Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The CF are much better off - shhhh! Don't tell anyone :-)

It is increasingly common to see "news"stories about how parents of one nature or another are about to receive some form of financial benefit or another from the Government.

My usual complaint about it being called "Government money" aside, every other day there seems to be some new scheme handing out OUR for having a baby, money for school, unmarried mothers pensions, child care rebates, paid maternity leave etc. etc.

Despite all stupidity of just handing cash over to people "because they have" kids without any further qualification or requirements on how it is spent, it is still by far and away cheaper not to have kids in the first place.

The child-free get a lot of flack for whinging about how their tax dollars are spent. The thing is, the child-free and the single are the most heavily taxed and least benefited of all, so we have good grounds for whinging.

We work hard for our money and then the Government takes it away and hands it over anyone who just happens to have done what their baser instincts suggest - have a baybeee!

Of course, Governments are much better than that when it comes to wasting our money. There are plenty of stupid schemes going around where politicians regularly set fire to our hard earned cash. But somehow actually seeing someone else buy a big screen TV with our money hurts more. 

Reading statistics on the types of spending spikes that occur when something like the baby bonus gets paid is enough to bring tears to most people's eyes. Just how the hell is this middle class welfare justified? "Not at all" is the answer but it continues to happen and grow in scale.

People earning less than you and I, who happen to be single or without kids, get nothing by way of help from the Government (i.e. us) while people richer than us get handouts just because they've had a kid or 5. It doesn't make sense.

The moronic plan of note right now is the "Carbon Tax". More money is being taken from us and being given in the form of rebates to "struggling families" read "the same people generating the biggest carbon footprint".

Are you mad yet?

Well let me fix that. Let me make you happy.

There's not much doubt that the folk who do have kids to get the "financial benefits" are just plain stupid.

They are incapable of doing the simple math that shows (cost of baby/ies) > (all handouts available)...and that is just the cost in dollars. There are many other costs not so easily measured.

There's also not much doubt that the politicians will stop pandering to the middle class retards who do most of the voting (I like to call them the "lowest common denominator") or get smarter any time soon. They'll continue to waste our money as long as they draw breath.

So while all this pisses me off, in my head I know I am still way better off than any person with a child receiving any amount of "Government" assistance.

For starters my vagina can't be used as a boat shed, my bank balance is not as small as it could be, my sanity is roughly the same as it was before I didn't have kids, my wife and I haven't grown apart because of the kids, actual sex is on the menu, other members of our household don't hate us and break things, ...I could go on but perhaps your comments below would be better :-)

It may best if we keep this to ourselves because I suspect we may be further reamed by the Government if they find out...on the other hand, if those thinking of reproducing get wind of this we may just prevent the global population problem getting worse!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why not? I've just never wanted to

Guest post by Suzy Cooper - a 38 year-old writer and stand-up comedian living in Tasmania.

When I was twenty I visited a doctor to ask about getting sterilised. He said he wouldn't do it on someone my age because I'd regret it. Regret it? The only thing I knew I'd regret was getting pregnant and having to decide what to do about it. I was paranoid about getting pregnant even though I was super-careful - as a child of the 80s I knew that even thinking about sex was going to end with Death beating me at bowling, then giving me AIDS.

I remember at the time thinking that the doctor/society would be hands-off about me doing any number of regrettable and somewhat- to extremely-permanently damaging things to my life/body, including:

  • tattoos
  • piercings
  • collecting venereal diseases
  • having children I didn't want (and allowing me to treat them poorly - after all, mothers know best)
  • smoking
  • eating to excess
  • exercising to excess
  • excessively excessing in general.
Hmm. What did I learn? A doctor was allowed to exert control to ensure my reprods remained open for business. And to determine what I would or wouldn't regret. I was peeved by that paternalistic attitude. At the time I remember thinking, 'Well, if I do change my mind hopefully my body will be sterilised before any hormones kick in and over-ride my logic.'

