feminism is almost worse off than before. There are many bright spots, but some things have absolutely retreated to the dark ages again."

was what I was referring to-what are the bright spots, what things have retreated to the dark ages. also i'd love to hear about your experiences on the front lines. Not sure what thread exactly to go to...
sybarite
Musicnerd, my parents had much the same attitude to yours. My mum sat us down when we were *young*, I think we were under 10, and gave us the birds and the bees talk. We totally didn't get half of it but would come back to the discussion over the years with questions. I used to think we were too young for the initial talk, but at the same time hearing the facts so early meant we were never in the dark. We used to fill in our friends.

Sorry, but it boggles my mind that so many of you didn't have sex and pregnancy explained to you by your parents. Ignorance does not equal bliss!
musicnerd
Maddy,

Thanks for clarifying and pointing to that direction. I'll poke around and see which one might be appropriate, and if I dont find one, might just start one.

Stefanie
turbojenn
psst....musicnerd - before you start *any* post, be sure to run on over to the "Ladies Who Lounge" section, then post in the "Community Forum" to clear any topic ideas...we're a self-managed board, so we use community forum to gauge interest in new topics before starting threads to keep the total number of threads down. I hope you're enjoying the lounge as much as we're enjoying your posts!
lucizoe
*waves at musicnerd* also, there's a new rule - you have to have 10 posts before you can start a new thread...but yeah, definitely ask in the community forum, if you haven't already...if you aren't finding what you're looking for on your own, someone will likely point you towards the most appropriate thread
LaVerne
I'm brand new here in the Lounge. Actually, this topic was what got me here. Thank goodness for all of you. I am really tired of people questioning my decision not to procreate, and trying to make me feel like I cannot live a fulfilled life unless I change my mind. People even say that to me, "oh, you'll change your mind."

The truth is, since I was very young, I always just assumed I would have kids. But I always kind of dreaded the idea. (especially the throwing up stuff) But during the last ten years of my life, I've become more and more okay with the idea of not having kids. Partially because I can think for myself, and partially because the man I'm in love with (and have been for the last nine years) absolutely does not want kids. But still, there are always people (especially middle-aged women) who can't seem to leave me be, and always try to make me think that someday I will realize I've made a dreadful mistake, but then it will be too late, and I will die lonely and regretful. What's that all about?

Anyway, I'm solid with my decision. I have lots of kids in my life, and next month I'll be an aunt, so I'm happy about that.

It's a comfort to know you all are out there.

turbojenn
Welcome to the lounge, LaVerne!!! You'll find a welcoming community here for CBCers, and all sorts of other perspectives! And of course not having our own kids doesn't mean that kids aren't in our lives!! I feel good that when I do spend time with the kids in my life, I can be my best self, have fun with the kids, give their parents a break, and then go home to my own quiet house.
musicnerd
Hi LaVerne

From another newbie...welcome. I have been so pleasantly surprised at the warm, welcoming, intelligent and respectful women here.

IMHO, dont apologize, dont feel you have to justify your decision to be child-free. Not ALL middle age ladies will give you grief, but unfortunately, the ones who will vastly out number the ones who wont. If you need reinforcement from a middle aged lady, I'm here... you can have it any time.

You know, theres a question I ask myself about a lot of things. Just because you CAN, should you? Is it right for YOU? I think it would well apply in the decision to have or not have children. Whats important is that once you know that you know the answer to the question, then stick to it. That question applies to a lot of things in life, I think, and one which bears asking in lots of situations.

Lucie and Turbo, thanks for the heads up....

doodlebug
Hello and welcome to thread/Lounge newbies! Wow, how cool!

I'm sort of flying by this thread at the moment, but wanted to say yeah, don't be afraid to feel comfortable about your decision. Other people try to make us uncomfortable, for many reasons. Sometimes I think it has a lot to do with some parents wanting their own decision to parent validated. But that's not our job! And I've actually found my position on childfree womanhood has opened quite a few of my women friends up to reveal regrets they've had about becoming mothers...it's nice to be able to give them a safe opportunity to vent about it, because the rest of society keeps them silenced about their regrets.

