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Mormons and motherhood


YPestis

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I will put my two cents in as the topic applies to me (I'm an active Mormon).

I attended public school and was virtually the only member until I got to high school. I attended and graduated early morning seminary and currently attend institute at my university (not BYU, not even close). I am graduating soon with a B.S. degree in secondary science education (biology and chemistry) and am headed to graduate school in a medical program that will be my future area of work. I have a very supportive boyfriend (also a member and probably future husband) who is graduating from a different university and is trying to find a job in the same area where my graduate school is located. He understands that I want a family, but I don't want to be a stay-at-home mom.

As for this attitude in the church that all women should be stay-at-home moms, this is usually found in original families that have been around since Joseph Smith or the members that have lived in Utah for too long. Growing up, these families usually home-schooled, had a ton of kids, and then sent the girls off to BYU (if they could get in, that is) to get married and the boys off on their missions (and then to BYU once they got back). More recent members were generally more relaxed and sent their kids to public school and encouraged their sons and daughters equally to go to college (my situation, I'm a second-generation member) and serve missions.

I'm going to leave this here: http://www.lds.org/family/proclamation?lang=eng

From the above link: By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.

And this:

http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2 ... w?lang=eng

Maybe the members have their own ideas, but the actual institution that makes the rules, sounds like it has got a few convictions of its own.

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Nice propaganda - you've sold me! :roll:

It's not propaganda, I'm relating my own personal experiences growing up in the church. Where I grew up the idea of only being a stay-at-home mom was not something that was touted by every member- only the ones with strong ties to Utah. I'm just offering myself as an example that not all Mormon women are or even want to be stay-at-home moms (my mom sure wasn't!). I have many friends in the church who have decided they wanted to be stay-at-home moms and plenty that have chosen not to be (the same with friends who are of other faiths).

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I'm going to leave this here: http://www.lds.org/family/proclamation?lang=eng

And this:

http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2 ... w?lang=eng

Maybe the members have their own ideas, but the actual institution that makes the rules, sounds like it has got a few convictions of its own.

I have read the Proclamation before and the talk by Julie B. Beck (I believe I watched the broadcast when she gave it). I agree that fathers do preside over the home, but that doesn't mean they lord over it and have all the decision making power. They are to make decisions regarding the family with their wife and God. I also agree that women are responsible for the nurture of their children (as is their husband), but it doesn't say that a woman should refrain from working because of this. I know that they have encouraged mothers to stay at home in the past, but my generation has seen a slight shift because of the troubling economic times we are in.

*edited for grammar

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I have read the Proclamation before and the talk by Julie B. Beck (I believe I watched the broadcast when she gave it). I agree that fathers do preside over the home, but that doesn't mean they lord over it and have all the decision making power. They are to make decisions regarding the family with their wife and God. I also agree that women are responsible for the nurture of their children (as is their husband), but it doesn't say that a woman should refrain from working because of this. I know that they have encouraged mothers to stay at home in the past, but my generation has seen a slight shift because of the troubling economic times we are in.

*edited for grammar

I think we misunderstand one another. As I indicated in my last sentence, I gave an example for your church encouraging SAHMs, stating that your church's ideas and yours (and some of its members) seem to differ somewhat. Believers doing something differently, or going "against" church rules usually doesn't reflect on the church, but what the church sets down is often what the outside world perceives of the believers.

Or to give you an example: I grew up in a very Catholic village, where people of my generation did take birth-control and engaged in premarital sex. Both against Catholic rules. The world doesn't look at my village and thinks "oh, so that's what Catholics are like", but looks at the pope and thinks [insert whatever you think here] about the church, and its followers. If I say I'm Catholic, no one thinks how nice and cool the RCC is, because I am (well, I wish). No, the world either politely ignores that, or may assume that I'm an anti-choice, BC-hating, pope-worshipping loony* who can't think for herself. They may come to the conclusion that I'm okay, but that doesn't change anything about the way they see the RCC, and much less does it change anything the RCC teaches. The point remains that what the church does reflects far more on the believers, than what the believers do reflects on the church.

