Monday, August 12, 2013

Liars and fools or simply mad?

A successful but childless woman informs her younger counterparts that "any woman who says she's happy to be childless is a liar or a fool":
Where a decade ago, just one in nine women remained childless at 45 and were considered rather peculiar at that, now that figure is closer to one in four. For women with a university education, like me, that figure rises to 43 per cent - an extraordinary figure which signifies a seismic social change....

I had an intern recently, a 21-year-old Oxford graduate, who told me confidently she never wanted kids because it would get in the way of her career. I told her she was mad. While a child-free life looks fun on Facebook, no number of career highs, nights at the theatre, weekends away or adult pleasures can disguise the fact that it feels - there is no other word - empty.

Between today and the end of my life, I hope there are a few more decades. But, as time goes by, the idea of dying without children feels unnatural and sad. Statistics do not reveal whether the 43 per cent of educated women who are child-free are so by choice or by circumstance, but I believe the Motherhood Deniers, waving the flag for the childless life, remain in the minority. Admittedly a far more confident, glamorous, and witty minority than they once were, but a minority nonetheless.

For the rest of us, childlessness is a source of sadness and regret. Most of those 43 per cent will have gone through fertility hell, or never met the right guy, or left it too late, or have any number of unhappy stories.
There are two purposes in life.  The first is to serve and worship God. The second is to have children. The first is a test, the second is a duty. There are very, very few accomplishments of historic note that are more important than the latter; for all that we may lament the loss of their genetics to the human race, Newton and Leibniz arguably contributed more to it than nearly any line of descendants have, however long.

But other than such intellectual sports, whose personal accomplishments can possibly hope to outweigh generations upon generations of accomplishments?  Whose career can be said to be so important that it outweighs all the prospective careers of her children, her children's children, and her children's children's children?  Especially if one considers women's careers, of which fewer than 100 have ever deemed been worthy of historical note.

Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote: "Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad."  And the meaningful work of women is bearing and raising the next generation of the human race.  Given that more than 40 percent of educated women have deprived themselves of their reason for existence, it should be no wonder that they have, collectively, gone stark, raving mad.

55 comments:

hadley said...

Young college girls say and believe stupid things. You can gain considerable leverage over them by agreeing fully with them in the beginning when they are flush with their independence and self-empowerment

If they say their money will always be their own and they will never be the slave of a man, then you respond that you would never, ever marry without a prenuptial agreement that will guarantee your wife's (and by extension your own!) economic freedom.

If she says that she never wants a child, then agree and say that you don't believe in marriage since marriage is just a vehicle for controlling a woman's sexuality and owning her children. Two adult, free, working, professional, childless people shouldn't need or want the shackles of a marriage.

Make sure you send your comments via email and keep a record of them. Later, when you negotiate the terms of your marriage and prenuptial agreement it will come in handy.

Eventually she will want babies, she will want to quit work, and she will want to own your paycheck for the rest of her life. Get the ground rules established early when she is "strong" and "independent" and actually thinks equality is a good idea.

HanSolo said...

I just read another post about how higher-IQ women are less likely to have kids.

This is due in large part to the feminist mantra of postponing marriage and children until a woman's career is established.

However, as we see in Dalrock's post on never-married rates that those women that delay marriage beyond 30 have a harder time ever getting married.

I examined this further and projected the marriage rates and never-married percentages that might exist over the next 5 years. Some of them are striking. It seems that 30-34 y/o white women will double their never-married rate by 2017 as compared with 2000.

Amy G said...

"Young college girls say and believe stupid things."

This is the absolute truth. My husband and I were cleaning out one of our rooms (to turn into a nursery) and I came across an ethics portfolio I had made for one of my college classes. It was full of highfalutin' "goals" for my life, 90% of which were focused on my career and charity work. The goals for 10-15 years from the time of graduation mentioned a husband and kids only as a side thought. "It would be nice" were my actual words. That was 6 years ago, and none of those goals have been accomplished....except for the husband and kids part.

Thank God I took the red pill before I was able to bury myself in debt and loneliness. And thank God I found a man who did not encourage nor support my desires to get a graduate degree and several costly certifications. I'm counting the days till I can put in my 2 weeks and become a stay at home wife/mom!

tz said...

We don't know that if Newton and Leibnitz had children that one or more would - having learned for decates literally at their feet - accomplished even far greater things sooner.

