Country Living Series

Sunday, March 6, 2011

No, it IS abandonment - either way you look at it

Sigh. It's happened again. A woman has just confessed she doesn't like being a mother, and spends the rest of the article justifying why she gave up full-time custody of her kids.

"Four months in [to a book research project in Japan] when her children came to visit, she had an epiphany: She didn't want to be a full-time mother anymore. When she returned to New York, she ended her 20-year marriage and chose not to be her kids' custodial parent," notes this article.

This author is also a faculty member at a college in Vermont. Do I hear just a hint of the feminist mentality that has poisoned our nation's women against their very own children? Career is supreme; to hell with the kids.

This woman says society has a "glaring double standard: When a man chooses not to be a full-time parent, it's acceptable -- or, at least, accepted. But when a woman decides to do so, it's abandonment."

No, it's abandonment either way you look at it, when either parent willfully refuses to parent his or her children.

The article goes on to describe some of the angst a couple of other women felt throughout their decision-making process to abandon their kids. One of these women is - I'm not kidding - a "spiritual advisor." Right. Has her "spiritual visions" ever considered the anguish of the kids? Of course not. The kids, we are assured, always turn out "fine." They always do, don't they? No kid could EVER be messed up by something like this.

This reminded me of another article I copied over several years ago which was so shocking I saved it: A woman so bored (bored "rigid," in fact) with her own children that she spent "much of the early years of [her] children's lives in a workaholic frenzy because the thought of spending time with them was more stressful than any journalistic assignment [she] could imagine." She considers full-time motherhood "menial" and feels that "making a child your career is a dangerous move because your marriage and sense of self can be sacrificed in the process."

The worst part is this (cough) "mother" tells her own kids how much they bore her. Great for their little budding self-esteems, isn't it? "They [her children] also accept my limitations. They stopped asking me to take them to the park (how tedious) years ago. But now when I try to entertain them and say: 'Why don't we get out the Monopoly board?' they simply look at me woefully and sigh: 'Don't bother, Mum, you'll just get bored.'"

Are people like this so selfish that they can't tolerate boredom for any length of time? Is their fear of boredom more important than playing a game with their kids?

Okay ladies, here's a thought: SUCK IT UP. Right now there's something bigger than your boredom or your precious career or any other aspect of parenting that you may dislike. You're the one that created these human beings, and you're the one who'd better damned well rise to the occasion and do your duty no matter how many career opportunities pass or how bored you are. Duty and obligation are apparently concepts the feminist mentality would like to pretend are passé because it interferes with the selfish ME mentality.

Your precious careers will be cold comfort in your old age when your kids happily abandon YOU because they don't give a rip about you. Why should they? Old folks are BORING. They're not as exciting as a CAREER. You reap what you sow, folks.

47 comments:

  1. Do we only raise children for what we expect to get out of them? I wouldn't like my children to be saddled with looking after me in my old age.

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  2. Oh welcome back, Quedula! We've missed your snarks. I hope you've been in good health?

    - Patrice

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  3. After reading this article the first time I woke up this morning(way to early) I wanted to forward it on to you and I thought, well...I will do it when I wake back up the second time. :) And here you already have it up!


    This woman represents everything that is wrong with the U.S. Shelfishness. Pure and simple. This woman may feel she has a good relationship with her kids now, but when they hold their own children in their arms someday they will definately think 'how could she give us up' This woman missed the boat on sacrifice and forming the next generation. Part of being a mother is to teach your children to love and to love God. When children are not taught the commandments they grow up and work for the crooks on wall street or sell their souls to the real people you are running this country.

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  4. I wouldn't trade being a mother for anything this world has to offer. I have spent over half of my life as a mother, it is the most rewarding "career" I could ask for. I have been a full time mother for almost 30 year, and still have a few years to go before my last is full grown. I will still be a mother, but not in the same way. I am appalled at the self-centeredness of these feminists. If you want your career so badly then PLEASE don't have any children, you will only be ruining the lives of the children and those who will have to counsel them when they grow up feeling abandoned and unloved.

