In a previous blog post, I wrote about how having a baby changed my mind about abortion. The hardship of four years of unplanned parenthood made me change my former staunch pro-life position.
But in this post, I want to be even more explicit. It’s not just that I now support women’s right to choose as some sort of abstract ideology. I actually often regret having a child myself. Especially lately.
I recently posted on Facebook about four abused, neglected siblings who are up for adoption as a package deal. Who knows, maybe their parents were great and CPS just kidnapped them for no reason. But that’s beside the point. The point is there are basically zero happy, healthy, financially-prepared, functioning families out there willing to adopt four kids.
I posted the story along with the caption – “This is why I support abortion.” Several indignant people responded that abortion is never the answer – that no life, no matter how miserable it’s destined to become, should be prevented from being brought into existence.
It’s a ridiculous argument really. If taken to its logical conclusion, every opportunity for an egg to be fertilized should be taken – it’s a potential life – we can’t let it go unlived! Being alive is always better than not having been alive, the fundamentalists insist. “Ask any adult who was abused or neglected in childhood if he would’ve rather never been born,” one lady said.
One of my friends offered himself as an example of such a person. “I was abused and neglected, and I wish I’d never been born,” he said. The woman told him the majority of abused people do not feel that way. Then another Facebook friend chimed in that she wished she’d been aborted too.
Another man commented – “There is a time and place for abortion, but to retroactively wish it on behalf of someone ain’t it.”
And that’s what inspired this post. I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic lately. It’s cool to support women’s rights to terminate potential future pregnancies, but it is very uncool to wish retroactively that one had had an abortion. Once the child is here, we are supposed to love and cherish it and do all we can to protect it and give it the best shot at happiness we can. I get that and agree with it.
However, I think it is time more people started questioning their choice to have kids retroactively, and talking about their regrets. Because if we don’t, we give future unprepared mothers false hope that even the most dire circumstances can be turned around for the best, and that is dishonest and misleading.
So here goes.
Sometimes I wish I’d had an abortion
My daughter is probably better off than 95 percent of kids in America – as she is breast-fed to the natural age, gets to stay home with me (and her father part of the time) rather than being shuffled off into a daycare center or government indoctrination camp, isn’t physically abused (spanked), has access to the most nutrient-dense food left on the planet, has been sheltered from the medical-industrial complex, is treated like a full grown human being, with equal rights and respect, is loved and adored, etc.
Still, I often think I should’ve had an abortion. Or better yet, that I’d known about natural, herbal methods of inducing early miscarriage. I often wish I’d been raised to understand that was a perfectly legitimate and good option, so that I didn’t feel like I had no choice when I found myself pregnant and totally unprepared 5 years ago.
Because parenting in this fucked up modern world is the hardest shit ever. Because I suck at it. Because I don’t like it. Because my kid sits in front of her tablet all day watching terrible crap, so I can work to feed her… because I’m less scared of the garbage she learns on TV than the emotional trauma she might encounter in a government school (which is the only kind of school we can afford). Because I ignore her and am stressed and have a short temper with her and snap at her, everyday.
Because I could’ve been a better parent if I’d had years to prepare financially and emotinally, or if I’d had a tribe of adults to help me, and children to befriend her. Or maybe I would’ve never found myself in a place where I was prepared. And that’s ok too.
You know why? Because I’m not a kid person. I don’t know what to do with kids. I have zero patience for or interest in typical kid activities. Sure, I occasionally play chase with her, smother her with tickles and kisses or dance to loud music with her in wild ecstasy, but for the most part, I’m hoping she keeps herself entertained in her room long enough for me to finish a blog post without interrupting me. Just tonight she asked me to come play toys in her room with her and the very idea of it filled me with dread.
I guess my point is, parenting is not my talent. My talent is researching stuff, trying to figure out what is wrong with the world and how to fix it… and then writing about it. That’s what I want to spend my time doing, not playing Barbies and begging my kid to eat real food.
I don’t want to sound too negative about all of this, because, at the end of the day, I would never, ever give her up. It’s just I wish I’d had more time – perhaps several lifetimes – to prepare a better world for her to enter into, because that’s what she deserves.
P.S. No, I will never give her up for adoption, so don’t suggest it. Why? Because there are only a handful of people I would trust to do as good of a job as I’m doing (which isn’t saying much) and their plates are already too full.