I am going to be 38 in 2 months, and as every year goes by, I find myself more and more sure of my decision. Any year now, I will be at the mid-point of my life, and the idea of going through the 2nd half with no children or grandchildren not only doesn't bother me, it intrigues me! I'm very lucky though - I have a small family, and my mom totally supports my decision...she's not really all that interested in grandparenting herself!
doodlebug
As holiday season approaches (Canada's Thanksgiving is in October), I found this NY Times article (a few months old) on the issue of children at dinner parties. Some useful information here on how to word your invitations to ensure adult-only events!

I also do not understand whence came the time when children were suddenly "welcome" everywhere. I am not exactly an old lady, but even I remember being allowed to make a brief appearance and then sent to bed or to sitters when adults-only events happened. I think there are appropriate events for children and inappropriate events for children, and I think parents who don't know the difference might be a little disturbed.

I don't get "attachment parenting" very much either, although I admit to not knowing much about it. I travelled once with a mom who was a big believer in practicing "attachment parenting" - she talked about it all the time. We stayed at my mom's to attend a conference in Vancouver. Her child - maybe 1.5 at the time? - cried and whined all night, and the mom didn't try to stop her, she just let her go at it, and kept saying things like, "I know you're upset, I know you miss daddy." She refused to leave the child to cry it out, but no attempts were made to shush her or take her out for a late night drive, either. And the child was allowed to keep everyone else in the house up half the night. It was pretty awful. It seemed like her methods were only serving to encourage the child to whine and take up space...and the more attention the child got this way, the worse (more whiny, purposeless) the crying became. My own mom, who raised 2 children of her own - was horrified, and told me privately that the child was in total control of the mom, and was going to be a huge problem later in life. (My mom was not strict, but pretty much ignored tantrums until they stopped.) And the child attended the conference as well! Which was worse. I mean, we all worked in women's organizations, so we were used to children running around willy-nilly (the mom got a lot of assistance from other participants), but we were in a building with regular working folks, and it was too much - for two days. I realize that women and children come together, especially when breast feeding is involved, but bonding issues or not, if you make a decision to have a child, I think sometimes you just have to make a decision to either leave your child at home, or accept that you don't get to do everything you want to do!
turbojenn
I think those invite lines for being clear about expectations are great!

For instance....tonight is our friend's 30th birthday party...he and 40 of his closest friends are gathering at the Brauhaus for his annual b-day/Oktoberfest extravaganza. I am likely not going because I don't like large gatherings, don't like beer, smoky restaurants, 100 decibal polka, or big groups of drunk people. A couple in the group with a 3 month old baby is bringing the baby along...WTF??? It it NOT a place for babies...not even a place for those concerned about their hearing or health of their lungs...either get a sitter, or one of you stays home with the baby...gah. Turbomann is encouraging me to join in the fun, and its just not fun for me...I even draw a line between adult events I want to attend, and those I do not. I am perfectly happy for an evening at home alone with Dr. McDreamy on my DVD player.

I don't really know anything about all the parenting theories either, and I'm glad for that. The only things I know about attachment theories are how it applies to adopted children in transition from orphanage care to home life, and I'm imagining that's different that what most parents are calling the attachment method. Hell, it is my joy to sit at home in front of dvds or reading novels, instead of worrying after a child...I'm just glad that I've been able to choose a lifestyle that makes ME happy.
lucizoe
heh, doodle, I think the "Accept that there are things you cannot do" idea is the biggest issue I have with selfish parents. They appear to believe they can carry on as usual, just with baby-in-tow, and it just cannot work that way. The baby's needs/wants, one and the same, must.take.precedence over your friend's birthday party or the sample sale or whatever. It's just life, and it's a choice you've made, so get to it. Especially if you want to be lecturing me about responsibility and how kids teach you what's really important...