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  5. Although I admit that I do enjoy the random break from my two boys, the thought of being away from them for any length of time kills me. I couldn't imagine choosing to not be with them for years. Even putting aside the moral obligation, my heart just couldn't take it.

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  6. Sadly, some people just expect the state (and the anonymous taxpayer) to look after them in old age, or care for their abandoned kids.

    Some of us know that love, giving, commitment and community, breeds it's own 'social safety net'. Giving and receiving is just a healthy cycle. Plus, it's not some cold bureaucracy, but one loved-one caring for another. Have we all but lost this ideal? Have we simply commodified relations and turned it over to the state to handle? Sad.
    ~Clare

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  7. AMEN!

    The toll on the kids can be devastating. We have adopted and fostered several kids who have been abandoned in one way or another by their birth parents. There are developmental delays, emotional insecurity, intellectual delays, and a whole slew of psychological issues to be worked through, all stemming from the actions (or inactions) of the birth parents. Some of these kids take years and years to come around to a level of emotional and psychological wholeness on par with their age/grade peers.

    And of course, this doesn't even touch the psychological and economic (i.e. your tax dollars) impact on all of society. What a price to pay so someone can have the "freedom" to put themselves first!

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  8. i am positively dumbfounded. i can hardly believe the gall that these women have, not just saying these things to themselves, but declaring them with pride to the general public. Come, Lord Jesus!

    Birdy

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  9. I don't have kids because I don't think I would make a very good parent. I can't think of anything more important than raising a good and descent person. I also don't get the folks that have kids and then take them to daycare or hire a nanny to take care of them. I'm not talking about folks that must do it for something unforeseen but actually plan to have others raise their children.

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  10. in an age of birth control, women shouldn't have to have children if they don't want to. and if they don't want to, they shouldn't have children and then leave them.

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  11. Dear Quedula,

    If your snarky attitude flows over on to your children, my guess, is you won't HAVE to worry about them being saddled with you....they will throw you in the first hole of a center (or stable for nags) that they can find.

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  12. These women in the articles have abandonment issues of their own. Classic Responsibility Avoidance Syndrome is a reactionary form of Abandonment.

    Children are not pawns. You do not CHOSE to become pregnant and bear them, keep them, and rear them to be YOUR object of entertainment, passing time, financial gain, or your ANYTHING! They are not objects.

    These women's ability to cope with their responsibility are dysfunctional choices and are sick.
    As a whole, Our society will eventually pay the price for it.
    Abandonment issues become multi-generational issues without healing the original emotional losses.
    I make NO excuses for this behavior or choice.
    But, if they avoid RESPONSIBILITY, what is the likelihood that they will get help without being made to do so?
    Hmmm?


    notutopia

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  13. I think it's really sad that people who have been lucky enough to be gifted with children just seem to want to throw them away for something so meaningless. A career for a person? It just doesn't make sense to me. Unfortunately I don't have kids, but if I did I can guarantee you that they would be cherished like the wonderful gifts that they are.

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  14. I just read you post "I'm baaAAack" and think that perhaps my comment on this article was perhaps too much violence and bad language. At any rate, it said I had to go rewrite it. I wish I had saved it, oh well.

    The gist of it was that the woman in the article was a whining, self-absorbed child herself and only someone who is completely dull themselves would find children boring. Nothing is more fascinating than a human being just starting out. Nothing is cooler than inspiring them a being inspired by them in return.

    Also, it infuriates me to see people acting so selfishly. I hope that my kids grow up, not just with a sense of duty, but joy in bringing joy to others and caring for others who need them.

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  15. quedula, when you get to old to effectively look after yourself, I hope your children set you out on a street corner and abandon you there to whatever fate deals you! Better yet, since the above might make you a drain on society, take you for a ride into the National Forest and leave you in a small clearing miles from anywhere! While I like the idea of pushing out of the car going down the freeway at 65 miles an hour, some poor highway worker would have to clean up the mess you would leave and that would be too much bother!

