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Tiki Central Forums Bilge Having Kids is for people with Unsatisfying Careers?
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Having Kids is for people with Unsatisfying Careers?
Monkeyman
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Joined: Mar 04, 2003
Posts: 2344
From: Vista, CA
Posted: 2005-07-26 1:36 pm   Permalink

I was listening to a radio show the other night and the shows host made a comment that I found interesting.

His opinion is that having children is a great thing to do if you have an unsatisfying career. I guess its his opinion that a fulfilling job fills your life with more meaning and without that job, children can provide you with a similar sense of purpose.

As a person with kids, I thought about that statement for a moment to reflect on my own choices.

I have an OK job/career, but I have never really defined myself by what I do for money but rather the choices I make elsewhere in my life.

My relationships, Hobbies, and Kids are where my value lay.

What do you think?
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cynfulcynner
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Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1800
From: Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Posted: 2005-07-26 1:42 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-07-26 13:36, Monkeyman wrote:
His opinion is that having children is a great thing to do if you have an unsatisfying career.



Having children is a great thing to do if you are independently wealthy.



 
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dangergirl299
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Feb 18, 2003
Posts: 893
From: Bay Area
Posted: 2005-07-26 1:51 pm   Permalink

two separate couples near and dear to my heart just miscarried (my sister in fact is in the hospital right now).

So my take is on it: if you are able to have children, count yourself blessed and lucky. none of that other stuff matters.


 
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tikifish
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2005-07-26 1:53 pm   Permalink

Were you listening to Phil Hendrie?

 
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pablus
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Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2154
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2005-07-26 2:01 pm   Permalink


My European buddies tell me that when you ask someone over there what they do they'll answer "I ski. I bicycle. I like to bake. I climb mountains." Mostly hobbies and other rec. stuff like that.

In America the answer is always "I'm an accountant. I'm a mechanic. I'm a talk show host." Always with the profession first.

That was their observation and I've found it to be pretty accurate.

Defining oneself by job is uniquely American.
Therefore, children, being difficult and not monetarily rewarding would be looked upon as liabilities from a self-centered mouth breather's point of view.

I'm quitting my job and growing what's left of my hair long and starting a commune right now.



 
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purple jade
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Joined: Feb 19, 2003
Posts: 1450
From: New Orleans
Posted: 2005-07-26 2:06 pm   Permalink

I think if you have kids (or other such dependants), it's not about "liking" your job/career anymore...you NEED it whether you like it or not. Your universe has expanded beyond your personal desires. So maybe people with kids tend to stay with "unsatisfying careers" because they have taken responsibility for the well-being of someone other than themselves. And a job is just a job, your family is your life.

 
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tikifish
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2005-07-26 2:22 pm   Permalink

Good point peej!

 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2005-07-26 2:31 pm   Permalink

I never want to have kids. My leisure time is the most important thing to me - traveling, seeing bands, dining out, etc. My job isn't bad but it's only a way to provide the means to have quality leisure time. I'll never have enough vacation. I wish I had 6 weeks to 2 months of vacation a year instead of a measly 2 weeks.

Having kids (and even pets) is too much of a sacrifice for me. I like having the freedom to go when and where I please.

If I won the lottery I probably would quit working but pick up more hobbies and do some volunteering to keep busy.


 
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mrs. pineapple
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Joined: May 12, 2003
Posts: 611
Posted: 2005-07-26 2:56 pm   Permalink

Good point Pablus! A friend from Philadelphia was visiting me a while back, and she was saying that she hated living in NY, because people always asked what she did in terms of work, and never what she did for fun, artistic expression, etc. (She's an independent filmmaker, who has a day job taping depositions)

I've always liked San Francisco, because amongst my friends, it always seemed that people had their day jobs, and their 'stuff they do, creatively' I work in a design/ad agency, but I also do photography, bike, tiki stuff, music etc.

I actually love my job, and I'm having a kid. I guess some people aren't so lucky to have great bosses, a supportive work environment and cool co-workers. Both of my bosses have been incredibly supportive of my choice to have a kid, both of them have kids, and started their own business so they could enjoy them more. During the summer we usually have one kid around during the week. Of course the down side is that I make about $20K less a year than I would if I worked at huge agency, needed to commute and be in the office 60 hours a week. We can live with that. But, I worked at some horrific jobs in the last few years, and feel like I paid my dues, and can really appreciate the pros vs. cons of this job.