I've said it before, but I firmly believe that the parents I run into who go on and on and on about how much having kid/s has changed their lives, and that I can't possibly understand what love is unless I have a child, and how selfless they are and how selfish people like me are...well, I think they were the same people I went to college with who gave me blank looks if I mentioned factory farming or pointed out some pretty blatant examples of gender discrimination or racism or didn't understand the point of voting or why on earth I could possibly be so upset about the outcome of the 2000 election...you know, dunderheads whose worldviews - before they were forced by the existence of a small dependent creature - consisted entirely of them and exactly how plastered they could get in the shortest amount of time come Thursday afternoon...of course, now it consists entirely of them AND their holy sprog, rest of the planet be damned...sigh.

Whew. Holy rant, batman!

Lovely childfree saturday...brunch of granola, fruit and yogurt with mr.luci, then three hours browsing at the strand, followed by lounging about listening to birdsongs on CD and planning my next few steps...we're looking at an apartment in Brooklyn this week for which we have no competition (and no broker fee!) and so we might be moving really soon. It has a loft for my workspace! And 12 foot tall windows! And 20 ft. ceilings and a newly remodeled kitchen! Its owners are in Boise for at least a year or so (grad school), so we could be settled for a relatively long period of time, and the kitties could have a staircase to run up and down!
doodlebug
Ugh turbo! Why would anyone bring a 3 month old baby to something like that? A big family-oriented event would be one thing....but Oktoberfest???

I wonder sometimes if people realize not only what hazzards they are exposing their children to (smoke, high decibal noise, danger from drinking-related accidents, etc.), but also the restrictions they are putting on others by bringing children to adult events? It changes the things you can even discuss, and how you discuss them. (Anyone else here curse like a sailor when they're drinking? What about telling dirty jokes?)
treehugger
I came about this in my internet surfing today.
hellotampon
??!? Wow.

I have a new baby! A new baby animal, that is. Someone gave me a pug puppy. But as I posted in the dog thread, I feel really bad for my "firstborn" because he's driving her crazy!

Also, the puppy is soooooooooo cute but I think I'm holding back a little from bonding with him because feel guilty about "betraying" my older dog (even though she couldn't care less at this point- she's too busy trying to avoid the pup).
flyingfrog
AUGHH!! a baby pug? you're so lucky. they are ridiculously cute - a friend of a friend has one, and I sort of live for the pictures he emails me. those FACES.

word on all the dimwits who bring their kids along to everything. there was a couple at our favorite neighborhood bar a few weeks back, and they had their freakin' one- or two-year old clambering all over the seats. it was hard not to notice. and mr. frog and I were at this bar for two reasons: a) to get drunk on cheap drink specials, and b) generate some romantical feelings, ifyouknowwhatImean. nothing kills either of these moods faster than a stupid brat making googly eyes at you over the side of the table!

a lot of the young parents I see around here in brooklyn are my age. they're still rockin' their converse and sonic youth t-shirts (and they deck their kids out in similar outfits), and they still want to go to the comic book store or the bar. on the one hand, I admire people who keep up with their lives and interests despite having kids. but, as lucizoe put it, accept that there are things you cannot do. or accept that you need to hire a babysitter sometimes.

one last thing I have to get off my chest: for the past many months I've been playing phone/email tag with a friend who moved away, got married, and had a baby. FINALLY I caught up with her on the phone last week. five minutes into our awkward christ-we-haven't-spoken-since-last-winter catch up conversation, Baby starts wailing in the background. oops! she's gotta go. she'll totally call me in a day or two. meanwhile I can keep up with all Baby's fascinating developments via his new baby website! because Baby is all she really thinks about now and- oh gosh really have to run, Baby's hungry.

three guesses as to whether or not she called me back in a day or two. sigh.
musicnerd
Ok, the fossil speaks here. Doodle, and tree, thanks so much for those articles. Very interesting.