At 38 I am still entire (as they say about animals). My choice to keep my reprods in their original packaging has usually prompted friends and family to say the boringly predictable, 'You wait. You'll change your mind.' 

A friend who was having IVF treatment once said to me bitterly, 'I bet you're super-fertile!' Much as I empathised with her struggles, I couldn't apologise for that. Besides, the only way to know for sure whether I am indeed fertile, is to get pregnant: a diabolical idea that would irrevocably affect my life, my bladder (by all accounts) and the unfortunate issue of my loins. 

Side-note: something that hasn't really affected my decision, but which sure doesn't act as sweetener: my family seems to create giant fat-headed babies. 

I still look at pregnant ladies and think 'There's no possible way that (contents of abdomen) is going to get out through that (pelvis). I've seen Alien.

Introducing Suzy Cooper...

Suzy Cooper
Hello everyone,

Recently I put out a request for people to contribute to this web site/blog.

I also directly invited some people I know to be guest posters.
Suzy was one of those people and she has kindly agreed to contribute - yay!

Her first post is queued and ready to go. It will be up after her introduction here.

Suzy is very modest and asked only to be introduced like this...

"Suzy Cooper is a 38 year-old writer and stand-up comedian living in Tasmania."

Suzy also runs her own business, speaks about writing and communication, volunteers, lives life on her own terms and is a lovely giving person. Check out her web site to read about all the pies her fingers are in.

So please everyone, give Suzy a round of applause...oh, I forgot where I was...stay tuned for her posts.

Thanks Suzy!

David Moore

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

CFZ - The Book Serialized - Why do people choose to be child-free? Greater Freedom...

Why do people choose to be child-free?

Having children is an enormous undertaking. There are so many things to think about, so many things you can’t predict, so many things that you can’t guarantee, so much to learn, so much to do, such a long-term commitment and, at the end of it all, you have to let them go. Any one of these things can become a compelling reason not to have children if you feel strongly enough about it.
When people who have raised children find out what our book is about they sometimes say ‘Oh God, I can tell you why not to’ or ‘Ask my husband, he’d never do it again’ or ‘Whatever you do, don’t change your mind’. A more common response is: ‘I love my children dearly and would not give them up for anything in the world, but if I had my time again, knowing what I know now, I would not have kids.’
When people with young children find out that you don’t want any, they almost invariably try to change your mind. One theory is that misery loves company. The conspiracy of parenthood dictates that those who are now bound by their decision must attempt to recruit more victims to the fold. It is like a ‘baby cult’. You believe because you have to believe. It is too late to admit it was a mistake even if it was. You are now bound to spend a quarter of your life on this project. You can’t even allow the thought that you might have been wrong to enter your head. The conspiracy of silence about parenthood means that many new parents are left asking ‘Why didn’t anyone tell me how hard this would be?’ In popular culture, parenthood is romanticised and glorified when, for many, the reality is different. It takes a lot of guts to admit it.
Those who have finished raising their children are in a position to reflect more objectively, and sometimes that reflection is not as pretty as they once thought. That objectivity, combined with experience, is difficult to ignore. Some child-free people feel that they have simply learned from other people’s mistakes and listened to their advice.
The people we surveyed gave a wide variety of responses when asked why they don’t want children. Most people who have decided not to have a family will see themselves reflected somewhere in this chapter.
Many respondents said they simply had not found a good reason to have children. Says Marianne, 31, a graphic designer: ‘I can’t relate to other people’s reasons for wanting to have kids. Children are often so idealised and inevitably parents realise this not long after the child is born when the barrage of nappies and crying hits. It’s all worthwhile, they tell me. Is it?’
‘I never actually decided to have children,’ wrote Stephanie, 36, who has five brothers and two sisters. ‘Coming from a large family there were always too many children about. Being the youngest I was always surrounded by too many nieces and nephews.’
Helen, 33, says that having children would affect her life ‘very badly. I don’t like children, I don’t want children, it just wouldn’t work for me,’ she said. ‘I don’t mean to sound melodramatic, but it would ruin my life.’
Not all child-free people dislike children, in fact many are closely involved with children in their work and family lives, but so often children are ‘their own worst enemy’. Put simply, the perceived decline in standards of behaviour of ‘children today’ puts many people off having them. Even with the best of them it is not long before your tolerance is tested. So would you want one of your own full time? ‘Ah, but mine would be different!’ you might say. How do you know?
Tracey, 39, considers herself truly child-free by choice, although she has had a baby. ‘I relinquished a child for adoption at 16, and have never had the desire for children since, or before for that matter. I don’t consider myself a mother and never have. I wanted to be free of responsibility at 16, and still want to be free. I may not be considered a “child-free person” as I’ve had a baby. Then again, you could view it another way. If one has a child, or even falls pregnant, and then gives that child up, or has an abortion, one would truly be child-free by choice. I mean, once you already have that child, or are pregnant with it, then you have to have the courage of your convictions in making the decision to stay child-free.’
Child-free people are sometimes perceived as child haters. Yet to care so much for a child as to give it up for a better home, or not have the child all, may be the single most thoughtful and caring thing a person may ever do for a child. It is obvious they aren’t child haters when they think of a child’s welfare that far in advance. Prevention is better than cure.
This concern may initially manifest itself as doubt. ‘I don’t know if I want to bring a child into a world like this.’ ‘I don’t know if I could be a good parent.’ Don’t just ask yourself these questions. Answer them, and answer them before you have a child, because afterwards your answer doesn’t matter.

