What is wrong with me?
Maybe this is a sign that I've been investing too much time and energy into the forums and I really need to take a break. Some of the copyright disucssions on Ravelry have been very draining, but none of them hurt me emotionally in the way that this one has. Perhaps because I'm way too close to the topic to be objective. The forum in question has several different threads about how horrible kids and their parents are. I have no problem with the "childfree by choice" crowd venting about the constant pressure to have kids, etc., but I have a serious problem when it devolves into general child-hating discussion.
I can understand the rabidly anti-baby folks. I used to be one of them, even though I always planned to have kids. My kids were going to be perfect, never misbehave in public, I'd never let them bother anyone else, yada yada yada. As most parents learn quickly, this is much easier said than done. My attitude has completely changed since having my kids, although I still don't like to see obviously permissive parents and wild children running amok. I'm much more likely, however, to give them the benefit of a doubt since I know how easy it is to be completely exhausted and unable to do anything with your hungry/sleepy/hopped-up-on-sugar wild child short of hog-tying them and throwing them in the trunk of your car.
I think what bugs me most about these kinds of discussions is that it emphasizes how child-unfriendly our culture has gotten. I know this may be a surprising sentiment since much of our culture seems very focused on kids, but it seems like it's focused more on kids as objects than as human beings (which is why I think the child-dislike has become so prevalent and socially acceptable). If our society truly cared about children like it should, we would be taking much more of the "it takes a village" approach. Education would be a top priority instead of barely scraping by like it is now. All children would have health care. Daycare would be federally funded and held to rigorous quality standards. Flexible work schedules and long maternity leaves would be a priority rather than a luxury.
Children are of benefit to everyone (really - if everyone stopped having kids, society would be in trouble), but these days it seems as if they're viewed as just one more material object people are expected to add to their household, like a new car or refrigerator. When children are viewed as objects rather than members of society, it's so much easier to put the sole responsibility for raising them, educating them, caring for them, etc. on their parents rather than communities as a whole.
I think this makes me particularly sad because I spend so much time fearing for my childrens' future. They are the ones who are going to need to sort out all the problems we're creating for them. Our kids will inherit this earth, and if people are only concerned about their own lifetimes, what will they leave behind for my children? Curse us humans with our giant brains - if I was a turtle or, say, a sheep, I wouldn't have to worry about all this stuff (although I'm sure turtles and sheep have their own sets of problems).
Fortunately, the moderators on Ravelry shut this particular thread down so I don't have to obsess about it anymore. Now if I could just get the waterworks to shut off... I don't know why I let this stuff get to me. I take it so personally, even though I don't know these people and probably never will. I need to try to channel this energy into something positive, like designing, or playing with my kids. I had this whole post planned out this morning in the car about thinking locally, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. Gah! Some days, I just wish my laptop would crash and burn and solve all my problems for me.