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  1. #41
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by violaine View Post
    Something I have noticed is that the women who waited to have children until they'd established their careers have been able to stay in those careers after motherhood. Some of my friends who had children before that point have struggled with establishing themselves in a career. Though of those, there are some who haven't wanted to at all, or who say they want to, but don't seem to do much to make it happen. (Which I can understand because I do think that would be a tough to accomplish if you don't have a really strong drive or strong idea of what you want to do to compete with being a parent).

    Since this thread caught my eye the other day, this^ is sorta what I wanted to say. I had my son before establishing a career, and there really aren't any lulls in parenting enough (ime) to effectively do that. It's like trying to drive two cars at once. It would have been infinitely helpful if I'd had a more solid work niche/routine underfoot before becoming a parent.

    And my ex-husband is more along the traditional 'that part of parenting isn't my job' kind of guys- so that didn't help either.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  2. #42
    violaine
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Since this thread caught my eye the other day, this^ is sorta what I wanted to say. I had my son before establishing a career, and there really aren't any lulls in parenting enough (ime) to effectively do that. It's like trying to drive two cars at once. It would have been infinitely helpful if I'd had a more solid work niche/routine underfoot before becoming a parent.

    And my ex-husband is more along the traditional 'that part of parenting isn't my job' kind of guys- so that didn't help either.
    I think you need a lot of support to be able to undertake a new career and be the primary caregiver. I also think it is very hard on an emotional level for many parents to be away from their children enough to make that happen. Quite a few of my friends would rather take a long break to raise their babies, but they fear doing so means they will lose their footing professionally. :-/

  3. #43
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nijntje View Post
    I posted the original link, not out of any malice, but as a supporter to anecdotal evidence provided to me by girlfriends who have had children, (and often multiple children) saying they got foggy around the time of the new birth, mainly for things that didn't directly relate to the well-being and survival of their new addition.

    I have also seen it when i used to nanny, with new mothers being razor sharp on all things baby related, but a little fuzzy on remembering appointments or random facts (useless ones) that they used to know. I assumed hormones and lack of sleep would make anyone a little distracted at times.

    But i have also learnt, as someone who is childless that most of the time, my opinion regarding children is moot as they are not my own, and i "wouldn't understand". Which is fine.
    New parents are the worst for assuming that a) everyone is as interested in the fruit of their loins as they are and b) if you haven't had kids you can't possibly understand anything. It's very tedious. I've never heard anyone claim that having kids made their brain get bigger, though. That's a new one on me. I thought the swollen head was due to....*reasons*.

    Anyway. I think I know why women lose their memory as a result of getting preggers. It's because you'd have to be fucking mental to remember the pain and willingly go through it all again.
    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin Moran, How to be a Woman
    The pain was transformative – like going from agnosticism to evangelism in a single hour. The sky was suddenly full of God, and He had biblical pain for me. The breaks in between contractions were like licking a dripping tap in a burning house – a second of relief, but, when you turned back, it was so hot that the moisture burned from your lips; the walls had gone up, and there had never been a door or window in the first place. The only way to get out was to somehow turn inside out, like an octopus, and fly out through the magic doorway in your bones. But I was meat and pain, pinned in place by monitor wires, and my mother had never taught me how to turn inside out.
    And in the end – because I wasn’t magic and couldn’t fly monkeys out of my butt, and I’d been three days and nights in this place of failure – the doctors had to strap me down and cut me open. Instead of Lizzie coming out of me in a soft, spurting burst of magic and Milky Way, Dr Jonathan de Rosa pushed my kidneys to one side and hauled her out of me, upside-down by her feet, like a shit-covered rabbit on a butcher’s hook. Of course, I haven’t told you the half of it. I haven’t told you about Pete crying, or the shit, or vomiting three feet up a wall, or gasping ‘mouth!’ for the gas and air, as I’d forgotten all other words. Or the nerve that Lizzie damaged with her face and how, ten years later, my right leg is still numb and cold. Or the four failed epidurals, which left each vertebra smashed and bruised, and the fluid between them feeling like hot, rotting vinegar. And the most important thing – the shock, the shock that Lizzie’s birth would hurt me so much; would make me an animal with my leg caught in the trap of my own bones, and leave me begging for the doctors to take a knife and cut me free.
    Lizzie opens her eyes for a second, and stares, with wrinkled monkey brow, at me. Her face looks red against the hospital sheet. She still looks like an internal organ. She has no white in her eyes – just black. Just huge pupils – two big holes in her monkey head, that lead straight to her monkey brain. She stares at me. I stare back at her. Pete and I look up at each other. We both know we want to smile at each other; but we cannot. We look back at the baby. Pain is transformative. We are programmed for it to be the fastest lesson we’ll ever learn. I learned two things from the first baby I had: 1) That being very unfit, attending only two NCT birth classes, and genuinely believing that I would probably die was not a good way to prepare for labour, all things told. 2) That once you have experienced that level of pain, the rest of your life becomes relatively easy. However awful an experience, it’s really not wasted.
    Heh.
    And lest we kid ourselves that having children isn't just about the most selfish thing a person can do..
    First World babies are eating this planet like termites. If we had any real perspective on fertile, Western women, we’d be jumping on them in the streets screaming, ‘JESUS! CORK UP YOUR NETHERS! IMMUNISE YOURSELF AGAINST SPERM!’ If we could remember this for more than ten seconds at a time, women would never be needled with ‘So – when are you going to pop one out?’ again. Because it’s not simply that a baby puts a whole person-ful of problems into the world. It takes a useful person out of the world, as well. Minimum. Often two. When you have young children, you are useless to the forces of revolution and righteousness for years. Before I had my kids I may have mooched about a lot but I was politically informed, signing petitions, and recycling everything down to watch batteries. It was compost heap here, dinner from scratch there, public transport everywhere. No Barclays Bank, no Kenyan beans – I paid my dues to the union, and to charity. I rang my mother, regularly. I was smugly, bustlingly, low-level good. Six weeks into being poleaxed by a newborn colicky baby, however, and I would have happily shot the world’s last panda in the face if it made the baby cry for 60 seconds less.