We are mad. We subsidize single motherhood outside of marriage. We go crazy about "for the children". Yet the two pillars of the culture of death - Abortion and Birth Control are sacrosanct. It is maybe like the hunger games where we celebrate the survivors.

As to "by choice or circumstance", we all choose our circumstances to a greater or lesser degree.

Children are a the future, literally. When you are 70 going on 80, grandchildren will be a reminder of that.

The Observer said...

Well, if this goes on for long enough, then:

a)Humans will become stupider on average,
b)Intelligence becomes even more of a sexually dimorphic trait than it already is, with not just the shapes by peaks of the IQ curves differing,
c) Or both.

If educated women are determined to turn their daughters into the baby bags they so claim to fear becoming, unable to be educated even if they wanted to be, that's their pejorative.

In any case, the situation will sort itself out, but not without a whole lot of hell in the meanwhile.

newrebeluniv said...

I just read another post about how higher-IQ women are less likely to have kids.

I read that too and thought it was typical of self-serving childless women comforting themselves on being smarter than those brood cows.

JCclimber said...

It's just the hamster.

Plenty of my former work colleagues with "thriving" careers are still single going into their late 30's and 40's. Posting frequent pictures on Facebook of their travels abroad, their nights on the town with their female friends, pictures of their pets, their gardens, their meals.

Yet whenever I meet them in person, there is a visceral hunger about them to hear about family life, and even if they don't explicitly mention it, it is obvious that they know there is a huge part of their lives missing.

And it is getting very difficult for them to keep the hamster rationalizations coming. Even a frantically busy life, with the TV on 24 hours a day, music on the headphones, friends on speed dial, constant work meetings and business travel and "social engagements"....there is still those moments where they must spend a few moments in thought and the unwanted awareness of the bleakness of their future comes trickling into their brains, slipping past the barriers placed by their hamsters.

artisanaltoadshall said...

Given that more than 40 percent of educated women have deprived themselves of their reason for existence, it should be no wonder that they have, collectively, gone stark, raving mad.

Indeed.

God is not mocked.

artisanaltoadshall said...

@JC

Perhaps there ought to be an adoption program for such women, in which healthy families with children could adopt these foolish idiots and put them to work babysitting

Res Ipsa said...

Amy G,

I'm counting the days till I can put in my 2 weeks and become a stay at home wife/mom!

GOOD ON YOU!!!

May God grant you abundant success in your endeavor and may your children rise up and call you blessed.

JCclimber said...

@Artisan

I wouldn't trust my child alone in the room with these women for more than 120 seconds.

Laughingdog said...

@Vox

So I'm twice divorced. Both times they left me for whatever EPL reason was in their head. I'm in my 40s now and Christian. I'm at the point now that I think it would just be selfish of me to try to start a family now, since I'd be in my sixties when they graduated high school.

In your opinion, would you say then that I still have a duty to have children, if I do marry again for some reason, even at my age?

This isn't some prelude to trying to start an argument or anything (I add that only because I see enough people try exactly that here). Just looking for another opinion from another intelligent Christian.

artisanaltoadshall said...

@JC

Even after a rigorous deprogramming procedure and training program? Are you suggesting liquidation is the only solution left?

Dexter said...

@LD,

My dad had five kids after the age of 40 (two after the age of 50). He is in his 80s now. Whether or not he regrets leaving it so late, none of us regrets being born.

Failing to learn from his experience, I had kids in my 40s. I regret not having kids sooner, but I don't regret having them at all. For a fact, I am extremely glad I did!

So I would say, hurry up and go do that as soon as possible. Don't just leave it up to fate or God's will... actively seek it!

artisanaltoadshall said...

@Laughingdog said:


In your opinion, would you say then that I still have a duty to have children, if I do marry again for some reason, even at my age?

This isn't some prelude to trying to start an argument or anything (I add that only because I see enough people try exactly that here). Just looking for another opinion from another intelligent Christian.


It isn't a question of duty, but perhaps of choice.

I have a great-great grandfather, born during Washington's administration, who married his third wife at the age of 63 and fathered my great-grandfather at the age of 72 (not his last child). My great-grandfather worked himself through medical school and became a prominent member of his community. In his 40's he worked tirelessly during the great flu epidemic, even after losing his own wife. He later married an 18-year old girl who had lost both her parents, and he took responsibility for raising his new wife's younger siblings who had not died. My grandfather was born of their union.

