The article is full of quotes like this:
I felt completely detached from this alien being who had encroached upon my settled married life and changed it, irrevocably, for the worse.
Again, how can she know what her life would have been like without children? Would she have been happier? I don't know. But, I do know that someone like Mother Teresa who spent her whole life serving others, seemed to be very happy. I know that in my own life...times when I am the least selfish (and I can be very selfish at times) are the times when I am the happiest. For it is in giving of ourselves that we receive (from the Prayer of St. Francis which St. Francis probably never said).
What I valued most in my life was time on my own; to reflect, read and enjoy my own company and peace of mind. And suddenly that peace and solitude wasn't there any more. There were two small interlopers intruding on it. And I've never got that peace back.
Don't we all? She sounds seriously introverted. I am somewhat introverted myself...and I do oftentimes long for more peace and quiet and time to reflect. But, I don't for one second believe that having more peace and time to myself would make me happier. A little more would be nice....but not a huge, empty void of childless peace.
I never wanted to hurt Stuart - I only wanted him to prosper and thrive. There is no doubt I grew to love him very much, and indeed still do. But I always wished I had never had him.This statement seems rather paradoxical to me. Love does not wish someone didn't exist. I do not understand how one could say in the same sentence I love you, but I wish you had never been born. For, if she hadn't had him..he would not be here. She later talks about her son's wife and his two children...I bet they are happy he exists. I bet her son and daughter have both touched the loves of countless other people...people who ARE happy they exist.
It was not that I seethed each day with resentment towards my children; more that I felt oppressed by my constant responsibility for them. Young children prevent you from being spontaneous; every outing becomes an expedition. If you take your job as a parent seriously, you always put their needs before your own.This is true...very, very true. But, that's not a bad thing. Losing our natural, inborn selfishness is not a bad thing...in fact it is a very good thing. But, our culture tells you that it is. Our culture says that children are a burden, so hurry up and have your two kids and get them weaned and sleeping through the night and off to school and out of the house as soon as possible, so we don't have to be burdened with them anymore. Once they are gone, we will have the freedom to jet off to Italy and eat at fancy restaurants and read important books and pursue big careers...because those things have so much more value than bringing new life into the world and raising children. Our society tells us that being a burden is bad...so it's best if all the babies with down syndrome or other health issues requiring special care are aborted...and the old people, or those who are terminally ill, or in a coma...well they aren't worth anything either...so let's just euthanize them.
But that's all lies I tell you..all lies. Everyone comes into this world as a helpless, newborn baby. Everyone comes into this world as a burden. As a burden..but also as a blessing. Every person's life is valuable..and I find it incredibly sad that Ms. Dutton does not see the value of her own children's lives. Sad...but not surprising.
It is her tragedy that eight years ago she developed multiple sclerosis and had to give up her job as a chef. She is now bed-bound and lives with Tony and me.
I am her full-time carer and if I could have MS instead of her, I gladly would. She knows I would do anything to relieve her suffering and that I will care for her as long as I am able. I am 57 now and as I approach old age, I have an ever-more dependent daughter.
Yet I would cut off my right arm if she or Stuart needed it.
And that, maybe, is the paradox. I am a conscientious and caring parent - yet perhaps I would have resented my children less had I not been.
When it comes right down to it, it does sound as though Ms. Dutton does love her children...it's a shame that she didn't value them and their human dignity enough to not publicly or privately state how much she regrets them. It's a shame that our society views children as a burden. And, it's even more of a shame how many children aren't born because people don't want to be burdened with a blessing.