Day 63 Question 63

Day 63 Question 63:

How do children make you feel?

This morning I was skimming through another blog I stumbled upon and a girl had answered a bunch of different contemplative questions and I found the questions and her answers quite interesting.  This is going to go off the beaten path for a second but there was one question that she answered that kind of blew me away.

Question: The children living next door are being horribly abused by their parents. The only way to stop the abuse is to adopt the children and care for them in your home. Would you?

Her Answer: Honestly, NO, plain and simple.

I, honestly can’t imagine anyone saying no to this question but I have also learned a lot more about people by making this blog.  I was hanging out having dinner with a friend the other night and the topic came up of children being abducted and tortured and how it is becoming more and more common.  Both of us shared the sentiments of how disgusting and sick it is for a person to do this to a child.  We talked about the movie Precious and how a person must be very mentally ill if they were to sexually abuse (or abuse in general) a young child (as young as 3 months old).  There is nothing natural or right about that.  I can only believe that someone must have a “mental defect” to think that actions like that are ok or if they find satisfaction in them.

So upon reading this answer I have to admit I was shocked that she outright said no.  I do understand that some people just don’t enjoy children or do not want them but I do not understand how you would not want to protect them.  I am a nanny for twin girls that are 16 months old…these are not my children and I would take a bullet for them in an instant.

I am very undecided about whether or not I want children.  For the longest time I thought I did and then I realized I felt the way that I did because that was the “norm”…what you are supposed to do.  I go back and forth with it all of the time.  I know I have answered this question in a different form in a previous blog entry.  I guess I had to revisit the topic again because of my shock from the woman’s answer above.

I may be undecided on whether I want children or not but I adore them.  I would do anything to protect them, even if they weren’t mine.  The other day I was in Walmart, waiting in the customer service line to pick up my new computer.  Behind me in line was a young girl (I would guess early 20’s) pushing a cart with a stunning blonde headed girl (she was about 14 months old).  The little girl had bright blonde hair pulled into 2 pigtails on the top of her head and big ocean blue eyes.  She was so happy and so excitable.  I turned around and asked how old she was and told the girl I was a nanny for twin girls.  She asked if I had any children and I told her no.  She then asked me if I wanted them and I told her I was undecided.  Ok, let me back up for a minute.  This is not meant to stereotype, but upon first perception this girl appeared to be quite “country” and upon listening to her I don’t believe she was very well-educated.  I formed a snap judgment assuming that she probably wasn’t that great of a parent (no I am not proud of thinking that way).  She looked me square in the eye and said, “You really should have children.  They make everything in your life better.  There is nothing better than having children.”  I immediately got kicked in the ass by making a completely inaccurate assumption.  Now, she may not be parent of the year but her actions in the store (how attentive and loving she was to her daughter and her words) showed me something completely different than I assumed.  I learn quite often that you really cannot judge a book by its cover.  I am sure I will learn this lesson many more times throughout my life.  I was impressed by this young woman and the love she showed for her child.

Unfortunately there are too many cases where parents neglect and harm their children or we read stories (watch the news) of children being abducted and found dead somewhere.  I recently read an article online about a 9 year old girl that died and her mother and grandmother were being charged with manslaughter.  The little girl ate some candy without permission and her punishment was to run until her mother told her she could stop.  The little girl continued running for over 3 hours (on a hot day).  When she reached home she ended up having severe seizures and her heart stopped.  She was unable to be revived.  I can’t wrap my brain around how any parent could think this form of punishment is ok???  My friend that visited me the other night told me of another story where a young boy was found chained up in his house.  He had been pulled out of school to be “home schooled”.  I am unsure of the details of how he was discovered but when he was he was extremely malnourished and weighed significantly below the average for someone his age.  How can someone do that? This is a human being…a human being with your DNA.  You chose to give this child life.

