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baboon punching by almostaday

things learned

This is a rant, for the most part, so you are officially warned.

One of the valuable things I am learning from this experience is that I do not ever wish to be an elementary school teacher ever again. The job itself isn't horrible, though my role here in this Korean school can be. And the kids aren't terrible, either; though when they are, I can handle them.

My issue is that I am simply not a person who can be around young kids for an extended period of time without wanting to burst out in a fit of rebellion both against their neediness for attention and my constant feeling of living outside of my body in a persona of a goody-two-shoes teacher. I want to pierce my nose again. I want a tattoo. I want to give the system the finger. Apparently, being conventional to me is psychologically unhealthy.

Which brings me to the other point, that being that I am just not a motherly person. That is the thing I always notice whenever there's a child younger than 10 in the room. The other teachers here or even just some other woman I'm with on the subway train will croon and swoon over "how cute" some kid is. My response is either a muttered, uncomfortable agreement or a full throttle yet painfully reluctant agreement. My normal policy of being outright up front with my opinions diminishes, because its utterly taboo for a woman to respond with, "Eh, I don't really think so. It's a kid. So what?" But I simultaneously think it's ridiculous that I should feel compelled to pretend. It's also utterly taboo for a woman to say they don't want kids, which I do not. Society says children = happiness, which is sheer idiocy because that's like saying everyone likes chocolate ice cream. Which I also do not. It's like saying all women like the same kind of sex. Which they don't. It's like saying all men are obsessed with their masculinity. It's like saying religion is good for everyone. They're not true. Don't believe them. So I officially raise my vigorous objections to this conformist attitude that everyone wants the same thing, or should want the same thing.

"Women have been told how they must have children to be happy. Now here comes a book that shows how happy women can be without children. All of the women profiled are innovators, thinkers, risk-takers who have listened hard to hear their own voice through the cultural din and not followed convention for convention's sake. Each tells us that there are many ways to make the journey of life worthwhile."

-- Pepper Schwartz, review of Pride and Joy: The Lives and Passions of Women Without Children

Are these women less happy, less lively, less passionate for not having kids?? My god, it sounds like it's just the opposite!

Kids aren't bad, just so long as they aren't begging for my attention and I don't have to be around them for more than a few hours. I'm not motherly. So there.

Comments

I Totally Get it...

That was more of a realization than a rant. I never understood why it was always assumed that females are some how genetically wired to be "good moms". In nature, "good moms," frequently eat their young. Hey, its often what's best for the rest of the litter.

I would always crack up when I volunteered teaching 5th graders, or doing summer camps, and my coworkers would say I should go to school for teaching. See, I'm sort of the opposite of what a lot of people are. I love dealing with the neediness of small children, under the age of about 3. Before they've developed language skills, and little personalities. I love rocking and comforting a needy infant. Put me in a room with 20 5th graders, and within an hour I want to pull my hair out. The older kids need emotional support, too, but they want all sort of other attention just to get ATTENTION and it drives me insane!

I'm secretly hoping Sean will retire from the Navy. One for the benefits, and two, so he can stay home with kids if we have them. If not, I'm doing daycare. Being married to someone in the military, its automatically assumed that I want kids immediately, and want to stay home with them till they're like 18. That is ridiculous! I'm 24, and I have plenty of time to start a family. As for staying home...why the hell would I do that? I'm not going to spend the next few years finishing my BS in Microbiology so I can guess what virus or bacterial infection my kids have, while I do the laundry, and change diapers.

Not that I think stay at home mothers have it easy, oh no, its the opposite. If I had to stay home all day, even with my own children, I'd likely lose my mind in about a week. Its just not for me. I've had wives NEVER speak to me after our first meeting because I don't have kids yet, or because I plan on being a working mother.

I feel like, for some reason, society is jumping back to the post WWII mindset of the homemaker wife and mother. Suddenly its like all this progress towards women doing what they want, and being independent, is still there as a "possibility" but not the accepted norm. Sure, you CAN do whatever you want career and life wise, but be prepared to be a social pariah, or at the very least, the topic of some serious debates.

Oh, Christina, she's focusing on school right now. I KNOW she's been married for four years, and they don't have any kids yet! How sad she's so focused on school and a career, when she could have started a lovely family by now.

Bite me. I'm happy. The fact that you have so much time, and such a strong desire, to judge me for not conforming to what you assume is "normal" just shows me how unhappy and bored you are.

End mini rant. Cyber high five.