A day or so ago I was driving in the car, listening to the radio when I happened to be subjected to a program I've never encountered before--ABC Newsradio Perspectives. I've spent too much time this morning trying to track down a strem of the broadcast without success so that should you want to hear the atrocious reporting I'm about to rail on for yourself, you could...but it doesn't seem to be online anywhere, so you'll have to take my word for it. :)
In the final piece of the show, the topic was motherhood in America. Got my attention, of course. It seems from this piece that someone did a study that shows that while the rest of the world's women are having an average of just over one baby each, American women are "indulging" in having an average of 2.71 babies each. Reasons given for such a lavish decision (their premise, not mine) were presumed to be--
1--Americans tend to have larger homes so adding another body isn't a big squeeze. (obviously, probably true...)
2--Americans can by and large afford better health care, so more of there children survive. (some can, many can't. doesn't seem to be stopping us.)
3--Americans tend to be more self indulgent and many want a boy *and* a girl. (ok, so it's "self-indulgent" to want to have a child. yeah. right.)
OK as if those "reasons" for having children were not offensive enough, number 4 was what really made me want to write a biting letter to ABC! Here is what sent me over the cliff:
Reason number 4--More and more men are starting to carry more weight around the house (chores and such) so more and more women are *relenting* and reluctantly deciding to have another baby since the husband is "helping out around the house more". Husbands in other industrialized nations aren't helping out as much so their women aren't giving in on the next baby thing. Thus, Americans are leading the way.
The way reason 4 was presented, it seemed the writer thought that no self-respecting woman would ever actually *want* to have more than one baby, but that if she could be coerced by her helpful husband, she might relent.
It was a good thing I was alone in the car...because I was practically screaming at the radio. You have got to be kidding me!! On everything sacred, I swear that I know not one a single mother who has ever indicated that she decided to have another baby because her husband was helping out around the house. (Maybe they wouldn't tell me if they did tho.) :) Reason number four is perhaps the stupidest thing I have ever heard.
Admitedly, the mothering women I know are generally of remarkably high character and they (gasp) genuinely love their children and want more than anything to be mothers. Really good ones. They have babies (some one, some two, some many), they adopt babies, they care for babies, they even suffer thru the horrible loss of unborn babies at times, because they *want* to be mothers.
They *want* to be mothers.
Mothers to girls.
Mothers to boys.
Mothers to boys and girls.
Mothers to one child.
Mothers to many children.
Mothers who give birth.
Mothers who give life and step aside for the good of the child.
Mothers who build a life after someone else gave birth.
Mother of all kinds of children...with all kinds of joys and challenges and journeys.
Planned or unplanned...child or youth or child of later years...easy child, hard child, middle child...none of this really matters to a mother. I am here to tell you, based on myself and the mothers I call friends, to debase a woman's desire to be a mother all the way down to believing that it's a common occurrance for a woman to be cooersed to give birth to yet another child as a result of a husband's "good behavior" is to slap the face of every woman who dares to want to be a mother and every woman who dares to think that motherhood can be an honorable, rewarding and intentional choice and lifepath.
Are we (mothers who actually *want* to be mothers-no coersion required) a dying breed?
Is being a mommy such a horrible, thankless, unfulfilling choice?
Are women so easily swayed that if hubby wants something as monumental as another child, all he has to do is a little laundry and a few loads of dishes? If that's the case, why do so many mothers still complain about husbands who can't/won't carry their share of household responsibilities?
There are just so many things wrong with this idea.
Maybe I'm sheltered or not paying attention.
Or maybe ABC News Radio has lost their freakin' minds!
Now that I've gotten that out of the way...
Here's a little art...a thank you card using the Blossom QK, American Crafts ribbon and the MME card elements that I found in Sevierville, TN!! (Love those!)