Baby, You Stole the Life I Wanted

A society built around the individual, rather than the family, will petrify into unspeakable emptiness.

By Jennifer Hartline Published on October 5, 2016

Marie Claire magazine recently published one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. It’s one of those pieces where all the names have been changed because nobody wants to admit to what they’ve just admitted: child-regret. Mothers, feeling doomed by motherhood and wishing they’d never had kids.

The article opens with Laura’s story:

“The regret hit me when the grandmas went home and my husband went back to the office and I was on my own with him,” she says. “I realized that this was my life now — and it was unbearable.” As more time passed, Laura felt convinced that she had made a life-altering mistake. “I hated, hated, hated the situation I found myself in,” she says. “I think the word for what I felt is ‘trapped.’ After I had a kid, I realized I hated being the mother to an infant, but by then it was too late. I couldn’t walk away and still live with myself, but I also couldn’t stand it. I felt like my life was basically a middle-class prison.”

According to the article, the number of mothers who feel this way is increasing:

It’s a huge taboo, admitting this kind of thing, but there’s a growing and largely ignored group of mothers all over the world who are confessing their regret over having children. Day after day, as they change diapers, drive to soccer practice, and help with college applications, they fantasize about a life unburdened by dependents and free from the needs of others. A do-over.

“What might have been” beckons loudly to these women, and they mourn the life they feel was taken from them, and all the freedom and achievement it would have held:

“I wonder if my accomplishments would be more spectacular,” says Ananya, a 38-year-old freelance writer and editor who divides her time between the United States and Singapore. “Would I have written my second or third book? Would I be able to travel to chase that elusive story? I feel motherhood has slowed me down so much. She envies friends not for their spontaneous vacations and naps, but for the time and space they have to think.

“I hold a lot of data in my head,” Ananya says of constantly keeping on top of all the details that go with small children: doctor’s appointments, weight, height, most recent allergies, toys they want, foods they will eat. “I long for a life without this mental clutter,” she explains.

It’s too easy to say, “Well, these women clearly just aren’t cut out for motherhood. Some people aren’t.” Perhaps they really feel that way; nevertheless, that’s a cop-out answer. The trouble here goes much deeper and is far more revealing. This is evidence of a culture that has shrunk into a real smallness of being. So small that there is only room for one: I.

It is an atrophy of the deepest heart. It is a caving in of our selves, into a cage of mirrors where all we can see is our sad reflection.

We do not look on children as a gift anymore. If they are not an accessory we special-ordered, then they’re a ball and chain around us. We resent their presence and their dependence. We feel we should be allowed to erase them and have a do-over. This is what the “choice” of abortion is all about, after all.

I pity these women, not for any dreams they may have set aside, or worldly accomplishments unrealized, but because they are closed off to what God has given them, and to the gift of sacrificial love. They do not welcome love in the flesh of their child, and so they are empty and resentful.

Millennials are Deferring Parenthood

On a similar note, this illuminating (if crude and immature) piece details the reasons why millennials are supposedly refusing to have kids. (If this is representative of the way millennials truly speak and think, then folks, we are in phenomenally serious trouble.) They cite finances, student loan debt, lack of good jobs, and the terrible state of the world right now among their reasons for deciding to remain childless. They also say the same thing their 40 year-old counterparts are saying: we want great careers, and we’d be lousy parents anyway.

The self-absorption is staggering. Are you thinking we should be thanking the stars above that these over-sized children don’t want to have children themselves? Perhaps. But they need to grow up soon, and the truth is, no one has shown them how or what that even means. They are completely bereft of love. They are hollowed-out little tyrants, obsessed with trying to fill themselves up, and all they can stuff into the cavity of their souls is sex, drink and drugs, and greed.

They look around and see adults like the women featured in Marie Claire, or worse, their own parents, and see a cautionary tale. And why wouldn’t they? Sex hasn’t been about babies for decades, and this is one of the rotten fruits — generations of adults (I use the term generously here) who expect to live without being burdened by dependents or the needs of others. Life now is centered around the individual, and all his or her wants and wishes.

Pounded into their brains is the lie that happiness means total control over every aspect of their lives at all times, and they should never have to suffer anything they didn’t choose. Meanwhile, Love stands on a hill and shows them another way, but it is splintered wood, spattered with blood … so who wants that?

Made for Love

Love is a cross. It always has been, and always will be. The mystery of love is that it demands death — the death of self. Myself. Yourself. Love is only about the other. And when we love, we are released from the prison of resentment and the tyranny of insatiable wants. Love is the only freedom.

A society built around the individual, rather than the family, will petrify into unspeakable emptiness.

Ponder this heartbreaking story about an elderly couple in Italy who were so hungry for company and human warmth that they literally wailed out loud in loneliness until someone heard them and called the police.

We are not made to be a collection of individuals running around chasing our own cravings. We are made for family, and for fellowship; for sacrifice and generosity; for love.

Love doesn’t come from that third book you wanted to write, or the award you wanted to win, or the partnership you sought. None of that will come visit you when you are old and lonely, or sick and dying. All the stuff you chased down and hoarded into your little box will turn to dust before your eyes, and you’ll have only the souls you loved and gave your life for … or you won’t.

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  • M. Blythe

    You take my breath away with your writing. You’re phenomenal Jennifer, and I pray that your ‘pen’ is a sword that strikes at the heart and doesn’t let go.

  • Ryan Seggelke

    Thank for saying what I could not express

  • Nicole Muir

    Yesterday I asked the Holy Spirit a question. I said, “Many people believe in Jesus, but what keeps them from giving their life to him?” He said to me Pride/Selfishness, Greed, and interference from Spirits of Darkness. This article is confirmation of the answer I received.

    • Wayne Cook

      After living in several countries outside this one, that is the exact answer I got when I asked God what had happened to this nation in my absence.

    • Amanda Amaranth

      Also: Because they don’t believe in the Bible. It’s that simple too.

  • fullerhonda

    I don’t know when the Lord opened to me that the reason woman isn’t woman any more but instead a pseudo-man is because she’s not valued as wife, mother, housekeeper. According to the message from our current culture she only has value if she’s out of the home working like a man. The home is empty during the day. No one cooks a meal except as a whim, so all meals are prepared outside the home and mostly eaten at restaurants. Children are farmed out to daycare. But woman, where is she? She’s nowhere to be seen in her domain–the home, where the heart used to be; where she accomplished all those skills long associated with women. Now, if she’s not out there like a man she’s nothing. But she’s nothing when she tries to equal a man as a man out in the world because she’s not a man and can never be one. Her power and equality are to be found in being a woman as a woman running her home and family as competently as any CEO. It’s the most powerful, important and satisfying career she could ever have.

    • Wayne Cook

      Beautifully said.

    • Shaune Scott

      Thank you for honoring the job of mother and homemaker. I was a full-time wife to my husband and mother to my son. I worked part-time until my son’s last year of high school. Was it hard to live on one paycheck? You bet! My dear hubby and I will never have a “dream” retirement, but what we do have a remarkable young man who is now a husband and father. He and his wife have agreed that children are best raised at home, so my precious grandson is cared for by his own mother. Making a home that is a haven takes work and commitment, and a willingness to put aside one’s own desires at times. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

    • Jim Walker

      To fullerhonda and Shaune Scott, I salute you !
      The secular world paints the picture of a successful woman is a career woman and paints a Housewife with curls on her hair and a baby on the left arm and a frying pan on the right wearing her night gown looking bad.
      These images dug deep and now many women cared more about her own life of indulgence.
      There is nothing wrong with working women or a woman who chose to be a housewife. But the former tends to be celebrated and put on a pedestal.
      My wife too, stopped work 16 years ago to care for our kids. She is earning better than me then and yes surviving on 1 income is really tough. Till today, our home cooked meals are still dependent on the special offers at the supermarket.
      Beef, Chicken Pork, depending which is on sale. hahaa but does it matter?

      • Shaune Scott

        Thank you, Jim Walker. You and your wife are making the best choices for your children. When my son was 18 or 19, he told me the following: “Mom, I know you and Dad sacrificed a lot so that you could be at home with me and to send me to Columbus (private boys’ school), but I know I wouldn’t be the same person if you hadn’t been home with me. I would have just been another kid in day care. I really thank you for that, Mom.” Those words make it all worthwhile.

    • Dirge

      Why can’t the man be the homemaker.

      • Jim Walker

        I have friends who were retrenched and couldn’t find a job and their wives continue to support the family and they become homemakers.

        • fullerhonda

          So what’s your point? What I describe is the norm, when the norm is allowed. What you describe is an aberration.

          • Amanda Amaranth

            lmfao WHY?!

      • fullerhonda

        Because she’s made to be mother and homemaker and he’s made to protect, provide, and more. Men are not women and women are not men, no matter which way you rotate the ball. Why do you want to deny woman her value as woman? Why do you want to deny man his value as man? Why? Do some women want to work outside the home? Sure they do and I think that’s always been the case. But if left to her natural inclination, most women want to be the wife to her husband and mother to their children. As the children mature she either extends her horizon or helps raise the next generation. And never once, if there’s no coercion, would any of them see themselves as a lesser person for not competing with men. In fact, if the coercers would leave women alone you’d find that women like being female and all the things that to with it, including her monthly even though it’s an annoyance.

        • Dirge

          I don’t think there is any intrinsic value of a man or woman outside the fact that the woman must incubate the child.

          Roles change in society all the time. But if a woman decides she wants a career more than a child, she should refrain from having children, or the father should take over the child rearing duties.

          Before I decided not to have kids, I would have been happy to tend the house and raise the kids while my wife worked.

          • fullerhonda

            You’re ignorant of women to think there isn’t any intrinsic value of a man or woman beyond her incubating capacities. Perhaps you’re ignorant of men, too, though I should consider that weird in that I perceive you to be male. You suck in way too much propaganda. Try skipping television, videos, smart phone, internet, radio, movies and any books published within the last 100 years; let me put it another way: you’ve perhaps heard some commercials extoling the virtue of evacuating your bowels. Well you need to evacuate your mind to get out all the crap you’ve accumulated. Try waiting upon the Lord to hear his voice. He will speak truth to you and the first truth you’ll hear will be about yourself.

          • Dirge

            I see, you think we should have stopped progressing 100 years ago. Women don’t deserve the right to vote, any man that does more than earn the money is not a real man, and all that malarkey. I’m sorry you were born 100 years too late.

          • fullerhonda

            Whoa there Cowboy. You tried shifting in gears you don’t even have. My point, if you had read closely my comment, it that woman deserve to be, indeed must be, valued as women. In the current culture she is not. She’s not allowed to be a woman, to do what a woman is inclined to do and finds satisfaction in because the culture devalues everything she likes. Being as woman is not degrading. Being as woman is not lesser than man. But that’s the message from the culture, so girls grow up with the idea they have to get a job. Oh, sure she wants to get married and have children, but that’s secondary. And the writer of this article pointed out that these women find that having a baby is not the joy she thought she’d experience because the baby gets in the way of her job. Being home and a mother takes away her importance in the culture. What happened to her is she was stripped of her womanliness. She wasn’t allowed as a little girl and a maturing girl to play with baby dolls, to dress up in gowns, to pretend cooking and housekeeping, etc. No, she was pushed to do as boys do as far as academics or sports go. Don’t go off into left field now; I’m not saying “can’t” about anything. Every girl has her own personality just as boys. I didn’t particularly like playing with dolls as a girl, but I liked playing house. And was thrilled when a baby stayed with us for a few weeks and I got to bottle feed her, hold her, etc. The women who find motherhood and domestic life unbearable were stripped clean of their natural inclination. So now she’s a pseudo-man and doesn’t fit anywhere. All she has is her job. That’s her identity and nothing else.

          • Amanda Amaranth

            You do realize you are describing YOUR personality, not the personality of half the population, right? Just because you do things or think things doesn’t make them true, or right.

          • fullerhonda

            Apparently you don’t realize your describing your personality and not the personality of more than half the population. Apparently you believe that what you say and think is right and true.

          • Amanda Amaranth

            I never said people needed to breed for love, satisfaction and moral fortitude. You did.

    • Victoria Stevens

      This is a load of crap. Women are out working and are valued. A women does not need to be like a man to be valued. Allowing èveryone to make the choices that are best for them is what we need to have. Not some ancient notion of what each others’ role is.

      • fullerhonda

        Could you point out where anyone claimed wanting to deny “[a]llowing everyone to make the choices that are best for them”? Because when I find out who did it, I’ll give him/her my two cents worth!

    • Amanda Amaranth

      If my eyes rolled harder they would fall out of my skull. I am not what I am worth to a man. How absolutely disgusting, how dare you reduce me to a commodity because I possess a vagina

      • fullerhonda

        The only one who can reduce you to a commodity is you.

        • Amanda Amaranth

          LOL sure….. tell that to trafficked sex slaves.

          • fullerhonda

            My point stands.

          • Amanda Amaranth

            …. a 12 year old slave has the choice to be sold into slavery by those stronger and bigger than her with guns? Ok. Gotcha. You cannot be reasoned with.