Had today's prevailing attitudes been present back in the day, I would not exist (for some, that's a profoundly pleasant thought). Perhaps it's a sign God has a sense of humor.

The question isn't whether you should, it's whether you'll be committed to do the yeoman's labor of raising those children correctly if you take that path.

Stickwick Stapers said...

Given that more than 40 percent of educated women have deprived themselves of their reason for existence, it should be no wonder that they have, collectively, gone stark, raving mad.

I suspect one reason this 40 percent have deprived themselves of a raison d'ĂȘtre is related to the previous post. We women cannot stand to be left out or to be ignored, and sometimes it makes us do stupid things. As a highly-educated woman, I fell into this trap. When I got pregnant for the first time last year, I freaked out about losing my status as a professional scientist -- something that earned me a measure of respect -- and becoming a plain old mom -- something I was sure would earn me contempt. "Oh, she's just a mom." "Look at that stupid middle-aged soccer mom driving her kid around in her SUV." I thought this is what men would say about me. When we lost our baby last November, I got a major slap across the head. I very much wanted to be a plain ol' mom driving my kid around, more than anything. To hell with my career, to hell with what anyone else might think. I want to be a mom. Praise be to God that I was able to get pregnant again, and this time do it with the right attitude. I was miserable throughout my last pregnancy because of stupid vanity; this time, I'm elated.

My own personal experience makes me strongly suspect that this educated 40% are afraid of becoming nobodies if they have children. Blame feminists for this. "Mother" used to be a respected position in society, but now the big lie is that you're nobody unless you're working and achieving like a man (never mind that few women actually do). The irony is that, for all the feminist bluster about not needing men, these women desperately crave status male respect. They often discover too late that biology wins out, and that they crave motherhood even more.

River Cocytus said...

RE: Higher IQ women / lower childbirth rates

Isn't this just simply reflective of the simple male/female dichotomy: Greater men have an easier time forming families while greater women have a harder time?

It's hypergamy in action.

Also, it may be the case that while higher IQ women perceive themselves as better (thus looking to marry even higher) the men who are in higher-IQ environments are not correspondingly 'better' since IQ is but one of a number of factors by which women judge mens' fitness for fatherhood.

As a trend it seems pretty rational and is probably one reason why women looking for their 'MRS' degree supposedly weren't trying to look *too smart*, just *smart enough.*

It's like when you're trying to get hired doing handyman work. You don't interview well by explaining your understanding of chaos theory.

Jack Amok said...

Stickwick,

"Oh, she's just a mom." "Look at that stupid middle-aged soccer mom driving her kid around in her SUV." I thought this is what men would say about me.

When men see a middle-aged woman they don't know out with her kids, they really only focus two things:

1 - how well-behaved are her kids? Does she appear to be raising civilized creatures, or feral monsters?

2 - is she hot? I mean, not in a "is that 20 year old bikini model hot" way. More in a "is she keeping her figure and still trying to look attractive" way.

If her kids are well-behaved and she hasn't turned into a land-beast at 40, most men will figure she's a smart cookie. Neither is a trivial accomplishment. And frankly, I don't care how many degrees she has, if her kids are terrorizing the neighborhood and she's thrown her health away, how smart could she possibly be?

Jack Amok said...

Isn't this just simply reflective of the simple male/female dichotomy: Greater men have an easier time forming families while greater women have a harder time?

It's hypergamy in action.


No, hypergamy is not to blame. Sure, sure, it factors in, but hypergamy has been with us since the Dawn of Man (er, rather, the Dawn of Woman). 43% barren wombs is something new. Hypegamy didn't cause this change, something else did.

Actually I think three things did. One, the postponement of emotional adulthood. College and even Graduate School these days is just a part of this, extended versions of High School (or increasingly Middle School) where "children" can hide out from adult responsibilities.

Two, Feminism giving young women stupid ideas about how they should live their lives. Most of these women were probably on the marginal side of SMV themselves, but feminism stoked their hamsters to the point they thought they were too good for any of the men who might be attracted to them. This is where hypergamy comes into it, but only because feminism warped both the young women's opinion of themselves (inflated) and their opinion of the eligible young men around them (deflated).

Three, birth control and abortion. I'm sure nearly all of that 43% spent many years on the pill, and I'd be interested in learning what percent had at least one abortion.

Dexter said...

