Like Calls To Like

Courtesy of commenter mmm sultry here’s yet another paternalistic (pardon the pun) and irritating take on why it’s very, very bad for you and your significant other not to have as many kids as possible.

Separated entirely from the question of public policy, i.e. whether or not it’s responsible to consider whether or not you can support children before you have them, this is an issue of conformity.

It’s an issue of not wanting to be confronted with anyone who’s made different decisions. That way you never question your own.

I personally wasn’t struck with any sort of baby desires until a good friend had a child. Watching her and her husband and their baby together made me question assumptions I’d always held about parents and children.

Seeing a friend who didn’t have children, didn’t want them, and was living a fabulously single and fascinating life and dating hot young authors made me question my choices again.

I like to joke to people who do know about my back-and-forth on the kid issue that Mr. Athenae and I can’t get together: When I’m cooing over baby things, he’s saying things like “I wouldn’t mind if we never had children.” When he’s talking about teaching his son (or daughter) to play catch, I’m thinking that we can’t possibly have a baby, that we’ll leave it in the produce aisle and raise it to be a punk serial killer or a bad musician.

The point is that I find that kind of questioning healthy, and though I do sometimes feel threatened (and shamefully jealous) of friends who are living terrific lives having made different choices than mine, I’m grateful for the diversity of viewpoints around me, and for their (for the most part) reticence in pushing their own worldviews on me.

But if you aren’t sure about what you’re doing in life, I can see where you’d be threatened by anybody who proudly espoused a different viewpoint. It’s not that far off from how social conservatives behave about politics, actually, the general refusal to be confronted with anything that shows up their presumptions.

It’s fitting that we’re having this discussion during the Thanksgiving holiday, when people are gathered with their families, drinking, and asking one another inappropriate questions.