To be a mother or not to be a mother, that is the question...

texascurlytexascurly Registered Users Posts: 1,967 Curl Connoisseur
Some info about me: I am almost 37, I'm single, not seriously dating anyone and very content with my lifestyle.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have just happened to run across news type stories on tv about single women in their late 30's to mid 40's or so having children. Both shows were pretty much about the pros and cons of having them later in life and being single and having children.

I did not seek out these tv shows, I just happened across them nor has having a baby been on my mind until seeing these shows recently. I feel like it's sort of the universe telling me it's time to make a decision one way or another about whether or not I want children.

I really feel like I'm on the fence here. Honestly, if someone said to me, "you will never have children," I'm pretty much unaffected..doesn't bother me NOW at all. Then on the other hand, if someone said, "you will have a child/children," I'm ok with that too.

I don't really think I want to sign up to be a single parent, but I also realize, this could be my only option. Also, I worry about what if I don't have children and am fine with it for now, what if I start to regret it in say 10 or 15 years when it really is too late?? Another worry I have that if I don't have children, what will happen to me when I'm old? Yes, I know that having children doesn't guarantee that they would be there for you when you are older and I would NOT have children for that reason...it's just one of my worries with not having children.

I don't really know what, if anything I'm asking here, kind of just getting my thoughts out.

I'd love thoughts and opinions though!
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Comments

  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    I've chosen not to have kids, and every now and then I wonder "what could have been." However, invariably I see or hear something (most often a screaming child or a beleaguered mother) that convinces me I've made the right choice.

    The issue here is that you're "on the fence." I was never on the fence --- I'm not great with kids for more than an hour or two. They exhaust me.

    What I would suggest is that you find some way of spending time with a variety of children of various ages, to see how being in their company makes you feel. if you really enjoy it, well, that tells you something. If you're glad to come home to a peaceful home afterward, well, that tells you something else.

    Another option to consider is adoption. So many kids need a good home.........
  • curlygirlyinVAcurlygirlyinVA Registered Users Posts: 64
    I agree with ninjadog. Try it out! My step-mother adopted two kids before she met my dad and did well with them on her own. I'm pretty sure she was in her mid thirties when she adopted them.

    I love my kids and I wouldn't trade them for anything, but it is a *lot* and if you don't have a partner OR a very good support network, it will be even harder. Good lucky, either way!!
  • rainshowerrainshower Registered Users Posts: 4,420
    texascurly wrote: »
    Some info about me: I am almost 37, I'm single, not seriously dating anyone and very content with my lifestyle.

    Over the last couple of weeks, I have just happened to run across news type stories on tv about single women in their late 30's to mid 40's or so having children. Both shows were pretty much about the pros and cons of having them later in life and being single and having children.

    I did not seek out these tv shows, I just happened across them nor has having a baby been on my mind until seeing these shows recently. I feel like it's sort of the universe telling me it's time to make a decision one way or another about whether or not I want children.

    I really feel like I'm on the fence here. Honestly, if someone said to me, "you will never have children," I'm pretty much unaffected..doesn't bother me NOW at all. Then on the other hand, if someone said, "you will have a child/children," I'm ok with that too.

    I don't really think I want to sign up to be a single parent, but I also realize, this could be my only option. Also, I worry about what if I don't have children and am fine with it for now, what if I start to regret it in say 10 or 15 years when it really is too late?? Another worry I have that if I don't have children, what will happen to me when I'm old? Yes, I know that having children doesn't guarantee that they would be there for you when you are older and I would NOT have children for that reason...it's just one of my worries with not having children.

    I don't really know what, if anything I'm asking here, kind of just getting my thoughts out.

    I'd love thoughts and opinions though!

    sometimes, all it takes to kick start a woman's biological clock is just seeing a pregnant stranger or loved one, seeing or holding a newborn, or even seeing cute baby clothes in a department store. maybe these recent news shows was your kick start!

    you may not have been thinking about motherhood before now, but the very thoughts and questions and worries you have are typical for someone whose clock has begun to tick as she recognizes where she is in her childbearing years.
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  • rainshowerrainshower Registered Users Posts: 4,420
    oh, and :binky: ... tee!
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    I think if you haven't longed for children before age 37, it's a pretty safe bet that you've made the right decision to remain childfree.