Agree with Jack Amok.

Would also add... when I see a 30 or 40-something woman without kids, I do NOT notice that she is a scientist (or lawyer, or doctor, or professor, or government employee, or whatever). This does not impress me or earn my respect.

Most likely I will notice if she is hot or not, though. =)

When I see a childless, well-educated woman all wrapped up in her "career", my reaction is, "What you are doing is FAR LESS important than having kids and raising them properly. You have failed on many levels. All your expensive education is, ultimately, going to be wasted when you die childless."

Res Ipsa said...

@ Stickwick,

I tend to look up to people who can do things I admire but that I can not do, or can not do as well. I suspect that others do the same thing. Perhaps that is why we try to emulate our heroes.

I find it very satisfying to do things that I do well, especially if it is something that only I can do.

Given two life paths, which one is most extraordinary? A professional career, especially one that is successful, in a "hard" discipline is rare. Not everyone can accomplish that. On the other hand. The only person in the world who can be the mother of your children is you. That makes the full time mother of those children, a singularly unique being who will only exist once in entire history of the universe.

In comparison, there are a lot of geeks who do cool stuff at their jobs.

Be MOM! No one else can do that job. There can be only one.

BTW, Men do admire a women who is being a great wife and mother. Those who have them are grateful and those who do not are envious.

matamoros said...

Given that more than 40 percent of educated women have deprived themselves of their reason for existence, it should be no wonder that they have, collectively, gone stark, raving mad.

That's why 60% of American women are on psychtropic drugs for all manner of mental-emotional-depressive problems.

toffeehammer said...

Generally speaking, when a woman is told she can't have kids, she goes through extreme stages of grief and often enters a long cycle of depression.

There is no reason to expect intentional barrenness to work any differently. Divorcing sex and childbearing is dangerous.

JCclimber said...

@toffee,
the problem is that their grief must be subconscious, because it really was their series of life choices that made them barren.

It is why the vast majority of them that I am acquainted with are such utter hedonists. They have to deaden the pain with parties, travel, drugs, alcohol, and busy work.

Very, very few of them get involved in charitable work (and those few are dedicated christians who were medically unable to bear children, so they don't count anyway as the intentionally barren).

ThirdMonkey said...

God gave three commands in the Garden: Stewardship over creation, procreation, and avoidance of temptation.

Get to work, get it on, and get away from that tree.

Feminists have the "get to work" part down. They have fallen prey to the temptation of "get it on" and separated it from the blessings of children. Now they live in the curse of barrenness in their 40s. They have literally fucked themselves mad. Now all they have left is the career, but to what end, except to spend on temptations.

Vox said...

In your opinion, would you say then that I still have a duty to have children, if I do marry again for some reason, even at my age?

Yes. Children are a blessing from God. Why reject a potential Divine blessing?

Until you have a child, you can no more imagine parenthood than a young child can imagine sex.

SarahsDaughter said...

The irony is that, for all the feminist bluster about not needing men, these women desperately crave status male respect.

I have a great fondness for old men. I love to hear their stories and chat with them. The best compliment I've gotten several times from elderly men after he's observed my children and I interacting, "Doin' good kid." It was such an honor to hear those exact words from my father-in-law.

Stickwick, you will be so blessed. I really look forward to reading comments from you after your baby is born.

Jill said...

It isn't glamorous being a mother. It also isn't 100% fulfilling on a day-to-day level. As somebody who has been a mom for 18 yrs now, I can tell you that I often feel disappointed with what I haven't accomplished. There is no magic fulfilment in being a housewife. It's more often a drag, just like going to work every day. I say this because there are some Christian philosophies that preach it as though it were, which often breeds disillusionment.

It is better to say that the difficulty and the monotony and the lack of kudos from the world strengthen the spirit in a very long-term way that isn't easily observed while in the process. Processes are generally painful if they're worth it. I don't regret staying at home with my (4) children at all. It's one way that I've accomplished my primary purpose of serving God. And because I accomplished childbearing when I was young, it leaves an entire second half of life to finish those intellectual projects I once began, which also bring meaning to me, even if history won't care about them. The vast majority of humans will not be remembered by history, except, perhaps, as a name in a family tree.

dalrock said...

