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It is selfish for parents with disabilities to have DC

(211 Posts)
undecidedanduncertain Tue 11-Feb-14 12:01:18

Apparently one DC is okay (if the disability is not too severe) but more is really selfish.

A parent at a playgroup said this to me today. She has (I think!) failed to realise that I am registered blind and have 3 young DC.

It makes me wonder how many other think this, but don't say it in front of me.

littleballerina Tue 11-Feb-14 12:02:32

The lady at playgroup is a Twat. Simple.

NatashaBee Tue 11-Feb-14 12:03:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MothratheMighty Tue 11-Feb-14 12:07:16

No, she is an arse of the first water.
Let's hope her children grow out of her stupidity.

riskit4abiskit Tue 11-Feb-14 12:07:17

I don't believe in that view.

However just like there are selfish and unselfish people generally, im sure there is a tiny minority of parents who might.

You should have asked her to elaborate, in what ways did she mean selfish?

I guess you could say people in all sorts of situations could be labelled selfish in this way; people with lots of kids but no money, people in a dv situation, and so on.

I think she should mind her own business and im sure youre a fab parent.

newestbridearound Tue 11-Feb-14 12:07:45

There was something on This Morning about this today; two actors from Call the midwife were talking about their upcoming storyline where they face huge prejudice (in fact I think the baby gets taken away) because they are to be disabled parents.

Playground woman is an ignorant idiot. Plus I wonder what she would say if someone has children and then becomes disabled through illness or accident. Her view of life seems sadly black and white, as well as prejudiced.

undecidedanduncertain Tue 11-Feb-14 12:11:57

Oh, the This Morning programme might have been what triggered the comment - I joined a discussion already in progress so didn't hear the beginning of the conversation.

I didn't say anything, just withdrew. I am not an especially confrontational person, and it's not a conversation I wanted to have at that place and time. I keep on thinking about it though (hence this thread...)

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Tue 11-Feb-14 12:17:49

Having children is a totally selfish decision full stop.

I mean she didn't have her children to make them happy did she? hmm

Writerwannabe83 Tue 11-Feb-14 12:18:41

I have epilepsy and my maternal grandparents made it quite clear how irresponsible they thought I was being by having a baby. When I told my family that me and DH were planning on having one my nan told me that when 'women like me' have children they tend to have disabled children, end up physically disabled themselves (wtf) and then their husbands leave - and was I prepared for that to happen??

They also enjoyed tracking down horror stories in newspapers and magazines about epilepsy and pregnancy, 'damaged children', how social services removed the children because of the mom's seizures and she was never allowed unsupervised contact etc. They also had endless anecdotes to tell me of "things they'd seen in the telly" about the horrors of epilepsy and babies and the damage that can be caused to the baby by the medication etc and how the mother's epilepsy got so out of control she ended up 'brain dead' (their words, definitely not mine). Every time I saw them they had new fabricated stories to tell and they were doing it with the sole purpose of trying to make me feel guilty.

My mom phoned me once to tell me that my Grandad had just called her to express his 'concerns' about how utterly irresponsible and selfish I was being by wanting a baby and that I wasn't being fair to either the potential baby or my husband. hmm

Thankfully my mom told him to mind his own business!!

I was so upset about it all that I just stopped visiting them or phoning them whereas previously I was really close to them. I was so nervous telling them about my BFP but at the same time it was like sticking my fingers up at them and saying, "Screw your opinions!" smile

bigbluebus Tue 11-Feb-14 12:19:04

What a ridiculous opinion to have. I assume she doesn't actually know any parents with disabilities - apart from your good self OP.

When DS was in infant school, there was a little girl in his class whose dad was a ft wheelchair users. He was a SAHD whilst Mum went out to work. He was a fantastic Dad with lovely children (there was also a younger girl). He did loads of stuff with the children - as far as I could tell they never missed out on anything.

Many factors make poor parents. Disability is not necessarily one of them.

Depends on the disability, ie a couple I know who have special needs had one child and coped very well, admirably in fact.

They then had a second child and couldn't manage, it all fell apart as they didn't have the capacity to manage two and ss are very heavily involved now whereas before they weren't really needed although they did get support.

No sure if selfish is the right word but I don't think it's right for anyone to take on more than they can manage, whether they have a disability or not

MomentForLife Tue 11-Feb-14 12:22:46

Silly woman. I'd imagine that children grow up to be very well rounded, understanding people if they have a disabled parent.

olidusUrsus Tue 11-Feb-14 12:28:31

It's possible that she has made herself look bad if you came to the conversation late - if they were discussing the CTM storyline - which is about a young woman, I think teen, with down's syndrome becoming pregnant - they may not have been talking about people who are disabled but NT. Or she could be a cunt. Latter seems likely tbh.

shouldnthavesaid Tue 11-Feb-14 12:29:58

Heard that one before.