    I sometimes WISH I hadn't had such a strong urge to procreate. I ached for children. It was deep in my bones. I couldn't have denied it. But life would have been so much easier without them. Most women I know who have children have felt similarly. And most childfree women I know haven't had those strong urges. Raising children isn't for everyone. Please don't do it just because you think you should. If you do it, do it because you really want to.

    As for seeing multiple random TV shows about the subject...total coincidence. There are a lot of shows like that all the time. You're just noticing them now. The universe isn't speaking to you.
  • LadyV69LadyV69 Registered Users Posts: 3,397
    I also think you're on the fence. I was "on the fence" throughout my 20's and part of my 30's, too. I figured having kids was just one of those things that you're supposed to do. What tipped the scale for me was that I realized that I had spent a good part of my life being a part time caretaker for other people and I hadn't taken much time to tend to myself. I was the oldest in my family, so I was made part time caretaker for my younger sister as my mother worked outside the home from the time I was 11. Then my sister became a teenage mother and I was made part time caretaker for my nephews too. I even babysat for my BFF's daughter when she was younger here and there. Honestly, being around them often drained me as there is a lot of drudgery in childrearing, something that most parents don't want to admit. My sister moved out of state around 10 years ago and BFF's daughter will be 12 this year, so I haven't had to babysit in a while, but when I stopped babysitting on a regular basis, I really treasured the time I had to myself and my independence. At that point, I knew I wouldn't have children. I also never really had this strong urge to procreate, which also tipped the scale toward being childfree. I have yet to meet any childfree person who regretted their choice. I have met a whole host of parents who've regretted theirs. Makes you wonder.
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  • geekygeeky Registered Users Posts: 4,995
    I think if you haven't longed for children before age 37, it's a pretty safe bet that you've made the right decision to remain childfree.
    This. I have kids. I love my kids. I am fortunate enough to be raising them with a great partner. It is still the hardest thing I have ever done. I would not recommend someone sign up for single parenthood at 37 unless they were damn sure that is what they wanted.
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  • wavyblondewavyblonde Registered Users Posts: 1,637 Curl Neophyte
    You sound like me--I never have had a strong urge to have children, and I always figured it would just be one of those things I'd figure out when I found the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. (I still haven't found that man, so I've never been confronted with making a real decision.) I know I would be a good mother, but I also know that I like adult company better than child company, that I don't like telling other humans what to do all day long, and I like time to myself. So, I've never felt like I was missing anything by not having children.

    I do feel like you start to naturally think of things like this when you hit your late thirties. I've had similar thoughts, and I've even wondered about having someone to care for me in my old age. I think it's just normal, mid-life stuff to be concerned about, since we know the time is short if we're going to do it.

    I think if you haven't missed having kids so far, you probably won't miss having had them ten years from now. I'm 39, and I still haven't heard a peep out of my biological clock. I have more of a problem with wanting to take in all the stray dogs I see. :-D Not having a strong biological clock has allowed me to continue to do things that I find fulfilling on a personal level, so I just try to remember that when I have those moments of feeling like there's something wrong with me. :-P

    I agree with RCW--it's not the universe's sign. I see those shows on all the time.
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  • texascurlytexascurly Registered Users Posts: 1,967 Curl Connoisseur
    Excellent advice as always here, ladies! You all were able to express what I think I really know and feel deep down.

    I don't know, maybe I just needed to hear from totally unbiased people that it's ok if I decide I don't want children.

    :love7::love7:
  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    It's okay if you don't have children.

    Best,
    Ninja
  • Who Me?Who Me? Registered Users Posts: 3,181
    ninja dog wrote: »
    What I would suggest is that you find some way of spending time with a variety of children of various ages, to see how being in their company makes you feel. if you really enjoy it, well, that tells you something. If you're glad to come home to a peaceful home afterward, well, that tells you something else.

