Monday, April 30, 2012

I'll Take My Eggs Over, Please!

A Woman's Confession About Children
1. You beg your doctor for an infertility test and hope that the results come back doomed. 2. You notice/prefer people's dogs over their babies -- and don't hide it. 3. There is a pacifier in your house but it's from a 1995 rave in Providence. 4. When someone texts you a picture of their baby, you fall asleep. 5. You hang pictures of baby clothes on your closet... to inspire yourself to fit into them.
I see so many, "Why I don't want kids" and "I don't want kids, and people treat me like a freak" articles that I couldn't help but notice this strayed from the format with humor - it is written by a comedian.

I have to wonder, though, does she really not know other women in NYC who don't want kids? She must travel in very different circles than I do.

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5 Things Parents Should Give Up to Be Happy
1. Personal space Even if you have the best husband, wife, babysitter, grandparents, etc. who assures you that you'll get some "me" time every now and again, when you become a parent, it's inevitable that your personal space will be violated ad infinitum. Children are your emotional shadows. But they will also be your literal shadows. And as with your other literal shadow, you'll never be able to shake it. As long as you know and accept that, you might just be a little less frustrated each time you take a step and there's a tiny hand or foot not belonging to you that is necessarily standing in (or under) your way.
This is followed by #2: Being alone in the bathroom. I have to admit, I gave up both when I agreed to dogsit again this year. Bebe follows me everywhere, and yes, sometimes even into the bathroom. Then again, all I have to do is say "Want a bath?" and that gets remedied right quick. But sometimes it is a little silly when she stands so very close to me that I have to maneuver my legs on either side of her just to walk.
But you know what? I think these things would actually bother me if it were a child instead. A child who never demanded her own personal space the way Bebe does. A child who had actual constant needs that I couldn't just ignore between occasional butt scratches.

Ah well. I could never give up 3. So a doggie it is. And when her owner gets back from Kabul, I'll relish giving up responsibility and reclaiming personal space nonetheless.

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Today I am greatful

Dad sues school district after son is punished for cheating

Above the Law I updated this post to link to the Above the Law article instead, which does a better job of covering the issue.
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Kindergartner Charged with Battery.

Why Are We Criminalizing Kids?

I think people are picturing the child in an Oz-type lockup or being arraigned in a criminal court, but we have specialty courts and specialty judges that are designed to deal with the unique needs of children. When the school was no longer able to deal with the child's behavior, he transferred it to a system with a greater ability to enforce punishment. Of course, a six year old is unlikely to have the correct mens rea, but perhaps the judge can find a remedy that makes the parents take the problem more seriously.

I don't know what the solution is, but it sure isn't standing there and getting kicked. No one should have to put up with that, especially after they already tried suspension (the most drastic remedy short of expulsion) and it didn't work. Perhaps that is the inevitable result though - a single child's right to an education doesn't supersede other children's right to safety and the teachers' right to not be harmed. You need to think of the whole society here, but the article's author can't see past what she thinks is best for the boy in question. I think a lot of people have that perspective fail when it comes to kids.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

8 Reasons Moms Secretly Envy Childless Women

Then, like most moms, I cover it up with this gem: But I wouldn't have it any other way. And the awful truth is I wouldn't. But unlike the child free, I have a little experience being on both sides of this here fence. And let me tell you, the grass, while green enough on both sides, sometimes seems just a little more brilliant and perfect on that other side. That's why I will never get the "hate" for the child free. Katie Roiphe has an essay about this on Slate, which attempts to make the argument that us mamas are just jealous. And you know what? She's right.
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Friday, April 27, 2012

The Child-Free Flight: Super Idea or Slippery Slope?

The Morton Report
I’ve flown countless hours with my young daughter, who’s been to Europe, Africa, Asia, and back multiple times. Was she cranky at times? Yes, but guess what, so was I. And any noise or inconvenience she may have made in flight was absolutely nothing compared to the gentleman who sat next to us recently with a most unfortunate case of uncontrollable flatulence. Or the lady who was angry at me for having an aisle seat when she wanted it (and didn’t pre-book it), who just decided to keep getting up for the entire five-hour trip, causing me to fold up my laptop and move back and forth, feeling as though she had the right since “I warned you, I need my aisle, I get up a lot…”

What about people who can’t quite hold their drink, and get loud and rowdy, or “loud talkers” or those who sing along with the music piping into their headphones, disturbing the readers around them, or elderly folks who move slowly and block up the jetway? Should we start putting them in a new section too or ban them altogether? Seems to me that the only people who have made the news in recent times for disturbing a flight have been disgruntled in-flight staff, or highly intoxicated people — all adults, not children.

That's not a slippery slope. It's an additional problem without an easy solution, which in no way changes the propriety of childfree seating.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why kids make couples happy

T'S confirmed: having kids makes you happy.
So why do parents spend so much time moaning about their kids? Three American studies of more than 7000 parents and non-parents have found children are associated with more joy than misery.

Having kids makes us more satisfied with life, give us more positive emotion and make our lives feel more meaningful, according to a coming Psychological Science journal article.

The findings are an abrupt reversal of current wisdom that those who are child-free are more satisfied with their lot in life.


By 2016, couple-only families will be the most common family type, overtaking couples with kids, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.

There are many people who could have kids but choose not to, and I am glad to see the childless-by-choice brigade fight back.

As one writer, Shelly Horton, tells anyone who asks whether she wants kids: "Look I like kids, I just couldn't eat a whole one."

Horton feels she has to constantly explain and justify her decision not to have kids. She's right: a woman who tells a dinner party packed with parents she's single or childless by choice is usually viewed with suspicion and pity.

We shouldn't forget that in many ways, the childless are the invisible backbone of our society.

AIFS research shows childless couples that work full time make a net contribution to society of about $333 a week.

It's no wonder there's increasing resentment out there against the growing demands of parents who want more money from the Government to help them raise their kids.

Parents should continue to fight for our rights, and for better childcare, kinders, schools, family benefits and health care.

But we should also be grateful for the wonderful gift of our kids. And we shouldn't for one minute forget that working childless adults are paying to help us raise them.

The notion that the child-free are happier isn't just "current wisdom", it has been demonstrated in tons of research. So I'll need more than a vague reference to an upcoming article to believe they have somehow been disproved. For example, are they including those people who are miserable because they want kids and can't have them? Their experiences tell us nothing about how happy our choices make us.

The journalist seems fairly pro-CBC, so I don't know why she paints this one study as bigger than it is. Until I read more, I'm sticking with Daniel Gilbert's research, which indicates that we're not very good at remembering or predicting what makes us happy on a moment to moment basis, and whose research indicates parenting is not a font of joy. That's another possible flaw in the study mentioned - how did they measure happiness at all? Did they fail to correct for selective memory and its ilk?

I'll get back to you when the study is published for proper dissection.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mommy and me

Childless workers’ gripe: picking up slack for parents I was nearly interviewed for this article in my role as Spokesperson, but the reporter blew me off when she found out my industry (corporate law) doesn't cut anyone slack. Don't worry folks, I would have had your back. I think the reporter didn't quite understand what the role of "spokesperson" means. It means telling your stories and discussing the topic in the abstract, not telling my own stories. Which means keep posting them here, since all my readers are such help to me in this regard.
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