Kids and events. In 1999 my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. I was in charge of the arrangements as for some unknown reason, I seem to have a flair and talent for doing this sort of thing. The guy I hired to do the video production (not the first time, and we did a video about my parents lives up to the point they met and married among other topics) said to me if I EVER wanted to do event coordination for a living, just let him know, he could put me in business immediately. I told him Don, I have no idea what you are smoking, but stop. There isnt enough money in the world for me to do this full time. I'd be out back with a knitting needle poked in my eye in a week. Event coordinator at this private club we belong to and where we had the party also said the same thing to me numerous times. I asked Margaret how did she cope with it and not at least have a small drinking problem? Anyway.

We had the event at a private club in Tampa. Very nice, very chichi. It was a formal event. Expensive out the wazoo. On the invitations it was very very clearly stated this was an adults only event. The seating at each table was carefully planned, the meals, timing, everything. I mean its like coordinating D-Day for an event like this. Crucial to it all is knowing how many people will be there.

Party is underway, and here opens the elevator, and out steps a relative and her husband and their 5 year old daughter. I happened to be standing in front of the elevator, and I nearly peed. I know I looked surprised and the mother says to me "Well, I couldnt find a sitter and besides, I talked to your mother and she said it would be ok." I was too stressed to be my gracious Southern Belle best, so I found myself saying, "I beg your pardon, but nothing like that was related to me." I then went on to tell the mom I didnt know where I was going to seat the child for dinner because the table where the parents were sitting was full, and there was NO room for her. The child wound up at the family table, because we had room. THen of course we had to get another setting, alert the kitchen (when all meals had been pre planned) and so on. Parents were NOT happy the little girl couldnt sit with them. The dad was so mad I could tell it was all he could do not to cuss me out. My feeling was, bring it, Ace....I can match ya in finest muleskinner tradition in 2 languages. Besides, you were wrong in the first place, and you know it. Fortunately the child was well behaved, but still. And aside from them showing up at my dads funeral 2 months later, we havent heard from them since.

Kids in movies and at other places where it should be adults only is just something I dont understand. I really dont get it about babies in the movies or out at all until they are somewhat older. Mine never went out to a store or anywhere like that until they were at least 2 months old, and I NEVER took them somewhere they might be a nuisance. I said I was a fossil. If they misbehaved, boy, I got that straightened out, fast. Whoever said kids in the South were different was right, they are. My mother was from NC, and my children were taught proper manners and how to behave from the time they were small. It is something we still prize and give value to. We dont try to turn them into Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm or Little Lord Fauntleroy, its just a matter of being polite and not being a whining screaming nuisance. IMHO it teaches them to have a little self restraint when they get older too....when kids are 10 or so is NOT the time to start teaching them a little discipline.

We went to the Aquarium yesterday. Loads of wee ones. Loads of wee ones acting up too. There was one little boy who screamed, yelled, threw himself on the ground and in short just made a real jackass out of himself all the way to the car. Didnt make the parents look all that attractive either. Quite a distance. The parents did nothing...absolutely nothing. I couldnt believe it. ANd, that same scenario was repeated again and again. You see it every day. Kids having a meltdown and the parents doing nothing, just repeating some platitude about some something...dunno, it all sounds like the adults in a Charlie Brown special to me. None of it makes sense.


Well, thats my rant. The sterilization thing is something I have said privately should be de rigeur for all those reasons. But, itll never happen...you'll get the ghosts of eugenics and who knows what else, even if it is a sensible, splendid idea, IMHO.
roseviolet
I had never heard of the phrase "attachment parenting" before today. How strange. Makes me wonder when all of these parenting theories began to appear.

