Saturday, July 29, 2006

Yep. She's Selfish.

Duffy over at Pencader Days has always seemed an even-keeled kind of fellow to me. Imagine my surprise when he seemed genuinely bothered by Helen Kirwan-Taylor's "Sorry, but my children bore me to death!" in his post about her.

I had to read the article for myself. Yep. There is plenty there to be upset about.

In a nutshell, Kirwan-Taylor feels modern women are enslaved to their children and that children are inherently too boring for her.

Kirwan-Taylor admits to making up excuses to avoid children's birthday parties and singalongs. She hates taking the kids to the park, driving them to guitar lessons, watching them play soccer, viewing movies with them, playing games, and reading them bedtime stories, among other things. In short, she admits to being too self-obsessed to enjoy parenting.

Unfortunately, she's completely missed the point. Parenting is about being other-minded. It's about laying your life down for someone else. It's about training up the next generation. If parents don't model their values to their children, whose values will they acquire? If parents don't read to children and discuss issues and ideas, how will they develop strong language and reasoning skills? If parents don't take the time to help their children acquire skills, how will children develop competence in any area? If parents don't love their children, how will their children know how to love? Make no mistake, to children love is spelled T-I-M-E.

As she complained about the boredom of packing kids' lunches and discussing problems at the school with other parents, she explained that she was really thinking about her own lunch and "which shoes [she] planned to wear with what skirt." And if her children become superficial, self-absorbed young men, whom should we blame?

She asks at one point: "So how have we reached this point where so many intelligent women are subverting their own needs and desires to that of their children?"

My answer: Because those women realize that character is more important that intelligence. Hitler and his henchmen were intelligent. Stalin was intelligent. But we don't admire them for their intelligence because they lacked character and goodness. These women seem to understand that their intelligence is not a god to be worshipped. It is instead a tool to aid them in their ambition to raise compassionate, well-adjusted, competent human beings.

Sadly, Kirwan-Taylor has failed to see the future. She has never fast-forwarded twenty, thirty or forty years. When her sons develop stronger ties with their wives' families (assuming that they've learned enough selflessness somewhere along the way to successfully marry) and prefer to spend family time with them rather than with her, will she wonder why? When her grandchildren enjoy their maternal grandparents who seem warmer and more cuddly to them, will her feelings be hurt? When she reaches the final stages of life and feels it ebbing away, will she look back on her time here on earth and be thrilled that she published so much and always had her hair highlighted, or will she long for the relationships she never developed with the people who were supposed to be closest to her? Most people faced with death don't think about their professional achievements but their relationships.

At the end of the article the publisher includes the question, "What do you think-is Helen selfish?"

And the answer is "Yes."

(Reformed Chicks Blabbing also has a post on this here.)


At 7/29/2006 1:27 PM, Blogger ColossusHube said...

"What do you think-is Helen selfish?"

Damn right she is! How nauseating...

At 7/29/2006 7:30 PM, Blogger Christopher Taylor said...

Yes, but on the selfishness scale she's slightly lower than the woman who aborted one of her triplets so she wouldn't have to spend as much time with her kids. Three was just too much.

At 7/30/2006 12:26 AM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

Yeah, I remember that story. It was pretty awful.

As far as Kirwan-Taylor goes, I can't imagine having children and then not wanting to be there for them every step of the way. I would never want to give up my responsibility and right to educated them myself in how to be a good, God-fearing, decent human. Reading to them every night, eg, was tiring sometimes, but it was also a means of giving them rich language, a love for literature, lots of love, and warm memories to be stored in their souls during darker times. I feel sorry for her boys that they don't have that knowledge of their worth deep in their souls to carry them through. It's hard going without it.

At 7/30/2006 3:15 PM, Anonymous Nancy Willing said...

She and her ilk possibly account for a cycle of pain that came from before and will you think this is also somewhat of a cultural phenom?
I have an English sister-in-law who felt very similarly about her kids....we in the US think she is a psycho....

At 7/31/2006 10:02 AM, Blogger Robin said...

Wow, I don't know how she lives with herself. Evidently it IS all about HER. I found myself pitying her because at the end of her life, what will she have?

At 8/02/2006 8:58 AM, Blogger Duffy said...

Hey, thanks for the link. Somehow I missed this post the first time around.

Anyway...IMNHO, women with hyphenated last names are a PITA and should be avoided. It's a pretty good indicator that they're self-absorbed.

I predict that one of her kids will be just like her. Selfish and shallow. The others will be the exact opposite and, as noted above, gravitate toward their spouse's families. She will be very alone when she's old. Her kids will want little to do with her and rightly so.

At 8/06/2006 4:49 PM, Anonymous Carol said...

I found this article fascinating as it brings up a problem that is surfacing worldwide.

Women's rights, once an honorable cause, has now degenerated into another political hobby.

No longer are we concerned with having our voices heard. Now we want the right to oppress, as well. What better group can we target than children? They can't legally represent themselves, and they don't even know they're being mistreated. But they sure make you look good in public pictures...

Since we obviously don't get a medal for being successful mothers, we should have the right to stuff our children in the closet and remove them as society demands. At least, that's what I gather from her article.

My friend's father had her attitude. Feel satisfied that he, as well as this woman, will be institutionalized once he loses his independence.


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