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Choosing To Be Childless: Kids Are Alien Parasites

By Monica Bielanko |

Parenting is the great joy of my life and yet I have no opinion on your choice to have or not have kids.

Some people, like Oprah, choose to be child-free because they claim they have a greater calling in life. The world needs Oprah, y’all. She doesn’t have time to wipe the runny noses of one or two little larvae; she’s busy handing tissues to tired housewives and cheating husbands and the down-trodden as they cry their stories to her. But most importantly, they wipe their own noses.

I have a feeling Oprah needs the world more than the world needs Oprah, but whatever, man. It’s her choice.

Then you have people like 26-year-old Heather Gentry, a Georgia peach, I guess, who says she chooses to be child-free because, well, because kids are alien parasites. Gentry told Slate.com when they asked readers to explain why they choose to be child-free. Gentry may be a Georgia peach but is no shrinking violet when it comes to discussing children. She says that “even as a middle school parasite-child, I knew I didn’t want children.” Not to mention the “unnatural”, “abhorrent” experience that is pregnancy.

But tell us how you really feel, Heather.

“To have my body distorted beyond recognition for an alien-looking creature to live there for nine or 10 months and use up my food and energy storage? To have doctors poke and prod at my most private places because that’s where it’ll be born? Then, to be free of the creature on the inside, but to have to care for it for years and years, while it eats my food, lives in my house, and takes up my energy? A child is a proud role model for any parasite.”

Well here, just go ahead and read Gentry’s reasons for remaining child-free. Her words are far more interesting than any summary I could drum up for you:

Even as a middle school parasite-child, I knew I didn’t want children. I have two little sisters. They weren’t bad kids, but I never knew what to do with them. They were young and alien, speaking strange languages and far too hyper and loud. Even with my parents there to buffer me from the worst of the crying fits, potty training, and sleepless nights, I just wasn’t interested in going through that again.

But I do live in the South, where there is a certain amount of expectation and tradition, and I fell prey to it in high school. With hormones flying and love blinding me, my high school sweetheart and I dated for three years, and yes, during that time we planned our wedding and named our kids. Four of them. Gross.

In college, I succumbed to another yet newer tradition—the starter marriage. I was married for two years to a man who was six years older than me and ready to settle down. Part of what made me leave was that he wanted to have children, and I just wasn’t sure how comfortable I was with the idea. Then came the divorce and the corresponding re-evaluation of values and worldview that comes from such a disruptive and never-thought-that-would-happen-to-me event. And I realized: Wait, I don’t have to have kids with anyone. I can choose to be with someone who doesn’t want to force me into that role.

It was a revelation to this Georgia peach.

So now I cheerfully tell anyone who mentions it — friend, family, co-worker, overly friendly stranger — that no, thank you, I will not have kids/parasites for reasons that will probably insult you. These include eww, gross, I-have-better-things-to-do-with-my-time, and there-are-7-billion-people-in-the-world-why-add-more. But if I can suffer through your alien ultrasound photo on Facebook or grin at your crying kids without vomiting, then you can be grateful that women like me will always be around to organize an occasional girl’s night out and to keep the population in check.

Not that I begrudge this anti-Southern Belle her choice not to have kids because, my God, I hope she doesn’t have kids for their sake, not hers, but what’s with all the kid bashing that is becoming so popular and prevalent in society these days? Just because you don’t dig kids doesn’t mean you have to impugn an entire population of really cool human beings. There are good and bad reasons to have and not to have children.

Heather got The Business by a bunch of Slate commenters, one who said “ALL REPRODUCTIVE CHOICES ARE INHERENTLY SELFISH– INCLUDING THE CHOICE NOT TO REPRODUCE. People who choose to have children don’t do it for evolutionary diversity or in order to keep the economy growing. Conversely, people who choose not to have children don’t do it for the environment. And the hypocrisy of those who attempt to frame their personal choices — which are perfectly fine standing alone — as some kind of public service, is grating indeed.”

Instead of her condescending “Ew-gross-I-have-better-things-to-do-with-my-time-and-I’m-helping-keep-the-population-under-control rant”, Heather’s reasons for not wanting to have kids can be summed up in one sentence: I don’t want to get pregnant and fat and have to get up in the middle of the night to feed a screaming baby. Which, great, Heather, that’s a valid reason. But get down off your high horse and take a look at the beauty of pregnancy (there is nothing more NATURAL than pregnancy) and parenthood. While it’s certainly not for everyone there’s no need to call all kids weird, alien parasites.

Just as I don’t need to remain childless to fully appreciate the freedom – the beautiful, wonderful freedom – afforded to those who remain child-free, you don’t have to become a parent to appreciate the cool experience that is creating and caring for another life and you don’t have to condemn children and parenthood in expressing your childless choice.

