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I work with women every day whose lives are dominated by the desire to have a child, or another child. It's very real, and it doesn't necessarily stop at one child.

 

Omni, do you feel it is a compulsion -- like those women who have literally hundreds of shoes and hand-bags?

 

 

No. I think it's called normal biological imperative.

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Yes. That doesn't meant it's 'wrong' - but it is abnormal.

 

ab·nor·mal [ab-nawr-muhl]

–adjective

1. not normal, average, typical, or usual; deviating from a standard: abnormal powers of concentration; an abnormal amount of snow; abnormal behavior.

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As always, you are welcome to your opinion.

 

I don't know where you got "desperate" from - but I don't think that a woman's desire for a child is ever "desperate" - I think it's normal and human. It's one of the most natural, basic, primal needs and desires a woman can have.

 

A tangent...I spent some time recently with a woman who has two wonderful boys, both adopted. She adores them and would give her life for them, and she has very solid relationships with them. But she told me it is still painful for her that she was unable to have biological children of her own. She feels she missed out on an essential experience of womanhood, and she's sad about that.

 

For some women, adopting children is all the motherhood they need or desire, whether they adopted because they couldn't have children, or for other reasons.

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well, i'm not so sure that the normal state for women is to want desperately to have children.

That's because you are bleedin abnormal.

 

Omni,

 

I think the major points your arguments unfairly dimsisses are:

1. One can be normal and not want children

2. The need to have children of one's own can be abnormnal.

3. Just b/c something springs from "natural sources" doesn't make it good.

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I'm not sure if the essential experiences of my womanhood were having my legs up in stir-ups for 10-12 hours while strangers stared down my yin-yang. I am sure that after those experiences very little embarasses me now.

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well, i'm not so sure that the normal state for women is to want desperately to have children.

That's because you are bleedin abnormal.

 

Omni,

 

I think the major points your arguments unfairly dimsisses are:

1. One can be normal and not want children

2. The need to have children of one's own can be abnormnal.

3. Just b/c something springs from "natural sources" doesn't make it good.

 

is there a market for children in the black market?

 

let's talk.

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1. In my opinion, it is abnormal, as normal and abnormal are commonly defined, not to desire children.

2. I do not think the need or desire to have children is ever abnormal.

3. Of course.

 

if we're looking at just the word "normal" then perhaps there are more women who want to have children than there are women who are ambivalent about it or opposed, and in that sense perhaps "normal" may be a neutral enough word. but where your statement gets sticky is in the juxtaposition of "normal" and "biological". if to have the desire to have children dominate one's life is "normal, biological" then there must be something severely wrong with the biologies of many women.

 

("desperate" may not be appropriate short-hand for people whose "lives are dominated by the desire" for x, pick another word that describes it.)

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Abnormal or not, I believe there is a social stigma applied to women who do not desire and have children -- I know I have been subject to such a stigma. From my teenage years, I knew I never wanted to sire children; had no desire to bear them or be around them. Now, in my 40s, I have had no regrets or lamentations that the "biological clock" has passed me by.

 

I am a "Fairy Godmother" to two children of very close friends from broken/non-traditional families. Seeing them two to three times a year is more than sufficient for my tastes and I have taken the role of a limited caregiver in regard to setting up educational trusts for them as their families are unable to do so.

 

I have to admit that I never felt "normal" not wanting children and too many people would ask "what is wrong with you?" or "when are you having children?" I can see Omni's point in that our general sociology expects women to want to children and those of us that don't tend to be social outcasts.

 

An unrelated side affect has been that it becomes more difficult to establish new friendships -- old friends have become soccer moms or ballet dads who can't get away at the last minute for a movie or dinner, or whose level of discussion is limited to this school district or that tutor or whatnot. Finding people at my age level who are childless is few and far between thus making most of my friends either a generation older or a generation younger. The commonality of an era is something I have actually begun to miss in personal relations.

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I have to admit that I never felt "normal" not wanting children and too many people would ask "what is wrong with you?" or "when are you having children?" I can see Omni's point in that our general sociology expects women to want to children and those of us that don't tend to be social outcasts.
What she said. We are also childfree by choice, although not because this was something felt from an early age, but after much discussion and not a few tears (this was some ten years ago, and we have not regretted the decision). It is astonishing that, although nobody would ever think to go up to a couple with children and say, "you've made a big mistake," perfect strangers have felt they had the right to say this to us, without knowing any of the circumstances. One bizarre reaction to being told we do not have children: "oh, you never know!" Never know? Hey guess what, buddy, we're not rabbits, we know what causes children! Mercifully, now that we are older we don't hear this one so much :P

 

There are many ways to have children in your life without having them yourself, and not all reasons for forgoing parenthood are selfish. I only wish that the many people who suffer a lifetime of misery due to infertility could come to share that realization. A little less societal pressure on couples to have children would be a nice start, here in the developed world I mean.

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