I think we are going to see an increase in MC and UMC women's valuing marriage and motherhood as both become less common. To date, nearly every woman managed to marry and have children (even if not all of the children were born or raised in wedlock). While marriage and motherhood are still extremely important for women's status against other women, they also tend to be taken for granted. If everyone wins a gold medal, not having one really sucks but winning one isn't terribly exciting either. While in theory when childless and never married status becomes more "normal" for women, those in this group should feel less pressure to marry. This in fact may be true, but the status boost associated with now rarer motherhood & marriage will go up at the same time. As married women & mothers figure this out, the feminist imposed temporary embargo on married women/moms rubbing unwed/childless women's noses in what they are missing will start to crack and ultimately give way.

River Cocytus said...

Right. If you don't want kids, you don't get it on. The rules are pretty simple.

Dexter said...

@Jill,

There is no glamor or fulfillment in 99.999% of the day jobs that are out there, either. It is often a drag to go to work. History will not care that you spent 40 years shuffling papers in a cubicle, or know anything about the result.

In short, most of the working moms really aren't missing anything in terms of fulfillment, achievement, or excitement by not reporting to the cubicle every day.

Jill said...

@Dexter, I'm pretty sure I made those points in my comments, but thanks, anyway.

Iowahine said...

I'm grateful for these posts. Truth is spoken here.

I thought I'd not marry; I thought I'd not have children, not because I had lofty career goals, but because my mother behaved as if both were curses and I preferred the lies of that day and time (70's). By the grace of God, I stumbled into marriage and a child. I never championed myself a career woman (but I spouted a lot of other more annoying I am woman, I am better than you crap), but I had a good-paying job I enjoyed a lot. My husband thought of me as a career woman, so was reluctant for me to stay home when our son turned 3. He liked believing that me earning could lessen his burden; he still struggles with being sole provider but does it anyway and does it exceptionally well.

My son has been the greatest blessing of my life, even though these days are very hard with him and I may not have the gift of a relationship with him in the future. Nothing can take away the honor and gift of being his mother. After having him, I realized how much I wanted to more children, but that was denied me and yes, the grieving process was wide, deep, and life-changing. My purpose was to be a mother and I only did it marginally and haltingly. It saddens me that I wasn't wiser, smarter, or bolder younger.

I think acceptability of abortion will decrease as more people realize they have an aborted sibling and/or that they could so easily not have been - based on a woman's (his or her mother's) whim.

I love the stories of men who fathered over 40. Women - so long as God is filling thy womb, be blessed. Stickwick, we are so excited for you to be a mom.

yttik said...

"And because I accomplished childbearing when I was young, it leaves an entire second half of life to finish those intellectual projects I once began, which also bring meaning to me.."

Thank you Ann, the same is true for me. I am delighted to discover that I somehow managed to make the right choice, in spite of myself and all the pressure from the outside world.

Weouro said...

In short, most of the working moms really aren't missing anything in terms of fulfillment, achievement, or excitement by not reporting to the cubicle every day."


I think my sisters, stay at home moms, have a lot more freedom and autonomy than I do as a worker drone. I have to do a lot of stupid and pointless things just because I'm told or because of new company policies handed down. They pretty much set up their days. They have to put up with crying, fighting, and shit. But there's a lot of that in the oil field, too. I get to drive through the countryside a lot. But I have to work for days at a time. My friend has a great job with Microsoft, but when you drill down a little, you discover he basically micromanages assembly lines, telling people which way to move, and that is about it. The only good thing about it is money and prestige in Seattle. His wife stays home and gardens and sends their kids to school and does whatever else she wants, like yoga and blogging. Work sux.

Dexter said...

@Jill,

No, you didn't really. Unless there are some other comments I haven't seen?

tz said...

I would imagine Spacebunny is one of the happiest women on earth. Orders of magnitude above the career bitches running the rat race. I wish she would stop for a few minutes of being a mom and wife and simply comment - she could have had anything - and she choose - happiness.

Iowahine said...

Unless one's kids are schooled outside one's home, there ain't much time left to blog. Even with kids in school, disorganized types spend a lot of time catching up, preparing, and being ready when the hands-on action begins. I still wonder how we get through the years when kids are little; it's a 24/7 gig. Once they start driving . . . egad, I'm having flashbacks. The only good advice - love every minute that you're in it because it really does go too fast.

haus frau said...

