It’s funny how this video came up in my feed today (5/3).
This subject had been a point of discussion recently between friends & other people I know over the past few months to varying degrees.
Having children is a very personal choice. What is right for one person may not be for the next.
People get very judgy over this subject quickly.
Trying to discuss this rationally sometimes is almost next to impossible because some people are just set on what they will hear & that’s the side they deem to be “right” in their eyes but don’t really hear what others are saying.
I have friends who don’t have children, who have them, who have step children, who have adopted.
What really drives me up a wall is when other people decide what the right choice is not for them, but for others…
Since when do we decide it’s OK for us to be autonomous, but others aren’t afforded the same consideration?
It’s something I’m sensitive to because from an early age I knew I would be advised due to my genetic history (having TSC due to a spontaneous genetic mutation that I could pass down) to think long & hard on being a parent.
This was even well before my lung disease (LAM) further complicated the issue. I spent little time with “normal” lung function. My lung decline was pretty pronounced fairly quickly. It wouldn’t be safe had I been in the position for me or for a child.
Later, I’d have a medical situation that turned into an emergency that would render it impossible for me permanently at whatever juncture I settle down, if I ever do. But that’s my choice. That’s my situation. Mine alone.
It could be different for others. Or it could be similar.
But I don’t get to decide for that other person what the right choice is for them since it’s not my life, it’s theirs.
I still get awkward questions & looks sometimes when I kind of hedge & half answer nosy questions with a pat reply on the subject.
People even sometimes have gotten really invasive & personal when I politely answer that I have no children when the nagging questions start flying & they don’t stop.
To me, (as a single person) between this question & the why aren’t you married question I want to scream at points. I’m not sure which is more rude or annoying. It’s a toss up, because also it’s the inherent judgy way these questions are thrown at me.
As if my life is somehow incomplete or incorrect in how I live it on my terms. It’s not my problem that someone else has a problem with the way I choose to live my life.
It’s none of their business to really ask these questions in the first place, but yet they feel they need to make a point to & that they are entitled to an answer. (Sorry if it doesn’t meet the satisfaction requirements set forth by the thought police.)
In fact, it was annoying that because my disease is still often viewed as a pediatric disease (even though it’s not) the first question I was often asked in the past when I’d start at a new center who had a specialist in my illnesses was if I was booking an appointment for my child. It was assumed until I corrected them. Then a stiff silence as if I had said something wrong.
Um, no — I’ve had this disease since childhood but the appointment is for me. (You don’t outgrow genetic diseases, sorry if that makes it uncomfortable or inconvenient for your clinic staff).
I have known people who have adopted & it was far from the simple solution that people assume it to be. I’m happy for those couples & as are they but that too is an emotional experience, they’ll be the first to say it themselves.
I know parents who have been judged because they decided even in spite of their disability to have children.
Why the quick assumption that they were wrong to do so or that they are some how unfit?
That’s why I love this video.
It challenges the obtuse judgement that disabled parents can’t be great parents head-on in a very positive way (which is a clear example of one of these judgy scenarios).
I know young women who decided not to have children for many other reasons other than mine, yet they are judged & ridiculed too.
They are no less a woman for not bringing a child into this world than those who choose differently.
Personal decisions like this shouldn’t need personal defense. Personal defense wouldn’t be needed if people minded their own business on personal issues like the choice to have children or not have children.
Thank your for this post and the video link. I will pass it on to my twitter followers. This topic makes me cry at how some parents and children relationship is destroyed from lack of support and sometimes even from ableist policies.
The White House just had a Forum on the Civil Rights of Parents with Disabilities!
YouTube link https://youtu.be/oMNU2mD-25w
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I did see that 🙂 I also happen to know that there are good parents who are disabled and/or chronically ill & they are left with little resources or acknowledgement but a whole
Lot of stigma and judgement for sure. I’m glad there’s a video that tackles that issue head on
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