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Let’s be sensible: a child is neither a right nor a necessity it’s simply a possibility.
In the 1980’s, in the United States and Canada, Australia and England non-parent associations began to appear. Having grown into genuine pressure groups. these associations now insist that the word child free replace the derogatory childless. They see not having children as a choice not a handicap. Their members don’t feel deprived they are quite happy, thanks very much.
“Work, Family, Fatherland” (Travail, Famille, Patrie). “Get to work, reproduce yourselves, and then you will never think of doing anything you shouldn’t do, and I shall take care of law and order. That is the unwritten rule of every dictator. The State has an interest in your having chidren: is that not a bit suspect?
The growth of the importance of the word happiness is the result of centuries of progress, because we have always believed that tomorrow will be better than today. But promising a child happiness today is an act of bad faith. I’m not going to recite you a little verse on the future of the planet, but there is not much there to be cheerful about. A hole in the ozone layer, global warming, overexploited forests and fisheries that’s what we are facing. And especially you, future generations, because you’re going to have to pay for it. It’s a pretty crappy baton they passed you; do your best: say, “Thanks very much”. Your parents did what they could to make you happy. They certainly didn’t try to change the world, they were too busy changing your diapers.
We will often hear parents who have spoiled their own lives in the name of their kids say something like, “What else could I do-I have children to raise!” “I can’t quit a job I hate because I have kids”?
What an excuse I haven’t been able to pursue my own dreams-I had to feed the kids.’ What an awful thing to say no? Before, in my parents’ time, my mother said: I can’t leave your father, its for your sake.” I realized your that the real motive was that she would rather stay home and drive my father crazy and be driven crazy by him. There are those who would rather be unhappy together than happy on their own That, the way it is.
In reality, children are often used as an excuse for giving up on life without even trying. The moral of the story is, when you do not do what you really want to do, there is no excuse. Not work, not the family, not your country.
The suburban bungalow with a little garden, bastion of the proliferation of the suburban family, described by the feminist Betty Friedan as ‘a comfortable concentration camp.
Kids are unbiased allies of capitalism.
Consumption is the foundation of parenthood. You have to equip yourself with a fantastic catalogue of stuff if you’re going to be a parent worthy of the name: a cradle, a playpen, a crib, a car seat, a high chair, a carriage, a folding stroller, a baby sling, diapers, clothes, bottle warmers, bottle sterilizers, ointments, creams, baby wipes, a changing table. Some of these things display a technological refinement that is as impressive as it is useless. Take the baby carriage. The very latest European models are called Vigour, Aeroport, Carrera, Graco, Even o, Peg Perego, are offered with six wheels or even eight if table tires, disc brakes, rear parking brakes, ergonomic handlebars and on and on. They are little miracles But now they are twice as heavy, difficult to drag onto public transit, impossible to load onto a bike or a scooter. You’ll need a car to lug it all around. Preferably a big one, with air bags for safety Every little trip turns into moving day, a nightmare of bags and totes.
This is costly of course, but it is only the beginning. The child eats and soils himself so you’ll need a washing machine and a dryer and a dishwasher. And you’ll have to get a big supply of plastic diapers (six or seven a day for two for three years a genuine environmental disaster, since they aren’t recyclable). The little fellow requires some space so you’ll have to buy a house, where he’ll have his own room-hopefully he will then be a bit less of a nuisance Then you’ll have to dress him, and there is an infant style book that the most committed parents take care to follow buying the best brands, of course. All kinds of articles in women’s magazines, as well as a sort of Vogue for children, called Milk, will help you choose clothes as expensive as those for adult.
The dear little will wear them for only three months, if ever, but who cares? For every single thing the child consumer needs, the parents must become consumers as well. But is the child that is the major target of experts. The newer something is, and the more tawdry, the more she likes it. While still a toddler, she’ll be playing Game Boy, and she’ll have her first computer by the time she’s eight. Technology is no mystery to her. At twelve, she’ll have to have an iPod if she’s not going to laughed out of the school yard. But that’s still not enough. A multifunction digital camera’s next. And a cellphone: according to a British study, two-thirds of kids aged six to thirteen have one. What do they do with it? According to one expert in child marketing (a thrilling profession, I am sure), “All kids want one, even if they seldom use it except for calling home. Calling home? Don’t kids and parents already have more than enough time not to speak to each other? And besides all that, kids have terrible taste: ugly shoes in colours inspired by the latest video game, clothes based on some idiotic TV series, trading cards for Pokémon or Warhammer or Yu-Gi-Oh! Welcome to the Kingdom of Ugliness.