Laughingdog,
For what it's worth, I understand your dilemma and thought I could offer a perspective you might not have really considered. My husband has 3 adult children from a previous marriage. We have a 4 yr old, 2 yr old, and 4 month. My husband is 55 and still going strong. It's understandable to be pre-occupied with how much time you will be on earth with your kids and not consider the quality of that time. There are some distinct advantages to being an older father as opposed to a young one in your 20's. I imagine at your age you either have attained your big materialistic (house, car) and career goals or they are likely less important to you now than they were when you worked 60 hour weeks as a 25 year old man. I'm guessing you are a lot more mature in your decision making process and your parenting will reflect that.
Older fathers have financial security and aren't caught up in career building. You will have all that energy to spend on your kids. You are also closer to retirement. When they are teens you will be slowing down or retired entirely and able to raise them as a fulltime father. If their mom stays home even better. How many kids who aren't on welfare get that kind of attention in their most formative years? How many kids really get to know their dad's anymore?
We are done having babies. The next one would arrive when he is 57 and even for us that's over our line in the sand though I would not have turned him down if he was at all open to a fourth (damn). Think about the many things you have to offer children as a stable Christian father. You may be surprised how you compare to most of the younger people out their having children.

Jill said...

@Dexter, I meant comment, not comments. Typo. Yes, I did. I said, "[Being a housewife is] more often a drag, just like going to work every day." My starting assumption, you see, was that going to work every day (for the most part) is a drag. I also said, "The vast majority of humans will not be remembered by history, except, perhaps, as a name in a family tree." So how exactly did I not make those exact points?

Stickwick Stapers said...

Dexter, it's not the respect of all men I desire, but of the subset I consider high status. Whether or not you or any other guy out there in everyday life notices that I'm a scientist is irrelevant. I don't bring up my profession with everyone; for example, I've asked my husband not to discuss it with his teammates, because with those guys it doesn't matter and I get enough acceptance just for being a good hockey wife. The men whose respect I want are other intellectuals. I've earned acceptance in that sphere, and I'm happy there. As for noticing whether or not a woman is "hot," well, that's also irrelevant. I'm in my early 40s, and I suspect Roissy speaks for most men when he says he considers women my age "sexually worthless." As a married woman, it shouldn't matter anyway. However, I can (and do) get noticed and accepted by some of the men I respect by showing that I can endure the intellectual rigors necessary to produce scientific work.

Now, Jill and some others have touched on something else that turned me, and I suspect most of that 40%, off to motherhood for a long time -- the drudgery. One of my colleagues has a neighbor whose little girl she refers to as "JanieStopThat," because that's what her mom says to her about a hundred times a day. I've seen other moms like my colleague's neighbor, stressed out harridans screaming at and chasing after their out-of-control children, wearily shuttling them around to countless activities in filthy minivans, and that lifestyle looked unspeakably dreary. I'm far from being a Newton or a Tesla, and I'm under no delusion that I'm contributing hugely to the advancement of humankind, but my intellect is sufficiently developed that the prospect of spending my days doing nothing but chasing after little children yelling "stop that" and being a glorified taxi service sounded like the worst sort of punishment. I need intellectual stimulation or I'll go crazy. I also have the benefit of very much enjoying my job: I set my own hours, work on projects of my choosing, interact with really bright people who have interesting ideas, and solve a few mysteries of the universe. I was initially very depressed at the prospect of giving all that up to assume the life of what I thought would be an intellectually-stifled, stressed-out mom to a JanieStopThat. It took a long series of talks with my father to convince me that most of those moms are idiots who are doing it wrong, and that motherhood doesn't have to be that way. But how many of that 40% have wise and patient parents to convince them that motherhood isn't drudgery most of the time? Smarter-than-average women probably have a higher need for intellectual stimulation, and, frankly, a lot of moms out there make motherhood look like a brain-dead nightmare.

SD, Res, Iowahine, thank you. One reason I have given up the vanity of a childless existence is that it is, as Vox mentioned, a gift from God. Part of my spiritual development was submitting to my husband in marriage; the next step is to enter into partnership with God to bring forth new life. As my dad explained, marriage inspires you to love someone else as much you love yourself, but parenthood inspires you to love someone else more than you love yourself. It's time to take that leap of faith and move out of spiritual adolescence. Thanks be to God that I have been given that opportunity this late in life.

Jack Amok said...

I suspect Roissy speaks for most men when he says he considers women my age "sexually worthless."

Balderdash.

