November 23, 2014

Top 10 WNK Links

Clearly, I'm going through something.

Image by missbhavens via Flickr

The proliferation of childfree news, blog posts, etc. is a telling gauge of the growing acceptance of (and interest in) the the choice not to have children. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

  1. Economic and social pressures are loosening the filial obligations that have long bound Chinese society. The younger generation longs for more personal comfort. Many Chinese wouldn’t have larger families even if they were free to do so. Some want no children at all. (Los Angeles Times)
  2. Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children. (Childfree Me)
  3. If at some point you’ve had an irrepressible, inexplicable urge to make a baby, you may be interested to know there’s a term for that — baby fever — and that it’s a bona fide physical and emotional phenomenon… Although it may be linked to another baby-craving phenomenon commonly known as the “biological clock,” … baby fever isn’t specific to women. Men can get all goo-goo-ga-ga too… (TIME Healthland)
  4. Beyonce confirmed she was pregnant. And Showed off her baby bump. The major news outlets could barely contain themselves and it was the leading news in most of them… What does that say about our society? I think it says society is still obsessed with women having babies no matter how successful they are. Never mind the number of famous people who say they are childfree. (thebritgirl.com)
  5. Hollywood comedies about parenthood depend entirely on making raising a kid look a ridiculous, hectic mess. Then, eventually the leading man finds out that in the end, the rewards make it all worth it… [But] there’s plenty of stuff those movies don’t show you. If they did, their zany comedy about a single father finding a baby on his doorstep would quickly become a nightmare inducing horror that would shut down the genitals of any aspiring parent. (Cracked.com)
  6. Children are an economic liability and parents are desperately trying to find joy in the experience to feel they are getting their money’s worth… Kids are a major purchase. They are kind of like buying an overpriced boat without fully thinking it through… After a while, the newness wears off… [and] you realize that having a boat is more work than you expected… At this point, it might begin to feel a bit like a chore. You don’t want to admit that, so you shove those thoughts away and tell yourself you just love boating because otherwise you’d have to admit to yourself was a stupid fucking idea it was to get the damn boat. You start joining every boat-enthusiast group you can find online and declaring your superiority to all those poor saps who don’t have boats. (Happily Childfree)
  7. I know for a fact that my marriage is happy thanks in large part to being childfree. The stressors that we have avoided in our marriage are too numerous to count… Hubby and I are focused on each other – on making each other happy – on creating special memories together – on sharing life’s ups and downs and being a devoted support system for each other. We are not distracted and neglected… We are not fighting over household tasks. Gender roles. Who does more. We are not stretched to the breaking point… We have all that we need. Each other. (Childfreedom)
  8. Less than half of millionaires who are members of the famously selfish generation—boomers, not their kids—think it’s important to leave money to their children. What’s more important, apparently, is for boomers to enjoy their golden years. (TIME.com)
  9. Children are back in school, and travel deals abound! This week marks the beginning of the off-season for many warm weather destinations, so if you put off your summer vacation due to crowds and peak pricing, now is the time to reward yourself with childfree travel at significant savings… now is the time that the industry gives incentives to those of us who are not hampered by the school year calendar. (No Children by Choice Blog)
  10. I cringe every time I hear some bimbo mommy justifying her stupidity and crap parenting by suggesting that it’s “all natural.” I’m not just talking about breastfeeding “natural” argument, but about a whole slew of other stupid behaviors I’ve heard mommies justify lately with this “natural” bullshit… (Happily Childfree)
  11. I would argue that many of the women who are miserable being moms, regret it with their entire being and would do anything to go back to their life before children, are the very same women who are scornful of the childfree, lie to other women and continue to promote the “scam” that having children is the one true path to happiness and fulfillment. (Childfreedom)
  12. Every now and then a person will make a wild connection in their mind when they hear I’ve chosen not to have kids… they decide that I must be racist… because I don’t have kids of my own, I also automatically don’t like people of other nations and cultures. That is just plain weird to me. (Child Free Zone)

Okay, so I can’t count. I was aiming for ten stories, but I wound up with a dozen. Just goes to show how much childfree buzz there is…

What have you been reading? Watching? Please share your suggestions in the comments below. Thanks!~

An Unmet Need for Family Planning

Undecaplets

Image via Wikipedia

I’m reading a magazine to pass the time in my gynecologist’s office when I stumble upon the incredible “historical record” of one 18th century Russian peasant woman who reportedly gave birth to sixty nine children between the years of 1725 and 1765 (without fertility aids, of course).  Apparently, she did this with 27 multiple birth pregnancies and with only two lost in infancy.

“Not possible,” says my gynecologist when I share the figure with her.  That was my reaction too.  Nonetheless, even if the figure was doubly exaggerated, that still leaves a staggering number of children that the human body can create, and a puzzling question as to why any woman would want that many children.  Was she looking to start her own sports league or productive work force for the family business?

According to Yahoo, the “modern” record for the most number of children born to one woman goes allegedly to a Chilean woman (now in her mid 60’s) who delivered 64 babies, though the article qualifies that Chilean birth certificates are “something of a less-than-serious concern in Chile.”

Most number of children to one father, you ask?  The last Sharifan Emperor of Morocco, Mulai Ismail(1646-1727) reportedly sired somewhere around 800 children with 500 wives – a busy man indeed.  One wonders how he had any time to run an empire and one can well imagine many other legendary rulers throughout history who must have had impressive fleets of children as well.

Here are a few more staggering reproduction figures:  The youngest woman to give birth was, in fact not a woman at all but apparently a five year old Peruvian girl who delivered her baby boy by cesarean in 1939 in a small Andean village.  The community thought she had an abdominal tumor.  A pituitary malfunction was speculated to have caused the onset of her menstruation at three years of age.  The baby lived and welcomed his brother thirty three years later.  If this story is true it is disturbing by so many accounts but what I wonder is did they find  the man who molested her and cut off his nuts?  Unfortunately not –  the father remained a mystery.

The youngest father on record?  A twelve year old boy from England who had a son in 1998 with his fifteen year old girlfriend.

Oldest Father? A ninety three year old Australian man who died at one hundred. The oldest mother was a Spanish woman who had fertility assistance in producing twins at sixty seven in 2006 (which of course sparked international controversy).

Here’s another disturbing statistic:  According to Guinness World Records, in 2010 the “youngest identified group of drug addicts:” Unlucky babies born to young mothers in rural Afghanistan who are addicted to heroin and opium from the abundance of poppy crops in their country.  In addition to passing the drugs along to fetuses in-uteri, mothers are known in rural regions to blow heroin spoke at the babies to calm them and relieve pain.  The U.S. State Department “has categorized them as the youngest drug addicted group ever found for which there are no established treatment protocols.”

Finally, according to Nicholas D. Kristof in an Op-Ed article of the New York Times this past Mother’s Day, “215 million women worldwide have an ‘unmet need’ for family planning, meaning they don’t want to become pregnant but aren’t using effective contraception.”  He continues: “The Guttmacher Institute, a respected research group, estimates that if all the unmet need for contraception were met, the result would be 94,000 fewer women dying of pregnancy complications each year, and almost 25 million fewer abortions each year.”

I ask you:  Do these figures not call out a need for affordable birth control and accessible family planning education worldwide?