All that stuff means wasted money, wasted time shopping for junk, thousands of hours of work spent trying to earn enough to for a house big enough to pay store it all in. Parents have to do all this because every kid’s room is Ali Baba’s with toys stacked up to an cave, the ceiling and an incredible mess of clothes, boxes that have never been opened, gadgets that are broken or obsolete or wonky. In the Land of Merchandise, the child is in its element. It’s great for always more things, always more crap you can’t recycle, interchangeable junk soon forgotten and endlessly replaceable. That is exactly what the child wants. As long as there are kids, the absurd world we live in has a future. The human species doesn’t necessarily have one, but that’s another story.
Not knowing exactly what a job consists of, a lot of children think it must be like school, complete with the obligatory stupid teachers To kids, their parents work has become a totally abstract idea They will be well prepared, when they grow up for useless and boring jobs While children are still small, society expects from them a blind obedience to the rules and to discipline daycare, school-these are just links in the immense chain of control over the bodies and souls that make up the world. There’s really no essential difference between a daycare and the workplace one looks after the child and the other after the grown-up. Children probably see this as normal. A heated room of their own, a timetable to follow, a cafeteria, some pals a made-to-measure Lilliputian dream.
In larger French cities, one out of every two couples gets divorced or separated, especially young couples. More and more couples are breaking up when the children are still very small: statistically, around the first-born’s fourth birthday, or shortly after the second child’s, if they are a bit slow. To have sex, or to have children? It’s often the choice you’ll have to make.
And so with pregnancy comes a long sexual winter. And that’s of “I have good news and bad news”: this bad news will not be followed by good. No, the deprivation won’t be over when the child arrives. You just don’t feel much like making love after you’ve had an episiotomy. And even if you do, it’s going to hurt for weeks. You don’t know about episiotomies?
The naive will say, “Oh, but looking after children isn’t work!” Seriously? Raising kids means sticking to schedules, doing chores. It is sweat, tears, and guaranteed tedium. In Austria, women can now calculate the amount of time they’ve devoted to child-raising when they negotiate their legal age of retirement. If looking after children were agreeable and rewarding, people would do it for free, but that is not the case.
Nobody wants to look after your children without financial compensation (except, of course, your own parents, who will exact some form of payment eventually, which I’ll get to later). The daycare worker, the teacher, the babysitter they all get paid. Not very well, mind you: all the jobs connected to children are undervalued, and “child professionals” find themselves always less well paid than those who look after adults. Child psychologists: aren’t they less respected than shrinks for adults? And schoolteachers are paid less than university professors. Why? Because they have undertaken a painful and unrewarding task. The child-what a dreary subject!
For some time now, overburdened parents have found a solution to this alternating care. The child spends a week with the father, then a week with the mother It’s a sort of half-time family of course, for this to work the couple has to have already split up. But that’s just a minor detail when measured against what they are escaping from.
You’ll be living on somebody else’s timetable now, the baby’s strictly laid the out for you by nanny the daycare schedule, and the school calendar. Here are some of the personal freedom used to enjoy before you were saddled with the kid:
Sleeping through the night very rare during the first few months
Sleeping in all morning (difficult when the brat comes and jumps on your stomach at the crack of dawn.
- Deciding at the last minute to go to a move.
- Staying out after midnight you have to relieve the babysitter and if you do stay out past midnight, you have to either drive her home or pay for her taxi.
- Going to a museum or an art show: the kid starts bawling after just five minutes.
- Travelling anywhere except to stupid destinations featuring beaches, the sea, or daycare.
- Going away any time other than school holidays (this applies to people with children from five right up to eighteen).
- Drinking before the kid’s bedtime, because putting a child to bed when you are drunk just isn’t done.
- Smoking in front of your kid: nowadays it’s a crime against humanity.
Everyone take warning from France’s example. In this deathly boring and moralistic world, they want you to think that happiness is to be found in your two breasts, in making babies, and in your job. The truth is that the more you fecundity increases, the fewer there are of you who can call yourselves happy. Open your eyes your kids are going to be the “loser babies destined for unemployment. or precarious or inferior jobs in other words factory drones. Their lives will be way less fun than yours and that, saying lot listen your marvelous babies have no future because every child born in a developed country is an ecological disaster for the whole planet.
And you-you’re going to spend twenty years of your life raising them The education of children has become a sacrament: society demands of modern parents a level of performance worthy of Superman or superwoman Always on call, smiling, attentive teachers and responsible-is there anything you won’t do to guarantee the “happiness” and fulfilment of the kids. Becoming a parent means giving up everything else: your life as a couple, your leisure time, your sex life, your friends, and if you’re a woman, your career success.
All that for kids? Honestly, is it really worth it? Take the necessary precautions Having children it happens too quickly