Saturday, 13 June 2009

Quick, Have A Baby While Stocks Last!

Every time I switch on the TV or open a newspaper lately, it seems that some patronising medical 'expert' (usually male) is still harping on about how women under 35 should hurry up and have children.

Why does this smack of some subversive government 'programme' to re-stock the nation's cannon fodder? Are they planning another war in 19 years or so? And excuse me, but isn't this supposed to be an overcrowded planet which can scarcely sustain the population it already has? What's with all this drive for more childbearing? And if there is some population shortfall, aren't our under-age teens lying back and thinking of England enough to fill it?

I thank my lucky stars to have been free of hormonal (and particularly) patronising expert bullying as to what I should do with my body, when, and to have realised that it is perfectly possible to live a happy and fulfilling life minus the pitter patter of tiny Kickers. I mean make no mistake, I adore any child over the age of two who doesn't bear an uncanny resemblence to the Devil's spawn (and over on More4 last night Supernanny was contending with a 3 year old who thought that spitting in his mother's face and laughing was hilarious. Or perhaps he was just conforming to the thuggish number 2 haircut and matching baby-thug outfit she had inflicted on him), but it is sure is nice to hand them back at the end of the afternoon or evening.

Anyway if I'm meant to have one, doubtless someone will leave me one in a carrier bag on the doorstep and then I'll know it's meant to be.

Meanwhile above are some paper cut-out-and-keep children. Polite, planet-friendly, no school or University fees, a credit to you, don't answer back, keep their rooms tidy - who could ask for more?


Nota Bene said...

Yes I'm sure the government wants us to breed...but not for a future war (we're doing pretty well at the moment fighting any country that doesn't conform to our western liberal ideals). No we need the little blighters to support us in our old there'll be many more oldies down the road. Same reason they opened up the country to large scale immigration. Pleasingly on the boy's school uniform web site there's a button giving you the option to 'change child'. So that could come in.

Steve said...

Maybe the Government has been infiltrated by aliens who want us to breed to bulk up their diminishing stocks of meat? We are just cosmic Big Mac's to some fat gutted extra-terrestrials from planet Zog... Seriously though, it's all very well the Gov encouraging us to breed but bringing kids up is financially punishing. I want the Gov to put its money where its mouth is and actually make it economically worthwhile for anyone to have kids.

Steerforth said...

As someone who came to parenthood in their 30s, I can see both sides of the fence as it feels like a case of 'Damned if you do, damned if you don't.'

I love my children dearly. I do not their incessant demands and inability to undestand that I am anything other than a full-time domestic servant.

garfer said...

They should just hurry up and master cloning. I'm sure we'd all be delighted if there were thousands of little Gordon Browns running around looking dour and Presbyterian.

Dan said...

"actually make it economically worthwhile for anyone to have kids."

Wow! It should be a decision to do so by the parents, and no-one else.

Me, I've got a very light carbon footprint. Apart from my energy bills. BUT I don't drive and I don't have kids.

Steve, I am not sure what you are getting at here, but no-one is forcing you to have a family. Having said that, I am sure it is challenging to raise children, but unless in North Korea, not a Government-subsidised duty.


KAZ said...

I love children - as long as they are over 16.
The recent news about pregnancies for the over 60s is too horrifying to even think about.

Betty said...

It's depressing to think that it's still assumed that women are only going to be happy, fulfilled and have a sense if identity if they have children. Feminism can't really have had much of an effect, can it?

Childless women are told that they're selfish. Mothers who work are selfish. Mothers who don't work are selfish. None of us are doing the right thing, apparently.

Geoff said...

I was cut out to be a paper child.

Dan said...

Now THAT's a great one-liner!

The Sagittarian said...

Like Steerforth, I had my kids "late" and am still young enough tor ecall the days and nights without sprogs. It is hard financially for parents to help society out like this (let's face it, if we all stop breeding what do you think will happen?); I have witnessed terrible tantrams and am thankful my kids did not behave that way in public (not yet anyway; I also have a large collection of paper dolls from my childhood - my favourite was one sent to me by my Aunt (in USA) and it was the sort where the clothes "magically" stayed on, no tabs or anything, you just had to fit them on and rub the doll with an ice cream stick and the clothes stuck!

Lucy Fishwife said...