          • fullerhonda

            No. You don’t get it. You’re reasoning is shallow, either deliberately or from lack of life experience. Deliberately shallow makes you impossible to reason, period. If lacking life experience you have an opportunity, but only if you remove yourself from leftist influence and wisdom of the world.

  • lisacole

    This is so sad to me personally. I never had kids because I was too selfish to give up my life. Now at 55 I fantasize that the phone would ring and my kid says,”Hi Mom”. I don’t even know what the purpose of my life was. NONE of the lovers I’ve loved, NONE of the “fun times” I’ve had or the time I LOST with precious family who are now gone, was worth where I stand right now. I’ll die alone because I was too selfish to be selfless for a child.

    • Jennifer Hartline

      lisacole, God bless you. Regret is a very heavy load to carry. The liberal feminist movement has left untold numbers of wounded souls in its wake, as women have bought the bill of goods that they must be like men to have any value. If I can offer you some good news, it is this: God is in the business of redeeming everything and everyone, no matter what we’ve done. He takes what is broken and restores it. He takes what was thrown away and makes it worthwhile again. He takes what is dying and makes it flourish again. This is not a fairytale, but the miraculous truth of what God can do. The point is, it is all about LOVE. You can still love, and be loved, and you can still be made new by love. Look for opportunities to love those who are forgotten and lonely. When you pour yourself out, you will find the emptiness filled. Ask the Lord to repair what you have done badly, and do take your days from this moment on, and do something eternally beautiful.
      Let the past be your teacher, and entrust your future to God’s grace. I pray all His very best for you.

    • Wayne Cook

      BINGO. Well said, Lisa. The fact that you took the risk to confess that brings love from several of us!

    • Sonnys_Mom

      Lisa, please check out The Ruth Institute.

    • ac

      I am a 53 year old woman with no children (by choice) and my life is full and satisfying. Maybe if you’d made connections with people other than these non-existent children you wouldn’t be sitting around feeling lonely. There is still time though; 55 is not that old. And please bear in mind that a lot of those lonely old people we all hear so much about HAVE children.

    • Barbora Vakarinė

      You CAN adopt. It’s not too late. And your life will have meaning. If adoption is too scary, just being guardian or caregiver for a child in need will be enough. There are many ways. And you can teach the new generation the values, that were robbed from many of us. Fakery was given and forced, but in the end that was so empty.

  • Gail Finke

    I think it’s a symptom of a global problem (or at least a problem of the West and some other developed countries): not reproducing. For different people, it probably manifests as a different sort of unhappiness with being a parent. But whatever each person’s reason, the aggregate is whole countries full of people who don’t want children, see them as burdens (or at best occupations for a certain number of years), and prefer to do whatever they want to do until they die. It’s sad, because it shows a preoccupation with what you DO vs. who you ARE. Would the women above be happy with what they accomplished, whatever their situations? Maybe not.

    • Victoria Stevens

      Or maybe hey would be.

      • CbinJ

        Not being able to deal with the consequences of your actions and dissatisfaction with the choices you have made is indeed symptomatic of an overall dissatisfaction with yourself. When you are dissatisfied with yourself no choice will bring you happiness.

  • Sonnys_Mom

    The author refers to “a collection of individuals running around chasing our own cravings.” Unfortunately, many of these same individuals are now demanding that the legal system and the culture bend to their wishes, and punishing those who don’t comply.

    • jeremy

      Sounds like it’s time for a rebirth of Tocqueville’s ideas. He warned us about the danger of radical individualism.

    • Amanda Amaranth

      You know what my generation craves? To not be in crippling debt, working jobs that keep them in poverty, in the richest country in the world. :/

  • Paul

    Enjoyed this article, but it sort of implies child regret is a new phenomenon. From family experience I know it is not. Not only is it just regret of having any children but also comes in the form of having ‘too many’. There’s been unwanted children for about as long as there’s been children.

    The Bible has a lot to say about selfishness, greed, envy and pleasure seeking. It was a problem back when it was written just as today because it’s addressing the same wicked humanity. Nothing much has changed other than the technology we can employ to pursue our lusts.

    • Brandi Labonte

      Very true. I’ve heard more elderly women recommend childlessness and voice their very real regret with parenthood than most would expect. All looked so guilt-ridden and prefaced it by reiterating the burning love they have for their children, but the pain and longing they expressed were very real and palpable; it gutted me to see that sharp pain eating away at them. Loving someone and regretting lost opportunities are not mutually exclusive, as so many here seem to believe. There are countless women (and men, I suspect) who desperately love their children, but simultaneously mourn some aspect(s) of the lives they’ve lost. That’s not sinful, it’s natural. If they were allowed the time and space to grieve those very real losses, they could heal and move forward in family life, but our culture has a very uncomfortable, sweep-it-under-the-rug reaction to grief of any kind. No one should die mired in painful regret and guilt for trying to do “the right thing” simply because others don’t understand or support their need to process these huge life-altering changes in their own way and at their own pace. A little introspection goes a long way, but it’s unfortunately unpopular.

  • JonathanMcFerry

    Wow! The author is very clearly an embittered woman who has a lot of anger pent up inside. My wife and I chose to be childfree and we will remain that way. It does not, as the author seems to think, make us selfish, lesser than her, or “bereft-of-love hollowed-out little tyrants who only care for sex and greed.” The bitterness is staggering. Can we get some Midol in the house??

    • jeremy

      Methinks your references to “bitterness” smells ad-hoc…do you have any other arguments to offer?

      • JonathanMcFerry

        Arguments? I’m not arguing anything here except that the author is clearly emotional and her writing reads more like a personal attack than a coherent piece.

        • Amanda Amaranth

          It certainly does.

    • KJQ

      Well, your “choosing to be childfree” is a wicked, rebellious refusal to follow God’s creation ordinance to “be fruitful and multiply”. Even secular people realize that without children, they have no posterity and are “like dust before the wind”. Enjoy what is left of your life until you face God on judgement day.

      “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.

      Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.” Psalm 1

      • Victoria Stevens

        Of course your statement relies on the existence for a god.

        • Serifini

          Not only does it rely on the existence of a god, but it also relies on a particular version of a god, a particular holy book being the teachings of that god, and that book being a true representation of the will of that god. Since there are many other religions, each with their own holy books making similar claims for the veracity of their own particular version of god, none of which can be proven by scientific method, I’m inclined to disregard such arguments as not having a basis in fact until proven otherwise.

      • Dirge

        I’m choosing to be childfree as well, but I’m doing it by staying single. And God can’t say boo about that, because it is totally holy.

      • JonathanMcFerry

        Wow. That’s a pretty dramatic reaction to a personal life choice of mine. Even if we did believe in your God, our choice would remain the same. Thanks for the fire and brimstone, though. You tried.

      • CbinJ

        The truth is that it doesn’t matter whether you have children or not. That is not to say there aren’t moral issues within that topic like the use of birth control or IVF or adoption or etc., but the general topic has no right or wrong answer even according to the Bible (1 Corinthians 7). I think the Church almost bears as much responsibility for millennials so desiring a childfree life (and their sexual immorality) as secular culture does because we don’t emphasize Paul’s advice, but instead go back to Genesis’ “be fruitful and multiply”– a command that was given before the Fall. Theologically, based upon 1 Corinthians 7 and verses in Luke that say “blessed are the barren” and (paraphrasing) “woe to the nursing mothers” in these end of days, that verse in Genesis became more of a statement of condition than a blessed command.

      • Jennie Diday

        I thought living a hold life and striving to become more like Jesus daily, loving him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving others as yourself was Jesus’ most important commandment…. but that is none of my business.

      • Amanda Amaranth

        THERE ARE SEVEN BILLION PEOPLE. I THINK WE ACCOMPLISHED THE GOAL.

    • ac

      It’s going to take more than Midol I’m afraid.

    • fullerhonda

      Hmmm. I detected no bitterness in the writer’s piece, but I sure did in your statements. This is for your benefit.The Lord put to me this morning: Can we rightfully complain about anything in this world? Did the Lord not let me see that because man and the world were corrupted from the Fall, evil runs rampant? And that for us to expect anything different is amazing? The corollary to that is this: those in union with Christ have hope. Atheists, however, have no hope. They have nothing. If there’s no God, what IS there?

      • JonathanMcFerry

        You’ve set the official record for most rambling and nonsensical comment I’ve read all day. Congrats!

        • fullerhonda

          Thank you for reading it.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            No problem.

      • Amanda Amaranth

        So literally, if God turns out to be a fake idea, you would have NO morals and no hope? That is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.

    • Why marry if you don’t want kids?

      • Becca Queen

        Because he obviously found someone that he loves and wants to be with. Are you saying that those who are barren or sterile shouldn’t marry? Should they be condemned to a life alone because a marriage is only for people who can have children or who want children?

        • Definitely not barring people that CAN’T have children. Just not understanding what would a couple that does not WANT children need a marriage for.

          • Becca Queen

            But it’s the same thing. I can’t have children. What do I need a marriage for? There really is no difference. The point of marriage is not children. It’s love. They want to show the love and commitment they have for each other.

          • Love does not require papers. There are loveless marriages and loving marriage-less relations. I understand your opinion but my opinion is that marriage is the framework and home to children.

            As for those that can’t have children, I suppose they want, and day by day new fertilization techniques appear so it makes sense for them to marry, IMHO.

      • JonathanMcFerry

        What an insipid and stupid question. You might as well have asked me why I bother eating salads when I’ve got brown hair.

        • I’m sorry but I believe that “there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers”.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            If you truly believe there are no stupid questions, then you’re deluded. There are, in fact, a multitude of stupid questions. I’ve always believed that saying to be BS.

          • Right, and if you don’t share my opinion you are deluded too. Nice way of living.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            Dude, my post was from 15 days ago. This conversation is over. Time to get a life and move on.

          • Dunno what I do without (unsolicited) life advice 🙂

      • Amanda Amaranth

        Because you fell in love with someone and want to be with them and want the legal protections that marriage gives.

        • This may vary from country to country but at least in my part of Europe, the “protection” is almost useless. What does it protect you from, in your country?

  • Liz Litts

    I have had two children. The first one I gave up for adoption and the second I raised on my own. In both cases I was made a better person for it-because I did not sit around moaning about how much I ‘lost’. My son was adopted by a loving couple and he was a blessing to their lives. At the time I realized that I was not good for him–I learned to think of someone besides myself. My daughter is 31 now and I have no regrets because again I learned to grow beyond my own selfishness and greed. Yes It was a tough row to hoe–we were homeless a couple of times and mostly lived paycheck to paycheck. My daughter got money for college by serving in the Navy and she is currently a para legal and working for a law degree. The abortion indurtry is based on greed and selfishness, plays on fear –the fear of having to think of somebody else besides yourself . The sad thing is many people will be duped by that trash that the poor deluded woman wrote. When you learn to put someone else before youself you grow.

    • Victoria Stevens

      You assume that those who do not have nor want children are selfish, which is often very far from the truth. Do you really think it was best for our child that you were homeless a few times while raising her? Do you not think that you may have saved her a lot mod emotional issues if you had just planned a little, had a child when you were fully prepared to?

      • Brandi Labonte

        Everyone’s life involves unforeseen hardship, stress, and pain. Waiting to have kids until the “perfect moment” (which doesn’t exist) does not guarantee that nothing will go wrong. I know so many people who “did things right” and lost it all when one unexpected accident/job loss/illness took it all away in an instant. There is no safety net in the real world. We aren’t corporations or banks; the government won’t bail us out when the unthinkable happens or the going gets tough. When the unthinkable happens, we’re stuck twisting in the wind all alone. When the careful, cautious woman who waited until her 30s to start a family she and her husband desperately wanted (and were more than capable of supporting), she certainly wasn’t looking into a crystal ball at the Tuesday afternoon crash that takes him from them five years later, leaving her – the SAHM with years of unemployment on her resume – to somehow support their three children, who are all younger than school-age, in an increasingly competitive job market and very uncertain economy. No one expects that, when they move in with their lonely mother to help her out with the bills, she’ll go bipolar on them and kick the entire family out, leaving them homeless with three children under 4 and three pets to support from their car for months because there are no rentals available. No one sees these things coming. The best-laid plans can all be washed away in one flood, destroyed by one person, incinerated in one fire, completely lost in one accident. There are no guarantees.

        This need to avoid all risk is the real issue with our current society. It’s the root of young people’s fear of commitment (marriage, children, home ownership, etc.) This generation grew up in a veritable bubble. Playground equipment wasn’t safe enough, cars weren’t safe enough, strangers weren’t safe, schools and roads and building materials weren’t safe enough (meanwhile, our food, water, soil, and air are continually polluted by those who are supposed to protect us). The irony? Nothing and no one is ever truly safe or secure; it’s an illusion and a completely unattainable goal. The sooner people realize this and begin to live life accordingly, the better.

