Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Our Non-Existent Kids are Thankful We Didn't Have Them
Here's a thought that occurs to me all the time. I wonder if it occurs to other childfree-by-choice folks. On a regular basis I think to myself (or say to hubby), it's a good thing we didn't have kids, for their own sake.
No, this is not because we would be bad parents. It's not because we're not parent material. It's because my thinking of how kids should be raised is a lot different than the way most people raise their kids today.
What got me thinking about this was an article I read recently in Philadelphia Magazine called The Sorry Lives and Confusing Times of Today's Young Men. The article delves into the problem of men who never grow up. Who live with mom and dad indefinitely. Who sit around watching porn and playing video games all day. Who have no drive to get a career, find a partner and establish an adult life. More importantly, the article addresses the question of why this problem exists.
My opinion is that the problem exists because of the overly permissive, coddling, "I want to be my kid's best friend", "My kid is unique and special", "My kid can do no wrong", "I will give my kid everything" way that people raise kids today. It's creating a culture of lazy ass monsters. And this is why it's a good thing we don't have kids. If we had kids, they probably wouldn't be too happy with us because:
1. They would not have cell phones until they were 16. And then, they would have limited minutes, and very limited texting. Their texts and social networking would be monitored by us until they were 18.
2. They would not eat meat in our household.
3. They would not be given junk food in our household, except as an occasional treat on weekends and special occasions like birthdays and holidays. In our household "snack" would mean fruits, nuts and other healthy foods.
4. They would not have a t.v. or computer in their room. The t.v. and computer would be located in a central place where they could be monitored.
5. T.V. watching and video games would be limited to an hour a day. They would be encouraged to read, draw, paint, play a musical instrument, exercise, or do some other enriching activity with their free time. Or how about this - RELAX.
6. They would be required to go outdoors and get fresh air and exercise every day.
7. They would have a list of chores that they would be required to do as a requirement of being a contributing member of the household.
8. They would be given a reasonable allowance for extra chores, above the required ones.
9. They would be encouraged to participate in no more than 2 extra curricular activities. We do not believe in the schedule-kids-to-the-hilt philosophy that today's families subscribe to.
10. They would have to make their own "play dates" because I do not believe in parents scheduling appointments with other parents so their kids can have a social life.
11. If they got in trouble in school, we would not be bailing them out, making excuses for them, accusing their teachers or blaming other people. Our child would be held accountable.
12. They would be required to buy their own car and work their way through college. It builds character. I know this from first-hand experience.
13. We would allow them to live with us through college without paying rent, but after that, they would be required to pay rent. And under no circumstance would they be permitted to live with us indefinitely. Go to school, get a career and out you go.
14. We would contribute 33% to our child's wedding cost and would expect that our child, and the parents of the spouse to be would each also contribute 33%.
So you can see why it's a good thing we don't have kids. Their life would not be easy. They would not be comotose in front of a computer or t.v. screen watching porn or playing video games. They would not be handed everything on a silver platter and told they are a special snowflake. They would probably compare us to their friends' parents and hate our freaking guts.
But more importantly, it's a good thing we don't have kids for our own sake. Can you imagine having to be on top of all that stuff in my list? Can you imagine having to monitor the t.v., computer, cell phone and texting of another person? Can you imagine (on top of taking care of your own needs and problems) being burdened with making sure another person is eating healthily, exercising, pursuing enriching activities, behaving, being held accountable for bad behavior, completing their chores, their homework, finding and keeping a job, saving for a car and college and developing into a upstanding contributor to society? And let's not forget about all the other worries and stresses that didn't even make my list.
Yes, it's a good thing for both our non-existent children and for us that we have chosen the path we have chosen. I wake up every day and sigh a deep breath of relief that I don't have these stresses and worries in my life. And I am sure my non-existent child - wherever her spirit may be floating in the spirit world - is breathing a deep sigh of relief too.
Although I feel this relief, it does trouble me that the infestation of coddled, video game playing, porn-watching, couch potato 30-somethings are going to be running the world in the future, instead of the well-adjusted, healthy, upstanding go-getters that we would have raised. Oh well. Hopefully by the time the couch potatoes find the motivation to pull themselves away from their video games and porn and go out into the world, we will already be 6 feet under.