I spent the last week at a youth camp. There were several moms in their 40's around. Most were hideous shoggoths. They were sexually worthless. But there were two women, early 40's I'd suspect, who were in good shape. You could call them MILFs.

And I was strongly attracted to them physically. I mean to the point that it took an immense amount of willpower not to openly stare at them. I thought about it, because it did seem unusual.

I'm sure a big part of it was they were both roughly the same age and body type as my wife, who I had neither seen nor, um, well, (fill in your own preferred euphemism) for several days. So certainly there was some "absence makes the heart (and other organs) grow fonder" transference going on. But beyond that, I think there was something else.

They'd had children. A 40 year old childless or fat woman is probably barren, absent significant fertility treatments. But a 40 year old who has given birth a couple of times previously and remains in good shape, she may very well still be fertile, so some part of my lizard brain was probably aware that injecting sperm into them was likely not a reproductively pointless activity. In the cold calculations of procreation, they were not worthless at all.

And beyond that, I think they were advertising a certain genetic superiority. Age was causing them to drop in absolute SMV, but relative to their age group their SMV was skyrocketing. A hotbodied 20 something is advertising immense genetic potential, but a 40-something who still mostly has it is advertising genetic success.

These women had born children, remained healthy and physically robust, and demonstrated mental and emotional fitness as well by not succumbing to the easy pitfalls. Their offspring were likely to be long-lived, robust, intelligent and successful people, at least as far as genetics have an influence.

Of course, I was also attracted to the 20 year old camp counselors bouncing around, but the 40 year olds were far, far from sexually worthless.

Stickwick Stapers said...

Thank you, Jack. As a married woman, I'm not in the biz of attracting mates, but it's still good to know that I'm not automatically considered a dried up old prune by my male peers just because of my age. Very kind of you to take the time to explain that.

thehaproject said...

Your mention of Newton reminded me of this:

http://youtu.be/hLpgxry542M

a211f9d8-03be-11e3-bcb2-000bcdcb5194 said...

What would be your advice to a married woman whose husband doesn't want kids and is certain he never will? (The question for him would be, "Why'd you get married in the first place, fool?", but assume he's not available for comment.) Let's say she's 25, has an OK job but no lofty career goals, and doesn't feel strongly one way or the other about having kids. Of the following choices, which would you recommend?:

1. Divorce him NOW, and find someone who does want kids. If you wait til the biological clock kicks in and gives you baby rabies, it might be too late.

2. Let things be until you get a real urge to have kids. Then try to change his mind. If he won't, divorce him then.

3. Same as #2, but just get pregnant without his consent (go off the pill, snag his used condoms from the trash, whatever it takes). This option not available if he's gone so far as to have a vasectomy.

4. If your marriage is happy in all other respects, it's foolish to jeopardize it for the sake of having children. If the mothering urge becomes strong enough, channel it into a career working with kids (day care, teaching or some such).

5. Other (that's all I can think of, but surely the assembled minds here are more imaginative than I).

Assume that neither the woman nor her husband are religious, so any advice based solely on what God commands is likely to be ignored.

a211f9d8-03be-11e3-bcb2-000bcdcb5194 said...

I have no idea why my username in the above comment is gobbledygook. This is Rex Little, and that's what I put down when I signed in.

haus frau said...

I have a close friend who was convinced she didn't want kids in her early 20's. She even had her tubes tied. A few years later her marriage fell apart (for many reasons). She realized the main reason she didn't want kids at the time was because she didn't want them with her husband. She deeply regrets getting her tubes tied now. You may not feel strongly about having kids now but few people really know themselves well at age 25. Even if you have an otherwise good marriage, will you resent him for this later? I've seen that happen too. It led to divorce in middle age.

yttik said...

Three years ago my husband just flipped a switch in my head and I instantly decided he wasn't just stupid, he was insane. Completely unqualified to lead anymore. He moved my mother in with us. She's was 70 and homeless. I didn't care what happened to her, she was such an awful mother, and I was so tired of taking care of her.

What has become so magical and mysterious to me is how he knew that was the right thing to do? He's not even very religious. He has patiently explained to me over and over again the whole concept behind honor your mother and father without any religious references at all. He has just known, almost innately, how to make the right moral decisions for our family. I certainly haven't, I've always got a list of fine print running in my head as if there must be exceptions to every rule. We don't have to honor bad parents do we?

