Yes, I Admit it, I'm Selfish
This commentary piece from CNN asks why do people think it's selfish for a woman to decide not to have kids. Gee, I didn't know it was selfish but I suppose it is, in a way. I am selfish enough not to want to deal with kids. I don't want to pay for college educations and braces. I already can't sleep at night, throw in middle of the night feedings and I'm doomed. But my decision stems mostly from an acknowledgement that I'd make a terrible mother. I have no maternal instincts. Never have had. Didn't want to play with baby dolls as a kid. Never plays mommy. Never pushed my teddy bears in a carriage. I just don't have the gene, the patience, the financial security, or the desire to be a parent. Bravo to people who do, but it's not for me.
But why, exactly, does that matter to anyone except Husband? And why do people think you're selfish for deciding not to have kids. Are we in danger of running out?
I have problems with this article. First off the author says "what's wrong with being selfish?" Well nothing. But then she lists the most shallow and stupid of pursuits. Apparently we selfish, childless-by-choice women are that way because we would rather go on a shoe binge at Nordstrom. Um....no. Actually, at the risk of sounding too noble, my favorite way to spend money (and I think Husband would back me up on this) is giving it to causes I believe in. Oh yes, and we want to go to parties and clubs. Strange, but I'd rather volunteer my time.
But what really gets me are the comments on this piece. Here's one:
I don't have a problem with your being selfish and not reproducing.....you and any other women not interested in having kids will automatically remove themselves from the gene pool and only the less selfish women will reproduce and be left.
If you choose to not have children you ARE being selfish. Now that that is settled maybe you can talk about why it's OK to be selfish. And the correct answer to anyone who understands our social contract society is that selfishness is generally a bad thing for society. So if you are reasonably intelligent, emotionally mature, and make a reasonable amount of money, and choose selfish desires over having children, you are doing society a dis-service.
So rather than have a bunch of opinionated idiots deem me "selfish" I should have kids I don't want? For what purpose? The species is hardly in danger of dying out. In fact, we're highly overpopulated. So why do you need my contribution? And what gives mothers the monopoly on selflessness? I'm no Mother Teresa, but I do think I have a good social conscience and try to do my bit to make the world better. And yet I'm selfish because I don't focus all my time and attention on one child?
Personally I think way too many people reproduce who shouldn't. They have kids for the wrong reasons and then don't raise them well. So why would people who claim to love kids want children to be born to someone who doesn't want them and who knows they would be bad at it?
The one comment I did like came from someone who said that if you want to be really selfless, you need to adopt. Good point.