Read more from Monica on Strollerderby:

Should This Student’s Haircut Lead to Suspension?

Kody Brown And His Sister Wives Off The Hook, Won’t Be Charged With Bigamy.

The Most Spoiled Kids In America Live In…

You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.

More on Babble

About Monica Bielanko

monica-bielanko

Monica Bielanko

Monica Bielanko was raised on the wild frontier of late 1970's Utah. She is a recovering Mormon who married the guitar player of an unknown band. She's been married to her Babble Voices writing partner, Serge Bielanko, for the past nine years. Her personal blog, The Girl Who was in the top ten of last year's Top 50 list. Read bio and latest posts → Read Monica's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Choosing To Be Childless: Kids Are Alien Parasites

  1. bunnytwenty says:

    “ALL REPRODUCTIVE CHOICES ARE INHERENTLY SELFISH– INCLUDING THE CHOICE NOT TO REPRODUCE. People who choose to have children don’t do it for evolutionary diversity or in order to keep the economy growing. Conversely, people who choose not to have children don’t do it for the environment. And the hypocrisy of those who attempt to frame their personal choices — which are perfectly fine standing alone — as some kind of public service, is grating indeed.”
    So awesome it bears repeating again and again and again. Have kids, or don’t have kids – just respect other people’s choices. what’s so dang hard about that?

  2. holly says:

    I took her rant as her attempt to get some readers- you know, say outlandish things the way young folks do and be “known” for something. She can always write a moving “I changed my mind” piece down the road – no harm done. Not that she 100% will, but at 26 she knows nothing. I found kids and pregnancy gross at that age and well beyond. Not one of those “natural” mamas. It was crazy and weird and invasive and uncomfortable. Yep. But her whole tone was just juvenile I found it hard to take her seriously at all. Saying “never” at a young age is silly. You just don’t know yet. Or ever.

  3. Meagan says:

    Reeelax. Seriously, why do you care if some random internetter thinks your kids are aliens? I also think it’s odd that so many media outlets make such a big deal about the Choice of not having kids. HAVING kids is a choice. Not having kids can be some big statement-like choice, but mainly it’s just living your life. Some people really don’t spend that much time thinking about it, at least not until other people badger them about their “choice.”

  4. bob says:

    I know you think you’re being serious, but yeah, right! Provocation and heated criticism of people’s parenting and reproductive choices are like air here at Trollerderby. Why else, really, did you decide to highlight this provocative article and include all those juicy long quotes?
    .
    Also, here’s the link to the Slate article that you forgot to include. I know you don’t want to be a … you know what. http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/06/12/_choosing_to_be_child_free_babies_are_alien_parasites_.html

  5. Amy says:

    I am the single mom of a wonderful 17 year old young man. That said, I totally agree with Heather. As much as I love my son, I appreciate that someone else has the ovaries to tell the truth about motherhood and how it steals your freedom and sucks the life out of you. I was able to achieve great things with a child in tow, but I had no idea what a grueling slog I was signing up for when he was born. Putting my son first has cost me dearly. More people need to tell the ugly truth and perhaps young people would not harbor such happy fantasies about pregnancy and parenthood, only to end up neglecting and abusing thier offspring when being a parent gets old or hard. In my book, neglect includes watching the boob tube while your kids play xbox.

  6. Diera says:

    It’s true that you don’t have to become a parent to appreciate the magnificent experience that is creating and caring for another life, but you know, you also don’t have to appreciate the magnificent experience that is creating and caring for another life. She’s not arguing that it should be illegal, or that other people shouldn’t do it, or saying that she walks up to pregnant women on the street and mocks them for being “distorted beyond recognition”. She’s saying that she thinks it’s gross and shudder-inducing and never, never wants to do it herself. I don’t get the problem with that. It’s like sex. Can you see trying to get someone who was born without a sex drive to understand why sex is appealing? Without a sex drive, it’s kind of a sticky, sweaty, pointless and potentially infectious wrestling match. You can’t explain it in a way that makes sense, because the explanation involves an appeal to emotions the other person just doesn’t feel. I’m as OK with Gentry thinking my pregnancies and children are gross as I am with someone asexual thinking the fact that I had sex to have them is icky. The pity is mutual and the gap is unbridgeable.

  7. Linda, T.O.O. says:

    Seriously, who cares?