    Wow, I completely disagree. I know many mothers who love their own kids, but can't stand kids in general. There are all different types of good moms in the world-- not all of them are the kind of person who's also a good nanny, or a good Chuck-E-Cheese employee, or a good preschool teacher. Some of them are the kind of women who have professional jobs networking with adults and don't really feel like holding their friend's newborn or want to take a nap after playing with their nephews for an afternoon. I think that if you are an adult without kids and go spend an hour with a couple kids---if you're NOT exhausted and loving your peaceful home (or your peaceful martini at a bar with a friend) afterwards, then there might be something wrong with you!
    "I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!" -BART SIMPSON
  • MichelleBFTMichelleBFT Registered Users Posts: 4,812
    Not only do a lot of mothers only really like their own kids, a lot of child-free types find hanging out with kids torture.

    I mean, I love my nieces and nephews, but 48 hours with them and I'm not only exhausted, but I'm EXTRA sure I don't want any of my own. They're like birth control.

    To the original question, I've never wanted kids. When I was younger I thought I would eventually have that yearning that most parents describe (though admittedly not all). When I was 26 or so I realized I actually didn't want kids at all. I struggled with it for a while, concerned that my husband wouldn't agree, but at that point I was so sure I didn't want them that if he'd felt strongly in favor of having kids we'd have had to split up. I finally got up the nerve to tell him and he was fine with not having them.

    Anyway, I've never had that yearning. Ever. I'm sure I'd be an okay mom if it was something I ultimately decided to do, but I just don't.

    But I don't think the universe is trying to tell you anything.

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  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Registered Users Posts: 17,898 Curl Virtuoso
    I'm a 38 yr old single parent to two little kids (due to divorce). And while it can be exhausting, I wouldnt trade it for anything! I can't imagine life anymore w/o my kids. And I was never a kid or baby kinda person before I had them.

    I don't think there's any formula for figuring this out.

    No advice, just my personal experience. Sometimes God blesses us with gifts we never knew or were unsure we wanted. (I was single when I got pregnant w the first one.)

    And there are benefits to being childfree, too. More discretionary income, freedom, quiet, more dating/marriage options, etc.

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  • crimsonshedemoncrimsonshedemon Registered Users Posts: 2,098
    And while it can be exhausting, I wouldnt trade it for anything! I can't imagine life anymore w/o my kids. And I was never a kid or baby kinda person before I had them.

    I don't think there's any formula for figuring this out.

    No advice, just my personal experience. Sometimes God blesses us with gifts we never knew or were unsure we wanted. (I was single when I got pregnant w the first one.)

    And there are benefits to being childfree, too. More discretionary income, freedom, quiet, more dating/marriage options, etc.

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    Minus the part about being single, THIS!
  • theliothelio Registered Users Posts: 5,374
    When I was younger i wanted to get married adn have ten kids!!

    now i dont want either. I have family members who tell me i would make a great mom. i love kids, and honeslty i think i would. but i know me. i would get to the point where i would get pissed that i cant do what i want. i love my freedom, which is why i'm not married or in a serious relationship. i like being able to up and go and not have to worry about a babysitter and all that. its tough being a mom, i know this, and i dont what to do it. i think mom's are the greatest people on earth and the strongest!!

    when i am older and settled down, i do want to either foster or maybe even adopt older kids.
  • kaybkayb Registered Users Posts: 5,054
    ninja dog wrote: »
    It's okay if you don't have children.

    Best,
    Ninja

    This is such a timely post. I was talking to my childhood BF (who I'm seeing again- long story) and I told him that I have always wanted to adopt children, but he insists on his wife having two. I said, I might consider one but no more than that. He seems hell bent on 2. This pretty much a deal breaker for me. I have always, always wanted to adopt a child. There are so many kids out there that need love, yes, I can still have one, but I can just as easily open my home to one instead of adding another person to this alredy populated planet.
    I ain't thirsty. There's plenty of fish in the sea, but I don't want all of them, can I have some standards? Or do we just have to settle, for someone's who meh and will do.
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  • rainshowerrainshower Registered Users Posts: 4,420
    I'm a 38 yr old single parent to two little kids (due to divorce). And while it can be exhausting, I wouldnt trade it for anything! I can't imagine life anymore w/o my kids. And I was never a kid or baby kinda person before I had them.