        Unfortunately, that will never happen. The wheels were set in motion decades ago; blame and litigation are the name of the game now. No one is ever willing to try anything for fear of making a mistake and being sued into oblivion – but the fatal flaw with that line of reasoning is that mistakes pave the way for success. Without taking some carefully calculated risks from time to time, we can never know success. Like all things in life, moderation and balance are the keys. Of course we should be cautious, thoughtful, good stewards of our resources and try to live responsibly within our means. But being protective doesn’t ensure we will always have those means. The unthinkable happens far more often than people care to admit. Should we do nothing at all with our lives because we may one day lose what we’ve gained? That’s the case with life itself at all times! We’re born and we immediately begin to die; we grow towards our own end every single day. Should we sit at home and waste away because we’re going to die anyway, so why bother?

        • Amanda Amaranth

          No, the issue is that ANY slip up in this current economic climate will result in homelessness, hunger, poverty, no health care, the car dying, not being able to get to work, and then…. what? You live on the streets. There are no safety nets, there are NO guarantees with employment like there used to be, there is no retirement fund. We are drowning in debt. You want us to commit? Commit to WHAT?

      • Liz Litts

        Well as I mentioned –she’s 31 now , recently and happily married-working for her law degree–and since you don’t know my daughter you don’t know about any ’emotional issues”. So how can you know what our family is like? We can sit around ‘woulda shoulda coulda ing for ever–but I would not change a thing.

      • Liz Litts

        Well–I can’t change what happened 31 years ago–and I don’t live in regret for things I can’t change–I go on with my life–how about you?

  • Jim Walker

    Fantasies Versus Reality – the hard truth, deal with it.

    I also regretted that I did not do the things I should’ve done while I was young too. I could have be somebody important, rich and famous but I’m not.

    I wasn’t a fan of kids, I never had. The cries of the babies changes my brain waves and I get so agitated I implode and at times I explode, that was very, very regrettable.

    However, after 22 years of marriage and 3 kids now in their teenage years, I realize that this is all I ever wanted. To be the best dad I can be for them.
    I realize that if I ever were to “turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop” (thanks to Johnny Hates Jazz), I wouldn’t change a thing. If I did, I wouldn’t have married my wife, having my 3 kids.
    Imagine I studied hard and got into a good college, my path won’t lead me to my wife to be.
    These women who hate hate hate their situation are living each day in fantasy.
    I believe we should live life to the full at the very position you are in and make the best out of it.
    Happiness and Joy are a state of mind, you can be happy even at the worst moments. You can choose to implode or to raise all the things you can’t handle to our Lord Jesus.

    • Victoria Stevens

      It’s fairly simple for a man to say things like this when usually men are far less involved in the child raising process than the women is.

      But, it’s great that you don’t regret your life. But, many people do. What works for one does not work for all

      • Jim Walker

        It so easy to shift the blame to the innocent baby being the ball and chain to imprison the woman.
        You don’t even understand what is the meaning of sacrifice. Sometimes you don’t get the cake and eat it.
        My wife stopped her career at the time she was moving up the corp ladder.
        It was not an easy decision for her to stop working too. I didn’t accept her decision. So please, we went through tough times but looking back, its well worth it.

  • Chrissie

    Well the author got one thing right, mother’s are struggling with a love atrophy – but it’s not between them and their kids. It’s between them and everyone else. Every day mothers struggle with a complete lack of support and gratitude and an overabundance of expectations and demands – including the expectation that the parenting of a child is a mothers job. Not once did the author discuss men struggling with this sacrificial love cross because women are expected to carry it by themselves every single day. Moms used to get support from family members and neighbors, now even our schools aren’t a safe place for kids. If you really want to help moms, stop criticizing and show them a little love yourselves.

    • SophieA

      Thank you for pointing this out. Although a topic for another article, how do those of us stay at home mothers then deal with the empty nest? My children have lives, but as I gave them mine, I live with the struggle between what I knew and still know to have been a worthwhile life and the world’s insulting treatment of what it deems as a wasted, worthless life such as mine. What is more insulting is that many so-called Christians offer like attitudes. Oscar Wilde said, “Nowadays people know the price of everything but the value of nothing.” Sacrificial love has never been trendy but at least stay at home mothers even when their children grow up and move away should be given due respect for the doing the most important job on the planet. This is the value beyond any price tag that not many notice or appreciate. Certainly no man (or very few) has ever had to face these hard choices with such devastating loss to outward personal worth.

      • Chrissie

        It’s not too late to make a life for yourself. God gives each of us special talents and abilities – some that have nothing to do with child-rearing. Why would he give us those if we aren’t meant to use them? We weren’t made to be emotionless tools. We’re individuals with personalities, ambitions and desires. I would argue that denying who you are and what you are isn’t an act of selfless but an insult to the person who made you that way. I see nothing wrong with indulging in the things that make you happy if it doesn’t harm you or anyone else. I’m sure 20 years from now your kids would say they’d rather have happy mom than a hollow martyr. Loving yourself and taking care of yourself isn’t a sin.

        • SophieA

          Thank you for your concern and advice. I tried to use as many qualifiers as possible in my first post to make my point and angst clear that it is not with my life, which has never been or never will be hollow, but with the world’s disrespect for my choice. As an accomplished young person with a bright future ahead, I chose to invest my talents into my children because God had entrusted them to my care. I would answer to Him one day–not the babysitter. At 60, I cannot pick up the career I left behind nor would I want to. My children (and my husband) got the years of my young life as it should have been. Both children have achieved great academic success and they live godly lives. What mother could ask for more?No regrets. Just a voice wishing that everyone could see God’s intrinsic value in each other’s lives rather than looking and judging others by the trappings of worldly success. St Mother Theresa’s words, “God calls us to be faithful not successful” rings truer than ever. Isn’t it curious that when we are faithful, we are successful in the only way that matters?

      • Dean Bruckner

        Oscar Wilde, after a life of pleasure at the expense of young boys he s3xually abused, repented on his deathbed and reached out for the love of God he had spurned all his life. Ravi Zacharias speaks of him occasionally.

        A reminder to value my wife more intentionally. Thanks!

        • SophieA

          You are most welcome, Dean. Recently, I learned that as a teenager, Oscar Wilde wanted to convert to Catholicism but was forbidden by his father. Too bad as Wilde’s life and brilliance could have been spent glorifying God. Moreover, when Wilde met the Pope, the Pope spoke encouragement to Wilde’s journey to God and Heaven almost prophetically. Wilde’s life is a great modern prodigal son parable as he finally found his way to his Father just in time. I appreciate Wilde’s quote now more than ever. It doesn’t matter how the world see or thinks of us. Our value lies in God’s truth. And this is a most comforting thought to hold on to and to emulate.

    • Jennie Diday

      Everything I have been saying too! Unless you are willing to help a mom who feels this way, don’t judge. Clean her house, run her errands, watch her kids.

      • CbinJ

        Your response points out the ways in which I agree with the author of the article. I am one of those millenials she talks about, but telling people they can’t “judge” someone who despises the children that they chose to have is ridiculous. If you choose to have children, YOU clean YOUR house, YOU run YOUR errands, and YOU watch YOUR kids and stop whining about it to the world. You want to consult to your husband or family or friends or church regarding how hard motherhood is–go ahead. It is not society’s concern–it’s actually to its detriment–that people make decisions and want to blame everybody else for the consequences. I have a bit sympathy for burned out parents given certain issues regarding societal conditions, but what these women in Marie Claire are describing is beyond being burnt-out.

        • Jennie Diday

          Bless you heart (means “You are Stupid” in Southern :)) Do you have children? I am guessing no since you say you are one of the millenials the writer mentions. And also, do you not know your history? Until post war time, communities where multi-generational and many homes where as well. There was an amazing support system. Everyone helped everyone. No man was an island. What I mean by don’t judge these women is don’t judge them until you have walked in their shoes. I can guarantee that almost all the women in the original article experience PPD or ADP during and after pregnancy, and never got the help they needed. They probably did not have much support in their lives either once they brought their children home. Perfect conditions for depression to brew, on top of the pressures of already being a new mom. If not taken care of, these feelings can go out of control and lead to feelings of regret. These women need help, they need support, and they need someone to listen to them. Women stating they feel this way are obviously screaming a cry for help. If you are not willing to help them, then you are just sitting behind your computer typing your useless opinions and passing judgment. I am a millenial who has two kids, and experiencing depression on both ends of pregnancy was the worst experience of my life. Until I put out cries for help, I felt like many of the women in the original article. Unless you have experience it yourself, and are on the other side, yes, you have no room to judge 🙂 Also, I noticed that many women in the Maire Claire article said they regretted their children. They did not hate them, but they regretted them. Read the difference sweetie, they you can argue with someone who actually has experience in the mom department. Oh also, these feelings these moms have had have been around FOREVER! We are just not able to voice them on larger platforms where people hear us. They are cries for help. Until you are a mom, you will have no idea how wrong you are in that getting some additional help is NOT a detriment. This “village” concept is called and insula. It is a Hebrew term for a community of people that lived together and supported each other in every way. It was a life style. We don’t have the cultural setup for insulas anymore, nor the communities. I am not saying that your house should be a revolving door, but many, if someone delivered a meal to my door tonight so I could just spend time with my kids instead of rushing around trying to get things done, I could enjoy them and not feel so burned out by them. I never really felt that way when it was just my husband and me, and it is even worse for parents with young kids who need you all the time. So go ahead, act like you know what you are talking about. Inside, I am giggling at the thought of someone like you having kids one day. Its going to rock your world.

          • CbinJ

            You are completely missing the point. You chose to have kids. Choosing to have kids comes with consequences including really bad ones like postpartum depression, hormonal imbalances, and etc. It is that simple. You want to talk about history: women having been having children since the beginning of time. Why are the consequences such a surprise?

            You are right that I am not a parent and, sorry to disappoint your excitement for my comeuppance, I will never be one. However, I DO have experience with all of this stuff because I’m a daughter of a mom who regretted her choices and had untreated depression (and more). She took all of her problems out on me.

            I agree with you that our culture is not conducive to community, but if there are all these moms out there that want it, then why don’t they create it? Maybe they should focus on parenthood exclusively instead of the career or hobbies that you all are insisting you must make time for.

            The typical ad hominem of “you are just an anon hiding behind a keyboard” is rich when you are the one calling me stupid. When I wrote “YOU” and “YOUR”, I was speaking in general terms not to you directly. But, hey, that is all besides the point, you can see above that I wrote a longer comment about the ways I disagree with the author. Unlike you I stuck to the topic. The topic not being that mothers get burned-out and need help–there are plenty of Christian articles and organizations that deal with that issue–but that there is a wave of selfishness regarding how millennials view having a family.

          • Chrissie

            Really? Your mom regretted having you? Can’t imagine why. Moms do create their communities but that’s like asking poor people to donate money to other poor people. When you take a job you know that losing it is a possibility but that doesn’t stop you from buying a house or a car. If you were laid off and lost everything would you live off the streets? Not ask anyone for help because you could have foreseen the consequences and deserve to suffer them in silence? Should we close all of the homeless shelters because all those people and their families should’ve planned better?

          • CbinJ

            Wow, that’s very kind of you. I guess, all that dysfunction I suffered was just because sometime in the future I would dare state the idea that people should take responsibility for their actions. Or just maybe, I’ve learned from my parents mistakes and am trying to aid others by sharing my perspective.

            How about instead of putting words in my mouth you actually think about what I said and then respond with something relevant? Never once did I say that people/ communities shouldn’t help each other out. But I know from experience that you can’t depend on people to hold out a helping hand, you have to be the one to ask for help or just do it yourself. And, I still maintain that choices have consequences and only the decision makers are responsible for the consequences.

          • Chrissie

            For someone who spouts off the fact that people need to take responsibility for their problems you certainly seem to blame your mother for a lot of yours. No one is oblivious to the fact that children are here because of their parents “behaviors” but treating a child’s very existence as if it’s a problem and believing that only one or two people should be wholly responsible for their care is not only naive but ridiculous. You of all people should know that everyone has flaws and one person can’t be a village. No one gives birth expecting everyone around them to drop everything to do their bidding. You’re confusing asking for help with whining.

          • CbinJ

            I didn’t blame my mother for anything, I stated the fact that I suffered for her bad decisions. Even so, of course, there are negative consequences of abuse and neglect by parents upon children. Blame is a legitimate concept, just not in the scenario where a husband and wife decide to have children and then cry about life being hard and dreams having to be set aside for the care of said children.

            The problem is you have created a narrative in your head and are defending that instead of debating my comments in context of the actual article. The women in the Marie Claire article were not commiserating that fact that the village of support is gone, they were commiserating the fact that they had children in the first place and their lives changed because of it. My response is either you shouldn’t have had kids (no one’s forcing you in today’s America) or you should deal with the consequences and figure out solutions with the people who are closest to you. You do realize that my original long comment on the article took issue with the author regarding several points? Yet, you are making me defend her because the fact of the matter is you are misinterpreting what she said. Do you even remember what the article was about? Did you even read it in the first place?

          • Chrissie

            I’m arguing that your response of “suck it up or whine about it to someone else” isn’t rational or reasonable. If you still don’t get that I’m not going to waste any more of my time trying to explain it to you.