  8. neal says:

    This “Heather Gentry” (is that name ironic?) sounds a little like Agent Smith in the Matrix, with all her “ew” and “parasite” talk about members of the human race. That’s fine, I guess. It just makes her sound a little inhuman, or maybe really OCD, such that she could use a good therapist.
    .
    I think it’s fine for someone to decide they don’t want kids. But to believe kids are worthless, that you want to have nothing to do with them, and not JUST that you don’t want to pop them out yourself…that’s the thinking that believes Sex and the City (entertaining as it is) is reality, and that wounds the children in our foster care programs and in even more terrible situations across the world.
    .
    So don’t have kids, if you don’t want them. THere are plenty of other ways to benefit them and society. But I honestly believe that the best good a person can do is to aid a child in need, and I would hope that every person would try to think of ways to benefit their societies and communities by helping these most innocent of victims, in whatever capacity is available for them. Or even if you want to have nothing to do with them, at least one could acknowlege the importance of encouraging people to care about children, to provide them role-models, so that we can avoid generations of child soldiers or kids who never learned to love because they had no one to love them.
    .
    I’ve spent time researching in jails with incarcerated men, and the biggest thing they cited, as a population, that made them want to be better men, and to “get straight,” was to be able to be with and protect their children from harm. They didn’t often know HOW to get straight, but it was for their children that they really spent time thinking about it. If only it had been such an obvious part of our culture that they had that belief before they were locked up, before they got on the path they were on. If everyone understood the importance of caring for children, not just about their own children, but about all children in need, I truly believe we’d reduce a lot of the ills in our society. But it won’t happen if there’s a general sense that children are just someone else’s responsibility, something Heather certainly advocates.
    .
    This isn’t just about different kinds of selfishness. This is about recognizing attitudes that put large populations of children, and societies, at risk. Like someone else said, Heather, at 26, is kind of a kid. I still feel like a kid a lot myself. But to think that you have no responsibility towards children is, to me, the ultimate classist statement that suggests “those who got themselves into that damn mess can get themselves out or die trying. It’s not my problem.” It’s the same attitude that’s crippled our prison systems. Someone with that kind of attitude needs to grow up, and grow up fast.
    .
    On another note, how the heck do I get my website linked through my name as a hyperlink? Meagan did it above, but I can’t figure out how.
    .
    http://raisedbymydaughter.blogspot.com/

  9. Jackie says:

    No kidding, why would anyone care if she finds kids gross. Thank god she recognizes that she wasnt cut out for parenting. I love my toddler but objectively speaking, kids are a little gross. Great analagy Diera. Totally agree

  10. Gib says:

    “But get down off your high horse and take a look at the beauty of pregnancy (there is nothing more NATURAL than pregnancy) and parenthood.”

    Just because something is natural, doesn’t make it beautiful. For example, Hyena, monkfish, maggots… And, I’m seeing a pregnancy right now. It’s sickening, tiring, refluxing, painful, and will end with ripping and screaming.

    I have no idea how anyone can think that pregnancy is beautiful, unless you’re a non-human (who have considerably easier pregnancies than humans).

  11. Rosana says:

    I know plenty of women with their own reasons to not become a mother but they never sound like that. I think the Georgia Peach has some issues and I am glad she is determined to not have kids. Phew!!

  12. CW says:

    I’ve noticed this kind of vitriol more and more lately among the so-called “childfree”. And frankly, if you’re that much of a hate-filled b*tch, then you SHOULDN’T be having a child.

  13. sarahh says:

    There’s vitriol on both sides, child-having and child-free. One thing the internet is good for is bringing out the most extreme version of any opinion, and passing it off as the standard for all who come close to sharing it. Why care if someone you’ll never meet thinks your kids are alien parasites? Even more so than in real life, if you don’t like something on the internet, don’t look/read/watch. If you don’t go to the webpage, it can’t hurt you or bother you.

  14. Rachael says:

    I personally applaud women who know they don’t want to have children. They know they don’t want to have children and then don’t have them. I find that commendable. In society, its almost like women are expected to want to have children. I personally want to have children and I have had children.

    But, my daughter’s godmother has the same “parasite” feeling about children of her own, she has in fact stated “Children ruin marriages” and they are “parasites”, but she loves my daughter. I personally see her point, she makes valid ones, they are in fact “parasites” in a sense. No need to be offended, its true.

    You can’t make judgments on a person’s comments and really know the reasons why they made those decisions for themselves. I personally will say that being a mother is not beautiful and wonderful all the time and those mothers who give us new moms the expectation that motherhood and pregnancy is ‘rainbows and butterflies’ do us a great disservice.

    I wish more people would tell it like it really is. Maybe then I wouldn’t be so frustrated as a new mom. I love my baby girl. I wouldn’t trade her for the world, but frankly, motherhood was not what I expected. I commend a woman who knows what she wants and why she feels that way. We should be thanking her for knowing and chosing not to have kids.

    What about those kids who are born to women out there who don’t want kids and are rejected and abandoned or worst still neglected and abused just for existing?