    The towelling nappies – ‘If we don’t use towelling nappies, who will?’ – were dumped for disposables; we lived on ready meals. Nothing got recycled; the kitchen was a mess. Union dues and widow’s mites were cancelled – we needed the money for the disposables, and the ready meals. My mother could have died and I would neither have known nor cared. I had no idea what was going on outside the house – I didn’t read a newspaper, or watch a news report, for over a year. The rest of the world disappeared. This world, anyway – with China, and floodplains, and malaria, and insurgency. My world map now was soft – made of brightly coloured felt, and appliqué: Balamory to the north, Fireman Sam’s Pontypandy to the west, and the rest of the planet covered in the undulating turf of Tele-tubbyland, and scattered with rabbits.

    Every day, I gave thanks that both my husband and I were just essentially useless arts critics – in no way engaged in the general betterment of the world. ‘Imagine if you and I had been hot-shot geneticists, working on a cure for cancer,’ I used to say, gloomily, after another panicked day of shoddy, half-finished work, filed with the despairing cries of, ‘Dear God, let the editor have pity on us!’ ‘And we were so exhausted that we had to simply give up the project – downgrade to something easier, and less vital,’ I continued, eating dry coffee granules, for energy. ‘Lizzie’s colic would be responsible for the deaths of billions. Billions.’
    It's a pity isn't it? That we really ought to have people with the best genes reproduce, yet they so often choose to do something more interesting instead...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  4. #44
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    It's a pity isn't it? That we really ought to have people with the best genes reproduce, yet they so often choose to do something more interesting instead...
    There is a serious evolutionary conundrum facing us. The people most likely to avoid having children are generally the most intelligent and socially conscientious.
    Follow through with the good reasons for not having kids, or forfeit the gene pool?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    And lest we kid ourselves that having children isn't just about the most selfish thing a person can do.
    I've said this before, but it merits repeating. Bringing children into the world is the most selfish act, dedicating your life to raising them is the most selfless.

    Also @Magic Poriferan I actually agree with your observation. I've started reading this book called Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon and it explores a lot of things, and one of the topics it touches upon is the flipside of the preventative capabilities of mapping the human genome, and how eliminating "disabilities" or "undesired traits" is severely restricting variance in the genepool and inadvertently creating an increasingly narrower set of traits that constitute "ideal" and how this will have dire consequences for our future as a species. Apparently eugenics as a demonized concept being instituted by governmental powers is now a moot discussion as it is actually being normalized by parents seeking to simplify their children's lives through selective genetic engineering.

    There's more to it than that, but it is a fascinating book and a read that I strongly recommend to members on this board as it touches a lot upon the fine line between illness versus identity and the debate surrounding it.

    Sorry if this is starting to get off topic, but the book bears relation to the discussion of our roles in life, particularly motherhood, our adaptations, and how we can disagree about what is detrimental or beneficial.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  6. #46
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    I can think of more selfless things - like looking after someone who doesn't share your DNA, for example.
    Looking after your own kin is the default position...even invertebrates manage it.

    I have that book on my list. Andrew Solomon is getting a lot of publicity tonight.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    I can think of more selfless things - like looking after someone who doesn't share your DNA, for example.
    Looking after your own kin is the default position...even invertebrates manage it.

    I have that book on my list. Andrew Solomon is getting a lot of publicity tonight.
    Well, it's a big ass book, so I'm still chugging through it, but despite the voluminous information from all of his interviews, it's an engaging read. I heard about the book on The Colbert Report a couple of weeks ago and checked it out a few days later. I'd love to have some discussion on the board spawned from it if anyone else reads through it too.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  8. #48
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Read carefully. I have changed a few words here and there:

    Quote Originally Posted by violaine, but could have been written by many people I kow View Post
    Definitely common amongst my friends and acquaintances. Vast majority are combining fatherhood with their career. There's a chef, pediatrician, two real estate brokers, tutor, solicitor, professor/head of biology dept, jewelry designer, model, special consultant to federal police, career counsellor, management consultant, entrepreneur, fashion designer, a few editors, a few photographers, a restauranteur.

    Something I have noticed is that the men who waited to have children until they'd established their careers have been able to stay in those careers after fatherhood. Some of my friends who had children before that point have struggled with establishing themselves in a career. Though of those, there are some who haven't wanted to at all, or who say they want to, but don't seem to do much to make it happen. (Which I can understand because I do think that would be a tough to accomplish if you don't have a really strong drive or strong idea of what you want to do to compete with being a parent).
    Does this version seem strange? When it doesn't any more, we will know there has been progress.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  9. #49
    violaine
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    @Coriolis: I don't disagree with you. So... ?

  10. #50
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by violaine View Post
    @Coriolis: I don't disagree with you. So... ?
    So . . . you and your friends are fortunate exceptions to a status quo that still expects more from mothers than from fathers, with the result that the non-parenthood aspect of women's lives still suffers more than that of men.

    I am not disagreeing with you, just using your accounts to illustrate my point. I have done so on other threads, with the comments of other members. Not having done a study on this, I am therefore referencing what anecdotal data come my way.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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