Has Madonna seen these children yet? Has Angelina? I tell you, stocks will disappear rapidly once those two get in on the act. Particularly if they come in a range of colours and physical disabilities - or is that just Mia Farrow?

Anonymous said...

Oh I loved those paperdolls. I used to dress them in the most clashing outfits I could. Such fun. Much more fun than dressing real children who blib all over everything.

I am a little guilty of overpopulating the country I suppose since I have four children. I was rather hoping they would prove to be assets to the country but time will tell.

I actually rather like children - they generally have a refreshing honesty and I think they stop me becoming more jaded about life than I would do otherwise.

But I most certainly do not think people should be put under pressure to have children or to feel that they are "missing out" or whatever because they have not. I am glad that I have my children but I am sure my life would not be any worse (just different) if I did not and I would certainly be a lot richer!!

Wisewebwoman said...

There are 4 billion too many of us on the planet to sustain ourselves. But I really get the push to have more of us - "Soylent Green" anyone?
It is coming. Mark my words.

Owen said...

I'm a little late piping up here, was too busy working last week to earn money to pay for our children's education, and the roof over our heads... :-D

But fully agree that there are way too many people on the planet, and that no one, female or male should feel pressure to procreate and contribute to the problem. Malthus was a visionary, and I cannot help but think the planet is reaching certain limits... if not already way beyond them. For years and years I was certain I would not have children, until I was seduced by a certain french woman, and now look where I am. Once one has one child, there is a definite pressure to have a second, to avoid the first being an "only". A paradoxical problem.

But how does the world go about helping the billions of uneducated poor to "see" that massive reproduction is not sustainable ?

Steve said...

My point is, Dan, that it is of course up to the individual to have kids - and I love mine more preciously than anything else on this entire planet, but compared to other European countries, here in the UK it is almost as if parents are punished for having kids - the support networks are crap, financially it is impossible: the Government wants both parents back at work but very often the cost of childcare is so exhorbitant that you either end up working for nothing or worse, working for less than nothing - which is the situation my wife and I currently find ourselves in. And that isn't right. And that IS the Government's responsibilty. Forget all the rose-tinted gushing sentiment - kids are the future of this country. They are our most valuable asset. Yet here in the UK we sideline them and disenfranchise them and then wonder why they act so antisocially when they get older.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Nota Bene - well I accept that I'll probably be working well into my 70s (providing they give the anti-ageism legislation some teeth by then that is - they seem to be trying to have it both ways re telling older workers they need to carry on working and then not forcing employers to take and keep them on).

Steve - again, they can't have it both ways. Either the nation needs children or it doesn't and they aren't our future!

Steerforth - well certainly as a female in particular, one is villified if one breeds and villified if one doesn't, as if one is some kind of unnatural entity.

Garfer - let's save the cloning for a post-Gordon Brown epoch ok?

Sorry Dan but your utility bills are probably equivalent to at least a 50-childpower power station! Though perhaps that is quite green actually.

Kaz - indeed it is quite disgraceful that women are falling pregnant over 60. You'd think they'd know about the birds and bees by then. Anything to get a free council flat if you ask me. ;-)

Betty, well there's no need to listen to the mad voices outside our heads any more than there is need to listen to any mad voices inside our heads! Let's think and act for ourselves! You can bet there is some ulterior government motive for all this babies-by-35 hoo-ha anyway.

Geoff, aptly put.

Sagittarian - I don't know what would happen if there was a world without children, but I personally am willing to take that risk. I think at the very least there should be a baby-production strike for a year or two (including by those who want them) to REALLY put the wind up the patronising 'experts' who seek to dictate to a woman about her fertility.

Lucy Fishwife - I think you're onto a winner there - shall you stock some in your bookshop?

RB- that's ok, you've had mine and Betty's quota too. It's a bit like carbon off-setting, sort of. Besides, yours are so well brung up. They are a real credit to me/Betty. ;-)

WWW - Soylent Green? Let's hope it stays Sci Fi.

Owen, had I been seduced by a dashing Frenchman, who knows? I may also have ended up with offspring who were not furry with a paw in each corner.

Steve, our government are indeed pretty schitzophrenic about whether they are pro/anti-child. They have certainly proved themselves anti-family/marriage with their policies and the way they penalise anyone trying to live out such a traditional old-hat role. Perhaps if Karen got a sex-change and then became clinically depressed you'd get loads more benefits or something.

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