  15. julesylou says:

    not to speak for monica but i think the point she’s making is that it seems like there’s a celebration of public kid-bashing–they’re loud on planes! they’re loud in restaurants! they’re aliens! (?) and it’s just kind of, i don’t know, weird. you don’t see (relatively) mainstream blogs seeking user-generated content on why people choose not to have pets and then posting stories from people graphically describing being grossed out by the fact that dogs and cats walk or roll in their own poo and then sleep in bed with their owners–i dont know. maybe this is happening and i’m missing it. on the flip side, i do think some of this ‘kid-free and proud’ movement comes from people always asking women or couples ‘when are you having kids?’ and then being disrespectful or doubting when they say ‘never.’ my brother and his wife are kid-free (and very, vocally proud), and i sometimes think they didnt have kids simply because they felt so many people put that expectation on them. anyway. whatever. heather (a.k.a. self-described ‘georgia peach’) is obviously entitled to her opinion and the site is entitled to publish it and monica is entitled to say it seems kinda weird.

  16. FrustratedEnglish says:

    Babble, come on–in your daily email, you said this woman’s rant was on “Salon.” Did you mean “Salon.com?” Because, clearly, as quoted here, her article is on Slate.com (http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/06/12/_choosing_to_be_child_free_babies_are_alien_parasites_.html) not Salon.com. Your copyediting, if you actually copyedit, is atrocious past the point of annoyance–your lack of attention to detail spreads misinformation. My comment is also motivated by your headline from this weekend about the mother who killed her three-week-old baby by drinking a fifth of vodka and falling asleep on the couch with him (http://blogs.babble.com/babys-first-year-blog/2012/06/10/mom-charged-with-manslaughter-after-co-sleeping-with-and-killing-baby/). You called that woman’s irresponsible actions *co-sleeping* in your headline. That horrific story was not an example of co-sleeping, and you called it that to generate response. I think you have a lot of good writers, but how about some more attention to detail and less provoking of your readers?

  17. Brandi says:

    I think she is out of the ordinary, though folks with such volatile ideas are usually the ones heard and remembered. Most child-free folks I know, self included, LOVE kids but feel that adding kids to their life is not what they want. It is not the right fit. All good. Just want to point out, again, most Child-free folks are do NOT find kids disgusting, we like them in fact.

  18. Wendy says:

    I have to say, I’d rather hear a rant from a childfree woman than YET ANOTHER essay about a SAHM who feels stifled and bored, cries all day long because motherhood is so awful and overwhelming, would rather serve jury duty than be at home with her kids, etc. Personally I think we could use more women like Georgia Peach, who knows what she can and can’t handle.

  19. SarahWNY says:

    “Not that I begrudge this anti-Southern Belle her choice not to have kids…”

    So why then, Monica, did you write 325 words about her choice?

    That word count is not including the 660 words of Ms. Gentry’s text that you quoted here.

  20. rae says:

    yeah, i’m unfollowing you and your blog now. this was a bit over the top, and just. whooopee shit that you think she’s wrong.

  21. mommaruthsays says:

    “To have my body distorted beyond recognition for an alien-looking creature to live there for nine or 10 months and use up my food and energy storage? To have doctors poke and prod at my most private places because that’s where it’ll be born? Then, to be free of the creature on the inside, but to have to care for it for years and years, while it eats my food, lives in my house, and takes up my energy?…”

    I’m a mother of two (soon to be three) and I’ve thought those exact same things before; it doesn’t mean I love my kids any more or less than someone who hasn’t thought those things before. It takes a strong woman to stand up and say, “hey, I don’t want kids” – because society will do the exact same thing you’re doing now, parading her around in front of the world as someone who’s wrong; who thinks the wrong thing, who says the wrong thing, who has a right to feel that way, but still she’s just wrong.

    YOU are wrong for not supporting this woman; for not saying, this is a WOMAN’S RIGHT and a WOMAN’S CHOICE.

    Besides, show me a “mommy-blogger” and I’ll show you how each one says the same things this woman has said about their own children from time to time. Mommy-bloggers are not the only ones who have the right to complain and be snarky.

  22. Mrs. Forrester says:

    “But tell us how you really feel, Heather.” LMAO! As a writer, Monica, you have such a unique voice!

  23. Erin says:

    “but what’s with all the kid bashing that is becoming so popular and prevalent in society these days? ”

    I don’t know? The same thing that’s up with all the people harassing us women who don’t choose to have children? And since you do HAVE children, you cannot possibly understand or relate.

    “Conversely, people who choose not to have children don’t do it for the environment.”

    Wow, that’s a blanket statement…and since you chose to HAVE children, you are unlikely to be qualified to KNOW the reasoning behind the choices us non-parents make.

    I understand that answering an opinion piece with an opinion piece is the thing to do on the internet these days, but that’s just what it is…an opinion. In this op-ed, I find it to be more one-sided, poorly written & judgmental than the article it attempts to berate.

    People SHOULD take more time to think about whether they have children…It’s a choice, and should require a license and minimum age…not unlike driving and drinking alcohol.