    I don't think there's any formula for figuring this out.

    No advice, just my personal experience. Sometimes God blesses us with gifts we never knew or were unsure we wanted. (I was single when I got pregnant w the first one.)

    And there are benefits to being childfree, too. More discretionary income, freedom, quiet, more dating/marriage options, etc.

    Sent from my SCH-I500 using CurlTalk App

    ^^ shared sentiment. and i especially believe in the bold parts. :thumbleft:
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  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    Who Me? wrote: »
    ninja dog wrote: »
    What I would suggest is that you find some way of spending time with a variety of children of various ages, to see how being in their company makes you feel. if you really enjoy it, well, that tells you something. If you're glad to come home to a peaceful home afterward, well, that tells you something else.

    Wow, I completely disagree. I know many mothers who love their own kids, but can't stand kids in general. There are all different types of good moms in the world-- not all of them are the kind of person who's also a good nanny, or a good Chuck-E-Cheese employee, or a good preschool teacher. Some of them are the kind of women who have professional jobs networking with adults and don't really feel like holding their friend's newborn or want to take a nap after playing with their nephews for an afternoon. I think that if you are an adult without kids and go spend an hour with a couple kids---if you're NOT exhausted and loving your peaceful home (or your peaceful martini at a bar with a friend) afterwards, then there might be something wrong with you!

    I've heard this is true, and I know it changes when "they're your own," but I can't help but believe you wouldn't feel an aversion to kids in general if you want some of your own.

    An example:

    At a restaurant with a friend who wants kids. A toddler is running around his parents' table, being loud and unruly. I scowl in irritation. Friend smiles at toddler, trying to draw his attention. Thinks the clamor is natural. I go to powder room and pray that family is gone by the time I emerge.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    ninja dog wrote: »
    I've heard this is true, and I know it changes when "they're your own," but I can't help but believe you wouldn't feel an aversion to kids in general if you want some of your own.

    An example:

    At a restaurant with a friend who wants kids. A toddler is running around his parents' table, being loud and unruly. I scowl in irritation. Friend smiles at toddler, trying to draw his attention. Thinks the clamor is natural. I go to powder room and pray that family is gone by the time I emerge.


    Eh...I think it's just about experience, not necessarily wanting or not wanting them. Probably because I've been around kids so much, I've gotten really good at ignoring them. I mean, I can tune them out so I don't even notice them in a room. I'm almost-never bothered by other people's unruly kids. I think a lot of people who have been around kids a lot cultivate that skill, regardless of their childbearing plans.
  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    I can believe that.

    It never really occurred to me that I hadn't been around kids much until I was an adult. I always had friends and playmates, but I was almost never an older child in charge of a younger. I'm sure I was just as unruly as many of the kids who now annoy me.

    I find this fact ironic.
  • LadyV69LadyV69 Registered Users Posts: 3,397
    ninja dog wrote: »
    I've heard this is true, and I know it changes when "they're your own," but I can't help but believe you wouldn't feel an aversion to kids in general if you want some of your own.

    An example:

    At a restaurant with a friend who wants kids. A toddler is running around his parents' table, being loud and unruly. I scowl in irritation. Friend smiles at toddler, trying to draw his attention. Thinks the clamor is natural. I go to powder room and pray that family is gone by the time I emerge.


    Eh...I think it's just about experience, not necessarily wanting or not wanting them. Probably because I've been around kids so much, I've gotten really good at ignoring them. I mean, I can tune them out so I don't even notice them in a room. I'm almost-never bothered by other people's unruly kids. I think a lot of people who have been around kids a lot cultivate that skill, regardless of their childbearing plans.

