Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Moms and kids

Over here: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200803/single-marry

is an article by Lori Gottlieb some quarters are all abuzz about, called, Marry him! The case for settling for Mr. Good Enough.

Lori Gottlieb is an author, commentator for NPR, and single mother who conceived thorugh artificial insemination by donor in desperation to have a child when she was 40 and unmarried.

It's ve-e-e-e-ry pragmatic, funny, witty, and terribly sad.

I'm obviously not an expert on the dating/romance scene in America. Point of fact, I haven't dated an American woman in almost 20 years. And last time I was single and living in America, my luck was pretty rotten.

Now I'm looking at what Gottlieb says and realizing I'm the archtype of her big disappointment, and most painful episode of Sex in the City
Mr. Maybe Good Enough who she didn't settle for and now sees married to a younger woman with kids of his own.

And she realizes that back then she saw a guy who didn't make enough money and never remembered he'd told that joke a zillion times before, and now she sees a guy who is on balance kind, thoughtful, changes diapers and actually likes spending time with his kids.

What I'm hearing in Gottlieb's essay is what I and many others felt 20 years back, that it's a bad time for lovers in our culture today.

How did this happen to us in the otherwise luckiest county on earth?

Some blame the rise of militant feminism, but my gut tells me this is a symptom rather than a root cause.

Was it that our culture had arrived at a place where it seemed that good times would go on forever, and that we were free to experiment with the fundamental institutions of our society? Heck, of any society.

My parents generation had many people who started families because it was expected of them and it didn't occur to them that they might be happier without kids.

There are quiet obviously, more men in this category then women.

But back then a man with kids was expected to stick around and pay for the groceries, and faced pretty severe social oprobium if he didn't.

My generation won the freedom to say, "Like wow man, this fatherhood trip isn't my thing, I'm off. Hey write when the kids are grown won't you?"

Nowadays I know a lot of single mothers who I think are doing a wonderful job under difficult circumstance. But I don't think there's a one of them who doesn't think it sucks.

And, is there anyone out there that thinks that a large and growing demographic of kids raised by single parents will have no undesirable long-term consequences, or only trivial ones?


  • At 12:40 PM, Blogger Ted said…

    The feminstaazi are going to think me a "mysogynist" - or however they spell that imagined slam - for saying this, but a family requires TWO parents, or it isn't a family.
    I know this from dear-bought experience, having been raised by one of those wonderful "liberated" amazons the leftist press idolizes, and having discovered since her demise how many lies were told about my father to justify an erroneous position, or atleast make it seem not so bad.
    On the other hand, the "sperm-donor father" product of the 1960s who makes kids, then makes tracks, is no fit model for the head of a household. If you want "your freedom", make sure you keep your genitals to yourself, dude.
    Families built on the fragile foundation of self-centered men and women will not last. It has to be a mutual, open-ended commitment to each other. Men that want gratification without responsibility might as well get honest about themselves, hit the gay bathhouse and be done with it. Women who treasure a paycheck over paternity and progeny should also stay single, especially the ones who don't care to cook or change diapers, or any other aspect of family life that defined genuine femininity for thousands of years before leftist socialism and its FOOLosophical lies became the cause of a rapidly deteriorating Western Civilization.

    What happens when Ms. Gottlieb gets "like, bored" with little Johnny or Susie?

  • At 6:25 PM, Blogger Joseph Sixpack said…

    I guess a woman can rationalize "settling" for a man. As a man, I can't imagine being in even a semi-serious relationship, looking a girl straight in the eye, and saying, "I settled for you because I didn't think anything better was likely to come my way." It offends my sense of decency and it seems to imply that the relationship is more of a business transaction and, unlucky me, I got to the store after all the good stuff was bought. What a great attitude!

  • At 4:39 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    You know, now that it occurs to me it seems part and parcel of the Left economic fallacy - you can have everything without giving up anything of value to get it.

    I have two kids who are the delight of my heart. Reading is also the delight to me - and I don't get to do a lot of it these days, what with the kids around.

    Life is a series of trade-offs, and there is a mentality out there that loathes the notion of trade-offs.


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