  24. dcornelius says:

    This post sort of annoyed me. Not because I agree that children are parasites, because I don’t. But everyone does not think being pregnant or having children is a beautiful experience. Even people that I know that adore having children did not enjoy gaining weight or the pregnancy experience. I do not believe that this makes them shallow or somehow less of person. Why someone chooses to have or not have kids is their business. Granted, I thought her article was written rather harshly. But there are a lot of people that agree with her. There are also a lot of people that would agree that having children was amazing. Why does one have to be right or wrong? Why can’t they just be two different view points? More important, how does a random article on the internet written be someone you don’t know affect your own personal choices? Can’t we all just be content with the life we have chosen for ourselves even if someone feels differently?

  25. Sarah says:

    What planet are you people living on that “childfree” and child-bashing is a trend? As a 31-year-old non-mother who cannot have children for health reasons, I get asked at least 10 times a day whether or not I have children and when I will be having them. I would love to live in a world where I wasn’t questioned about being childless, but the fact of the matter is, if you’re a certain age and childless, people think it’s weird, strange, unnatural, etc. The prevailing sentiment is that women should be mothers. The fact that I should have kids is shoved down my throat many, many times a day. Maybe you don’t know that because you have children.

    “But it won’t happen if there’s a general sense that children are just someone else’s responsibility, something Heather certainly advocates.”

    FYI – I work with and volunteer with at-risk children, many of whom are in foster care, and I love children. I know first-hand how much money is spent by the state to help these kids, when most of their problems come from their parents being addicted, lazy, stupid, or selfish. The problem isn’t that people don’t want to take responsibility for other people’s children. The problem is that the people who have children don’t take responsibility for them.

  26. KJC says:

    Currently pregnant after a long hard deliberation about whether a kid was the right choice for my family. I can assure you that the decision-making process (no matter what the outcome) is far more complex than either you or Heather give it credit for. Also, at least she didn’t put words into anyone else’s mouth:

    “Instead of her condescending “Ew-gross-I-have-better-things-to-do-with-my-time-and-I’m-helping-keep-the-population-under-control rant”, Heather’s reasons for not wanting to have kids can be summed up in one sentence: I don’t want to get pregnant and fat and have to get up in the middle of the night to feed a screaming baby. Which, great, Heather, that’s a valid reason.”

    If (thoughtful) people choose not to have kids, they’ve thought it further down the line than getting fat and waking up in the middle of the night.

  27. Linda, T.O.O. says:

    This thread is hilarious. That is all.

  28. jeneria says:

    So many of you have pointed to live and let live and how mean the child free have become recently, but honestly, as someone who doesn’t want children I have yet to experience someone showing me any sort of respect. Instead I get invasive questions about my health, I’m told that I’d make a great mommy and that my insecurity shouldn’t keep me from having kids, I’m told that I won’t really be a woman or capable of knowing love until I have children. Not once has someone said “Oh, cool. So what’s your favorite beer?’ It’s almost always either an onslaught of questions, suggestions, or even worse, a bunch of pitiful glances like I’m diseased or just to dumb to get it. I don’t like Gentry’s tone at all nor do I care for her general disrespect to other women’s choices, but I get where the rant comes from. As much as mothers want to play the martyr and talk about how unfair life is to them (which in many cases it is), a woman who says she is choosing not to have children is put under an equally harsh microscope.

  29. Inteli says:

    This reminds me of when smokers get so pissy at having to live by the new rules sprouting up everywhere concerning smoking. Do they not remember that they once made people deal with their smoke, period? Now that the pendulum has swung the other way, they can’t comprehend the travesty of having to go outside or to designated areas- the horror………..

    You wanna have kids? Have them. You don’t? Don’t. But stop taking an opposing view as a personal affront.

    Seems to me some people NEED a reason to live, a reason their jobs, families, hobbies nor religions have have been able to fulfill. Being a mother is still mostly a choice. So many reasons why people choose one or another- still: THEIR. CHOICE. One or the other in and of itself does not a “better” person make.

  30. Daphne says:

    I think it is in really bad taste to condemn someone for their opinion like this. This is what she feels and if you don’t agree GET OVER IT. Don’t type up a whole reaction to it. What a waste of time.

    “Heather’s reasons for not wanting to have kids can be summed up in one sentence: I don’t want to get pregnant and fat and have to get up in the middle of the night to feed a screaming baby. ”

    First of all, she didn’t say that. You’re inferring that is what she thinks. And if it is what she actually said than so be it. Again, it is her opinion. Leave the girl alone.

  31. Lwo says:

    As someone who has decided to not be a parent and from the south, I get the vitriol of Gentry’s rant. I really do. I think it’s a bit overwrought, but seriously, if I answer honestly any questions about my fertility decisions to anyone–from family to complete strangers–I get a barrage of inappropriate questions, often designed to shame me into changing my mind.