Hence, good for you and your fellow "rebels". But your church is still trying to encourage SAHMS in a patriarchal family setting, and mine* is still trying to get us to be constantly pregnant and barefoot. However, I will try and express myself clearer in the future.

*ETA to clarify:

No offence to any believing Catholics, I am exaggerating to make a point here.

I still claim the RCC as "mine", because I grew up in it, but I no longer consider myself a believing Catholic.

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Mormons have been counseled by Church leadership to not watch R rated movies. It's part of the YBU honor code. Here's a blog post by a Mormon man detailing different leaders' counsel to avoid R rated movies.

ldsfriendsDOTcom/the-counsel-against-rated-r-movies/

I find it amusing and ironic that the LDS Church has turned over the decision-making on what is and is not an appropriate movie to watch over to the Motion Picture Association of America. You'd think that the suits at Church HQ didn't know what I and millions of other people know...which is that movie ratings are to put it succinctly, very political. Example: the current discussion over the film "Bully" which was released unrated because the MPAA demanded a bunch of swear words be cut from the film, which the producers refused to do, because it would have gutted the impact of the movie. I know I did and I know other Mormons who would go to art theatres and watch unrated films because they didn't have the dreaded "R."

*shrug* It's so stupid. These are the same guys who came stark staring unglued about women having multiple piercings. I'd like to introduce them to my 72 year old mom and her double-pierced ears.

ETA: In my general experience, I find Mormon patriarchy to be much more benign than that of the fundamentalists, if only because there's a history of women having to do it for themselves in Mormonism, first as pioneers and second as polygamist wives. It's only been in the last couple of decades, that evangelical Protestant mores have trickled their way into Mormonism aloong with some of the more nasty aspects of patriarchy--but not very far. However, I think virtually every Mormon woman who went through Young Womens can testify to having a licked cupcake, crumbled cookie or damaged rose lesson at least once during their teen years.

And the Proclamation on the Family (or the "Croc Proc" as my friend Nadine puts it), well, it's definitely showing a hardening of the arteries in Mormondom. There really IS no place for a woman who has failed in the prime directive, which is to marry and reproduce. Which is why resigning was in some ways a relief, because I didn't have that crap hanging over my head anymore at 48 years of age.

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I find it amusing and ironic that the LDS Church has turned over the decision-making on what is and is not an appropriate movie to watch over to the Motion Picture Association of America. You'd think that the suits at Church HQ didn't know what I and millions of other people know...which is that movie ratings are to put it succinctly, very political. Example: the current discussion over the film "Bully" which was released unrated because the MPAA demanded a bunch of swear words be cut from the film, which the producers refused to do, because it would have gutted the impact of the movie. I know I did and I know other Mormons who would go to art theatres and watch unrated films because they didn't have the dreaded "R."

*shrug* It's so stupid. These are the same guys who came stark staring unglued about women having multiple piercings. I'd like to introduce them to my 72 year old mom and her double-pierced ears.

ETA: In my general experience, I find Mormon patriarchy to be much more benign than that of the fundamentalists, if only because there's a history of women having to do it for themselves in Mormonism, first as pioneers and second as polygamist wives. It's only been in the last couple of decades, that evangelical Protestant mores have trickled their way into Mormonism aloong with some of the more nasty aspects of patriarchy--but not very far. However, I think virtually every Mormon woman who went through Young Womens can testify to having a licked cupcake, crumbled cookie or damaged rose lesson at least once during their teen years.