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  16. As I read this article on yahoo this morning I was dumbfounded. It seemed to be celebrating this cruel, selfish beast of a woman. God help this woman, her children, and all of the poor women who are reading it that may be swayed by selfish story. This is the result of militant feminism. Feminism is not feminine! We are women. We should celebrate our female qualities. Men can not carry and deliver children and now neither can most women due to birth control or sterilization. Men can not breast feed a child and now thanks to bottles and powdered cow's milk most women don't either. Only Mommy can make everything better with a kiss. But, now mommy is too bored or busy with a career to concern herself with such motherly affections. I've never understood how trying to become more like a man was feminine. Feminists should rename themselves "Masculine wannabees". Although I must say there is nothing masculine about abondoning one's chilren either. Folks we have a handbook for figuring out our roles as men and women. All we need to do is read it.

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  17. I was blessed to be a full time mom and now blessed to be a full time grand mother. I have God and my wonderful husband to thank for making this possible.
    These women are missing one of the greatest blessings on earth.

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  18. I think that what quedula is saying is that we don't (or shouldn't) raise children to have someone to take care of us when we are old. I think she is pointing out another form of selfishness. I think that she doesn't want to be a burden to her children. I can understand that. I hope to be able to care for my self for a long time. I also hope to raise my kids to care for others more than their own comfort. I hope that if they ever have to care for me or my husband, or their spouse's parents, or their own spouse if they ever become disabled that they will remember the example of their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents before them, who not only dutifully chose to make that sacrifice but bore it as an honor.
    Selous Scout,
    Your attitude toward quedula's few words above is shockingly ugly. I hope you don't really hope those horrible things for her. I hope that if she ever gets too old to effectively look after herself that her children lovingly care for her and ease her sense of shame in having become so old before dying.

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  19. I think they are confusing peoples reticence about directly confronting the poor behavior of a casual acquaintance with acceptance.

    If somebody I knew socially told me this story I would think very poorly of them. But other than giving them a quizzical look, I probably would not give them a point-by-point description of why they are awful human beings.

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  20. I know this is veering off the main topic, but as a single Mom raising two really young kids while taking care of two generations of elder relatives (because I am an only child of only children) as they died from long illnesses, I'm making sure that my children don't have to take care of me when it's my turn.....

    As for the woman in the story, her kids sounds like they have adjusted/adapted to the situation (they boldly pointed out she'd be bored) and may just turn out to be better people than their mom is......

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  21. My father walked away from us when I was two years old. All through my childhood I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I did to make him leave me. Part of my twenties was spent being angry at him. Then he moved back to our neck of the woods, with his new family, and I got to see him be someone else's Dad. It hurt too much, words don't even describe it. Eventually in my thirties, I let go of it all, and realized his leaving was not any fault of mine. Your children are effected by your "choice" not to be in their lives, more than you can EVER imagine, take it from someone who has been that child. I am thankful I had my Mom in my life everyday, like a parent should be.
    I quit my career when I was pregnant with my first, and I haven't ever gone back to work. My husband & I are responsible together for our children, no daycare or nannies for us.

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  22. You go Gracie Wray!!! Your children have an excellent role model in you and Mr. Wray when you took two years to care for Mr. Wray's Paapaa. Paapaa was incredibly blessed to have your care during his last years of life and your children were able to witness your love for him, your compassion and gentle physical care of his needs. Most importantly to see your deep sadness when he passed. You were amazing and truly selfless. What a wonderful legacy to leave your children: people lovingly caring for other people even to their own hurt. That is true love, true Christianity. I wish that everyone could be so blessed as to have someone love them and care gently for them in their last days. Parents who are lovingly kind and there for their children will usually have children who are also lovingly kind and compassionate to others. This is what our society needs!

    You Know Who.....

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  23. So, this woman thinks society has a "glaring double standard: When a man chooses not to be a full-time parent, it's acceptable -- or, at least, accepted. But when a woman decides to do so, it's abandonment"???