    And Monica, if you don’t “begrudge” this “anti-Southern belle” (really???), why even post about it? It’s attitudes like yours that promulgate responses such as hers.

  32. Beatsgal says:

    I’m a 40 year old woman who does not want children. Don’t want to get fat. Don’t want spider veins. Don’t want my lady parts stretched out. Don’t want stretch marks. Don’t want to clean up snot, pee, puke, poop. Never wanted any of these things, and still don’t, nor does my husband. I don’t hate kids. I just don’t want them. My husband and I spend our money on US, oh and our two cats. We will retire early, we have an amazing support system including family and friends and our money isn’t spent on an ivy league education for our spawn so we can live vicariously through them. We are two very happy, educated, self-aware adults who live life and each other. The backlash against children? 70% of the children I see in public should be sent in neverland in a space shuttle. I don’t blame children. I blame the parents. You have them, they breathe my air, they better behave. We don’t think your offspring are as cute as you do, so please teach them some manners.

  33. Sarah says:

    “not to speak for monica but i think the point she’s making is that it seems like there’s a celebration of public kid-bashing–they’re loud on planes! they’re loud in restaurants!”

    Well, they are loud. My neighbor’s dog barks ALL THE TIME. He’s a dog; he barks; it sucks for me. But all dogs bark. Does this constitute dog-bashing? Is anyone celebrating? Or does it seem that way to you because you are really into your own dog?

    Kids are loud. Babies can’t wipe their own butts. Toddlers ask a lot of questions. Teenagers are moody. The weather is hot. These are observations, not celebrations of hate.

  34. Beth says:

    Bloggers who bash parenting? your buddy heather armstrong hates everything about children, oh and she said so on Oprah. Look in your own circle.

  35. Sara says:

    Relax. You’re allowed to love kids, other people are allowed to think they’re aliens. You ranted about respecting people’s views, but you clearly bashed someone for not agreeing with you. Live and let live.

  36. Louise says:

    Why all of the outrage? I have a child and he’s wonderful, but I don’t believe everyone on the spinning planet should have one. Who cares? I think my kid is cute, clever and funny, but I don’t expect anyone other than my husband and parents to agree. Being childless is a valid choice. Get.Over.Yourself!

  37. MichelleH says:

    For someone who wrote about her own pregnancy with such disdain (“oh, I am SO fat y’all”), you seem to have some strange views about how others feel about their own bodies and choices.

    Not having children doesn’t negate your decision to have them. It is a different life choice.

    Seriously, you are so thin skinned and defensive it is hard to read you. Get into some therapy and realize that people aren’t talking about YOU when they are talking about themselves/

  38. Monica Bielanko says:

    You all have missed my point entirely. Especially you, @MichelleH. I don’t begrudge anyone’s decision to do anything. I don’t feel like someone’s decision not to have kids negates my choice to be a parent. Be a parent, don’t be a parent, WHATEVER. I’m not offended. I just don’t get why the chick has to shit all over kids and make the sweeping statement that all kids are weirdo jerks. There are a lot of really cool kids out there. That’s my only point. If I said I hated all men or I hated all people from New Jersey would that go over well with you? Exactly. So yeah, say you don’t want kids, you don’t want to get pregnant, that’s cool but why impugn an entire population of children in the process? What’s with all the kid bashing? THAT was my only point.

  39. S says:

    I love being an aunt to my two nieces, but I’ll pass on being a mother. I know my limits. In loud situations I get irritable. I’m not particularly patient and I need lots of sleep to function. I’m barely able to keep up with my own laundry, cooking, cleaning and organizing as it is without adding a child to the mix. Does this make me selfish? Or am I just being realistic and kind to my unborn non-children to not stick them with a mother who was sure to make a mess of it.

  40. Louise says:

    I think you are taking Heather a bit too seriously. Her Slate article was very snarky, which I appreciated. Being from the South also, I agree with Heather. A lot of women with kids think you are a crazy person if you don’t want to reproduce, name them something with too many “y’s”, and put a bow on the child’s head the size of a small country. I enjoyed reading it and I have a child. Kids are annoying, unless they are yours, and sometimes even my own is annoying.

  41. jeneria says:

    Again, I think Gentry’s tone was a bit much, but I get why she feels that way. Just yesterday, after posting here, I had a conversation with a co-worker and the subject of kids came up. When I said I wasn’t interested in having them, she said “But you’re what? Mid 30′s? You don’t have the time to not be interested. You need to have them. Have you considered IVF?” When I lived in the deep South it was even worse. At 28 they’re telling you it’s high time you had a kid because at 30 you’re going to lose your good eggs. At 30 you’re a bit of a weirdo and it’s time to do the “normal” thing and have a kid because at 35 you’re all dried up. Even here in the Midwest I get asked what’s wrong with me and how does my husband feel about not having kids. Newsflash! He’d left me by now if kids were part of his plan. It’s just so annoying and exhausting.
    .
    I don’t think Monica’s doing anything wrong by pointing out that Gentry is pretty much lumping all kids together and that most of us don’t much cotton to that when women, men, people of ethnicity, people of certain social classes, etc are all lumped together. Even if the lumping is to drive home a point, it comes across as harsh.