    Could you also lose this ability? When I was younger and was around kids more often, it was easier for me to tune them out and I wasn't as annoyed by some kid's unruly behavior in a public place. These days, I find the same behavior tortuous since I'm not around kids as much.
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  • BekkaPooBekkaPoo Registered Users Posts: 3,861 Curl Neophyte
    I always thought I would have kids.. I just thought that's how it is. I'm a girl, and girls grow up to have kids was my thinking as a child. Now I am also 37, just got married last year, and my husband doesn't want kids ever. I babysat as a teenager and I enjoy my friends' children when I'm around them. I think kids are creative, and funny, and many adults don't give them enough credit for their innate intelligence.

    That being said, I don't see children being a part of my future, but I'm ok with it.. I won't force my husband to be a father if he doesn't want that. I don't feel like there's anything lacking in my life without children of my own, either. I also wouldn't want to have children now because I don't know that I could properly support them financially. In the end it's all good.. not everyone has to have children.
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  • rainshowerrainshower Registered Users Posts: 4,420
    ninja dog wrote: »
    Who Me? wrote: »
    ninja dog wrote: »
    What I would suggest is that you find some way of spending time with a variety of children of various ages, to see how being in their company makes you feel. if you really enjoy it, well, that tells you something. If you're glad to come home to a peaceful home afterward, well, that tells you something else.

    Wow, I completely disagree. I know many mothers who love their own kids, but can't stand kids in general. There are all different types of good moms in the world-- not all of them are the kind of person who's also a good nanny, or a good Chuck-E-Cheese employee, or a good preschool teacher. Some of them are the kind of women who have professional jobs networking with adults and don't really feel like holding their friend's newborn or want to take a nap after playing with their nephews for an afternoon. I think that if you are an adult without kids and go spend an hour with a couple kids---if you're NOT exhausted and loving your peaceful home (or your peaceful martini at a bar with a friend) afterwards, then there might be something wrong with you!

    I've heard this is true, and I know it changes when "they're your own," but I can't help but believe you wouldn't feel an aversion to kids in general if you want some of your own.

    An example:

    At a restaurant with a friend who wants kids. A toddler is running around his parents' table, being loud and unruly. I scowl in irritation. Friend smiles at toddler, trying to draw his attention. Thinks the clamor is natural. I go to powder room and pray that family is gone by the time I emerge.

    i love kids, my own mostly, of course. but other children's whining, moaning, staring, ear-popping screaming, loud playing, and falling-out tantrums are not, and have never been, things that i could just brush off; it grates my nerves, no matter how normal it is, because they aren't my kids.

    i think many/most parents develop a numb ear to their own children's annoying behavior. and i think it's a protective mechanism to safeguard our kids from harm from us who would normally have a short-tempered reaction to that kind of normal behavior. i'm being perfectly serious.

    and i think that's why in public you may wonder if a parent has ear plugs in and can't hear their child whining as they casually stroll down an aisle in the market. if they could hear that whining, that child might have been yanked by the arm and needing er attention. i'm being somewhat comical, but i'm really serious.

    everytime i'm in the market, i see or hear a child that makes me want to slam my cart into theirs to shock and scare them into silence.

    my name is rainshower, and i don't like your child's annoying noise and behavior.
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  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    Wow!

    I really appreciate you revealing that, rainshower. I always wonder how some parents can be so oblivious. Now I know it's self-protection.

    I also wonder, if the suggestions I made earlier about how the OP can make up her mind are off-base, how can she get more exposure to kids? What can she do to dip her toe in the water, so to speak?
  • LAwomanLAwoman Registered Users Posts: 2,949 Curl Neophyte
    All I know is that, from observing my friends with young kids, being a mother looks like da*n hard work! And this is even with ladies who have supportive and hands-on husbands.

    I know that I personally would not consider willingly becoming a single mother unless I had that deep, STRONG, innate drive to be a mother (as RCW described her desire).

    That being said, if I was single (not in a committed relationship) and accidentally became pregnant, I would keep the baby, no questions asked.