    You can't justify bad behavior with more bad behavior. Wrong is wrong. As my mother used to tell me: "Two wrongs don't make a right!" We've seen far too many women over the past few decades who have been spoiled rotten by their daddies. They grow up (physically, not mentally) and go forth into the world, looking not for a man to love and love them, but for another "daddy" to continue spoiling them in the manner to which they are accustomed. These immature women are so self-centered that they will give up their own children -- even kill them! -- if they're not receiving the life they expect and think they deserve. Who's to blame for this? You can thank the liberal-progressives for working so diligently to strip us of our rights and freedoms, but mostly our morals. Because of the ever-growing progressive mentality, it's now a "ME" world of "I want" and "I deserve". There's very little if any consideration for others, only self satisfaction and self aggrandizement. --Debbie

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  24. Oh no! The atheist anti-gun commie is back among us.

    I take a slightly different view on this subject. It seems to me that this woman SHOULD leave her children because to stay with them would be much worse for the children, given her attitude towards them. The truth is, just about anybody can have a child, but real parents are becoming scarce.

    Hug your children for they are the future and they will take care of us one way or the other when we grow old. Either their taxes will pay for our care or they will personally see to our care. Either way, they will hold our old age in their hands. I pray you raised them right, because I have no children and yours will also hold my old age in their hands.

    Anonymous Patriot
    USA

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  25. for years i was abused by my father and abandoned by my mother..yes it it possible for this to happen and still all live in the same household for years. when i finally left home my parents divorced..dad died a few years later and mom is now 87 yrs. old and has no memory of the bad things..we take care of her and do so willingly. the hard part is her lack of memory or rather her unwilling memory, because without that there is no validation. people make poor choices/decisions of every kind all the time. at least her children know the truth and have a father. life is not easy and it is not fair either...looks to me like this woman set her husband and her children free. it is not for any of us to judge her...but, we should not be giving her kudos either.

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  26. Selous Scout (interesting screen name, BTW), I understand your frustration with the British commie anti-American who is the subject of your anger - but getting down in the gutter to do "battle" is not the answer. Best to ignore her - she seeks attention and gets it by yanking our strings. Don't become her puppet. And thanks for your service to our country.

    -AP
    USA

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  27. I had a selfish mother and father. I know what it is like to not be wanted I was told at the age of eight I could have been aborted (the undertone being 'should'). After I learned what the word meant I wish I had been, I prayed that someone would adopt me (I wasn't up for adoption but that didn't stop my prayers). I had a miserable childhood. My parents had two additional children (both are worse off than me). When I left for college my mother said don't come back, and guess what, I never did. I didn't have a home to go to on breaks or in the summer. I put myself through school and have been successful (except in relationships - what a surprise, I have trust issues).

    I chose not to become a parent probably because I was terrified that I would be as horrible as my parents were. I don't regret my choice, I'm 52. I think too many women think they must or should have children and then they later learn it's just not for them. I feel badly for the children but I don't think I can forgive the parents as parenthood is a choice these days... it really wasn't a choice for my mother. How hard is it to love your children? OK maybe I'm being too harsh. After my mother's death I found evidence she was mentally ill, seriously. But it is still hard to think your mother rejected you.

    The children will be impacted for the rest of their lives and I hope they can make better choices and they can recover from this.

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  28. Husband of the BossMarch 6, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    I for one am always delighted to see Quedula's posts. It's very easy to get complacent if your viewpoint is always re-enforced because so many others agree. I'm sure that Quedula's comments cause many of us to "return to focus" on issues that we may not have critically considered for a while. So keep writing Quedula. If nothing else, you certainly get the blood flowing.

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  29. I'll second that Don, thought it seems somewhat cruel, on the order of turning loose a bunny in a room full of cougars.

    Jeff

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  30. ...and on the original point, whenever I hear blather like this from a biological "parent," I think of the anguish of those who would be sterling parents but who cannot have children of their own. This poor excuse for a person should, for the benefit of the children, allow them to be adopted into a loving family, sever all contact and all rights, and undergo sterilization so this situation doesn't "accidentally" recur.

    Jeff - Tucson

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  31. Jeff, she ain't no bunny - more like a pigeon, dropping her poo on everything.

