Jump to content

Should parents be slaves to their children?


  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#1 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:05 PM

I was watching an episode of Wife Swap and found it intriguing that the parent in question thought it was selfish of a Mum to have their own interests and hobbies. That if you had kids it was your choice and therefore you should run your life entirely for them. The Mum did everything for the kids, and didn't do anything for herself at all for that reason; and felt it extremely selfish of the other Mum to do such activities.

I had one of those 'gee are there parents around that actually do think I'm selfish' moments. As I do outside sporting activities for my own benefit only (ie health, activity and really the sanity). For me it makes for a balanced family. But having watched that episode I'm now more aware that not everyone thinks that way! So I was at one of my girls activities today and whilst my girls only do 2 activities a week, there was a lot of talk between the other mums there how 'many' activities and I could see clearly they thought it was only right they give their kids all the opportunities they can (ie something almost every day) and I can see they do give up their own lives entirely for their kids. I confess I do not - and perhaps that does make me selfish.

So I wondered what you think. Do you think it is selfish to have your own set of activities outside of the home? Or if you have kids life should be entirely and wholly about them and their lives.

ETA I don't 'really' give a crap what others think... ie I'm not affected by it. It was more an observation and wondered if a lot of people do think that of mums who do have a life away from the family in one activity or another.

Edited by Katakacpk, 28 February 2013 - 07:08 PM.


#2 Guest_LeChatNinjah_*

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:08 PM

I say no to slavery.

I am there for them, I care for them, I've "sacrificed" a hell of a lot of "me stuff" but I think sacrificing ALL "me stuff" is not conducive to mental well-being.



#3 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:12 PM

QUOTE (stopwhiningatme @ 28/02/2013, 08:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
They have to pick contestants with extreme views to make it watchable.

I prefer to treat my kids as slaves.


Oh yeah completely understand that. But I guess it also highlighted that people do think that way. And then I thought of a few instances with the people around me where this is probably true but I had never stopped to think about it before.

#4 Ange remplie

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:12 PM

I'll bite, although I suspect a train wreck ahead.

I think we need to be clear what we mean when we talk about "selfish."  Is it selfish of me to be sitting here, at home alone, reading EB and other stuff, while DH takes DD to choir practice with him?  On one level, yes, because I could have done things in such a way as to make his life easier.  On another level, if I never have time to relax, to do things I enjoy, to nurture myself as a whole person, sooner or later I'm going to be a tired, worn out, crappy wife and mother.  

So I think it's about balance.  Self care is not selfish.  Being a whole person in your own right is not selfish.  Pursuing your own interests to others' significant detriment might be - but that's something to be worked out within the dynamics of your own family; I don't think it's a one-size-fits-all phenomenon.

And, you know, I might add.... there are two parents in most homes.  Surely what's good for the goose ought to be good for the gander?  Or is this question of selfishness never applicable to fathers?

#5 *LucyE*

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:26 PM

QUOTE
So I wondered what you think. Do you think it is selfish to have your own set of activities outside of the home? Or if you have kids life should be entirely and wholly about them and their lives.

No, I don't think it's selfish to nurture yourself to be a complete and balanced person.

I think anyone who gives over so much of themselves for someone else is highly dependent.

I have made sacrifices for my family - career, body, sleep - but I am still my own autonomous person. I'm not a robot or slave at anyone's beck and call. I choose to do certain things that makes all of our lives easier but I don't just do it for them. I realize that one day my children will grow into independent adults and won't want mum hanging around. I hope to have more in my life than just being a mum slave.

#6 Jane Jetson

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:28 PM

No, I don't think it's selfish to continue to have your own life post-children, any more than the OP's acquaintances probably think it's selfish that their male partners still have "me" time. Because I suspect that, as always, accusations of selfishness are only ever going to be levelled at the female parent.

I have not only retained my own interests but work full-time, so I'm pretty used to being called selfish. Meh.

#7 Maple Leaf

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:33 PM

I like to lead by example. I am glad that my girls see me experiencing the world outside of this house and outside of them.

I am still ME. There is a happy medium with being a parent.

#8 Jane Jetson

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:35 PM

QUOTE (stopwhiningatme @ 28/02/2013, 08:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But Jane, wot of the chilluns!!  The chilluns!!


