As Valentine's Day just rounded the corner I just wanted to post a quick passing thought that I've noticed an unusually high degree of "anti-child"sentiment floating about in the blogosphere (and indirectly whatever Twitter filters through to blogosphere land).
Not that I have any children, but I do terribly want to begin a family. Na and I have been wanting to begin a family for awhile now and when I see snide remarks throughout internet land about how having children and a family is nothing more than a serious encumbrance upon one's academic career, I become annoyed if not down-right angered.
It's strange how those academics without partners on Valentine's Day take to the airwaves decrying love, relationships, family, and yes, even having children. ("Who wants something long-term anyway when the probable result is the production of time-sucking little pests.")
Stereotypes such as: as an academic one is too "selfish" anyway; or, children just "get in the way"- those I could safely ignore because it's nonsense. Even when fellow academics denounce partnership or marriage itself, or denounce having a long-term committed relationship of whatever kind, that always reeked of jealously to me. But the outright anti-child business just broke the camel's back. Whether by adoption or however else, I can't understand being "anti-child" to such a degree that you outright insult those who do wish to have children.
As someone who is an academic teaching full-time yet desperately also longs to have a child and begin a family I know that even for a non-academic, for example, such as my wife, and how busy and tremendously ambitious she is having a corporate "power career" (sorry, but's the only way I can describe it with all of the hard work it entails for her), that sacrifices can be made and balance need not be forfeited by us both. Indeed, so far, for me, marriage is not even a sacrifice in the pejorative sense of the term but rather just is selflessness. I imagine children would be tremendously more difficult and demanding, but like marriage, life-altering in such a positive way as marriage is for me.
And bless my wife, as she came to this country where English was her second language and worked her way up the ladder to achieve the position she did - and we are both truly blessed to have the opportunity to begin a family. I am blessed to have the stability that I do in academia. But, different folks have different priorities. And if you don't like children or want children, fine. Maybe not for you. But for my wife and I, wanting children is for us. So chill with the negativity please.
Just a thought.