A bit more about Tammy's blog

Tammy wrote several posts in her new blog. Two of which relate to major issues in our relationship. The issues are marriage and and children. Interestingly, the post about marriage, in which she explained why she's opposed to the institution, received mostly positive feedback, whereas the post about not wanting to have children aroused mounds of anger and bile.

I say "interestingly" because in our household, it's the marriage thing that's controversial. I want to get married. I believe in the institution of marriage, and I love weddings. It's not a deal breaker, or we wouldn't still be together, but it's an issue.

Children, however, is something we agree on. Our reasons are different, but the bottom line is the same – while we both adore children, and love our nephews dearly, we are not interested in having any. While I have received some negative comments about this, most of our friends and family understand our decision. Apart from the occasional "but you'd make such great parents," this isn't a point of contention in our enviorment. That's why I was surprised to see Tammy's post, which certainly did not call for a ban on having children, or criticize those who choose to do so, receive such a negative response.

3 מחשבות על “A bit more about Tammy's blog”

  1. I saw (and participated in) the whole children-are-hard-work-and-it's-not-automatically-part-of-life-to-have-them thread – and found it perhaps more understandable than you did. I think the reason is as follows:

    Parenting is an unrelentingly hard job. Kids start out by bending their mom's body out of shape, then pull their whole lives, agendas, life-styles, and health inside out. They're totally and entirely demanding, and the moments of gratification – while gratifying, indeed! – are hard to understand or even remember.

    In order to deal with such a huge task, you kind of have to make yourself belief that it's worth it – or you'd too easily tend to give up. And one of the ways that people make themselves believe such a thing is by generalizing. Not only is it worth it for THEM, it's worth it for ANYONE, and ANYONE who doesn't agree with them has something wrong in the head (or is a traitor to the common cause, in the collectivist Israeli mentality).

    I think that's the kind of thinking that was presented in the comments to Tammy's article. Remembering that one does have a choice (especially in the midst of the challenge, when you've had neither sleep nor sex in half a decade, have a laundry pile larger than the house it's in, and are considering kidnapping a sitter) – that can make the continuation of the uphill parenting climb intolerable.

    Tammy highlighted the paradox of pregnancy: when you suddenly notice that you're on a roller-coaster and there's no way off. The sensation of being trapped never really does go away – unless you repress it. And keeping it properly repressed may take rather a lot of doing.

    Ricki Cohen (I think that's her name, also on notes.co.il) wrote a wonderful series of articles displaying the hard parts of parenting. She was roundly reviled by people who couldn't handle her truth. And she wasn't even saying that she didn't want kids! She was just saying: "gee, this is *hard*!" and being told by many commenters "shut up and quit whining". Tammy got much the same treatment, and it was most unfair, I think. Because – hello! – it's up to the people who are about to do all the hard work of parenting to decide whether they WANT to do all that hard work.

    This concept of an individual's right to choose their own path is pretty radical, as Israeli things go. The collective mindset seems still to remain rather entrenched.

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