Hmm, come to think of it, I have noticed some short people living in the house...

#9 The 8th Plum

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:36 PM

I don't see it as selfish to have your own interests. If anything, I think it is good for children to see that it's not all about them and that mum & dad do stuff too. However, I'm also one of those parents who is likely to set a limit of a couple of activities per week per child so obviously I would also be considered selfish by the wifeswap mum.


I think she sounds crackers.

#10 Procrastinator5000

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:38 PM

I think as long as kids feel they get love and attention most of the time then they have more respect for a parent who's got hobbies outside of child-rearing.

#11 FeralBee

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:40 PM

Would you want your daughters to sacrifice everything that they are for their own children? By having your own interests, taking time for your own things, you are showing them that a woman can be a mother AND a person at the same time - just like a man can be a father and a person. They learn from the example we teach.

This idea that it is selfish to be yourself is so strange to me. Yes, parenting involves a lot of sacrifices - time, energy, sleep, sanity (luckily I have little of that to begin with), some of your interests, perhaps even some of the things you love - of course your priorities and the way you spend your time will change.

But to sacrifice your whole self? To what end? What does it teach, how does it truly benefit your children?

#12 BadCat

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:40 PM

Answer A

When I produced children it was my firm intention to check my personhood at the door and pick up my yoke of motherhood slavery.  It's a busy but fulfilling life.  I get up at 4am to make sure their bedrooms are tidy before they wake so they don't tread on anything untoward as they wander sleepily from their beds.  They find an assortment of breakfast on the table and should none of the options be to their taste I will make something else.  I dress them and clean their teeth then drive them to school where I have arranged for them to be in adjacent classrooms so that I can follow everything that they should be learning.  Then I do all their homework while they throw stones at me for their own enjoyment before preparing dinner as per their individual requests.  After dinner I give them a sponge bath so they needn't tax themselves by standing a shower and they won't miss their favourite tv shows.  Once they go to bed I self flagellate to remind me that I could have done better and then write a diary page about how I intend to improve my performance tomorrow.

Answer B

**** that for a game of soldiers.


Bonus points to whoever can spot the genuine answer.

#13 sa5ha

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:40 PM

I don't think it matters what you're talking about - parenthood, friendships, romantic relationships - you need to be your own person with interests and self love in order to be your best in a relationship with anyone else.

I hope when my partner and I have children that they become part of our lives but not our whole lives.

#14 ComradeBob

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:44 PM

Manatee's answer B summed it up quite nicely for me.

#15 adl

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:44 PM

roll2.gif

Errrr .... NO

#16 Literary Lemur

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:47 PM

You say "selfish" like it's a bad thing.



#17 Guest_LeChatNinjah_*

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:49 PM

That's the thing, though, Amoral Lemur, having a few interests outside of kids isn't selfish at all!



#18 sāta kōrsa

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:56 PM

QUOTE (Katakacpk @ 28/02/2013, 08:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Do you think it is selfish to have your own set of activities outside of the home?

I'll save you some time.  No one thinks that way.

#19 Musk Sticks

Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:02 PM

My mother was/is the type to say that a mother should sacrifice everything so that she can always be there for her children.

She is now struggling living in an empty nest.

Her whole identity was her children and now that they have grown up and left home, she is finding it very difficult to fill that void.

My mother was a very good mother to us while growing up, but I really think she would have been happier if she had set aside time for herself.



#20 Lees75

Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:29 PM

I don't think it's selfish to have outside interests, but I don't think it is possible for everyone at all stages of their life. Currently my life as a full time working single mum is unbalanced, and even though I love it, it's not sustainable long term. But it is what it is for the next few years until my kids are old enough to leave on their own for an hour or so.

#21 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:55 PM

QUOTE (amoral lemur @ 28/02/2013, 08:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You say "selfish" like it's a bad thing.


No no I didn't say it was selfish, the lady on Wife Swap did - so I was asking as she would use the word selfish. Doesn't mean I believe it at all. I was just surprised there were people that think that, and wondered if it was a common thought.