          • CbinJ

            It is reasonable within the context of the article. Tell me, hypothetically, between dropping off your kids at soccer practice and helping to fill out college applications do you fantasize about your kids never existing? That is what the Marie Claie article is talking about: not the mom burn-out taking care of an infant and two toddlers, not the the mom who has postpartum depression, not the mom who struggles with a special needs child, but the mom who thinks “Boy, these diaper changes, soccer games, sleepovers, PTA meetings and college applications are a waste of MY time. Look, what I could’ve had if I didn’t decide to do this.” It is the Secular Post-Modern ideals regarding dehumanization of children and the selfishness of parents that the author was interested in exploring. If you claim to be a Christian, you might want to learn some humility and just admit you are wrong regarding your interpretation of the article and the context of my comments.

          • Chrissie

            Why thank you for showing me the error of my ways! Now I completely understand your point of view and the context in which you meant it. I’ll be sure to say 20 Hail Marys in your honor tonight. Bless you!

          • CbinJ

            Sarcasm? If not, then ignore this comment. I didn’t personally attack you. I tried to make sure nothing was coming off as rude. I’m just trying to have a reasonable debate regarding personal responsibility. I honestly do not understand why that is such an offensive thing. If this article were about what you kept going on about, there would been no reason to debate because, as I wrote several comments ago, I would agree that community needs to be restored. You make it like I’m against charity or something and I never said that–who would?

          • Chrissie

            Definitely not sarcasm! I completely understand that you think shouting “shut up and deal with it” from your ivory tower to the unhappy “self-centered” people beneath you is a good Christian value. As you said it’s not about community, it’s about personal responsibility.

          • CbinJ

            You are hopeless. The reason I had trouble telling if the previous comment of yours was sarcastic or not is because you were finally saying something right. Oh well, it was worth a try 😀

          • Chrissie

            It’s a shame you’ve decided not to become a mother. My mom was similar to yours. Becoming a mother myself has helped me to understand her better and find a way to make peace with the situation, if not forgive her. Plus there’s nothing more humbling that arguing with a smaller version of yourself every day.

          • Amanda Amaranth

            That’s an absolutely awful comment… To say it’s awful to not be a mom because a child will solve your problems. Children are not solutions, they are people. Jesus christ.

          • Chrissie

            I never said they were a solution to a problem, I said having children can help with healing and understanding your own parents. It’s ridiculous to say children will solve your problems. They just change your filter on how you view things.

          • Amanda Amaranth

            Children are not pawns to change perspective, they are human beings.

          • Chrissie

            Who said they were? Certainly not me.

          • Amanda Amaranth

            Why would you just have kids to change your ‘perspective’? If I wanted kids, it would be to adopt one and save them from homelessness and hunger and poverty. Not the selfish crap of “Changing my perspective”

          • Chrissie

            When did I say anyone should have kids for the sole purpose of changing their own perspective? I actually have two kids, not theoretical adopted refugees; I’m well aware of the fact that they don’t exist for my own personal gain. I suggest you go back and re-read what I said and what I didn’t say. I’ve agreed with you twice now. At this point the only person you’re arguing with is yourself.

  • CbinJ

    There is a biblical way to approach this topic without telling everyone they must have/ want/ love children, marriage, and/or family to be Godly: 1 Corinthians 7 especially verses 1, 8, 25-38.

  • Bernhard Speringer

    “This is evidence of a culture that has shrunk into a real smallness of being. So small that there is only room for one: I.”

    “Love is a cross. It always has been, and always will be. The mystery of love is that it demands death — the death of self. Myself. Yourself. Love is only about the other. And when we love, we are released from the prison of resentment and the tyranny of insatiable wants. Love is the only freedom.”

    … the highlights of this great, illuminating article. Every one in our society should read it and hopefully open their eyes to the self-evident truth.

    Thank you for writing!

  • Crystal

    ‘Love is a cross, always has been and always will be’

    So before the crucifixion, no one was capable of love? And anyone who does not believe as a Christian is not capable of love either?

    What a load of bollucks. This article is arrogant and condescending, and shows exactly how far the church has gone from ‘love thy neighbor’ to ‘let’s judge them straight into the brimstone’. This article reflects the same arrogant, self serving attitude the author accuses those who choose not to have children. ‘Look at how holy I am, following God’s will! You are not capable of the same love as I am because you don’t have children!’ What about the people who can’t have children? What about those who choose not to because they would not be able to provide them a stable, safe home? This is disgusting, and a shining example of how ‘Christians’ these days push people away and not toward God.

    • You know what they say, people tend to put a little of themselves into their work!

    • Amanda Amaranth

      Analysis right

  • joycelen

    I think that society and culture has created this situation. Women do not have self esteem from being a mother. Their hormones are also messed up by the toxic environment that we live in. Ocytocin plays such a big role in bonding. The media tells women they have worth by what they accomplish and by how they look and by how much they control their own lives and this bombardment has been going on for years. They do not remember or even believe that they will die and it will come quickly as life is short. There is truth to this article. Some women are brave enough to admit that they do not want to be mothers and that is their choice. But basic human needs do not change.

    • Amanda Amaranth

      I never wanted kids. Birth and pregnancy are horrifyingly disgusting.

  • Self-absorbed, over-sized children, bereft of love? That’s how you look at people who don’t want kids?

    Lady, you’re a hardcore Catholic army wife with four kids telling people how to live their lives. You think that people can only be happy after having a child, but there are women with postpartum depression that never goes away. There are people who never feel anything for their children. And there are a hell of a lot of unwanted children left to the streets all over the world.

    Yes, the world needs to change. But having children isn’t going to be the means to ensure that, only taking action directly to change the world for future generations can do that, and that means spending as much precious time as we can to do it.

    Let those who want children have them, and let those who don’t want children pave the way for your children’s future. In the mean time, treat those who are Childfree with the respect they’re due as human beings with their own thoughts and feelings.

    Your dream might have included a family, and their dream didn’t. Who are you to tell them not to dream?

    • Mjollnir

      The world doesn’t need as much change as you think it does. We’re losing the few precious things we have to a “change” that you can’t even describe. You really believe people that can’t even love their children are trying to create a better future for somebody else’s? That sounds really dumb.

      • They don’t even have children, so how can they not love them?

        • Amanda Amaranth

          Say it louder for the ones holding their ears closed in the back.

    • J.E.

      “Let those who want children have them, and let those who don’t want children pave the way for your children’s future.”

      Meaning those with children are NOT paving the way for their children’s future? What condescending trash. I have great confidence that the childfree millenials, with their need for “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” and their expectations of getting trophies just for showing up, would not be able to pave their way out of a paper bag, let alone pave the way for anyone else.

  • Stephanieisaperson

    A society based on the idea of the individual as the pinnacle of achievement will always come to this result. The great nations of the world were not built on narcissistic twits and their social climbing. They were built on families, and lots of them. They were built on the sacrifice of parents who realized that being a parent is the greatest art you can create, and like all great art, part of the self is given in the process of its creation. It is a cold and unnatural society, this modern one. Look at the remaining societies on this planet that are still vital and young in places like India, s.e. Asia, and s. America. Are they childless? I think not.

    • CbinJ

      Asia? The continent that includes the country which imposes government forced abortions and limits to how many children one can have? India is not much better with regards to treatment of children nor providing a functional family life. The only countries that did honor children and parenthood were and are the Judeo-Christian cultures of the world.

  • Carrie Walker

    They cite finances, student loan debt, lack of good jobs, and the terrible state of the world right now among their reasons for deciding to remain childless.
    ~~~
    I think you meant to say childfree.
    Childless means someone wants a child but can’t biologically have one of their own.
    Childfree means someone can biologically have a child but chooses not to.
    That irritates me along with surrogacy.
    Surrogate is you use your own egg, gestational (host) carrier is you use someone else’s egg.

    Anyways, I get what your saying, someone out there to care about you and vice versa.
    We also need millennials to have children to grow up, get jobs and pay into Social Security for older people.

    But coming to their defense it isn’t smart having a baby just to resent it because of:
    not having the money,.
    peer-pressure,
    family pressure,
    society says so,
    etc..

    Its better to go do things on your bucket list and then settle down.

  • Monica

    This article and many of these comments make me intensely dislike Christians. There is such a dichotomy between Christ’s love that you are supposedly preaching, and the hate and condemnation that you are practicing. In making these judgments, the only people you are loving are your selves.

    Opinions like those expressed in this article are promoting the “cult of motherhood”, which is a relatively new invention. Throughout time, motherhood has been VASTLY different than it is now. For centuries wives worked in and around the house/farm performing duties that stabilized and contributed economically to the “business” of the home–in a sense, they were business partners with their husbands. I once read that because of the high infant mortality rate, children were not often named until they were 2-3 years old. If times were tough, the agony of adding another mouth to feed was possibly offset knowing that there would be another set of hands to perform daily labor-intensive tasks, and they started young.

    The concept of “childhood”, as many children of the 20th century know it, is a product of that time–the nuclear family is a post-war construct. Prior to WWI and WWII, poor families put their kids to work, and rich families had governesses, maids, wet nurses, cooks, etc.. These mothers were never expected to be solo domestic goddesses: the poor mother had older children and possibly elderly relatives to help, while the mother of means had a staff. This was a “Christian” society and these were the norms, so you can’t say that a wealthy woman who had hired help (or, in antebellum America, slaves) was eschewing her Godly duty of being the be-all, end-all, constant, 105%-present Mother that God intended her to be. Nor can you say that the poor mother who has to work because her husband was killed in a factory accident is a bad mother for having a job to keep her family fed, or for feeling occasional regret that there are way too many mouths to feed.

    Please recognize that your ideas about family/motherhood have been formed within the context of the post-war era where for the first time, our society faced a mass exodus from closer-knit communities in cities or small towns (and inter-generational living) to the isolation of suburban sprawl. The feelings these women are feeling are NOT NEW–it’s just being talked about in a mainstream magazine and in a way that’s trying to *gasp* NOT judge them–i.e. express an opinion contrary to the one that’s been forced on women for decades.

    My point is that your experience is not universal and you are holding it up as though it’s The Godliest way to live. You are harshly judging women who seem to have been made for a different path than yours. Something like 90% of babies born this year were born to MILLENNIALS, so I think they’re doing ok. I’m not saying that a life lived solely for pleasure is right, but rather that it’s not your place to judge people who choose not to have children. You have crassly categorized many wonderful, love-filled people.

    “Love doesn’t come from that third book you wanted to write, or the award you wanted to win, or the partnership you sought. None of that will come visit you when you are old and lonely, or sick and dying. All the stuff you chased down and hoarded into your little box will turn to dust before your eyes, and you’ll have only the souls you loved and gave your life for … or you won’t.”

    The last paragraph of your article suggests that the only thing that will make you happy on your deathbed is the children you have spawned, that the only love you’ll have are from the humans you’ve created with your loins–not even from your spouse! So I guess all of the sacrifices made and fruit borne by Jesus Christ were all for nothing…no impact on the world, no lives helped, no one to cry at his deathbed, no one to remember him. Yeah. Shame.

    • Jennifer Hartline

      I have to wonder what article you read, because it wasn’t mine.

      • Monica

        I should have called it an essay, not an article. Did you not write “baby, you stole the life I wanted”? That is what I’m referring to.

      • Monica

        Perhaps I wrote too much on the history of motherhood in an attempt to make my point, which was expressed at the end. I was offended by how crassly you categorized women who choose to pursue things other than motherhood. I believe that contemporary Christian culture emphasizes Motherhood as the pinnacle of purpose for women, that they are wrapped up in this idealized version of Motherhood based on the nuclear era of the 20th century. I’ve seen too many amazing, wonderful mothers be shamed and shame themselves because they don’t live up to this ideal, because they struggled with clinical depression that can’t/shouldn’t be “prayed away” as some Christians suggest. There need to be more conversations like the one in Marie Claire because it is a fact that not all women should/need to be mothers.

        It seems like many essays of this ilk (i.e. that choosing not to have kids is selfish) often conclude with the point that objects and achievements don’t love you, but kids will, and thus you’ll die happier. That is absurd and offensive to people who can’t have children and to people who choose to use their skills for other things in God’s Kingdom. Also, fear of being alone at the end of one’s life is a HORRIBLE reason to bring children into this world.

        Again, what I said in my earlier comment:

        1. Your experience is not universal and you are holding it up as though it’s The Godliest way to live (implying that any mother who struggles to embrace Motherhood is a disgrace and should be ashamed–adding to the already HEAPING PILE OF SHAME mothers already receive in our society from literally all sides)
        2. You are harshly judging women who seem to have been made for a different path than yours
        3. I’m not saying that a life lived solely for pleasure is right, but rather that it’s not your place to judge people who choose not to have children
        4. You have crassly categorized many wonderful, love-filled people.

        “Love doesn’t come from that third book you wanted to write, or the award you wanted to win, or the partnership you sought. None of that will come visit you when you are old and lonely, or sick and dying. All the stuff you chased down and hoarded into your little box will turn to dust before your eyes, and you’ll have only the souls you loved and gave your life for … or you won’t.”

        The last paragraph of your article suggests that the only thing that will make you happy on your deathbed is the children you have spawned, that the only love you’ll have are from the humans you’ve created with your loins–not even from your spouse! So I guess all of the sacrifices made and fruit borne by Jesus Christ were all for nothing…no impact on the world, no lives helped, no one to cry at his deathbed, no one to remember him. Yeah. Shame.