    -AP
    USA

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  32. This sucks, and I'm probably going to be flamed for it. But I kinda get where the gal's coming from in wanting away from her children. Maybe not to her extreme though.

    I have four children. 7yo, 4.5yo, 2.5yo, 1yo. I'd been pregnant five times in eight years. I was nursing two children there for a while. My husband was laid off 4 weeks after the baby was conceived. He finally found a new job, out of state (i.e. 400 miles away, not a daily commute) just in time for us to have health insurance available for the baby's delivery - I'd been planning myself for an unassisted birth until then.
    Turns out, I didn't have much of a support system post-partum. The friends that said they'd be thrilled to help? When asked, didn't have the time, it wasn't a good day, etc. After a dozen times, you give up since you keep being rejected. Running on three, maybe four interrupted hours of sleep a night for months with no break from any of the children since we homeschool, no daycare/preschool since we didn't have the extra money, and a husband who could only come home for a weekend every few weeks all combined and led to post-partum depression. Not the "innocent" baby blues, I'm talking thinking your entire family would be better off without you (and actually having a plan to do so). Which, when that's what your current mental state is, being constantly told by 'helpful' folks to "shut up, just suck it up and deal" isn't exactly the best combination. Yes, I was told to suck it up more times than I remember. :(

    To me, a lot of it does boil down to people thinking they can be, and are expected to be, Supermom or Superparent with no help.
    It's just not possible.
    Yet our society thinks it is, and that every (wo)man is (and should be) an island. Helping out your friends and family when they need it the most, caring for each other and so on has been thrown by the wayside more often than not in my dealings over the last year. It's incredibly hard to recover from, and likely it will be another year before I'm back to my own normal. Interestingly enough though, I've been trying to get some of our older relatives to move nearby as they retire so my husband and I and the children can help them out as need be and keep an eye on them as they age.

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  33. Gracious! It seems that some of you must have missed Patrice's post about refraining from personal attacks. *tsk tsk* Don has an excellent point about needing to be kept on our toes in order to avoid complacency. If Patrice and Don welcome Quedula to this blog, then welcome she(or he?) is.

    Birdy

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  34. I read this article several days ago and spent the afternoon storming around my house muttering about the vapidness of particular parts of society. Picked my kiddos up at school and gave them a big, huge hug before setting off on our errands.

    Yep, there are days I want to run out of the house screaming down the street. I love getting away by myself after spring break. By the end of summer I'm ready to drop the kids on someone and flee. But that's normal momentary Calgon take me away type stuff. I can't imaging my life without my kids!

    My mom walked out on us when I was 12. You *don't* get over it. You *don't* adjust to it. Took me 24 years to deal with it rationally. Now I know the entire story and understand what happened, but it doesn't make it go away. I have insecurity issues to this day because I was never wanted wherever I was. Mom walked out. Both parents married folks that hated kids. Been married for 18 years to an amazing man who loves me as damaged as I am and I still get insecure. The idea of putting my children through something that traumatic is just awful.

    The good part is that I found it's easy being a good parent. Just look at everything my folks did, and do the opposite. I turned out pretty well despite their best efforts to crush me. My kids should turn out amazing with parental support.

    Becky

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  35. Wow. When the Spirit sends a message (to me), it sometimes comes in the oddest places. :D :D :D

    So, SUCK IT UP, I will. I chose motherhood via adoption, so I probably had more chances than most to say "no". Lately, I've taken a selfish attitude...no need to go into details.

    Even when my teenage girls seem semi-feral, I just have to remember to "suck it up". I grew up and out of it...so will they.

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  36. Do we take it from Selous Scout's reaction that his answer to my question is 'yes'. He IS raising his children for what he expects to get out of them?

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  37. Husband of the BossMarch 7, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Hmmm. Quedula, I believe that would be a bit of a stretch. Rather I think he's making the point that your children (if you have any) could voluntarily abandon you as you hypothetically abandoned them.