#22 jojonbeanie

Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:59 AM

Ignoring the silly use of the word 'slave', I'm not sure why it has to be one or the other. It's quite possible to be an involved and nurturing parent and still enjoy your own hobbies and interests without any detriment to the lives of your children.

#23 GoBack2Bed

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:27 AM

Income from the premise of should PEOPLE be slaves full stop. And my answer is a resounding no. I'm not a slave for my boss, I'm not a slave for my husband and I'm not a slave for my children.

In regards to parenting, I think our job is to raise little people. That means people who are independent, resilient and happy. And I don't think a child that grows up with mum doing everything for them is any of those things.

I also think that me having my own hobbies and interests is essential. It's my sanity. I also think that when kids see their parents engaged in activities it encourages them to get into activities too (not necessarily the same ones).

All I can say is that if anyone called me selfish they better be prepared for the fury coming their way as I am most definitely not selfish and don't take anywhere near as much time for myself as I would like. I make endless sacrifices so taking some me time is well earned.

I also love the irony that some people think you are selfish if you take me time but would probably also be the same people who judged you for not losing baby weight or whatever other ridiculous standard they expect you to adhere too.

And men choose to have babies too. Why is it ok for them to have hobbies? Oh riiiiight penis I forgot.

#24 steppy

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:34 AM

QUOTE (Musk Sticks @ 28/02/2013, 09:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My mother was/is the type to say that a mother should sacrifice everything so that she can always be there for her children.

She is now struggling living in an empty nest.

Her whole identity was her children and now that they have grown up and left home, she is finding it very difficult to fill that void.

My mother was a very good mother to us while growing up, but I really think she would have been happier if she had set aside time for herself.


That's exactly why it's such a bad idea to devote everything to one's children. At least in your mother's case she has let you go though. There seems to be a growing tendency to keep children VERY dependent and have them live at home until they are in their thirties. I think it does children a disservice to be unable to handle simple things like doctors appointments or planning a route using public transport, not to mention being unable to clean or cook for themselves. My mother had to mother her own family from an early age so she spared her own children any housework because she had hated it so much. It is the one thing she did that I really think was a mistake that impacted negatively on all of us kids. She is very independent otherwise, but I wish she had made housework a routine thing for us. It's harder when you think of housework as an unimportant and onerous chore than if you think of it as just as fact of life.

#25 EsmeLennox

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:43 AM

Short answer: no.

Long answer: I think it is absolutely unhealthy to the kind of mother you describe. Not only for the mother but also the children. Thinking long term, your children will eventually live their own lives. Where does that then leave the mother? Ridiculous. Also I think we have enough trouble raising children in Australia (and other western countries no doubt) to realise that they are not in fact entitled to everything in life being handed to them on a silver platter. So I make my kids work around the house, I say no to them and I am raising them to realise that parents are people too.

I want my boys to see me out in the world doing things.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

The popular baby name from the Rio Olympics

"With a pair of athletes who are not only successful, but seen as great role models – combined with a softer sound – it is like hitting the jackpot."

Toy stuck in baby's throat for two weeks

When Jude Atiga's baby son Laith was struggling to breathe the worried mum called an ambulance.

Mum awarded $20 million over birth power struggle with nurses

As a mother of three, Caroline Malatesta thought she knew what she was letting herself in for when it came to the birth of her fourth baby.

Win a Baby Jogger City Premier for Father's Day

To celebrate Father's Day, one lucky EB fan will win one of their own! Enter Now!

'There's a giant picture of BOOBS but I can not feed my child'

A mum was ushered out of an US department store's underwear section after discreetly breastfeeding her baby.

Why fatherhood scares many dads-to-be

Travis Bull vividly remembers discovering his partner was pregnant for the first time.

Free ticket offer

Pinky Mckay joins us again at the Essential Baby & Toddler Show presented by Blackmores with her expert baby settling advice. Register now for your free ticket.

Warning for pregnant women as flu-related deaths triple

A more than three-fold increase in flu-related deaths has sparked a plea for those with the flu to stay away from vulnerable people.

I'm trying to keep my child-free friends in my life, but it's tough

I tried to prove to my single friends that I was the same I'd always been. But marriage did change me - and motherhood has, too

For the festival lover in all of us

Pre-book & Save 50%. Get your tickets now for Kidtopia Festival. 7-9 October 2016 Parramatta Park, Sydney.

