Tuesday, July 27, 2010

not a reason to have children

I was happily reading a lovely little article in Sunday Life a few weeks ago* by a broody man writing about how socially unacceptable it is for men to be broody, when he explained his reason for wanting children:

Having a family would probably be a significant trade-up on my lifestyle.

While I'm all for broodiness and the blessings of having children, it seems to me that this statement has several flaws. Can you spot them?

* Yes, this is a slightly out-of-date post.

image is from Enigam Photo at flickr


Deb L said...

Snortling laughter here. Just what terrible things is he doing with his day to make family life a "significant trade-up" on his lifestyle? I am thankful that God has given me three wonderful children to raise but I am pretty sure I wouldn't deem it to be a glamorous lifestyle. Next time I'm woken at 5:30 am by a piercing call that strips the lining from inside my skull and announces the urgent need for bedding to be changed, I must remember to think, "Ah, yes, it's all about the lifestyle!" At least it’ll bring a smile to my dial.

mattnbec said...

Hi Jean,

FYI - Mia Freedman has posted the article:
(sorry - don't know how to hyperlink it).

I agree there are a number of flaws in the logic if he's totally serious. But, in the context of the article being written by a comedian, I kind of took it as a bit of a throw-away, tongue-in-cheek comment. I thought he was trying to be clever in how he was saying 'a social-life isn't all it's cracked up to be'
sort of thing. After all, he also commented about making his own 'welcome home' signs and things too!

The context is:

"Our society views bachelorhood as a desirable, glamorous state, like Mr Big’s life in those blissful moments when he doesn’t have to put up with Carrie Bradshaw. I didn’t want to give up my capacity to drop everything and head to Vegas for a night on the tiles, like a character from Swingers. But now I’ve come to realise not only that I never did much partying, but that having a family would probably be a significant trade-up on my current social life."

What do you think - have I been too generous in my assessment?

x Bec

Jean said...

I don't know, Bec! I read and enjoyed that post by Mia Freedman too. I don't know what spirit the sentence I quoted was written in - I just thought it was both funny and (if taken literally) a little disturbing! First, as Deb points out, having kids isn't really a lifestyle "trade-up", even if it's a wonderful blessing; but secondly and more importantly, because it seems such a shallow and selfish reason for having kids: to improve my lifestyle (the equivilent, I guess, of not having kids because I don't want to destroy my lifestyle). But maybe all this was meant to be implied by the comment and it was meant to be ironic and tongue-in-cheek. In which case, more power to him!

Hey, you know what's happened? The original quote said "social life" and The Age changed it to "lifestyle" so let's blame the apparent shallowness of the statement on The Age rather than the author. Much better. That way it becomes a comment on the shallowness of the modern way of seeing things, not a particular author's selfishness ... Mr. Dominic Knight gets off the hook and The Age (and officious editors) go on it. I like it! :)