I have encountered so many parents throughout my years that have absolutely no business being parents.  I understand that sometimes pregnancies are unplanned but if you do not want children or do not want the burden you have options.  There are people all over the world that want children and would love them unconditionally and protect them every day of their life.  In my opinion being able to have a child is the greatest gift someone could ever receive.  It is the opportunity to be the best person you possibly can be and use your gift to help shape this person that you have given life to.  Having a child is having the opportunity to make the world a better place by teaching this child solid morals and values.  Why isn’t the world like this?  It seems like such common sense but it is not.  Why have we grown into this society of entitlement—everyone is owed a favor.  I believe when you have a child that is your opportunity to start over and to start fresh.  If you did not have the best life then you are able to make sure that the same does not happen to your child.  I believe a child/children should change you….it is an opportunity that should make you a better person.  I am not a parent so maybe I have no leg to stand on.  Maybe my opinion doesn’t count.  I know how I feel when I am around children though.  I know that children are innocent and deserve a fair shot at life.  I know that children are like sponges and absorb and mimic everything that they see and hear.  Why would you not try to expose them to all of the positive things in life?  As a parent, how could you possibly look at your child and not feel a love from deep within yourself?  I keep thinking back to when I worked as a Parent Educator and I witnessed a mother telling her 3 year old son that he was a mistake and she wished she never had him.  I never thought I would hear or see anything like that in my life.  I always knew that people like that existed but I never thought in my life I would have so many first-hand encounters with mothers and fathers that were always putting themselves before their children and treating their children like they were nothing but an inconvenience.  I wanted to scream at these parents when I saw them act like this and tell them to get their shit together.  I never did though because I knew that method would be pointless.

I admit I do fear having children partially because of the direction I see the world going.  I know that children need to experience hardships in order to build confidence and strength but we are living in a day in age where children need to be wearing protective armor.  Bullying is becoming this commonplace in school’s nowadays….what is it going to be like in 15 years???  Maybe it won’t be as bad…maybe it will be way worse.  When I finally make my decision about children, I do not want fear to be the reason that I choose not to have them.  I know I would be a mother that would love her children until the end of time and teach them everything I possibly could.  I believe I would raise compassionate and kind children.  I have chosen to work in the fields that I have because of my love for children.  I love the innocence in their eyes and the curiosity they have toward everything.

I have rambled all over the place in this entry.  I guess it just struck a chord with me when I read about the woman that would not adopt the children I mentioned above.  I love my life of independence.  I love being able to go where I want when I want and having no one to answer to or no one to bring with me.  With this being said though, if a child were to be brought into my life (under any sort of circumstances) I would do right by them and make sure they had the best life I could provide for them.  To me, it just seems like the only choice…the right thing to do!


Both of these books have a somber tone but are good reads on the topic if you would like to check them out:

A Child Called It by Dave Peltzer (He also has 2 followup books to this)

Room by Emma Donoghue

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13 Responses to Day 63 Question 63

  1. Being unsure about having kids probably means you are the right person to do it. It is the most important endeavor ever! I waited until I was in my 30’s to have kids because I wanted to wait until I was ready to give them all of my time and energy. But, it is not the job for everyone – and many, many should be banned from parenting. Would I take the kids? In a heartbeat – but, it would not be easy – very few things in life that matter are easy…Thank you for the thought provoking question.

  2. Robert says:

    That’s an unfair question because it’s not logical, but perhaps that’s the point. If the absolute ONLY way to prevent the abuse from happening is to adopt the child, then I understand people saying yes, but I also understand those who say no. Adoption is a huge undertaking, but I suppose I should make the adoption process as simple as the question. In that case, sure, I’d adopt the children.

    If I take the question seriously, though, the entire thing falls apart. Me adopting the children is (obviously) not the only way to prevent the abuse from continuing. This is to say nothing of the drawn-out ordeal that adoption actually is, with all its fees, home visits, etc. This is also to say nothing of the impact this would have on my own children.