Too many parents still putting babies in unsafe bedding: study

A study found that a whopping 91 per cent of four-week-old babies had been placed in cots with unsafe bedding.

Mum's shock as toddler fat-shamed by internet trolls

When a mother uploaded a cute photograph of her 14-month old child online, she did not expect a swarm of internet trolls to write that her toddler was fat.

How an Aldi staff member made one exhausted mum's day

It was a simple act of kindness, but one that made an exhausted mother's day.

The most awww-worthy celeb baby pics of the week

It's been a pretty cute week on Instagram in terms of celebs relishing their babies.

When 'Just Do It' just doesn't cut it

When even Michelle Bridges admits to struggling with her exercise regime, it's time to accept that having small children can be a legitimate reason for exercise not happening.

What life is really like when you have five kids

Life is cute with one, manageable with three, but at times completely impossible with five.

When no one can pronounce your baby's name

In Wales it's a common name, but over here, it's cause for some confusion.

Dad shares horror tale after Roomba's run-in with dog poop

It's the poop story that's been shared hundreds of thousands of times around the world.

How a homemade wheelchair is giving baby Evelyn freedom

Like all one-year-olds, Evelyn Moore is keen to get moving and explore the world around her. But a battle with aggressive cancer left the little girl paralysed from the waist down.

Single to double pram that folds with seat attached

A pram is a large purchase, and you only want to buy once.

Mum-to-be surprises husband with big news in joy-filled photoshoot

When Bri Dow learnt that she was expecting, she immediately knew she wanted to break the news to her husband Brandon in a special way.

Blake Lively: 'Post-pregnancy slim down pressure is so unfair'

Blake Lively has urged women not to feel pressured to lose weight after pregnancy.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

For the festival lover in all of us

Pre-book & Save 50%. Get your tickets now for Kidtopia Festival. 7-9 October 2016 Parramatta Park, Sydney.

Why drinking water can be deadly for babies

H2O is one of the necessities of life, but for babies a seemingly harmless amount of water can be fatal.

5 ways having a baby is different when you have older children

So much parenting advice is geared towards having your first baby, but what's it like having a baby when you already have children?

You can now make your own plush Falkor

Fans of The NeverEnding Story – of which there are certainly plenty – went crazy for these plush Falkors when they first went on sale last year.

Baby steps

10 things that will actually happen after having a baby

I thought I had prepared myself for motherhood. Then my baby girl arrived and knocked everything flat.

Having a baby: expectations vs reality

People love to warn you about what to expect when having a baby, but they can be way off when it comes to the reality.

Are we having fun yet? Thinking positively as a parent

Motherhood is wonderful ... except when it sucks.

The adorable smile of a baby seeing his mum clearly for the first time

There is no doubt seeing their child smile for the first time is an unforgettable moment for parents everywhere.

When breastfeeding doesn't go with the flow

Breast is best, except when it's not. And in our case, it most definitely wasn't.

'If you don't vaccinate your kids you're a bloody idiot'

The photos are heartbreaking and almost too difficult to look at, but Kayley Burke is begging other parents to take notice.

Why pregnant women should eat chocolate

In news that will make expectant mums jump for joy - and reach for a block of Cadbury - scientists have revealed chocolate could provide health benefits during pregnancy.

The baby born with an incredible head of hair

If you're in any way challenged in the follicle department, prepare to feel a jolt of envy - at a two-month-old baby.

The push for Medicare to fund lactation consultants

While meeting with a lactation consultant can make an enormous difference to a new mother, it's not a service that is available through the public health system.

Parents, this is how to cut grapes to avoid choking

One mum has learnt a harrowing lesson about the best way to cut grapes to make it safe for toddlers and little kids to eat.

Three truths about C-section mums

Lately I've been thinking about the caesarean stories and the brave women who birth their children with strength and beauty.

Help! My baby will only sleep in my arms

It's stressful to be the one who is holding your baby most of the day, but it's even more stressful to wonder, 'am I doing something wrong? Or am I creating bad habits?'

 

ENTER NOW

Win one of two Father's Day Gift Packs

Sign up to receive our new Essential Kids announcements emails for a chance to win.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.