“Dogs can give birth 10 at a time”. That’s my typical response/reaction when someone expresses their “right” to respect and admiration simply because they have reproduced. Bullshit. While the creation of life is indeed a miracle, it’s what’s done with that life after it’s created that garners kudos. Far too often, the creators of life fall way short of their obligations to the life they’ve created.
Because I am a reality show addict and admirer of all things bitchy, I am an avid fan of Judge Judy. I record her show and watch it every single day. Late last night/early this morning, I was getting my Judy fix, and was thoroughly disgusted by one of the litigants on the show. This sad sack of shit (in a very detached manner) talked about her boyfriend beating her 5yr old child over the course of several weeks. The abuse resulted in the child being admitted to the emergency room with a lacerated scrotum and his testicles hanging out. The “mother” claimed she did not know anything about the abuse until that incident. I had MANY questions which Judge Judy asked, as I knew she would. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, none of the answers were even close to being satisfactory. Nor did they make any sense.
I don’t know how a woman can live in the same house where her child is being beaten on a daily basis, yet not know a thing. I don’t know how a “mother” has not fostered a relationship with her child so that the child would tell her any and everything that happens to him. I also don’t know how a woman can move her three children into a house with a man who has been beating her ass for over a year, has pulled guns on her friends, and (in her words) “acts a fool”. How would she even begin to think that would be a good home environment for her children? Especially given the fact that the children never met this “man” until they moved into his home. Then the idiot leaves her 5yr old “developmentally delayed” son home alone all day with her unemployed psychopath of a boyfriend. Good job “mom”!
The case before Judge Judy was not so much about the child abuse, but my girl Judy was not about to let this bitch gloss over the horrors her children suffered as a result of her own selfishness and stupidity. Some women will do ANYTHING, including risk their children’s lives, to have a man. Any piece of a trifling ass good for nothing man is better than none to them. I’m child-free and I don’t want chaos and violence for myself, so I know I wouldn’t allow it around my children. Sometimes I wonder about women like this idiot litigant. I wonder why they even had children in the first place if they weren’t going to make that child’s well-being their number one priority in life. I know that parents must have lives and identities outside of their children, but considering children don’t ask to be born, they must come first.
The very first, and most important, decision a parent makes for their child is who the co-parent will be. These days, people aren’t giving that much thought. Whoever they happen to be fucking at the moment may or may not end up as the father or mother of their child. Tune in to the Maury Povich Show on any given weekday and the topic is likely to be “paternity test results”. Usually, some woman comes on the show trying to prove to a man that he is the father of her child. Sometimes, the woman brings more than one man because she has no idea who the child’s father is. Occasionally, two or more women bring the same man to prove that he is the father of multiple children. This happened yesterday. Two women brought the same man on the show claiming he was the father of their sons. The man vehemently denied it stating that he ONLY has 27 children, not 29! Yes! TWENTY-SEVEN CHILDREN! And he looked to be in his mid- to late-thirties. It turns out he was only the father of one of the children, so he is now aware of 28 children that he has fathered. But I bet he doesn’t PARENT any of them. There’s no way. He never said how many women were involved, but more than two “baby mamas” is too many. There’s no way he can be involved in his children’s lives on a regular basis. The sheer number and logistics prevent that (they are spread out over several states–something he boasted about). There’s also no way this man can provide financially for all of these children. From the looks of his raggedy ass, he’s nowhere near wealthy.
As trifling as this man is, I wonder also about the women. At some point, a woman has to say to herself: he has too many children by too many women to be any good to me, let alone my child. I wouldn’t even have dinner with a man who is clearly irresponsible as hell, let alone sleep with him. So breeding with him is DEFINITELY not an option! Having baby #28 for a man who won’t even acknowledge your child is setting your child up for a life of disappoint and probable failure. They will never have the daddy they deserve and the mom should take partial blame in that. In fact, she should shoulder most of the blame because regardless of “it takes two to tango”, women know that reproduction and child-rearing largely falls on us. We are in charge of our own bodies and have final decision when it comes to bringing a child into this world. So why are so many of us falling for the okey doke? Why are women not considering a man’s history and track record with his other children before getting pregnant? Why are they not getting to know these men BEFORE reproducing with them? I haven’t a clue, but the children are suffering for it.