I, too, agree that there are times when the kids should not be at parties and events. When I was a kid, my parents didn't drag us along to every event. That's what babysitters are for! In fact, my parents went on over-night dates together at least once every couple of months, so we'd have a babysitter stay the night with us while they stayed up late and slept at a nice hotel. It was good for their relationship and it certainly didn't scar us kids. I remember that one of my friends thought this was TOTALLY bizarre & suggested that my parents might even [gasp!] be having sex at the hotel! My response was something along the lines of, "So what? If they're sleeping together & they're happy together, that means they'll stay together." Parents need time away from the kids. I think your average parent would see a child-free dinner party as a blessing.
turbojenn
musicnerd...you sound like a very normal, good parent to me. My parents were much the same. Hell, we had to sit through a 2 hour church service every week, quiet as mice, as there was no kids' playroom in those days, and we did it. We were allowed a small sketch pad and 2 pens or crayons to draw with, and that's what we did, and we knew that if we were good, we'd get to have a donut after church, and that was more than enough incentive. I think the biggest embarrasment for my mom was not our behavior, but the fact that my dad would fall asleep every freakin' sunday, and snore really loudly! (we later discovered he had sleep apnia, so it wasn't really his fault).

Apparently the couple with the 3 month old baby at the Oktoberfest celebration stayed until 10:30pm...even turboman thought it was inappropriate, and he gives wider lee-way for kids at adult events than I do. I told him this morning, that at MY 30th B-day celebration this year, invites will specify that this is an adults-only event, and the parents can figure out their own arrangements. I don't think our friends would have any problem with leaving the kids at home at all...I just prefer to be clear about these things.

I don't think mandatory sterilization is the answer...not unless you're going to track down all those sperm donors out there...but I do think we could use a lot more education and counseling for women surrounding fertility issues, contraception, and offering tubals as a viable option...no coercion, but a clear option.
sybarite
I see kids at the movies all the time who are younger than the film's rating allows and it pisses me off no end. The worst was a few years ago at The Return of the King. The parents were clearly fans and seemed engrossed, but the mom had a little boy on her lap, no older than four, who started getting scared. He started whimpering about 30 mins in. I waited about 10 mins to see if the parents would soothe him or take him outside but nothing doing; they just kept staring at the screen. I finally leaned over and said 'I think the film is scaring him' which had the desired result of the mom finally taking the kid outside.

I think I was a bit out of line: their kid's fear isn't my business. But hearing any child whimpering with fear is distressing, not to menion distracting. Lucizoe, you're dead right. When you are a parent there are some things you can't do. Live with it.

I also think everyday life has become much more child-centric, which means the idea of a child 'knowing their place' is eroding. To be fair, some places are kid meccas, like amusement parks or even the supermarket on weekends, and when I'm in these places I accept I'll probably be hearing some child-related commotion. Kids dumped at films their parents want to see, which may scare them, is bang out of line IMO.
moxiegirl
You know what else (from a breeder...) surrounding kids and manners? I get the strangest looks from peer parents when I say I will expect Moxette to use proper names (Ms. So and So, Mrs. Neighbor down the street, Auntie Turbo, etc.) unless specifically told otherwise. Adults have lived longer, know more and can teach children. So, they desrve a modicum of respect and deference. So there! modern parenting world!

"We dont try to turn them into Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm or Little Lord Fauntleroy, its just a matter of being polite and not being a whining screaming nuisance."

Hallijulia (sorry, i spell worth shit)! If we take moxette to dinner, its to a VERY kid-friendly place (our local tavern is non-smoking, and there are always kids there), and bail ASAP if she starts screaming.

I thought of you ladies on saturday. Let me preface by saying moxette has the cold-from-hell. A cough that isn't contagious anymore, but won't go away. Anyway, we were at breakfast, and she was just being delightful. PLaying, laughing, "talking" etc. Then, she coughs. Alot. The couple (late 30's, maybe?) at the table behind me totally shot me the "How DARE you expose us to the germ factory" look. I almost laughed out loud. I instead said loudly, "bebe, mama's gonna get you some water for that little tickle".
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