I think Americans have a weird double standard, we preach about family values, but don't actually do much to encourage people having kids responsibly, or having the resources to care for them, or raise them properly. But, I don't want to go down THAT road on TC

It is sad that so much of our value is placed on what we do (do you have a real job?) how much $$ we make, and we kind of miss the whole quality of life measurement. We're constantly debating whether to stay in the Bay Area and run the treadmill of the rat race, or cash out and live someplace cheaper, where neither of us will be able to find jobs we like as easily. It's a tough choice.

We are so excited about this kid, but we also know that it means we may have to keep or take a job that goes south, to keep the insurance and paychecks coming, but that's life. PJ is right, a job is just a job, your family is your life. I feel pretty lucky to have a nice balance right now!
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BarkerBird
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Joined: Jul 20, 2004
Posts: 168
Posted: 2005-07-26 3:04 pm   Permalink

I have a very satisfying job, and I am a parent.

I think people should do everything they do to satisfaction.

Anyone who thinks that child rearing is the easy path to personal satisfaction for those without a fulfilling career are probably not parents.



 
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mrs. pineapple
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Joined: May 12, 2003
Posts: 611
Posted: 2005-07-26 3:10 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-07-26 15:04, BarkerBird wrote:


Anyone who thinks that child rearing is the easy path to personal satisfaction for those without a fulfilling career are probably not parents.





they've also not been 9 months pregnant in July...
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alohabros
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Joined: Feb 04, 2004
Posts: 533
From: westernus
Posted: 2005-07-26 3:21 pm   Permalink

zpg... zero population growth... http://www.populationconnection.org/index.html

then again, you can never love your children too much!


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donhonyc
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Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2005-07-26 3:27 pm   Permalink

I like kids, but I can't stand kids that misbehave (who can?), and the parents that either don't know what to do about their kids behavior or who are just plain stupid.

I can see the point of the argument about unsatisfying careers and kids. Let's face it if you have a job that sucks, you need something to look forward to when you get home, that is if you like your kids. Personally I have mixed feelings about it all. I feel like I'm still a kid myself at 39, and I like the freedom I have. I still hang out and party with the same people I did almost 20 years ago. But I agree with cynfulcynner, kids are great for the 'independently wealthy'. It's a huge liability and one that I can't take on now, nor do I see it really happening in the near future. I think I would be a good parent, and not to get all existential and negative, but why exactly do people have children? For themselves, or because they think the child they would have would enjoy being on this planet? I'm getting up there in age now and I feel that if I do it, I should probably do it soon, but with all the craziness in the world right now I have to question why the hell would I want to bring a child into it? So that child has to deal with all of the same craziness, and perhaps more in the future?


 
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Tiki_Bong
Deleted

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 0
Posted: 2005-07-26 3:44 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-07-26 15:21, alohabros wrote:
zpg... zero population growth...



Don't you wish your parents were as insightful as you?


    
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BarkerBird
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Joined: Jul 20, 2004
Posts: 168
Posted: 2005-07-26 3:47 pm   Permalink

DonHoNYC,

To ask why have children is to me, a little bit like asking "why fall in love?"

For yourself? Because you want someone to share all your life with you?

And if you don't fall in love, you have all this freedom. Go anywhere, do anything, no strings to tie you down.


Because to me, that's what parenting is like. It's like falling in love. Hard work. And you'll never see the end of that hard work. But at the same time, I have two great loves of my life, where I had only one before!

If you can get through life scott-free, with the minimal number of connections to others, with the least strings and commitments to those who require your time and devotion, so much for you. Maybe that's a good way to be in a crazy world.

As far as bringing a child into a crazy world, well, please point me to the epoch in history when there wasn't crazyness and it was a good time to have kids. It probably lasted only 20 or so years, and those kids grew up and had to clean up the problems of the world. My parents had me during vietnam. Their parents had them during WWII.

But I have to say, I really didn't understand any of that truely until I became a father. I enjoyed my relatively carefree years too, very much. But I enjoy my life now as well, and I absolutely wouldn't change it.

It's something to think about.


 
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