Then we have women who have a baby under less than ideal circumstances. They suffer and struggle and their child suffers and struggles along with them. They may have “baby daddy” drama, or no baby daddy around at all. Or they may be struggling financially to provide for their child. What do (too) many of these women do? Go out and have yet another child to put themselves further into the hole. How smart is that? How is that looking out for the well-being of your child(ren)? I don’t have children because I haven’t met anyone I’d want to co-parent with, I’m not ready for children, and I could not provide for a child the way I’d want to. Why is that concept so hard to grasp? I’ve heard it all: ”there is no perfect time”, “just do it and things will fall into place”, and “you think you’re too good to have kids by a man who already has kids”. The last statement was made by a woman pregnant with (his) baby #9 and about to be “baby mama” #8. Yeah, I do think I’m too good for that bullshit. More than that, I think my child deserves better than that. So, no thanks!
Parenting, especially the mothering role, is a sore subject for me. At 37, I thought I’d have a gang of kids by now. I was that girl in middle and high school who spent her weekends babysitting (usually for free) because I love kids. I’ve had a baby on my hip since I was 12yrs old and loved every minute of it (well almost). During my early 20s, most of my close friends had kids and I spent many a weekend at Chuck E Cheese and that was fine with me. As I watched some of the things my friends and relatives went through with their children, and their co-parent, I developed a fear of sorts. I actually became, and still am, scared to be a mother. I don’t want to fuck it up. I know I can’t be “perfect” at it, but I at least want to do the very best I can and give my kid a shot at a happy, well-adjusted life. At this point, my life is FULL of children whom I love dearly, but I’m so daggone jaded and worn out, I don’t even think I want children of my own. That could also be the fear talking, but I doubt it lol.
A lot of the fear comes from things I’ve seen around me, my studies in Psychology, and my relationship with my own mother. We are not close. Not at all. That used to bother me A LOT, but I’ve had to make peace with it because it is never going to change. She’s never going to change, she’s never going to see my side of things, she’s never going to acknowledge her wrong-doing; and because of that, (and probably in retaliation) I’ve done horrible things to her that cannot be undone. She says she’s the way she is because of me and my actions. Well what came first, the chicken or the egg? I’ve never felt that closeness with my mother as I’ve always been a “daddy’s girl”; and I think that’s where our problems started. While Daddy held a traditional role in our family as provider, he was also primary care-giver most times because of his work schedule. Daddy was home in the mornings to put me on the bus, and he was home when I got off the bus in the afternoons. It would be just the two of us for hours until my mother and younger sister got home from work and daycare. Spending so much time with one parent is going to create a stronger bond. I think I began to resent her because we weren’t “buddy-buddy” like other girls and their mothers; and she resented me for (seemingly) favoring Daddy and also for occupying much of his time and attention. My sister and I could do no wrong in Daddy’s eyes, which understandably pissed my mother off.
My mom is a 4’10″ firecracker who can be very intimidating at times. Daddy says she has “little man complex” and feels the need to be loud and be heard because she’s so short. That might be true, but I also see her vulnerable side that all the yelling & bravado in the world can’t mask. Like me, she tries her best to hide that vulnerability; and like me, nobody can know or really understand her because of it. She is truly the most giving woman I’ve ever met in my life; but because people take advantage of that, the kindness comes with an edge. To most people, it’s worth it to put up with her shit because they know she’s a good person to have on your side. And she is a great person to have on your side; but when she’s not, life can be unpleasant.
When I’m honest with myself, I must say that I’m very much like my mother. I’m proud to have some of her qualities; but others make me want to cut myself with sharp objects. We can both be the pettiest people on the face of the earth because we HAVE to be right about everything and have to have the last word. It’s funny (and confusing) to be so much like someone yet feel like you really don’t know them; and vice versa. Communication is shitty between us and that is the root of the problem. I feel she doesn’t listen, and she feels like I’m always making her out to be the bad guy. Without communication, a relationship is not possible. At this point, I’d be happy to find a way to PEACEFULLY co-exist in our new roles as “parent and adult child”. Again, without communication I don’t see it happening; but a girl can hope. Or move 900+ miles away (again). I’d like to tackle this issue head on, but “it takes two to tango” and I’m way too tired and focused on other things to fight this thing out knowing all of the opposition I will face. At this point, nobody and both of us are to blame; but placing blame won’t resolve anything. We have both been wronged and done wrong. That’s irrelavant now. I love her. She loves me. We need to stay out of each other’s way and for now that will be enough.
So given my own issues and experiences, it really bothers me when I see parents neglecting their children and taking them for granted. There are a few people around me I’d like to shake, or actually beat, because of the way they treat their kids. It’s a privilege to be a parent, not a right. I’d love it if every baby born could be implanted with a birth control device that could only be removed to allow reproduction when the person has taken parenting classes and proven to be responsible adult. I know that’s not at all possible, legal, or ethical; but it would be nice. For now, I will hope that every baby born is loved, wanted, nurtured, and encouraged to be the best person they could possibly be; by BOTH parents and an extended network of relatives and mentors.