And the Proclamation on the Family (or the "Croc Proc" as my friend Nadine puts it), well, it's definitely showing a hardening of the arteries in Mormondom. There really IS no place for a woman who has failed in the prime directive, which is to marry and reproduce. Which is why resigning was in some ways a relief, because I didn't have that crap hanging over my head anymore at 48 years of age.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/22/106427
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I find it amusing and ironic that the LDS Church has turned over the decision-making on what is and is not an appropriate movie to watch over to the Motion Picture Association of America. You'd think that the suits at Church HQ didn't know what I and millions of other people know...which is that movie ratings are to put it succinctly, very political. Example: the current discussion over the film "Bully" which was released unrated because the MPAA demanded a bunch of swear words be cut from the film, which the producers refused to do, because it would have gutted the impact of the movie. I know I did and I know other Mormons who would go to art theatres and watch unrated films because they didn't have the dreaded "R."

*shrug* It's so stupid. These are the same guys who came stark staring unglued about women having multiple piercings. I'd like to introduce them to my 72 year old mom and her double-pierced ears.

ETA: In my general experience, I find Mormon patriarchy to be much more benign than that of the fundamentalists, if only because there's a history of women having to do it for themselves in Mormonism, first as pioneers and second as polygamist wives. It's only been in the last couple of decades, that evangelical Protestant mores have trickled their way into Mormonism aloong with some of the more nasty aspects of patriarchy--but not very far. However, I think virtually every Mormon woman who went through Young Womens can testify to having a licked cupcake, crumbled cookie or damaged rose lesson at least once during their teen years.

And the Proclamation on the Family (or the "Croc Proc" as my friend Nadine puts it), well, it's definitely showing a hardening of the arteries in Mormondom. There really IS no place for a woman who has failed in the prime directive, which is to marry and reproduce. Which is why resigning was in some ways a relief, because I didn't have that crap hanging over my head anymore at 48 years of age.

Some quotations from early LDS leaders evidencing a patriarchical history far older than the suggested recent decades Protestant influenced one suggested above:

"Do the women, when they pray, remember their husbands? Do you uphold your husband before God as your lord? What!-my husband to be my lord? I ask, Can you get into the celestial kingdom without him? Have any of you been there? You will remember that you never go into the celestial kingdom (during the temple ceremony) without the aid of your husband. If you did, it was because your husband was away, and some one had to act proxy for him. No woman will get into the celestial kingdom, except her husband receives her, if she is worthy to have a husband; and if not, somebody will receive her as a servant." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p 291)

"I think no more of taking another wife than I do of buying a cow." - Apostle Heber C. Kimball

Heber Kimball was a real ladies' man.

"In the spirit. . . world we will go to brother Joseph. . . . He will say to us, 'Come along, my boys, we will give you a good suit of clothes. Where are your wives[?]' [Answering Joseph] 'They are back yonder; they would not follow us.' 'Never mind,' says Joseph, 'here are thousands, have all you want.'" (Heber Kimball, February 1, 1857, in JOD, vol. 4, 209.)

'Sisters, do you wish to make yourselves happy? Then what is your duty? It is for you to bear children...are you tormenting yourselves by thinking that your husbands do not love you? I would not care whether they loved a particle or not; but I would cry out, like one of old, in the joy of my heart, "I have got a man from the Lord!" "Hallelujah! I am a mother - I have borne, an image of God!" (Brigham Young, April 7, 1861, JOD, vol. 9, 37.)

One more recent quote, because I want every woman out there reminded of what the leadership of this church ultimately believe about your worth and value:

"The most important thing for a woman in this life is to be the wife of a worthy priesthood holder and the mother of his children."

Boyd K. Packer

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Worldwide Training Meeting

 

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I think we misunderstand one another. As I indicated in my last sentence, I gave an example for your church encouraging SAHMs, stating that your church's ideas and yours (and some of its members) seem to differ somewhat. Believers doing something differently, or going "against" church rules usually doesn't reflect on the church, but what the church sets down is often what the outside world perceives of the believers.