Naturally it's been absolutely awful having her here, but after a few years I've started to see how magical his plan really was. He's not only led me so I could resolve this issue with my mother and honor her, he's been leading her too. He is magically transforming her from this shrieking demon to somebody much better to be around. I knew there was hope one night when he sent her to her room. I burst out laughing. Everything is going to be okay now. The hand of God really is in the men.

Somehow my husband just magically knows these things, why I should have kids while I'm young instead of going to school, why I should honor my mother. I guess, there is just something in my brain that makes it hard to see the big picture sometimes. Biology, it just kind of makes you stupid, like I am so stupidly in love all over I again, I could walk face first into walls.

Jack Amok said...

We have friends, a couple who, through youthful exuberance, ended up pregnant when they were both still in college. The did the old fashioned thing and got married. She dropped out of school, he worked is ass off to graduate while supporting a wife and kid. They had another couple of kids. They are now in their early 40's and the last kid is off to college.

The wife went back to school a couple years ago when there wasn't as much child rearing to do, finished her degree, and has steadily moved up in her re-launched career.

Seeing as how I'll be 60 when my youngest turns 18, I envy them doing their procreatin' early. They sort of feel like the world is their oyster now.

Lucas said...

VD,

I don't know if you have read this, but check it out.


The Barren Wombs of Smart Women

Amethyst Dominica said...

I wonder if women entering the workforce en masse has anything to do with the Fibromyalgia epidemic (80 to 90 percent of the people affected by it are women--usually ambitious, hardworking women struck down in the prime of their careers.) Could it be that women weren't meant to perform the same hi-energy, hi-ambitious tasks of men? Could trying to become men literally be making women sick?

Dexter said...

@Jill,

Five words about work being a drag do not make the same point as two paragraphs about staying at home being unfulfilling, unglamorous, etc etc.

@Stickwick,

I know plenty of professional women (doctors, lawyers, professors, engineers, etc.) whose intellectual accomplishments are worthy of respect. I still regard the ones who are childless as fundamental failures; nothing they have done intellectually exceeds the importance of having and raising children. It is not like that operation wouldn't have been performed or that legal case wouldn't have been addressed if they had not been there to do it.

I hear you about the drudgery. Been there, done that (still doing that). But it is less onerous than I thought it would be before I had kids. I snatch my intellectual stimulation where I can (e.g. reading while they run around at the playground). The phase where you have to monitor them every second doesn't last forever.

The idea that the purpose of life is pleasurable stimulation (physical or intellectual), and that everyone needs, deserves, should seek, and should have such stimulation is a profoundly Leftist and nihilistic one that all Christians should resist as best they can.

yttik said...

"The idea that the purpose of life is pleasurable stimulation (physical or intellectual), and that everyone needs, deserves, should seek, and should have such stimulation is a profoundly Leftist and nihilistic one that all Christians should resist as best they can."

Great wisdom here, but the gift I so rudely sneak in and steal from you is, God really does believe everyone deserves, should seek, needs, pleasurable stimulation. Blessed are the truth seekers. The catch is, if one cannot find pleasure in even the most banal tasks, the error is not on God's end.

Motherhood is like that. The times I have found it to be not so great, have also been the times I was doing something wrong. Best decision I ever accidentally made was to completely forget everything I had been taught about "good" parenting, and simply smack this shrieking 13 yr old girl in the mouth. Instantly order returned to the universe. Hubby didn't like it much, but it only took him about 3 minutes to understand and forgive me.

Stickwick will do well. Motherhood really is one of the most intellectually stimulating things you can ever do, especially if you do it right. The riddles you will have to solve are so challenging they will consume you.

Iowahine said...

The lies about intellectual stimulation and motherhood being incompatible remind me of when my son was 3-4 and I was visiting a former co-worker and his wife (who had miscarried first baby during 5th month but got good information about how she might carry to term) after the birth of their first child. I would have thought this "intelligent" UVA grad would have been delighted to be the SAHM to her gift from God. Instead, when the subject of whether or not she would like to stay home came up (I had finally been able to leave my full-time job to stay home), she told me parenting her child wouldn't be "intellectually" stimulating enough. She was an English major working as a loan underwriter. Of course, I had nothing to say as it was meant as an insult and a defense; her husband would not have been able to support the family.

As any parent knows, there are times of tedium and drudgery, which is exactly when one has the opportunity to engage one's intellect.

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