Monday, December 6, 2010

Trading Futures

This article from the NY Times about Breastfeeding at work was almost enough to make me apoplectic. Not the article itself mind you. The article was fine. Nothing overly radical. Not really. It's the comments that made me furious. Especially the one about needing a smaller population on planet earth.
I'm sorry, but if we stop having babies we will soon be seeing problems similar to France and China. (France is struggling with a lack of native frenchmen, and China's problems with population control have been well documented.)
America has ceased being a world leader in that instead of creating we are consuming. We are putting capitalism ahead of families. Small steps are being seen in hybrid vehicles, smaller affordable housing, eating and buying local, and creating things with our own two hands. The "green" trend is about sustainability. Something our culture is severly lacking. We need to stop taking and start giving.
Our need to self-gratify is short circuiting the future of our nation. Fewer young adults are getting married. More couples are waiting to have children. Families are getting smaller. I don't see this as a good thing. I don't see this as a way to make sure that everyone is provided for. I see it as selfish. An unwillingness to sacrifice. The great mothers and fathers that I've known (and have) sacrifice everyday for the future. It's hard. And they love it. Most days. They've given up careers and hobbies. They've given up "figures" both physical and financial. And I don't know one who regrets the children they're lucky enough to raise. I see larger families and small towns as building community. I see it as a selfless way to increase the amount of love there is in the world.
When I read people's opinions stating that children are obnoxious or whiny or out of place, I can't help but think that they are just frustrated with the competition. Children are the future. We won't be young forever. Neither will they. When they're "adults" I expect them to sacrifice too.
There is a reason it's called the circle of life. I expect to sacrifice for my children so it can continue. And if it means being "poor" and spending time with them, I will gladly follow my mother's example of selflessness and sacrifice. If I had to cut back hours or quit my job to feed my child, I would. The life of a child is more important to me than money. I can get by on less. I have before. I hope I can remember that when push comes to shove.

Addendum: I'm not saying everyone should be seeing fertility specialists and going baby crazy. I'm not saying that every mother should have her toddler at work. But healthy families should be supported and encouraged.That's what I'm saying. Have your family the way you want. I'll have mine the way I want. 


  1. I must have been in a negative place today and needed some encouragement because I have been blessed with, now, two confirmations that what I have taught my children by the life I have chosen has made a difference in the lives of my children.

  2. I "ranted" the same story about 18 years ago to a woman in a packed OB office that told me very loudly that I was irresponsible to be having my 5th child. "How can you financially provide for that many children and give them all the stuff they need." I answered the same way. "There is plenty of stuff in the world, just not enough love. I am trying to create more." I had to let all those young moms listening know that they were doing a very good thing by taking on the responsibility of being a mom.

  3. I've been going back and forth on whether or not I want to have children - and I could make a list of selfish vs. unselfish, pros vs. cons for each. I think it comes down to a gut feeling to navigate us through those tricky waters.

    When I discuss the matter with my closest friends and family they always say "the time is never right - you'll never have enough money or house to have a baby" and it's funny because my decision isn't at all based on money or things. I'm willing to sacrifice money and things regardless of whether or not I have a child.

    Anyways, I can't really come to a conclusive point with this comment except to say what a powerful post. Thank you.

  4. I've had to stop reading "comments" after new stories because they get me too riled up. The point is, why can't we all just get along?