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Andrei's Universe

One man's journey from infinity to nothingness

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15 months, cute

A partial retraction and apology to some non-parents

(This posting is not bugged for your protection)

This is response to a comment to a twitter I made last evening. Visible in my previous automated posting.

There are many people out there that want children very badly. There are many people who've tried to have children and failed. And there are those who simply choose not to have them because they either can't or have looked at the responsibility involved and understand that they can't take that on. And I do respect these people and do not mean to lump them in with people who frankly don't want to have children. And I especially do not mean to compare them with those who don't even want to consider the rigours or responsibilities of parenthood.

At the same time... there is still a lack of understanding of the daily, never-ending, stress that a child does bring that only comes with the experience of having the child. And even at having the child; there's always a lack of understanding, preparation, or feeling that one is ever meeting the perceived responsibility.

Having a child leaves you with the daily fear that you're not doing enough; or doing the right things and at some point; someone will call CPS and your child will be taken away from you. (I have honestly seen someone call CPS to be vindictive to someone they didn't like; solely for that reason)

I am a parent of a child I love. I will protect my child at all costs. I will do anything and everything to give him the best life I can. I want him to turn out better than me. This is my primary purpose in life. My secondary purpose in life is to live to see my grandchildren if my child decides to have them.

This is where the feelings can originate from.

Many people who have no children are very good and do make a fair attempt at understanding and being supportive of families with children. Unfortunately, the number who do not understand is far higher and in so far as that causes the aggravation.

And, lest anyone call me a hypocrite; I need to publicly go on record to say that until 2 years, 3 months, 20 days ago. I was no better. I was completely oblivious to the point of retrospective rudeness. I say this to the point that I want to make a public apology to tygeressdenacht. I truly had no understanding of the stress I may have added to her by treating her at times as a childless mother. (Not intentionally, mind you) I had truly no idea what she was dealing with.

I am reminded of a line from a piece of dogmatic writing that I treasure:

... let thy victories bring thee not Vanity, for with increase of Knowledge should come increase of Wisdom. He who knoweth little, thinketh he knoweth much; but he who knoweth much hath learned his own ignorance. Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool, than of him.

Be not hasty to condemn others; how knowest thou that in their place, thou couldest have resisted the temptation? ...
- Liber Libræ sub figura XXX

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I've never felt that you treated me any differently as someone who is childless by choice and will remain such. Your entire life changes when you become a parent. It's a HUGE responsibility, and means a great deal of personal sacrifice.

I applaud my closest friends, most of whom who are parents, and manage to keep their lives together and raise their children well. It's no easy feat.

AJ and I try to be very understanding to our child rearing friends, but like you said, we don't know what it is like therefore to an extent we can't understand. However, what I really hate is when we get shit from people (not saying you have done this) about how much easier our lives are for not having kids.

It pisses me off. There are very, very good reasons we don't have kids. We both have genetic disorders that cause clotting issues. This is all kinds of fun to live with. I was severely abused as a child and fear that I would propitiate that cycle...Neither of us particularly like children, and we do like free time and extra money. Another big reason we don't have kids is because I have a chronic pain and fatigue disorder and AJ is military. There would be times when I would end up a single parent while he is deployed and I couldn't keep up. There are still rare days when I am bed-ridden from pain and exhaustion so I would be terrified of DCS saying I was negligent and trying to take my kids. I can see the dead bodies of the agents now as I flee to Mexico...

With that being said, some of the things we do try to do are makes sure if we invite our with child/ren friends anywhere, we do it at least a week or two in advance; we offer to babysit for free once in a blue moon so they can go out; we go over their house so they don't have to travel with the kids; and we don't ever show up uninvited or change plans last minute. Nor do we get pissy if they have to change their plans with us or leave at a certain time.

We know that having kids is a huge deal and we try to be supportive while making it clear that we are really happy with our life choices.

I've made some edits...

I think most of my ire is aimed at those who don't put the effort into considering what a child means.

It is clear you are well aware of the sacrifices parents live with and also with the decisions you've made. I don't think any of that should be disrespected.

I do love Liber Librae, v. 15 in particular, but 5 & 6 are also goodies. There is truly nothing like raising a child to expose you to so many things on so many levels that you never considered before. Humbling, exalting, always character building. Your consciousness expands in ways you could never imagine. My head still snaps around every time I hear a toddler cough (Richard had asthma (which he outgrew in his teens) starting at about two - he's 26 now.)

I remember, not so many years ago, having a talk with you about the number of commitments you intended to maintain while raising a child, and suggesting that it might be...challenging...o.k., I suggested you were smoking crack...