Greater freedom

An overwhelming majority of respondents mentioned ‘freedom’, as either a key reason not to have children or the main benefit of staying child-free.
‘My situation is rather paradoxical, as you will see. I just love children of all ages, and I think the world would be a very sad place without them. However I must confess that I love my freedom more, hence my choice of a child-free life,’ said Vivienne, 59.
‘I value my freedom and independence very highly,’ said Monica, 30. ‘I like to be able to get in my car and go somewhere without first loading it with the large amount of necessary accessories that go with children, or having to make alternative arrangements for childcare.’
Tracie, 35, says she is not prepared to give up her independence. ‘I like the freedom to do what I want when I want. I also feel a child would interfere in my partner’s and my lifestyle and we spend a lot of time by ourselves.’
‘Our lifestyle is very important to us,’ said Stephanie, a 36-year-old sales assistant. ‘We have always put each other first. We prefer to be around animals and enjoy coming home to a quiet house with no children running around.’
The second most important reason Betty, 47, chose not to have children was lifestyle. ‘It was around 1970 I read an excerpt from a book called The Baby Trap in Cosmopolitan of all magazines. The author was celebrating her child-free honeymoon in Europe which she said was possible because they weren’t tied down with children. I read the book and it wasn’t particularly well written but it raised a lot of valid points.’
‘I have always been happy the way I am, and having a child would make me very unhappy indeed – anxious, trapped and unable to please myself,’ said Fiona, 41. ‘Having a child would reduce my choices and opportunities for work, fun, lifestyle and happiness. I think that’s why people say they find happiness and fulfilment in their children – they don’t have the time or energy to find it elsewhere. There’s also the risk of being locked into a situation that’s second rate, for security’s sake.’
‘I feel that all my life I have been doing things to please others, but not necessarily what I wanted to do,’ said Beth, 34. ‘This decision is right for me and I guess others might view it as selfish but I don’t want to lose the freedom I currently have.’
Mik, 41, said that not having kids means he has ‘freedom to do as, when and for what I like, without responsibility.’
Freedom is whatever you perceive it to be. For some, it means being able to ‘up stumps’ and move at a moment’s notice. For others it means having as few obligations as possible. Some people see leaving the workforce to become a full-time parent as a form of freedom. After all, many people would love to give up working. However, parenting can be far more arduous than almost any job and it doesn’t offer the luxury of being able to seek a career change when you’re tired of it.