        • Jennifer Hartline

          “the children you have spawned”?? sigh…
          No, I said the souls you loved and gave your life for. Souls is not limited to children, and certainly does include a spouse, as well as many other people. The point is that none of the “stuff” will matter. The only thing that matters, especially when on your deathbed, are the people you loved and who loved you. A life spent in pursuit of self and stuff is the opposite of a life poured out in love for others.

          • Amanda Amaranth

            The fact that you wrote this primarily as an attack against the childless and childfree makes most people who read it assume that you mean love is reserved only for them, and without breeding you will never actually feel love. That’s how I read it.

    • Jennie Diday

      I am a Christian, and I agree with everything you have said, so no need to hate on all of us 🙂 What I have been saying in these comments, if you are not willing to help out a mom who feels this way, and act like her “village” so to speak, you have no right to judge. I can almost guarantee most of the women in the article who regret their children had no support system and suffered from PPD. If we want to help them, lets start acting like a village.

    • Dean Bruckner

      It is sad that speaking the truth has become an act of hate in a toxic, Progressive culture. In this broken culture, hurt feelings automatically mean that the messenger must be shot, at once, and with great prejudice.

      Oh that we would reach out and find the love of God and the healing than he can provide to this broken world!

  • CbinJ

    There are two big problems with this article: 1) I think it is conflating two issues 2) it is utilizing two bad premises.

    1) Millenials choosing to forgo parenthood and mothers regretting having children are two issues that barely relate to each other. Yes, there is potentially a theme of selfishness that could tie the two together, but, even so, the selfishness is of a different type and motivation in either scenario. The selfishness of mothers who regret their children is based in this culture of irresponsibility and the refusal to deal with the consequences of choices. When you chose to have children, you have a right to be angry or unloving. Despising those children is absolutely sin–no question.

    Now, the millienial generation’s proclivity toward a childfree life: Yes, there are those individuals–as in every generation–who are hedonists. However, their are many individual millenials who in their choice are actually denying hedonism in the best way they know how. My generation is a generation of broken homes. Many of us a have watched our parents get divorced and those of us who didn’t only didn’t because we were born out of wedlock. We see the world we grew up in and decide we want to do it differently. The thing that has caused us so much pain and heartache–family–we want no part of. You ignore the fact that we don’t possess the ability to be adults because our parents: Boomers and older Gen X’ers didn’t teach us to be adults. They were the selfish ones and we deal with the consequences everyday–from this election to our inability to really connect with people on a personal level.

    2) Through no fault of your own, you fell into the trap of accepting and then arguing with two faulty premises. Faulty Premise #1: This idea that people should express every thought that passes through their mind. Nowadays, people are constantly feeling the need to have their life choices validated and moralized by the culture at large. (There are several reasons for the phenomenon that for brevity’s sake I won’t mention here.) The truth is that those mothers’ regrets are not news that’s fit to print neither is an individual’s choice to reproduce/ not reproduce. We are so obsessed with bending the culture/ Church/ world’s ear to what should be a private decision between a husband and wife. Meanwhile, the culture/ Church/ world has become obsessed with eavesdropping. Maybe these tendencies are human nature and present throughout the ages, but I think these they are more present now as people become connected to the world, yet isolated from relationships and people adopt a relativistic worldview, while still hungering for Truth.

    Faulty Premise #2: This idea that EVERY decision has an objectively immoral or moral answer. The truth is that it doesn’t matter whether you have children or not. That is not to say there aren’t moral issues within that topic like the use of birth control or IVF or adoption or etc., but the general topic has no right or wrong answer even according to the Bible (1 Corinthians 7). I think the Church almost bears as much responsibility for millennials so desiring a childfree life (and their sexual immorality) as secular culture does because we don’t emphasize Paul’s advice, but instead go back to Genesis’ “be fruitful and multiply”. A command that was given even before the Fall. Theologically, based upon 1 Corinthians 7 and verses in Luke that say “blessed are the barren” and (paraphrasing) “woe to the nursing mothers” in these end of days, that verse in Genesis became more of a statement of condition than a blessed command.

  • Carollynn Miller

    Without reading any below comments, my thoughts are, as a now single, mother of 5 children with a professional career, this is a critical view of women and their needs. Many, many men decide to leave parenting and the lifestyle of raising a family for selfish reasons. Seems to be no mention of that. Maybe if more gentlemen, extended family, communities and the media valued these courageous moms (intelligent, hopeful, truthful and candid) with their actions, these moms would feel their children were blessings. It’s hard to be grateful when they and their role aren’t supported and valued.

    • Jennifer Hartline

      Carollynn, I’m a mother myself, so I’m not unfamiliar with the trials of motherhood and the feeling of being undervalued by society. I live it every day. I know it’s difficult. There’s certainly room to talk about the roles of men and fathers, but this piece wasn’t about that.
      I’d like to ask a serious question, and I hope you’ll consider it thoughtfully: Is it possible that our modern views about motherhood, marriage, and children are formed in part by our modern demand for sterile sex? We *expect* sex to only result in a baby when we have specifically wanted it to, and never otherwise. We require the “freedom” of sex on demand, with whomever we wish, with no strings (meaning baby) attached. That attitude has led us to no longer see children as a gift or a blessing given us by a generous God, but as a threat we can and should avoid.
      Do you see that?
      Our modern demand that sex be separated from procreation has led us straight down this path where we no longer welcome children as gifts, and we no longer value the vocation of motherhood as we should, because hey, we no longer value children as we should. Our abortion culture has told us that we can “terminate” an “unwanted” child at any time. Given that the “burden” is placed squarely on the woman’s shoulders,(“Her body, Her choice”) why are we surprised that more and more men are walking away from the children they helped create? If the baby is disposable, why should the guys worry about it?
      It’s all about US and what we want or don’t want, and love has nothing to do with any of it.

      • Carollynn Miller

        I don’t see that. Women’s demand for sterile sex? Married women and their on demand for sex the reason their spouses walk out/away and don’t want to live the lifestyle of fathers? I have two older daughters… They don’t aspire to have sterile, on demand sex, and figure they’ll just get an abortion if it happens, and neither do their college friends.
        I’ve lived in 4 states in three areas of the country and been a Christian and a mom for 21 years, and I know sweet Christian and non-Christian moms who love their children and families but still yearn for other things in life too. Careers and fun hobbies and interests beyond being moms.
        My point being as women we need to support each other and not blame or criticize and clump all moms or women together into a category and resent them for their views and thoughts and for being brave to speak up. Focus on God’s grace and love and forgiveness and help build each other up.

        • Jennifer Hartline

          If you honestly can’t look at our society and see the demand for sterile sex, then I don’t know what more to say. It is abundantly evident throughout our culture. (Pornography, the hook-up culture, promiscuity, adultery, free birth control!, abortion on demand without restriction, etc.) We’ve reduced sex to a drug that must satisfy our cravings, but carry no obligations from us. Any baby with the audacity to show up “unwanted” as a result of our sexual activity can just be eliminated at will. Those attitudes have serious repercussions for society as a whole. If you don’t see that, I can’t convince you.

          And again, never once did I say or imply that mothers cannot have or want other things in life.

          • Jennie Diday

            I don’t know what article YOU read, but the one you are referring back to in reference to yours mentioned some of the women WANTING to have kids AND THEN regretting them. Nothing to do with sterile sex. Some of these moms wanted kids, and then felt regret. I am not saying sterile sex does not exists, cause it does, but to blame it on that alone as to why women are regretting having kids…? Please experience PPD or ADP in pregnancy, and then join the conversation again. I can almost guarantee most of the women reference in the main article had one or both and never got the help they needed. In a culture that expects women to be the perfect moms, be at every recital, bake at ever bake sale, wear heals while cooking and smile all the time, its no wonder more women are feeling this way. Until you help a woman who feels this way, DON’T JUDGE! We don’t live in a culture anymore where the village comes along side the family to help them in times of need. Until you offer to to help a woman who feels this regret by helping her in her overwhelmed state, you are only believing a half truth in why women are feeling the way they are.

          • Jennifer Hartline

            Jennie, how do you know I haven’t experienced PPD? How do you know I haven’t come alongside another mother to help out, run her errands, cook a meal, clean her bathroom? What makes you so sure that I’ve had an experience of motherhood that is without strife or conflict or any anxiety?
            It seems that my “crime” here has been that people think I’ve broken the highest commandment of our age: Do Not Judge!

            I’m not pronouncing judgment on anyone’s heart or soul. But when I read about women saying they wish they could have written a book or traveled more instead of having to be burdened with their child, I think that’s very sad. I think it reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of love.

            I don’t disagree that the expectations are unrealistic. But I blame women for much of that. Liberal feminism said we didn’t need men anymore. (Like a fish needs a bicycle, and all that) It told women that motherhood was a degrading life, and meant they were “less” than their husbands who had professional careers. For decades, the message has been that women who are “just a mom” are somehow letting down the sisterhood and not doing their part in fighting for women’s “equality”. The subliminal message is powerful: motherhood is only for women who aren’t smart enough for a career; children will keep you from achieving; taking care of a home and family isn’t a “real” job; and on and on. So now women feel like they have to do everything a man does PLUS do what only women CAN do, which is have babies. We have created this monster.

            And yes, the contraception culture has convinced us that sex should be sterile unless we’re sure we want to have a baby, so that subliminal message also wreaks havoc: Baby is some dreaded thing to be avoided, and is totally severed from the sexual act itself. There are moral, emotional, psychological, and physical consequences to that thinking.

          • Jennie Diday

            I think what you are misunderstanding from the original article is the not so subtle cry for help from these women who do not know how to express their anxiety any other way than to take it out on their children by saying, “If it were not for them, I would be happy”. Motherhood is transformational, and sometimes it is too much for some women. Does that mean they should have never decided to be moms? NO! But until you experience motherhood, you have no idea how it will impact you in the immidiate, especially when you are a mom of a newborn. In those moments of deepest depression and anxiety, these are the things that women with PPD or ADP feel. I had both, and reading what they said made me shake my head yes, cause I felt all that stuff too. Until I got some help, opened up, and allowed people to come in and share in the struggle, I DID blame all my life circumstances on my children, and wished I was not a mom. So yes, how dare you immediately blame a women who feels this way without trying to find out what really might be going on in her head. It may have nothing to do with a misunderstanding of love, but a mix of a chemical reaction caused my hormones and lack of support in her life that is leading her to feel this way. Reading this made me irate, as I felt the same way these moms did, but I still loved my children. You immediately seem to clump women who feel this way in to some group and assume that if they regret their children, they must not love them either. Did these mom’s abort their children, Did these moms abandon their children to the streets? No, BUT they clearly needed some help and had a hard time expressing it. Now that we have social media and large platforms to express how we feel, more women are being vocal about it and seeing they are not alone. I can GUARANTEE you that these feelings in women ARE NOT NEW.

            AND I would also argue you only have it half right on the feminist issue as well, as far as women today are concerned. Many women HAVE TO WORK due to the original feminist movement. One income is not enough. Yes, several of the women mentioned in the article would rather travel, write another book, whatever, but there are just as many women that dread leaving their child at with someone else to go to work cause they have to. Feminism did no favors to the women today who would rather be at home. Many families need the dual income because of radical feminism, not because they want it. Add in the fact that some women have to work to support their family, and they have the expectations on them that moms at home need to meet as well, and you have the perfect recipe for a mom who just wishes all together that she did not have kids cause raising them in a world where there are constant demands is too much.

          • Jennifer Hartline

            Jennie, I do hear you. I do understand what you’re saying.
            I do not question that many women struggle with emotional upheaval after childbirth, and they need and deserve proper medical help, and all the other help they can find! Again, I’m not oblivious to having a difficult experience of motherhood!!
            It seems illogical to me, however, to say that I regret something which I also love. Temporary feelings of regret or depression are one thing. But that is not what I got from reading the Marie Claire piece. And I never said these feelings on the part of women are anything new.

            I am glad we agree on this, that liberal feminism has not done women any favors. It has done real, lasting damage. We can’t keep telling men to get lost and then turn around and complain when they listen to us. But I don’t see many women acknowledging that this mess is largely of our making. I don’t believe its impossible to get back to a society in which husbands/fathers earn enough to support a family so that mothers can choose not to have a job and the family can survive. It will take a reordering of our priorities as a society, and that will not be easy, but it could happen if we understand the importance of the family unit, and place a proper value on motherhood.

            But first, we have to value human life. We have to stop treating babies as disposable and extinguishable when it suits us. Shame on us, eternally, for slaughtering our babies out of convenience. Shame on us for calling the murder of the child in the womb a legitimate “choice” that women need in order to be free and happy.

            We have planted a sword in the womb. There are consequences.