    But no, I would not voluntarily put myself in that position.
  • M2LRM2LR Registered Users Posts: 8,630 Curl Connoisseur
    rainshower wrote: »
    ninja dog wrote: »
    Who Me? wrote: »

    Wow, I completely disagree. I know many mothers who love their own kids, but can't stand kids in general. There are all different types of good moms in the world-- not all of them are the kind of person who's also a good nanny, or a good Chuck-E-Cheese employee, or a good preschool teacher. Some of them are the kind of women who have professional jobs networking with adults and don't really feel like holding their friend's newborn or want to take a nap after playing with their nephews for an afternoon. I think that if you are an adult without kids and go spend an hour with a couple kids---if you're NOT exhausted and loving your peaceful home (or your peaceful martini at a bar with a friend) afterwards, then there might be something wrong with you!

    I've heard this is true, and I know it changes when "they're your own," but I can't help but believe you wouldn't feel an aversion to kids in general if you want some of your own.

    An example:

    At a restaurant with a friend who wants kids. A toddler is running around his parents' table, being loud and unruly. I scowl in irritation. Friend smiles at toddler, trying to draw his attention. Thinks the clamor is natural. I go to powder room and pray that family is gone by the time I emerge.

    i love kids, my own mostly, of course. but other children's whining, moaning, staring, ear-popping screaming, loud playing, and falling-out tantrums are not, and have never been, things that i could just brush off; it grates my nerves, no matter how normal it is, because they aren't my kids.

    i think many/most parents develop a numb ear to their own children's annoying behavior. and i think it's a protective mechanism to safeguard our kids from harm from us who would normally have a short-tempered reaction to that kind of normal behavior. i'm being perfectly serious.

    and i think that's why in public you may wonder if a parent has ear plugs in and can't hear their child whining as they casually stroll down an aisle in the market. if they could hear that whining, that child might have been yanked by the arm and needing er attention. i'm being somewhat comical, but i'm really serious.

    everytime i'm in the market, i see or hear a child that makes me want to slam my cart into theirs to shock and scare them into silence.

    my name is rainshower, and i don't like your child's annoying noise and behavior.

    I think that after having kids I was more sensitive to loud kids. Mine know how to behave in public, they've been going out with me since their first weeks...to the store, to dinner, etc. There are just certain things that you DO not do, and they are aware of this.

    I get hyper-sensitive when we are out anywhere and my own kids whine. You WILL see me grab them by the arm (usually all I have to do is get close to their face and whisper that they better behave), and it works.

    When I see kids that aren't mine acting up, I kind of give the parents a look versus the kid. I DO NOT like kids running around in restaurants. Mine have NEVER been allowed to do that. I don't care if they have to sit there and wait for others to finish eating. It's a restaurant.

    When I was 20, prior to meeting hubby, I was convinced that if I wasn't married at 25, I was going to get artificially inseminated and have kids on my own. After getting married and actually having our first at 25, I realized that I wouldn't have been able to do it on my own. It's hard work. I can't imagine how single parents do it, especially when they are tiny babies.

    It's okay if you do not want to have kids. I can see how your bio-clock might be ticking a little, but ITA that if you're 37 and you've yet to have that strong urge like RCW mentioned, it just might be something that you weren't meant to do. Do not have one 'just because.' It's very hard work.
    :rambo:
  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    Bless your heart, M2LR.

    The sensitive eared contigent among us thank you. (At least, I sure do!)
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    While I have the ability to tune out OPKs (other people's kids), I am exquisitely sensitive to my own kids acting like hooligans in public. I stomp on them. I am not one of those parents blissfully shopping in Target while her kids tear up the joint. I'm the one silently pinching the bad child, or giving him stink eye. You will never even know I've disciplined them...you'll just compliment me on having such well-behaved children.

    Of course, they're older now, and I don't have to do that anymore. Thank goodness.
  • OBBOBB Registered Users Posts: 4,174 Curl Neophyte
    loud, boisterous playful children i can understand but rude, obnoxious and disrespectful kids are a reflection of the parents
  • AmnerisAmneris Registered Users Posts: 15,117
    Some children are harder than others to discipline in public. Some children are more spirited and get over-stimulated more easily. Some people have all kinds of stresses you wouldn't necessarily know to look at them. When I see kids acting up in public, I have compassion, and having kids gave that to me. Not all kids are perfect angels all the time or just respond to a look or a kind word. I love how some people (in general) act like their kids are saints and everyone else's are hooligans.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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