    And that's really the point isn't it? No parent has any way to force their children to aid them in their old age. But parental abandonment does force children into a bleaker and unsecured future and that is true even if their physical needs are met. No parent can enforce the "demand" that their children owe them anything. But a child's love for their parents and the biblical injunction to honor one's parents would at least influence an honorable adult child to care for their elderly parents as best as they may.

    Accepting the total responsibilities consequent to bringing a helpless child into the world is the greatest duty of anyone's life. Abrogating those responsibilities for no reason other than selfishness is the mark of a coward and liar.

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  38. My children's mother abandoned them mentally at ages six and nine. She abandoned them physically three years later. I have been a single parent since. My home has been a magnet for these types of children, with several living with us over the years. I have no tolerance or use for either sex that abandons their children.

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  39. I agree broadly with what you say Don. But society is not simply black and white. It depends what you consider 'parental abandonment'. Also, although hypothetically children can't be "forced" to look after their aged parents, parents are in a unique position to dominate and brainwash children in their care, so that no matter how undeserving the parents may be, their child feels obligated to devote their lives to them, even to the extent of eschewing normal married life.

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  40. Gracie Wray, what is shockingly ugly is the tears of my sons when their mother walked out of their life. What is shockingly ugly is the look on the face of one of my sons friends when they tell me they have no where to stay, and could they please stay the night because it is so cold outside.
    That's ugly.
    It tears me up inside.
    No compassion, no quarter, no mercy for those who abandon their children..
    Ever!

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  41. quedula, if my children decide to take care of me in my declining years, it will be out of love, not brainwashing. Can you say the same with any integrity?

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  42. Not all women are meant to be mothers. My mother could never bring herself to love me. She resented me because I was not what she wanted me to be. She expected that children are meant to be fun, joyous little creatures who never complain or question anything an adult says. She thought it would be easy but it wasn't, so she rejected me. I always tried so hard to please her but I never could. She would say "I love you" while physically pushing me away (that is not an exaggeration). As you can imagine, this wounded me deeply. I had no idea what I had done to make her dislike me and when I asked her she denied it entirely. I'm in my 20's now and I have accepted that she will never love me and it is NOT MY FAULT. She is the one who is damaged.

    My point is that while this situation is awful for the children (my heart goes out to them), they may be better off without her. Now that their "mother" is gone maybe they, with the help of their father, can begin to pick up the pieces and heal. That is my hope.

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  43. Patrice,
    My wife and I were talking about this subject before I saw this article. We watched the movie Secretariat, about the champion horse, and it's supposedly a true story. We were both upset that the mother as portrayed in the movie basically abandons raising her children in order to breed and race the horse. Her family are shown to be proud of her choice later on (SPOILER ALERT) when the horse wins the triple crown.My wife was similarly disgusted w/ the movie Pursuit of Happyness, for the same reason, though it's the father in that one who in pursuing his dreams sacrifices his family.
    This seems to be a common theme of late, that family holds you back from your dreams.(I didn't show the article to my wife because I knew it would infuriate her.)

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  44. Right now I feel very sad for every one of Charley Sheen's kids.

    Cat

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  45. After pondering the lively debate dear Q has ignited, two old adages come to mind.

    "What goes around comes around"
    "As ye sow, so shall ye reap"
    and
    "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it".

    OK, make that THREE quotes. Now ya'll know why my VCR still blinks 12:00.


    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska

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  46. Wow Anon @ 9:46am,

    That's a sad tale all right. but you sound like an incredibly strong and wiser person for it. Dr. Laura Schlessinger would be proud of you.

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  47. Selous Scout, I in no way disagree with you in what you are saying about abandonment. My problem was the personal attack on quedula whose comment gave no indication that she had abandoned her children. I had a feeling that your comments to her were rooted in something personal to you. I have seen exactly what you are talking about. My husband's family cared for many such young men. It is mind-blowing how a parent can disconnect themselves so much from their precious children. It is sad for the parent, but the heart-break of the child is so hard to bear. Please don't think that I was criticizing your hatred for abandonment, only I thought it was unfair to unleash that on quedula for the mild comment that she made, which I thought was only meant to point out the flip side of selfish parenting.

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