  42. Imog says:

    But if everyone is missing the point isn’t that your problem as a writer and not the reader?

    Do you really think there is a conspiracy about impugning an entire population of children? It Is a bit far reaching .

  43. Tamsin says:

    Is there a mother alive who hasn’t sometimes looked at her kid and thought: “what was I thinking? All those great things I could be out there doing if only…”! Yes, I’ve been there too. But then you look at your child and those little arms go around your neck, and you can’t imagine life without them.
    Besides, after 18 years or so, you get your life back again, up to a point.
    Until the grandkids arrive and you’re expected to sign up for babysitting duty so your daughter can escape HER kids for a while.
    Seriously though, we’re all free to make our own choices, and we should. As a previous poster remarked, at 26 you have a lot of opinions that later get modified. Let’s see what the Georgia Peach says at 36.

  44. geri a says:

    This post reads like something from GOMI. Can you not see that? You are using what someone else wrote (almost half of this is her post) and reacting to it, in a negative, snarky manner. You talk so much about how much shit and negativity there is on the internet, and then write this. And to boot, you decide what she is really saying, summing it up in your words, not hers. With a dig at Oprah to start it off. wth? Maybe you think because you are saying it about someone else, instead of someone saying it about you or someone you like, it’s different. It’s not. Pot, meet kettle.

  45. geri a says:

    I see you wrote a response to what GOMI said, thanking them for the pageviews and talking about rolling around naked on your bed with the benjamins when you get your check from babble. So deep down you’re happy when they write about you, because that increases your income, right? Hmmm…and you talk about others being on a high horse they need to come down from, and being a hypocrite. Confusing. And I love how you admitted that this was a hastily written post with snarkiness, but excuse yourself because you are moving this week. So to sum it up in one sentence, it’s okay for you to write snark, for money or because you are too busy to write something substantive or thoughtful, but when others do it they are hypocrites or mean or a$$holes that you want to meet in a dark alley. Okay, got it.

  46. smm says:

    I read some of these comments. Not all. But enough to know that we are all individuals with individual experiences, wants, needs, and desires. It really is that simple. While I disagree with the way this person chose to share her views on pregnancy and childbirth (it was rather crass and she could have conveyed her feelings in a much more intelligent way), I respect her for them, nonetheless.

    Live and let live.

    I was her age once. We all were. We are all on different paths. At her age, I could not imagine a world in which I would have to care for an infant. The very idea seemed depressing. Just ask my mother. Seven years later and I love my 9 month old son more than I ever could have imagined. The cliché really is true. For me, anyway. I did not want to be pregnant. I contemplated abortion. I cried. I was 32. Well beyond the age of “accidents,” right? Yes. But during a night of freedom and passion with my fiance, the seeds were sewn and Max was created.

    And I am so much better for knowing this little boy than I ever was without him.

    But I know….this is not everyone’s reality or truth. That’s okay.

    I just thank whoever is up there that I was given this gift…this little life to water and grow. Even if I fail (and I hope that I do not), it has made me feel more whole than any endeavor I have ever attempted.

    That’s my story. It may not be yours. Either way, they are all worth telling. Yes?

  47. smm says:

    Wow. I went back and read some of the comments I overlooked. You guys are so mean. Why? What is the point. It is possible to state your opinion on something or someone in a way that is respectful and helpful. Just because you can hide behind your computer screen does not mean that you should forgo common decency. Monica has always been honest and forthright with her writing and her life. If you don’t get that from her writing, then why continue reading? If you are only looking for some wrong-doing, some flaw, then how about just looking in the mirror every morning? I guarantee you, she does. She’s a writer. She puts herself out there everyday in a far more vulnerable light that you could ever hope to shed and she listens to people like you criticize her for things we all have done.

    We are fortunate to know/read/listen to people like her.

    You need to know this and to understand it.

    It is possible to appreciate the sound of dissonance.

  48. geri a says:

    @SMM. I can only speak for myself, and yes, my comments had snark in them, I guess in reaction to the snark Monica writes. What is the point in her writing this? Do you think her post was respectful and helpful? Maybe you do, but I sure didn’t. I don’t read Monica much, and I have come across a few very sweet things when she writes about herself and her own life.
    But I also have come across stuff like what she wrote about the Duggar family, when she talked about how gross what they decided to do when their baby died (respectful? helpful?) and another post where she is talking about someone and writes “bi*ch, shut your f*** mouth?” So the hypocrisy of how she writes, and then how she complains how other people are mean, is just a a bit much, no? This is just another version of the mommy wars (mommy vs. not a mommy here). That horse has been beaten, stomped on, quartered and hung.