    I suppose, at the end, it’s just a manipulative questions designed to set folks on edge, like the posts I routinely get on Facebook insinuating that if I don’t proclaim my love for Jesus/America/family values by adding the post to my own page, I must be a hell-bound, freedom-hating, family-loathing troll. A much more interesting discussion could stem from a more realistic question about having children, whether through adoption or natural means.

    As a parent of a five-year-old and one-year-old, I’m exhausted mentally and physically by the end of the day with them (to say nothing of the weekends). But that’s just part of the deal, and we have fun along the way, too. I wouldn’t want my life without them, but I certainly think it’s fine for couples I know who’ve decided to forgo having children.

  3. Great post. I would report it, I have done that and I would again and my belief is that any adult with a conscience and integrity would do the same. Who ever gave that response to the question had neither. LOVE your blog btw.

  4. alisha78 says:

    Being a child welfare worker – the woman’s answer to that question although disappointing, is not surprising. There are a lot of issues when it comes to adopting kids who are in the system or have been abused. Some rise above and become outstanding people (like David Pelzer – books are amazing btw). But some kids feel they can’t rise above their lot in life.
    Her unwillingness to ‘get involved” (or adopt) could be somewhat a result of society telling us we are entitled to all this privacy… which to some extent is true. I draw the line at abuse once you abuse someone or break the law you lose some of that privacy. If I hear or know of a child being abused, I say something – either to them or to the authorities. It is our responsibility – they need to be protected and given a chance. Those children love their parents regardless of how they are treated. They will kick and scream when you remove them from their abusive home because they love their parents; they truly show unconditional love. Sadly parents who are abusive tend to have been abused themselves. Sadder still, adopting the children doesn’t get rid of abuse altogether – it does however help alleviate the negative effects of it at the time. I believe education on child development is a huge factor in reducing certain types child abuse (physical and verbal). In other cases, some parents just do not like children – which is unfortunate for those children. I love children and we can learn a lot from them if we sit and watch them. My son is 18 months old and I’m constantly amused by how he does things, how he plays and how he learns. It’s awesome. If only we took the time to enjoy life as they do.

  5. cruz2lose says:

    Great post!
    I came here to tell you that I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award
    Congrats! : )

  6. My house is full of “child” but of course we would adopt a child if it would stop its abuse. In the States adoption has become a profit center and generally unless you have lots of money then adoption is difficult. Furthermore celebrities seem to make it a hobby collecting children that they will hire someone to raise for them. But I digress.

    Perhaps there should be a class and training for parenting. I know we have learned the hard way. There is a test to drive a car but any two people can have a child.

  7. vevadoll says:

    Great question, I suppose it would, for me, depend on if there was a connection me and the children. I would certainly report them either way if I knew something was up. It is hard to hear about people being abused but it’s great when you hear stories where they survive and overcome or raise awareness and help others.

  8. brains says:

    Kids make me feel happier and younger.

  9. jsheravanich says:

    Kids are wonderful. They are innocent and bright. I feel bad every time I know that a child is abused or mistreat.

  10. reneeboomer says:

    Great post! LOVE children and now I get to spoil my GrandKidlets. Love them to bits!! It breaks my heart to read about child abuse.

  11. I love your blog and your questions. And this post just reaffirmed that for me! My hubby and I hope to do therapy foster care as our children get older because we know that so many other people are unwilling in those areas. And we’re like you, if you are a child- we will do anything for you. No matter if you are direct relation or we’ve never met before.

  12. helpingyourselfwithquotes says:

    It sound like you would be a good parent the fact that you are aware of your own actions means there is a great good chance of having a well rounded individual.

  13. granbee says:

    Having been screamed at recently for sending a reckless boy home who was about to seriously hurt himself on a four-wheeler across the road from my house, I KNOW where you are coming from here! I know I did the right thing; and I think that father soon realized I had done the right thing! I am so very blessed in my own two adult children, their mates, and my two grandchildren–never would trade any of them. And I, like you, see adults every single day who never should have become parents, some of whom never outright abuse of neglect but who are cold as ice and way too-self-aborbed and just plain stupid!

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