But the point is, you cannot expect someone who has not raised a child to understand it any more than you can expect someone who has never fallen in love to get it.

And I did not expect you to get it back then...I just enjoyed letting you know I thought you were on crack.

(and now I am getting a cheap "told you so" giggle out of it...I am soooooooo shallow!)

Take Care, Stay Warm, Hugs to All!


Until I lived with kids, had daily personal contact with them, I never felt like I'd be able to measure up to those high expectations I have of being the perfect Dad. Now, I look around and shrug, "At least I know I'd be a better parent than $THAT_SCHMUCK."

For Instance:
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise's children are so embarrassed by their famous parents they won't let them pick them up from school.

Nicole says Isabella, 12, and nine-year-old Conor, who the actress adopted during the couple's marriage , says the children find it hard to deal with their famous connections and have even asked to change their surname so people won't know who their parents are.

She said: "They're very embarrassed. They actually deny us, which is OK.
They even tried to change their last name, and they say, 'Don't come to our school. Whatever you do, don't come."

Yeah, I'd be embarrassed of Scientology Boy too.

Edited at 2008-12-23 09:18 pm (UTC)

I don't want to be a perfect dad.

I expect to make mistakes. I just don't want to make the mistakes that do lasting damage.

I want to be aware of the repercussions my actions and decisions have on my child.

We even picked our family name and Aiden's name to try to reduce the amount of name mocking he could receive.

Re: I don't want to be a perfect dad.

I just can't wait for the first day she disavows me, because I'm too dorktastic.

Hmmm...I'll hafta try to be a cool Dad, ne?

*hug* I'm sorry if my comment made you feel chastised; that wasn't my intent at all... I think I was trying to say that misunderstandings and misperceptions happen when people see parts of other people's lives in public (which is so much more ... loud... when you have little kids) - and there are people who don't understand just about any state of being, including both childlessness *and* the difficulty and responsibilities of having kids... and was meaning to be offering loving support from a childless one :-)
there, so now we've both explained ourselves - I honestly didn't feel condemned at all by your comment... *hug*
... hope you get to go home soon, sweeties!!

I can say nothing but thank you for now understanding. I know it was hard all those times that you couldn't understand why I had to put my children first and foremost even when I might have wanted to do otherwise. I made a choice and while some might not ever understand my choice, I do and I have been made all the richer for being these two wonderful lights mother.

There were several times that I went to events and childless people looked at me with pity. I never wanted anyone's pity let alone their disgust (I've seen that too...) Choosing to be a parent is a huge responsibility that puts all other wants that I might have secondary to their needs.

So forgive me if sometimes I get a perverse hint of pleasure understanding where you are now (since I've already been there) and knowing that my situation was compounded since I was a single parent who had some support (my parents) but not a lot of support.

All I can do is offer some hints as how to get through these rough years at the beginning of everything, because one day you'll be able to get a babysitter a little less frequently and you'll be able to leave your child/ children alone and then life begins to be a little less about them all the time (even though the role of parent never goes away.)

I respect anyone's decision. I could have decided to be childless and adopted these two out, but again, to watch them grow up has been one of the most joyous parts of my life. I wouldn't trade that decision for the world. Now that I have a partner who is a full part of my children's lives I might even just do it again and see what it's like to have support from the very beginning.

So whatever the position of the person on the otherside of the fence... they won't fully comprehend your situation unless they've lived it in some way. It's tough. So I try to let their comments roll off my back and live my life the best I can to make the best example to raise beautiful healthy human beings who are open minded and might spread a little more understanding in the world.

Can I hear an AUGMN!!!!

One of the things that has bothered me in the past has been the seemingly lack of understanding from within the O.T.O. and both camps: the childless and with those with child(ren)such as myself, and Andrea. The two of us come to mind because for awhile, we were the few who had children in the SoCal area, Saffir and Magdalena, as well.
I won't get into it here, but suffice to say, many of you do know the extra challenges I have faced with a child with special needs. Extra special needs, I will add.
Still, I continue to be and do what I can despite the "extras" many folks don't realize I face.
We make our choices based upon whatever it is we think or feel is "right" or the "best" thing.
Folks who have chosen for whatever reason not too have children, have done the same, I would imagine. At least when I was childless, I had my reasons or doing so.
Congrats Andrei for realizing just how difficult it is being a parent.
It is a beautiful sacrifice and commitment that I would do again, lovingly and willingly. ;)

While I don't have children and at this point, it's looking like that's going to be a road not taken I do realize that they are a lot of work and responsibility.

Of course, my job entails being responsible for about 70 children at different points through out the day, so I'm probably ahead of the curve for understanding.

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