  49. annie says:

    Monica- I find you increasingly more shrill and unpleasant to read. I don’t know what happened to you but your defensiveness is unbearable. I don’t know why you have such a problem with contrary opinions. The Slate article was pure snark and you replied with the same. I don’t think the children of the world need an advocate on a site dedicated to parenting.
    Also, your use of the word “impugning” is incorrect and your writing style is getting sloppier as you try to straddle a conversational tone and writing hastily. Please take a break and regroup. You have the elements of being a good writer but your defensiveness is in the way.

  50. gina says:

    Yawwwn….yeah, life as an unwritten story. We all have our hopes and dreams, aptitudes and talents. There are decisions to be made big and small and many of the littlest seemingly inane decisions will impact the outcome of the story. We speak chapters into being by the things we say which affect our actions, how we choose to spend our days and nights. While we make our choices, there are always going to be those surprises, unforeseen events which change the course of history and lead us onto the next chapter. Yawn….right? All of these options and decisions can make or break and ultimately screw up our lives….or not. It’s just a story right? My strong- willed and independent niece/godchild, Laura is now 31 and happily married to Tim. They have a lovely home and a good life in Colorado Springs where Laura manages a Starbucks and makes wedding cakes on the side. She and her husband are developing their own coffee brand and in the whirlwind of everyday life there is a certain peace in aroma of life around that house in the foothills. Their lives are to me like a full bodied deep roasted coffee wafting down the street on Christmas morning. How wonderful the aroma of dreams wafting up like morning coffee. Ah….perfect story. And then, like a whiny child pulling on her mother’s apron strings I feel compelled to ask again, “WHEN am I going to be a G-ma?” Oh, she tells me that she’ll have kids when I come out there and be the nanny. Is she serious? How about today I move out there then? This is frustrating to me as I mourn for what is done and passed in my own life, and deeply long for a little one to spoil. I have to remember to respect her feelings, to realize that we are in two different situations in life and accept that this is where she and her husband are at…at this time in life. Call me selfish. I just don’t want her to be in my shoes when she hits fifty. I feel the same for most women who make decisions about their futures which seem so final, especially when spoken with a certain contempt for motherhood. I know that there have been times in my own life that I never considered the passing of time, the winding down of my b-clock, completely caught up in career. While it’s perfectly okay not to want to have children, I am pregnant with hope that the hardest open and shut cases will consider allowing life to write for itself a few chapters which allow for the whatevers, the suddenlys…..lessons learned along the way. KIDS!

  51. gina says:

    I suppose it’s pretty easy for a non-mother to downgrade her non-existent child to alien status. Could be her style of communicating, taking a stab at humor, tongue in cheek; words spoken at the height of PMS
    ( generally a hateful time for me). Could be that the girl is suffering from post abortion syndrome, which until dealt with, can damage her ability to connect emotionally skewing her attitude towards childbearing. Whatever it is, I am just thankful we have freedom of speech and a forum to exercise it, and that she can speak her mind and then go ahead and CHANGE it five minutes later, the meany. Mean. That’s okay.I hope she has a nice little baby someday and realizes how much love she has for her little alien.

  52. Monica Bielanko says:

    Miss Noir – Hey doll, I deleted your last profane comment because it’s inappropriate. My goodness, defensive much? You’re kind of taking a beating for the post you wrote over there on your site but don’t take it out on Gina, she’s a lovely woman. Gotta get a thicker skin, old friend.

  53. Miss Noir says:

    Beating being 5 comments from the same IP?

    Okay, dear.

  54. Miss Noir says:

    But, thanks for the inference to major drams, Mons. We love the millions of pagehits. Roll in that.

  55. Tanya says:

    You said have kids, don’t, whatever, but you do seem to be looking down on Oprah from your soapbox, which, c’mon! Oprah is awesome!

  56. Amanda says:

    I don’t understand what is wrong with disliking children on the whole. I do not like children. I don’t want to have them, be around them, or look at them, and that is perfectly fine. I guarantee that I wouldn’t like your children because as I said, I dislike all children. I really don’t understand why that bothers you. I have a dog and I have several friends who hate all dogs. I would never tell them they will change their mind when they are older, or that dogs are natural, and they should realize that. It’s ridiculous. I couldn’t care less what people think about dogs; why does it bother you so much to be faced with someone who made a different choice than you? Gentry wrote an honest article about how she feels, and I can’t for the life of me figure any reason that should affect you in any way. You like children, I don’t so what?

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