Posit on Parenthood.

Hello, World. I know it has been a while. Life has been crazy. Something about bad reactions after blood tests, and creepy people stalking me, and out of control anxiety levels, and sinking into a deep depression after a day filled with triggers, and items that were stolen (namely, my wallet…wherein all my important items rested). It has been an intense and upsetting past few weeks.

Speaking of intense and upsetting:

I’ve been mulling a lot of ideas — somehow all tied to children and parenthood — around in my brain. Ideas about how Parent is a different brand of human. How, once you have a child, your life is theirs until they reach adulthood. Is this a terrible way to conceptualize parenthood?

I’m taking a Literature by Women class. The class is filled with fantastic reading material and endlessly frustrating discussion. We recently read The Awakening, by Kate Chopin. I read this novella in my high school AP Literature class. I hated it. I understand the need to realize oneself. I can sympathize with being stuck in a relationship that neither party wants to be part of. I can empathize with needing to escape a situation in which you are seen not as a person, but as a possession to complete a collection of Correctness. I DO NOT excuse Edna Pontellier’s suicide (I apologize for ruining the ending, if you have not read the book…but not really) as being tragic. Why? Because she abandons her children. More than that, she kills herself as a means of running away from her children. I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS.

Does that make me a terrible person?

I have been reading articles about recent attempts by states to legislate the bodies of people who could become pregnant—from making access to emergency contraception more difficult, to instituting long waiting periods for abortions, to “personhood” measures that define a fetus as having constitutional rights, to defining the termination of a zygote–>embryo–>fetus as murder, to requiring that rape victims carry their pregnancies to term or go to prison for evidence tampering. This world makes me very, very sad.

I have been thinking about Edna Pontellier, and how she never wanted children. She was never a “mother-woman,” as she puts it. I wonder what Edna’s life would have been like, if she had never had children. Would she have been happier? Would she have stayed in a loveless marriage? Would she have run away with her lover, Robert, and lived happily ever after?

I don’t want kids. That may change, someday; but, I do not want kids. It isn’t that I don’t think I would make a good parent. I would be an all right parent, I guess. I have this need to take care of people. I just think that I am better-suited for other things.

Is that so bad? Does that make me a terrible person?

Life is filled with so many choices. Being a parent should be a choice—not a de facto choice that is made for someone by the result of other decisions, but a conscious, deliberate choice. People should have that…that right? And children should have the right to grow up in a household where they are not only going to be raised by loving parents, but in a healthy, stable environment.

Is that naive?


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