children Archive

On “Family Values” and Mental Health

Family values is problematic, both on the right, and the left. Why? The simple answer is that it renders worthless the value of anyone who isn’t (heterosexual and) married with children. By placing families on that pedestal, it leaves everyone else at the bottom. The obvious demographic groups affected include those living in poverty, those who have addictions, people of colour, and single parents. But this also includes all working middle class (and even super-rich) who are single, who choose not to have children, or who choose not to marry.

Coming to terms with childlessness

I never wanted to be a mother when I was young. Seduced by the freedom I could have as a single woman, at varying levels of “being about to take care of myself” financially and psychologically, I pushed onward. When I was 19 and in college I had an abortion. The father was irresponsible and unemployed, and I wanted to graduate. I wanted to live an exciting, satisfying life and knew if I kept the child I would be doomed to poverty and single-mother-dom before I had even gotten started.

A Legacy Deferred

Note: I have not used any real names in this article. However, the people, places, and events described are real (to the best of my recollection).

Most people spend their lives actively seeking to create their legacy. For most people it is by having children, being good parents, and then good grandparents. For others it is the accumulation of wealth. Inventors have left indelible marks on our history and culture as well. Politicians and generals guide nations through both war and peace. For my childless, staff-grade officer Uncle “Michael”, though, there seemed to be no legacy after his senseless death in Iraq in 2003. Until now.