I disagree however in cases of severe disability it is something that should be thought over very carefully. It is very difficult being the daughter or son of an adult (or two) who are severely disabled or even moderately (as I would say my mum is).. I have done things at 22 (and have done some level of caring since age 3) for my mum that most of my peers hopefully won't have to for another fifty years or so - including monitoring medication, changing clothing, bathing, putting to bed and managing continence needs, attending medical appointments and advocacy, managing finance, signing care plans etc..

You have the emotional impact as well - the not wanting to go out, not being able to relax at school, not being able to have sleepovers as often, lower disposable income or no reliable income (e.g. benefit reliance), etc.

However - there are huge upsides. I'm good with first aid, very used to hospitals and ambulances, can to some extent keep a level head when things are shit, used to working under pressure etc..

It's a decision that would need to be weighed up very carefully - just as it ought to be all the time. You'd need to have a clear idea of whether there would be support for your children through family, friends, young carers networks, etc. In the most severe cases you'd possibly have to be prepared to accept a lot of intervention at home - I have been cared for as a child by many people, which I know my mum found hard.

I don't think it's selfish and it's not wrong, but it does need to be thought out.

However, it is absolutely disgusting to say to a parent with a disability at they are selfish. Some people are just ignorant twunts.

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Tue 11-Feb-14 12:32:04

Oldius, you wouldn't call someone who wasn't NT selfish for having a child if there is a possibility they can't understand the ramifications of having a child though would you? Either way she is a cunt.

undecidedanduncertain Tue 11-Feb-14 12:33:04

Writerwannabe - I am sorry to hear about your GP, that must feel very hurtful. It's far worse when comments come from someone close to you than from a virtual stranger as in my case.

MomentForLife - that's a nice thing to say. I hope so! I am on a waiting list for a guide dog currently. DS2 (4) said today that when the dog comes, he will carry it from the back door to the bathroom and wash its paws after a muddy walk. I am rather strict about taking wellies off at the door, and I think he was concerned that the dog might get into trouble for tracking mud in. grin

Undecided, what part of are you from ?? << nosy >>

shouldnthavesaid Tue 11-Feb-14 12:35:40

My dad pulled out the damaged children line a few years ago. Simply because when I was six or so my friend and I played at 'seizures'. We would walk along the room, pretend we were shopping and then pretend to collapse and convulse as we'd so often seen mum doing. I think we thought it was a wrong thing to do and we tried to keep it a secret but I think it was as natural a behaviour as playing mums and dads is, nothing wrong in it at all.

The only way a child would be 'damaged' (which isn't a good term) is if there was no good support coming to the family. Can imagine that there could be issues there - physically and mentally. In this day and age that shouldn't be happening but it does. Still not the parents fault, it's the fault of those that are meant to help e.g. schools, social work. You can argue those services wouldn't be needed if these parents didn't have children but then again, disability/illness can begin at any time, long after children are born etc..

archfiend Tue 11-Feb-14 12:38:12

Stupid woman. Would love to know what she thinks about people who have a child and then become disabled? Do you send the child back...? We are in precisely that position and I would be utterly furious with anyone who made such a thoughtless remark. Ignore and try not to dwell on it too much, some people are just idiots.

IamInvisible Tue 11-Feb-14 12:44:31

I became disabled through having DS2, so was I meant to send him and DS1 back?

My children are very much loved and wanted. Their lives have been enriched by having a disabled parent. They are mature beyond their years, empathetic and very, very caring.

Ignore the woman, she doesn't know what she is talking about.

undecidedanduncertain Tue 11-Feb-14 12:47:02

Why do you ask, Apocalypse?!

manicinsomniac Tue 11-Feb-14 12:52:17

It is selfish for anybody to have a child if they know in advance that they are going to be unable to care for it adequately in any way (be it physical, emotional or mental).

For example, I would never have deliberately had children because I have mental illnesses (anorexia and a mild form of bipolar) which I believe make me, if not an unfit parent, than a less than ideal one who could have a damaging influence on my children. Unfortunately, perhaps due to these mental illnesses, I was exceptionally stupid twice and raped once so have 2 children and am pregnant with the third. Now they are here I do the best I can but I can't pretend that having children was a good idea for me.

Many disabled parents can care perfectly well for their children. Many non disabled people cannot.

She is generalising and being ignorant.

There are many things that mean people won't be ideal parents. Some disabilities are perhaps sometimes one of them.

Timetoask Tue 11-Feb-14 12:56:47

I don't agree with this lady however I do think that it is selfish to have children when you will NOT be able to care for them properly and give them the right upbringing. Whether you are disabled or not if you cannot look after the child then don't be selfish.

I heard an interview on the radio some weeks ago with a man who is completely blind, he has 2 adult children and he sounded so inspirational. His boys obviously love him and have grown to appreciate him so much.

Morgause Tue 11-Feb-14 12:57:05

I'm a bit on the fence having had a school friend who feels her youth was stolen by being forced to become a carer for her mother.

I wrote about it here

If you know you carry the genes for a chronic and painful inherited condition I think you need to think long and hard about whether to have children at all. I know I would have.

In general I don't think people should have more children than they can look after - for whatever reason - disabled or NT.

MomentForLife Tue 11-Feb-14 13:00:31

Undecided that is so cute!

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