          • Jennie Diday

            Actually, you clearly do not understand. I will share my own experience. We wanted to get pregnant, and we did very easily. However, I knew before we took a test that something was not right in my head. I had suicidal thoughts MY ENTIRE pregnancy. Something I NEVER experienced before. The only thing that kept me from following thru was knowing the life inside of me was indeed a life and did nothing to deserve dying along with me. So you can somehow take the assumption that I am not pro-life out of the equation, cause in reality, it is the only thing that saved me. Since suicide was not an option, I drew up a plan to drive to a far away hospital, have my baby, and leave leave the hospital with information on where my husband could be contacted. The only thing that stopped me from doing that was my love for my husband, and the thought of him raising our child on his own. After pregnancy, I had to not only recover from ADP, but also the immense pressure of motherhood, on top of PPD. Did I mentioned I went thru this in both pregnancies? Did I mentioned my kids are 1.5 years a part, so literally no recovery time? I am only starting to heal now, and if I am being honest, I have thought many of the same thoughts the women in the article thought. If I would not have children, I would not need this therapy. I would not think of just leaving everything behind and abandoning my life. I love my children, but why must I have these terrible thoughts of wanting to end my own life? If I never had them, I would never feel this way on a daily basis. And yes, sometimes the thought runs thru my head, if I knew I would have gone thru this, would I have had kids? I would never feel this way, and maybe I could be living a more peaceful life with my husband, traveling the world and saving money. On top of all of this, imagine being a Christian and somehow reconciling what the Bible says about children being gifts from the Lord, the fruit of the womb… If they are such blessings, then why do I want to kill myself? Why did I go so far as to draw up a plan to end it all? I need to sit long, and think deeply to come to the conclusion of yes, I love my kids, and I know this is all worth it, but its hard to get there, and requires a lot of counseling. It extremely niave of you to think that somehow a little therapy, maybe a pill, and then your PPD can be all gone. The aftermath of PPD can effect women for their entire life. So what may seem illogical to you seems to be something that you clearly have not experienced to the level of some women. For that, you should be grateful. I envy women who do not feel this way, and I would bet money that the women in the MC article feel the same way. ADP of PPD left unchecked can result in a life full of regret, anger towards your child(ren), and wishing you had never had kids. If the article makes you mad, then pray for these women. They need LOTS of mental help and counseling. Probably years worth since they did not get the help they needed soon enough.

      • Jennie Diday

        I see your point, but not fully true. Carollynn is spot on. Unless you are willing to help a mom who feels this way by trying to lift some of her burdens, you have no right to judge. The parents always are the primary caregivers and raisers of their children, but we are seriously lacking in the “village” concept where communities come along side and help a couple when things get hard. Women are expected to do EVERYTHING these days. Heap on so many unrealistic expectations, and you are bound to regret something, and in this case, its usually the kids. Lets help these moms. Make a meal for one. Clean her bathroom, run her errands.

  • CbinJ

    There are two big problems with this article: 1) I think it is conflating two issues 2) it is utilizing two bad premises.

    1) Millenials choosing to forgo parenthood and mothers regretting having children are two issues that barely relate to each other. Yes, there is potentially a theme of selfishness that could tie the two together, but, even so, the selfishness is of a different type and motivation in either scenario. The selfishness of mothers who regret their children is based in this culture of irresponsibility and the refusal to deal with the consequences of choices. When you chose to have children, you have no right to be angry or unloving. Despising those children is absolutely sin–no question.

    Now, the millienial generation’s proclivity toward a childfree life: Yes, there are those individuals–as in every generation–who are hedonists. However, their are many individual millenials who in their choice are actually denying hedonism in the best way they know how. My generation is a generation of broken homes. Many of us a have watched our parents get divorced and those of us who didn’t only didn’t because we were born out of wedlock. We see the world we grew up in and decide we want to do it differently. The thing that has caused us so much pain and heartache–family–we want no part of. You ignore the fact that we don’t possess the ability to be adults because our parents: Boomers and older Gen X’ers didn’t teach us to be adults. They were the selfish ones and we deal with the consequences everyday–from this election to our inability to really connect with people on a personal level.

    2) Through no fault of your own, you fell into the trap of accepting and then arguing with two faulty premises. Faulty Premise #1: This idea that people should express every thought that passes through their mind. Nowadays, people are constantly feeling the need to have their life choices validated and moralized by the culture at large. (There are several reasons for the phenomenon that for brevity’s sake I won’t mention here.) The truth is that those mothers’ regrets are not news that’s fit to print neither is an individual’s choice to reproduce/ not reproduce. We are so obsessed with bending the culture/ Church/ world’s ear to what should be a private decision between a husband and wife. Meanwhile, the culture/ Church/ world has become obsessed with eavesdropping. Maybe these tendencies are human nature and present throughout the ages, but I think these they are more present now as people become connected to the world, yet isolated from relationships and people adopt a relativistic worldview, while still hungering for Truth.

    Faulty Premise #2: This idea that EVERY decision has an objectively immoral or moral answer. The truth is that it doesn’t matter whether you have children or not. That is not to say there aren’t moral issues within that topic like the use of birth control or IVF or adoption or etc., but the general topic has no right or wrong answer even according to the Bible (1 Corinthians 7). I think the Church almost bears as much responsibility for millennials so desiring a childfree life (and their sexual immorality) as secular culture does because we don’t emphasize Paul’s advice, but instead go back to Genesis’ “be fruitful and multiply”. A command that was given even before the Fall. Theologically, based upon 1 Corinthians 7 and verses in Luke that say “blessed are the barren” and (paraphrasing) “woe to the nursing mothers” in these end of days, that verse in Genesis became more of a statement of condition than a blessed command.

    In summation, we need to stress responsibly and selflessness to those who demand freedom from consequences. But there is a whole generation suffering the consequence of others and we need to have compassion toward them and emphazie individual righteousness rather than imposing crassness.

    • Amanda Amaranth

      If we keep being fruitful and multiplying we are all going to die horrible deaths when the world cannot sustain endless amounts of humans.

      • CbinJ

        Abundance is of God. Scarcity is of Satan. Overpopulation is a myth. God will sustain the Earth as long as He wants it sustained–no matter the number of human beings upon it.

        • Amanda Amaranth

          That is absolutely untrue, and I feel sad if you breed because your children are going to suffer much in this world when the climate finally cooks us alive and the world dies. What a way to “respect” God’s gift of the planet, to completely plunder it and destroy it.

          • CbinJ

            The science just doesn’t bear any of your climate doomsday scenarios out. First, let’s say Climate Change is real. When I was in elementary and middle school (12 to 20 years ago), we were taught that, according to “scientists”, Climate Change was the Earth’s way of getting back to it’s equilibrium. We were taught that Nature takes care of overpopulation through famines, plagues, Ice Ages, heat waves, and etc. If you have so much faith in “science” and Nature, then why are you worried about overpopulation?

            Here is the Truth: Climate change is just an expression of the new old Pagan faith of the day and a scam run by the greedy, anti-freedom, anti-capitalism, globalist Powers that Be. It has absolutely no basis in hard scientific data and the theories and their proveyors have been debunked and discredited over and over again. You have to have more faith (with far less evidence, far less being none) to believe in man-made Climate Change than to believe in the One True God. And people have always found new ways to solve problems. Oil was just decayed dinosaur bones until someone thought of a way for it to be used for fuel. GMOS have enabled 3rd World countries to elimated starvation and malnutrition. Did you know that at least 47% of the land in the USA is actually completely uninhabited?

            And from a sociopolitical persepective, if the West and European cultures want to remain, they better start breeding. In Russia, they are paying people to have children. Indeed, birth control, abortion, and government enforced child limitations are tools of the power hungry governments and tyrannical ideologies meant to enslave the masses.

  • Wonderfully written article Ms. Hartline. And spot on! “An atrophy of the deepest heart.” what a memorable phrase.

    • Amanda Amaranth

      Not wanting to subject children to a life of poverty is such an atrophy of the deepest heart….. yeah. /sarcasm

      • You mean being subject to death is a better choice than poverty??? Is that your preference?

  • keepitreal

    There is some level of smug in this article that I find disappointing. Judgmental, condescending and off-putting. Motherhood is riddled with ambivalence if we’re all to be honest. Women and mothers are individuals. They were before they had children, they are while they raise their children and they will be after their children fly the nest. Just because you bring children into the world doesn’t mean you become some nameless, faceless depersonalized servant. Mothers are now being more honest about wanting to honor their own desires for personal growth and ambition. It doesn’t mean they don’t love or want their children. And, even if they regret it, well, that’s how they feel. To imply that a woman should not have ambitions or suffer regrets is a hostile way of viewing other women. Stuffing crackers into tiny crazed tantrum-throwing mouths can make the strongest of mothers want a refund. It means they’re human. They’re not aiming to be some virginal apparition of Mary floating about the playgrounds with some saccharin grin on their faces. A fully present mother can easily become worn down. Not all moms whine about ‘the cross’ and not all moms are nailing themselves on the proverbial cross. They’re not martyrs, nor do they wish to be. They don’t wish to die on many levels just because a child was born. These moms are finally looking out for their needs and finding some BALANCE after decades of imposed societal idealizations about motherhood, much of this fueled by male-dominated systems and a patriarchal hierarchy that would rather diminish women and silence them. You cannot give anything from an empty glass. I recall a Christian woman clucking that ‘some people shouldn’t have kids.’ She judged women who return to work. She judged women for not being her. She homeschools her kids, she plasters her fake smile on, gossips behind other mothers backs, and brainwashes her kids into being little holy-rolling mini-versions of her. She judges other mothers if they work out, take a yoga class, get their hair done, send their kids to public school. At first, I found it offensive. But now, I see how she, of all people, needed those things the most. She plasters that phony smile on over a very weary, exhausted and unhappy face. You have to pity her. She’s nailed to that cross and yet everything about her screams: “let me off.”

    • Jennie Diday

      Yes, amen and thank. Just cause you are a mom does not mean you give up yourself. I see these moms once their kids leave the nest and they have no idea who they are. Also, in regard to the REAL article, you SHOULD love your husband more than your kids. I mean, he was the one that helped GIVE you your kids. I also know a woman who fits the description you mentioned. She said almost word for word the exact same things to me. Heap that lovely guilt on top of the pressure of trying your best to be a perfect mom and I can guarantee you will regret motherhood. If you want to stop the trend of women regretting being moms, get dirty and be a village to that mom. Help clean her house, do her dishes, watch her kids, run her errands. Until you are trying to help a mom who feels burned out and is regretting children, don’t judge.

  • Trish Duffey

    To my babies, You DID NOT steal my life. I gladly gave it to you.

    • Älter und weiser

      As a father, I +1 you! God gave me a gift of my children. Providing for them, caring, guiding, protecting.. These all made me a better person. Dear Lord, thank you for the blessings and if it can fit into Your plan, lots of grandchildren please.

  • Beth

    I wrote the following in response to another who posted this article on facebook…

    “I have a feeling if you and I were chatting about this article over a cup of coffee we’d find that you disagree more with this article and its tone than agree with it. On one hand I understand and totally agree that the sacrificial love of parenthood is an amazing gift of God. Our society and sometimes churches do a pretty poor job of expressing that enough and we
    often make mothers who ‘give up’ dreams and goals feel isolated, unappreciated and downright depressed. I hope you know how much I admire you for fighting through that, trusting in God and raising beautiful blessings.I love you and them very much!

    But there is this other hand- and right now it clenches when confronted with articles like this that portray all millennials as one big bunch of ‘over-sized children’, ‘hollowed-out tyrants’ who have only one reason for not having children…selfishness. The author makes no attempt to qualify the statement with more than a ‘supposedly’ and ‘if’, without even pausing to consider that the ‘crude’ piece is probably not the best representation of an entire generation. That it might have some underlying valid points that should be addressed compassionately and worst of all, that completely ignores the silenced population of singles in the church.

    The article she references and the caricature she portrays does not and cannot portray more than an easily defeated straw man, used for the purpose of argument without any attempt at compassion. What would she be called to say to those millennials quoted? I doubt it would be ‘hey you hollowed-out tyrant!’. If (and this is a big IF I address in the next point) these are the reasons for all millennials not to have children, let’s first separate some valid fears from invalid. Studies do show that millennials are in more debt than ever before and have very little hope for the future (politically or
    otherwise). In fact, our culture has a huge problem with the sort of view that says parenting is all that matters in how kids turn out (scientific as well as theological fallacy) and so its little wonder people who realize they are flawed don’t want to pass it on to kids. These ideas cannot be addressed by having kids. They have to be addressed by the cross and then (if God wills it) they will be viewpoints changed by the compassionate fellowship of believers who have kids and befriend them as more than convenient babysitters.

    Then there are the silent singles. The women and men who love Jesus, serve God, live faithfully by the power of the Holy Spirit and sit in churches all over the world- shamed and somewhat defeated by the fact that they are not married, do not have children and that this somehow disqualifies them from any part in fellowship or conversation. I don’t think the author has us in mind when writing or probably has much experience with what it feels like to realize you aren’t just ‘waiting’ but that this singleness is part of you and can be accepted as a blessing (not just because the married couples tell
    you how easy you have it) but because it is what God has for you at the moment. It is a struggle. It often feels like a wound. And articles like this are the reason you can’t talk about it. IF you do bring it up you are told how it is
    easier this way or how you’re just not trying hard enough. In this case singleness= sacrifice even as Paul wrote of it. Would the author feel comfortable reading her points to him…probably not.

