Even though children are a blessing, they can also be an overwhelming challenge. Better to support parents who are venting because while they don’t know your challenges, you don’t really know theirs either. Complaining about the trials one faces when caring for their children does not mean they don’t want them or don’t love them.
The OP is dealing with his pain by being angry at people for experiencing different pain. No one is “unconcerned” for the situation he is in, but it isn’t spiritually or psychologically healthy to deal with it in this way, nor it is fair to the other people, many of whom are literally doing nothing wrong.
I’m not really doing that at all actually. I come from a family of six. I’m aware kids can be a challenge. And I’m not talking about parents venting or people feeling momentarily overwhelmed, or even people using NFP to avoid pregnancy for a good reason. I made that quite clear.
I’m talking about an overwhelming tendency in modern society, and increasingly among Catholics, to view kids as a burden and talk about them as such.
I’m also not minimising the pain of people who genuinely need to avoid kids or angry at those people. I’m not actually angry about it at all, I just have become more acutely aware of this particular thing.
Sorry, but your entire OP is full of anger and disgust. I came from a family with eight siblings and had five years in the trenches teaching elementary aged children and I thought I knew everything about raising kids. And I did know a lot about childcare, education, and discipline going in. But what I didn’t know was the absolute emotional toll it takes on a person, being responsible for another human being’s life, 24hours a day, every day. Every choice you make feels like you are balancing the weight of the world on your shoulders and if you mess up and let anything go wrong, you are failing in the most important purpose of your whole entire life. Taking care of younger siblings doesn’t prepare you for that. Then you have to deal with the inevitable calamities that can befall any family such as sickness, disability, job loss, mental illness, addiction, learning disabilities, etc and if you dare complain you get a combination of, “You should have thought about that before having kids.” or “If you really loved them, this wouldn’t be that hard.” or “You don’t appreciate them enough. Some people can’t even have kids.” or “Cry me a river.”
Actually, you did not make any of that clear in your original post. And your tone in it is very angry. You mentioned people who complain about their kids without specifically mentioning you don’t mean parents who occasionally vent—it was open to be interpreted that you meant any parent who makes any complaint about their children. You also explicitly said your struggles with infertility are worse than the other people’s struggles. That’s minimizing, and it’s not fair to say such things.
@Allegra is spot on about everything. I am also a teacher and worked with many children before I had my own. I thought it would prepare me for parenthood. It didn’t. The responsibility of being completely entrusted with the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of another human being is not something you fully understand until it happens.
I think there is just anger and frustration. Sometimes it takes a person who cannot have children to realize the poor attitudes in some who take their children for granted. And there are people who say ugly things about the vocation of parenting!
And still, all good reason we should rightly be so honored to bring children into the world who are connected to us through God’s creative wonder.
No one has been unkind to the OP. He can certainly benefit from the constructive things many posters have said on this thread.
I understand he is angry and frustrated. But people who found his words to be in poor taste are not doing anything wrong. Most of the posters who told him his post was in poor taste also sympathized with him, said they would pray for him, and wished him well.
The OP has said he knows what it’s like to be responsible for children because he had many siblings. All we’re saying is that having many siblings isn’t the same as parenting. He says people who have children don’t understand his struggles and that his struggles are worse than theirs. We’re saying he doesn’t understand their struggles either and it’s not fair to say his struggles are worse.
I have a son. I thank God for him every day. I would love more children but it’s looking like it won’t happen.
I know what you mean & I often catch myself feeling angry when I hear of the way some people talk about their kids. Or people who talk like having a child would be the worst thing in the world.
I suggest you work on finding a way to not let it anger you to a point that it is damaging to yourself or to your wife. You sound overly angry about it.
I never said it was the same. This thread wins the prize for people wilfully misrepresenting stuff.
I’m “ticked off and sick of hearing” a great deal of the stuff posted on this forum, purportedly by other Catholics, but it is not constructive to say that, nor is it kind, nor is it how Christ or my confessor would advise me to act towards others, nor is it really in keeping with the terms of service of the forum to post such sentiments here.
I would gently suggest that if the posts of other people struggling with child-related issues bother you this much, you might consider not reading those threads, because it’s a possible occasion of sin for you in causing you to have a lack of charity in your response to others.
Adam, please reread the chain of posts. How else was this comment supposed to be interpreted? You said your struggles with infertility are worse than the struggles of those who have children. You made no clarification in your original post that you didn’t mean those who occasionally “vent” about their children. @Allegra pointed out that while those who have children don’t understand your struggle with infertility, you also don’t understand the struggles of people who do have children. You then said you know kids can be difficult because you have many siblings. Allegra pointed out that having many siblings isn’t adequately comparable to parenthood.
Friend, I really do hope for the best for you. I hope you and your lovely wife can have as many children as you want. I’m very sorry you’re hurting. I’m not trying to attack you and I don’t want to argue with you. In Christian charity, I simply want you to be careful with your words and not let your anger and pain get the better of you.
Yes, That is not the same as saying I know what it’s like to be a parent.
To the original poster, I am so sorry for your pain. I have been exactly where you are and I don’t believe your anger is unjustified. What you are experiencing is incredibly painful and there are plenty of people in the bible that echo your sentiments.
My husband and I struggled with infertility for years and it is a pain that I cannot express in words. It eats away at you. I begged God for a long time that he would give us a child or take away my longing for one. That I would be content with never being a mom. Or that he would make adoption a possibility for us. It is incredibly difficult to hear so many people degrade parenthood. I remember trying to express my pain to a close friend who didn’t understand. Instead, she said some of the same things you got here–that other people have their own problems and that it is hard for people with too many kids. I understand wanting to shout back that they don’t appreciate the blessings that they have.
I will pray for you that God will give you relief.
Our story is one of God “remembering” us the way he remembered Rachael and Hannah in the bible. The bishop of our diocese prayed over us and we conceived right after that. Don’t lose hope. But more than that, be assured that you are not alone. There are many who suffer with you, but too many of us do it in silence.
Dear one, I’m sorry, but in the context of this discussion, it does imply that. At the very least, you can’t blame other posters for interpreting it that way.
I believe the pain you are experiencing is diminishing your ability to see the meaning of your own words and the angry tone of your original post.
Once again, I don’t want to argue with you. I would advise you—as @Tis_Bearself said—to refrain from reading threads that bother you and make you angry. I do wish you the best.
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