    I generalize of course- I know you don’t feel this way, I know many in the church who don’t and I bet if the author sat down with me she would say she doesn’t. The problem is articles like this never qualify vehement railing against a generalized generation and thus make a whole other segment of the church feel isolated and shamed. I think it would be much more helpful (but probably not as popular or engaging) to make sure we are addressing both populations, not assuming the worst based on a ‘crude’ reference article and engaging with the world in a kind, loving manner so we can both encourage
    mothers and avoid silencing supposed opponents who might need a helping hand.

    I love her end quote, “We are not made to be a collection of individuals running around chasing our own cravings. We are made for family, and for fellowship; for sacrifice and generosity; for love.” Let’s just make sure (as I know you already have) that fellowship, sacrifice, generosity and love is not limited to those we call our children.”

    I appreciate your thoughts Jennifer and your intent to encourage mothers like the friend I wrote the above to. Let me say I think your years in mothering have been a great sacrifice that serves God, his church and the world well… However, I hope you’ll both seriously pray about and seriously consider the points I’ve made here. As a single millennial I cannot help read what you’ve written and get the strong impression of a me vs. them attitude that leaves little room for engagement and compassion and understanding. The cross does not equal childbearing, though childbearing and rearing is a great blessing and example of those who have taken up their cross.

    Thank you,

    Your sister in Christ.

  • Moraru Cosmin

    This article had some credibility…up until the moment it brought god and religion into the topic….
    Right then, the author started to look like one of the religitards – a brainless sheep, with no possibility to think for him/herself.

    Shame, really shame…and lame at the same time

    • Ganesh

      She mentions God once in the article.

      Yet that is all you focus on, saying nothing intelligent or useful whatsoever except to parrot the reaction that atheism has programmed into you.

      She wrote an interesting and insightful article, you wrote nothing of value.

      Who is a brainless sheep, exactly?

      • Moraru Cosmin

        Quantity doesnt matter…its quality.

        Its obvious the author is a devout believer.

        We laugh at children for believing in Santa Claus, but not at adults for having imaginary friends who tell them how to live their lives ?!?

        Now THATS something deserving to mock – an adult with an imaginary friend

        Thats why the authos is a religitard in my view (and pretty much anyone else with religion in their heads).

        Religion is the single greatest plague on Earth! We d be at Star Wars level of society, if not for religion!

        • Dean Bruckner

          Yeah, the 20th Century’s most God-free societies were so loving, and advanced, and concerned for each individual:
          National Socialist Germany: 20 million dead
          Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: 30 million dead
          Peoples Republic of China: 60 million dead
          Kampuchea: 3 million dead
          Peoples Republic of Vietnam: 5 million dead

          Pardon us if we refuse to take another heaping, steaming helping of murderous death from you and your henchmen.

          • Amanda Amaranth

            I can’t even imagine how many are dead because of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Just thinking about the Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust, honor killings, terror attacks… Jeez it probably equals out. I think this means people are just horrible regardless of what they think.

        • Vince M Sr

          The Gospel of George Lucas? May The Force be with you.

        • Jennifer Hartline

          Yes, Moraru Cosmin, I can clearly see that your intellectual prowess surpasses the likes of such “religitards” as Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose, Benedict XVI, and St. John Paul II.
          And don’t forget Blaise Pascal, Gregor Mendel, Nicolas Copernicus. You know you would probably not be educated at all if were not for the Church. (Unless your father is royalty.) The modern hospital is also thanks to the Church.

        • Ganesh

          Religion has provided a common moral code that has allowed societies to pass on values that sustain and continue the society for generation after generation.

          If religion has been such a detriment to science, how come it’s been Christian societies that have created so much of modern science, and a Christian nation that landed a man on the moon?

          How come the atheistic Soviets didn’t colonize space?

          You rejection religion, but you believe all sorts of stupid dogma of your own.

          • Amanda Amaranth

            The moral code of stoning non-virgin women to death? With killing gays? With murdering those who don’t adhere to your religion? Gotcha.

          • Jennifer Hartline

            Those barbaric practices belong to Islam, not Christianity. Do not conflate the two.

          • Moraru Cosmin

            actually…you got that wrong!
            This just proves how utterly ignorant (and/or hyppocrite) you are of the true christian doctrine.
            The Old Testament sanctions stoning of adulterers, disobeying children (!!!), slaves who do not work well enough, peoples of other faiths etc.

            And despite what you may think, no, the OT is NOT made invalid by jesus – in fact, the opposite – he clearly states he hasnt come to break, but to fulfill the law of his father.

            Perhaps you should read your “holy” (horrible, disgusting) book better.

            PS: a god that drowns his own creation has little (read: NONE!) moral grounds to tell anyone what to do about anything

    • Dean Bruckner

      This is a God website. If you didn’t want to hear about God, why did you come here?

      • Amanda Amaranth

        Sometimes people need to pay attention to what others are saying about us. This article was condemning people choosing not to have children. As one of those people, I wanted to see what some folks thought of me. I was very, very disappointed, irritated, and dismayed.

  • Jennie Diday

    This is hard, and I am going to play devil’s advocate. I can almost certainly bet that all of these women had PPD, and maybe APD (depression experienced during pregnancy). I had both, and I felt the same way. Women are expected to be all things to day. Add in motherhood and the judgment and guilt of trying to be a perfect mom and who would not have regrets of having children? AND if these women do not have family around, go to church, or have some type of support system on hand, I get it. Like the REAL article said, women now spend more time with their kids than ever, but most of those women also work. NO WOMAN IS SUPPOSED TO BE SUPER WOMAN. We are getting burned out and resentful, and I can nearly guarantee that is why these woman say they regret having children. I personally hate the newborn stage, and I would trade it for a toddler instantly. Being a mom to babies is really hard for someone. Between the leaky boobs, sleepless nights, diaper changing, wailing and crying and everything else, and many women not having a support system, I can see why they would regret motherhood. How about instead of judging these women, we come along side them and support their families. Make a meal for a mom, babysit her kids for her, do her laundry, clean her bathroom. While we have more women today regretting being moms, we also have less villages that support new moms. The parents always raise the family, but the village is around to pick up when things start giving way. If you want to change this outlook for women, then start acting like a village for women. I saw clear cries for help when reading the testimonies. Until you are ready to get dirty and help one of these women DO NOT JUDGE!

  • Alaina Marie

    This is one of THEE most ridiculous articles I’ve read in a long time. And there are mountains and heaps of ridiculous things to be read everywhere on social media. SHAME ON YOU for even considering that a womans, mans, millennials, or ANYONES life, or worth must be measured by parenthood.

    Choosing not to have children because of the doubt that one would make a good parent is RESPONSIBLE. You know who suffers if the parent isn’t 100% devoted to the act of parenting? The child. And then society when that child grows up.

    This planet is overpopulating itself at a dangerous, yes, dangerous rate. We cannot sustain the elevated birth rate forever. We do not have enough space or resources to continue as we are. And thankfully, to those selfish millennials you speak of, it has finally begun to taper.

    Do not publicly shroud your own issues in a poorly written, half-cocked article secretly asking society to get behind your choice of ‘loving’ parenthood. Get behind your own choice and be quiet.

    And to all those women out there that have the BALLS to say they do not wish to reproduce to fit a societal standard, and they’ll take the heat with pride in knowing themselves so honestly, I salute you. You are woman. I hear your roar.

    • Amanda Amaranth

      Beautiful

    • Crystal

      Preach

    • Jim Walker

      This planet can sustain the population, but due to the greed, it was not made possible for millions. Think about the food you wasted or that mineral water you did not finished then you will understand why millions are dying.
      The earth is being depleted of its natural resources because of the rate of consumption and wastage.

  • Aimee Brooks

    This is one of the most offensive and insulting things I’ve read in a long time. “Sex, drink, drugs, and greed”? I don’t want kids, and I don’t partake of any of the things you accuse us of “stuffing our souls with”. Stereotyping millennials this way is just plain ignorant, and why should I listen to anyone who carries on that way?

    Listen up, not everyone is fit to be a parent. Just take one look, one really good look at the sad litany of case files that any Child Protective Services worker deals with on a day to day basis. And how many damaged children are out there, who perhaps never ended up on CPS radar, but were still brought up by people who only had them out of the expectation that “You grow up, get married, have kids, that’s it!”. Parents who were angry, resentful, emotionally distant, the list goes on.

    How many people had serious personal issues of their own, went and had kids, and damaged them too, instead of deferring parenthood- either getting the healing they needed first, or recognizing that parenthood was perhaps not a good fit?

    Having kids is no guarantee of having someone to love and look after you when you’re old- how many elders have adult kids who never visit, or who have even committed elder abuse?

    What about those who can’t have kids? Way to make them feel like failures, to rub even more salt into their wounds. Adoption isn’t as easy as some people think it is, for those who try to take that route.

    I’d rather have people sit down and really think about what they want out of life, including if they want to be parents. Yes, fewer people might breed, but the kids who did come out of such an arrangement would be much more likely to be truly wanted, loved, and cared for.

    • Amanda Amaranth

      Fantastic and accurate commentary.

  • Wishsong

    This is the effect of radical feminism and the far-left on our society. I remember in the 90s the “population boom” was all the rage. Being lectured constantly about the number of people on the planet and the lack of natural resources to cope. Is anyone preaching this in Africa? In Central America? In the Middle East and India? Not likely. That type of scolding is only reserved for one group of people.

    Nothing sadder than an old woman with an “I love my Grandogs” sticker on the back of her Subaru or Volvo.

    • Amanda Amaranth

      Do you know why it is important for first class people to not have so many kids? Google Carbon Footprint.

  • Rielyn

    Why do people think being a parent is a requirement of every woman? Why is it anyone’s business if a woman decides that such a HUGE life altering decision isn’t for them?! What is wrong with contributing to the world with your intelligence and skills? And selfish?! You know what’s selfish? Having a child without researching and being fully aware of what it means to be a parent. People infest more time into choosing a car or washer and dryer than whether to have a child!! And those that have a child thinking they will take care of you when you’re older is by far the most selfish thing I’ve heard of. You know what responsible people do? Make sure they will be taken care of without expecting to burden someone else with that responsibility. Know what else is responsible? Deciding not to have children when the economy doesn’t allow you to properly provide for them. And deciding not to contribute to overburdening our planet by bringing more children into the world who will likely starve in the future because of the state of the planet and continued overpopulation. Selfish? I think you need to look in the mirror.

    • Amanda Amaranth

      Amen!

  • fii

    If a woman does not love herself above all others, her children will suffer. It is why therapists are getting rich off of people blaming all of their problems on their * mother’s * short comings. If the mother would have taken more time to learn and nurture herself before having children that much less of an issue. Or if the mother took time to learn and nurture herself to come to the conclusion that not having children was the best option for her and her children.

    What it the saying that is always regurgitated? You cannot love others until you love yourself. It’s always used when it comes to dating, but it is equally as important in pretty much every relationship we encounter. You can only put yourself on the back burner for so long before it backfires. Loving yourself for yourself and not for what you can do for others or what they can do for you should be a requirement in life not a luxury. It is an ultimate disservice to everyone involved if a mother does not love herself before having children.

    People talk about God’s gift and blah blah blah — Why is it not considered a gift to leave them kids up in heaven with the very God we spend our entire lives trying to get back to?

    In this day and age people have children because they think the children will give them the love they desire – never considering they would be much better off giving that love to themselves. What happens is because they themselves are not complete they pass along that dysfunction to their children and no one gets what the really want or need. Not the parents, not the children, not the society at large.

    Ever consider that the current state of millennials not wanting children and wanting to focus on themselves is a result of over sacrificial climate in which they were raises? Children who watched their parents, their mothers live unhappy lives, struggling, divorcing, what have you — so when they grew up they decided to try something different?

    A child is going to become a teenager and give their mother their bums to kiss — and mom has to wait for them to “come back.” I hear mothers who express no regret of having children talk about this. They spend years in turmoil wondering why this thing they poured so much of their love and energy into hates them so much and gives them nothing but attitude and disrespect.

    And you think having children will prevent people from living the last years of their lives alone? Tell that to all the nursing homes filled with women who sacrificed themselves, only to be chucked away when their kids have kids and there’s no room for mom anymore. They come and visit you for Christmas and you don’t see them again until the vultures are picking over their inheritance. That is the truth of this world.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with having children but ever consider how much of a misery loves company situation this is? Girls spend their teenage years with mothers telling them not to have children because it will “ruin their lives.” Then all of a sudden it flips to “when are you going to make me a grandmother.” What happened to that ruin your life talk? Those attitudes are hidden sentiments of a broader issue that never really goes away in my opinion.

    How many women could have given themselves to a greater good — the planet/environment, animals, science, the arts, charity, inventing, what have you — Instead of being held up in a house taking care of some baby — whom is not even guaranteed to grow up and make something good of their own lives to begin with. Please, go ahead and tell me Jeffery Dahmer’s mother’s sacrifice was a good thing. Hitler’s mother.

    Women are creators. There is nowhere in the rulebook that states the only thing we can create is a baby. That is an absolute insult and blasphemous thought if you ask me.

    • Moraru Cosmin

      100% true !!!

      Also add in the fact that religion is bull$h!t (Voltaire said religion was born when the first conman met the first sucker).

      • CbinJ

        The first conman was Satan and the first sucker was Eve.

        • Amanda Amaranth

          The snake offered truth and comprehension. Also, God allowed it to happen because he created everything. He made Satan, he made the snake, he made humans. Everything was him. He made everything taken EXACTLY the way he wanted. He wanted people to suffer

          • CbinJ

            Here’s a simple philosophical equation: if one of the natures of God is Absolute Logic and Logic by nature results in the Law of Opposites, then if there is Good, there is also Evil. If God’s natures includes Absolute Love, Truth, Justice, and Logic, then he would gift Free Will. If there is Free Will, creatures can choose Evil. I don’t believe God wants people to suffer, he simply has to play by the rules of the universe He created. If He didn’t play by the rules and broke promises, the how could He be Absolute Truth?

          • Amanda Amaranth

            How about this: Why would an all-loving God create beings that he knows he is going to send to hell to suffer, because he made them exactly the way they are and knows their future?

          • CbinJ

            I’ve struggled with that question myself. The best answer I’ve come up with: He wanted to create beings to Love and to be Loved by and, as I said above–the law of opposites: where there is Love, there is also Hatred. The scenario you mention is not an intentionally cruel fate, but a byproduct of the law of opposites, Free Love, and Free Will.

            I have heard Hell described by quite a few pastors and theologians (CS Lewis amongst them) as a place locked from the inside. The suffering in Hell is a result of the absence of the presence of God, not an active pit of torture. If you choose and desire to live outside of His presence, He–being bound by Logic, Truth, Love, and Justice–is not going to force anyone to spend eternity with Him. Apparently, not everybody wants to go to Heaven.

          • Amanda Amaranth

            The answer is: An All-Loving God wouldn’t.

          • CbinJ

            What is Love anyway?

            And God isn’t just Love, He is also Truth. If something is True and you refuse to believe it, then that is on you.

          • Jim Walker

            Amanda, I do hold to the belief that if a human being in flesh dies in an accidental death, like knocked down by a truck while crossing the road while looking at his smartphone, who has not accepted Jesus as his Savior still have that chance because his soul can answer to Him.

            I can’t believe any human being upon death will not choose Jesus as his savior, but then again, I can only speak for myself. I draw this from the fact that many believed that Aborted foetus goes to Heaven, why can’t a person who died suddenly does not have that chance.

          • CbinJ

            Also, my comment was a bit in jest and not necessarily literal.

          • Jim Walker

            God want people to “Suffer”?
            CbinJ explains almost what I want to tell, I add in this part and so you can understand :
            For Love to Exist, there has to be a choice. God didn’t created Adam and Eve to be Robots.
            This choice is planted in the middle of the Garden of Eden. Just like a woman has to choose the man she wants to spend her lifetime with, and that choice gets reciprocated when the man chose her.
            On then, Love is complete and fulfilled.

          • Amanda Amaranth

            So if you don’t choose love, God will send you to Hell to burn and suffer forever. That ain’t love, baby.

          • Jim Walker

            That choice directs us to this path. But you must remember that due to the fall of man, God has time and time again in history save us from eternal condemnation. The final perfect salvation is the crucifixion of Jesus. This is LOVE baby.

          • Jennifer Hartline

            No, Amanda, He wanted people to be free. Free to choose, and that means free to choose evil as well as good. Love isn’t love unless it’s freely given. Robots can be programmed to do exactly as you like, but only a free person can choose to love. God knew that, and the choice to love was worth the risk that we would not choose it at all.
            When Christ suffered and died for our salvation, He said no one was taking His life from Him, but He was laying it down willingly. That is love.
            What Satan offered in the garden was not truth or comprehension, but suffering and death.

          • Amanda Amaranth

            So, if we don’t choose what God wants us to choose, then he will send us to burn in hell forever? WHAT LOVE!!! 😀

          • Jennifer Hartline

            No. He doesn’t send anyone to hell. He gives each soul exactly what they choose. We send ourselves either to Heaven or hell. Get it? Freedom.

          • Amanda Amaranth

            God knows everything, right? So he created people that he KNEW wouldn’t believe in whatever he wanted them to, which would send them to hell. It’s not like He didn’t know…

          • Amanda Amaranth

            No….. because I don’t believe that is a real thing. I truly do not. So because I sincerely do not believe in the Bible, when I die, if it IS true, this loving God will send me to Hell. I did not choose this, because I did not believe it.

          • Jennifer Hartline

            On what do you base your certainty that Scripture is not true?

          • Amanda Amaranth

            …. He knows what we will choose, doesn’t he? He made us exactly how he are, and he knows the future…. so he made people that he KNEW is going to not believe in the Christian Bible. …? Get it?

      • Liz Litts

        and 100 years after Voltaire died they were publishing Bibles out of his house–after he bragged that there would be no Bibles 1oo years after he died.

        • Moraru Cosmin

          it doesnt change the fact religion is the single, most toxic thing to have ever existed!!!
          quantaty does NOT equal quality!!!

          a bilion people can easily be wrong and 1 single person can easily be right!

          the only thing which can give legitimacy to any claim is actual proof, scientific proof according to scientific principles.

    • Dean Bruckner

      What a hopeless lament. May you find the love of God. When we are loved by God, THEN we can love others.

      • Amanda Amaranth

        No. What an abusive statement. Once someone who beats you and rapes you says they love you, ONLY THEN can you live yourself. Please get therapy.

    • Amanda Amaranth

      Amen

  • Dean Bruckner

    Progressivism poisons everything, and it has poisoned the way Americans look at children. It is a hateful, demonic idolatry.

    But the gospel, the good news of God’s love, which will remake our broken lives and loves–that is a wonderful liberation. Perhaps it has to get darker for the light of the gospel to be seen amid the wreckage of Progressivism.

    • Amanda Amaranth

      Progressives want to put the teens off thousands of foster children into living homes. How is this evil? Why do you demand fresh babies when there are tens of thousands of foster children in the US waiting for parents? Or the millions of homeless children all across the world? I’ll wait.

      • E=MC^2

        It’s the rare prog that actually takes in a foster child. Most are still stuck in their pre-teen adolescence. Their preferred tactic is to use other peoples money to assuage their guilt then claim “problem solved” and quickly move on to screw up something else.

      • Liz Litts

        Because foster homes often turn out not to be loving–in fact great numbers of them are abused and even murdered in foster care. These same ‘progressives’ look the other way while people who have criminal records are licenced as foster parents–and would not take a child themselves.

  • Dean Bruckner

    No politician, whether evil or good, can fix the lostness of the American culture exemplified by many of these sad and angry comments. We have declared war on everything that is true, and beautiful, and good, to bow to the idols of radical egalitarianism and radical autonomy. We are regressing to the culture of the stone age savages, for whom these two ideals are paramount. We are reaping the toxic fruit of what we, and our dominant Progressive culture, have sown.

    Watch End of the Spear, a documentary by Steve Saint, whose missionary father was killed by these very savages, and how God’s love and the sacrifice of these missionaries brought love and healing to these wretched but beloved people. He describes how radical egalitarianism and radical autonomy are striking similarities between the stone-age Waodani and high-tech American cultures.

    • Amanda Amaranth

      How is it beautiful that we have tens of thousands of foster children no one will adopt but you insist to breeding fresh ones?

      • E=MC^2

        As usual, take the exception and mischaractarize it to be the norm. Certainly all children deserve an intact home with a mother and father. How many have you taken in? Typical Alinsky tactic when there is no counter-point to offer.

  • Curtis John Alexander

    Amen, and another way of dying to self, is to care for and minister the Word to the children of others in God’s family, (the local church) while giving up your own chance at children (was married to a woman who could not get pregnant – She had Turners Syndrome). Such is the way my life has gone and I accept it for Jesus. It’s death to “self”. I’ve been teaching children about Jesus and prayer for over 15 years and I wouldn’t give that up for anything. That’s my cross. I am nailed to my call from the Lord. I was abandoned for it, and ended up divorced. I chose to listen to the Lord and stay faithful to Him.

    I sincerely hope the writer of this article understands that not all childless married people are selfish. Some are dedicated disciples who minister to the body of Christ at great personal sacrifice. They follow the “Last Adam”, Jesus Christ. They pursue Love.

    • Amanda Amaranth

      Amen. Childless or childfree, all who are called to service do it with love and with abandon

  • Amanda Amaranth

    Oh my God. Whoever wrote this must be agent cushioned inside a stack of money, because she seems to think that financial reasons are a stupid reason not to have kids. We are bereft of love, because many people not having kids don’t want to have them and subject them to a life of poverty. What a bunch of self-righteous, judgmental, and frankly, uncaring diatribe. If compassionlessness was a word, this would be its definition:

    “They cite finances, student loan debt, lack of good jobs, and the terrible state of the world right now among their reasons for deciding to remain childless. They also say the same thing their 40 year-old counterparts are saying: we want great careers, and we’d be lousy parents anyway.

    The self-absorption is staggering….. They are completely bereft of love.”

    WHERE DID THIS AUTHOR GET THE IDEA THAT GREAT CAREERS IS THE PROBLEM ?? Debt, debt, more debt, and horrifying global conditions are ABSOLUTELY kind, compassionate, and competent understandable reasons not to have children!!!

    How much do you want to bet the people that wrote and agree with this article are against safety nets, food stamps, housing assistance, welfare, etc? To help those who cite financial burdens as reasons for their inability to provide for their families? Or, increasingly, just themselves?

    You read about some women’s true feelings after having children, and all you do is shame them back into the closet for having actual, real, touchable emotions and thoughts. This is how people go crazy, by never speaking their truth, their feelings, and their problems. Instead of shaming women, why not think about WHY they hate motherhood, or don’t think they could be a parent, or any increasing numbers don’t think they CAN?

    I am so disgusted right now.

  • Tiefer Alt

    This is hysterical, overdramatic nonsense. Millennials are ‘tyrants’ and ‘oversized children’ for not having children? What privileged planet do you live on? Where are these young adults supposed to find the money – yes, money – to put food in these children’s mouths? Clothes on their tiny bodies? You can blather on and on about ‘love’ all you want. Children cannot put love in their mouth and eat it, or wear it in winter when it is cold.

    • Amanda Amaranth

      THANK YOU!!! There are children existing in the world RIGHT NOW who are homeless, cold, hungry, sick, and unwanted. Where is the damn outcry for them?

    • Moraru Cosmin

      |YES 100% accurate

  • Tiefer Alt

    Love is also monumentally overrated. Love is a feeling. Achievement is something you do and earn, not something you feel.

    • Pamela Goss

      Love is an ACTION NOT a feeling…..

  • Tiefer Alt

    Plus, all the sacrifice and ‘death’ you go on and on about is not healthy. It’s necessary to put other people first sometimes, but constant sacrifice is not a substitute for living a fulfilling life.

  • Constitution Cat

    There is a missing
    part to both the very poignant article above and the comments which follow it.
    Have we forgotten or do we no longer care that God gifted man and woman with
    the ability to create a new life together, a life which our Good God will infuse
    with an immortal soul? Where is the reference to the protector, the lover, the
    co-creator, the loving father without whom no child will come into existence?
    The child is a symbol, a real and visual image of the profound love shared by a
    husband and wife; an image of the love shared by the Father, Son and Holy
    Spirit. The women described in the article are so, so profoundly lonely. They
    have either forgotten or never learned who they really are and the reason for
    their being: to love and be loved.

    The greatest weapon of
    the Devil is to divide and that evil being has been horribly successful in
    creating a gulf between man and woman in our society. The poor dear women
    referenced in the article, and perhaps even their men, believe the lie imposed
    by our culture that men are irrelevant, unfeeling, unloving, unfaithful beasts
    ruled by passion rather than by reason and God’s law written on their hearts.
    The great love stories of history, myth and legend are forgotten in the
    shrunken world of the lonely “I”. Women and men yearn to be profoundly
    connected to each other while our culture denies the need.

    There is nothing I
    wanted more to do for my beloved husband than give him a child to cherish; a
    child we could cherish together as we cherished each other. It didn’t matter to
    either of us whether the child was bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh or
    if the child came as a gift to us from others. If that was denied to us, our
    love would have born the sacrifice.

    Cherish is a word
    seldom used anymore. We, women and men, need to relearn it and learn how to
    live it.

  • j anime ramen

    Look at all these sad people one here fighting because they can’t just not think of their self’s a very body got a dream and me too i want to go to Hollywood and become a star and if I did make it there and had a child and I knew I didn’t won’t to have yet I would care for that child even if I can’t live my life the way I want and had dreams I would love that child he is a blessing I would be sad that I can’t do what I won’t to do but I would all so be happier to have this child. and tell me when your child grows up what are you going to tell him I didn’t want you I was thinking of aborting you and I hated being with you you crushed my dreams say it to his are hers eyes and I bet when he grows up and leave you you will have nothing the same way before the child the only thing will be there is greed. And this is coming from a 15 year old.

  • bobic

    This article could’ve been written by Sophia herself.

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