Or to give you an example: I grew up in a very Catholic village, where people of my generation did take birth-control and engaged in premarital sex. Both against Catholic rules. The world doesn't look at my village and thinks "oh, so that's what Catholics are like", but looks at the pope and thinks [insert whatever you think here] about the church, and its followers. If I say I'm Catholic, no one thinks how nice and cool the RCC is, because I am (well, I wish). No, the world either politely ignores that, or may assume that I'm an anti-choice, BC-hating, pope-worshipping loony* who can't think for herself. They may come to the conclusion that I'm okay, but that doesn't change anything about the way they see the RCC, and much less does it change anything the RCC teaches. The point remains that what the church does reflects far more on the believers, than what the believers do reflects on the church.

Hence, good for you and your fellow "rebels". But your church is still trying to encourage SAHMS in a patriarchal family setting, and mine* is still trying to get us to be constantly pregnant and barefoot. However, I will try and express myself clearer in the future.

*ETA to clarify:

No offence to any believing Catholics, I am exaggerating to make a point here.

I still claim the RCC as "mine", because I grew up in it, but I no longer consider myself a believing Catholic.

Fair enough. I understand what you are saying and I'm thankful for the perspective. Sometimes it's hard for me to understand how others see my church because I grew up in it and it's just part of my day (prayer, scripture reading).

And, I guess I have always been a "rebel" in my church. I mean, I did have a Coke Zero tonight. ;)

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Fair enough. I understand what you are saying and I'm thankful for the perspective. Sometimes it's hard for me to understand how others see my church because I grew up in it and it's just part of my day (prayer, scripture reading).

And, I guess I have always been a "rebel" in my church. I mean, I did have a Coke Zero tonight. ;)

I live with my boyfriend. I think, I win the "sin" stakes. ;)

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I looked up this tradition, and found a few things.

I always assumed that the white hangers were an isolated thing, but it makes sense that there would be a whole tradition built around it. I had no idea there were poems! I'm positive we didn't get a poem at camp, but there was a lecture about how special it would be to use our hangers for our wedding dresses. As metaphors go, I suppose it's better than used chewing gum or licked cupcakes, but not by much. Mormon camp would have been a real shock if my best friend hadn't told me beforehand that Mormons believe in no sex before marriage, and that they actually follow it! I was in disbelief that this could be true, but chalk that up to my heathen upbringing. ;)

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I have always found Mormon teachings to be incredibly sexist, but the quotes that several members have posted really are something else. I really do wonder how any modern woman can choose to follow a faith that is so blatantly misogynistic.

What's really odd is that the Mormon women that I know are actually quite well educated and some have great careers. A huge portion of my cousins are Mormon (my grandfather was one of 16 kids, raised Protestant, but nearly half of his siblings married Mormons and converted), and I can't think of a single one of my female cousins who is a stay at home mom. They all at least work part time. But most of my Mormon cousins don't seem very devout. A lot of them drink, and several of the girls/women have talked to me about the premarital sex they've had.

My husband and I are acquainted with two Mormon couples, and with both couples, the woman makes more money than the man. Both women have degrees, and one is an attorney and the other has a government job. One of the husbands works in retail, and the other is a freelance jewelery designer. Neither of the men graduated from college. Both couples recently had babies, and both women intend to return to work after a year. One of the couples isn't very devout. The wife had premarital sex and the husband is divorced and has talked to me about the premarital sex he's had (he is a creeper). The other couple seems a bit more devout. I think that they were virgins when they got married, and they got engaged two months after they started dating. Both couples are pretty strict about not drinking, but I know that one of the women is okay with caffeine.

But these are Mormons from Hawaii and Australia. I have only known one Utah Mormon, and she was on her way out of the faith. I remember going out for drinks with her, and us getting drunk and making jokes about the undergarments. We also went to a costume party, dressed as Fundamentalist Mormon sister wives, and she did my hair for it. =p

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I have a brother who hitchhiked to Utah on midnight of his 18th birthday, converted to Mormonism there, and raised/is raising his family in Mormonism. I don't know him very well. He is notably older than me and we didn't really grow up together. He does seem to be "normal", and though they've lived together for decades, he never actually married the mother of his children.

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It seems to me that one big difference between the Mormons and other fundies is that the Mormons have been living their rules for generations and so the new generation will have seen their mother's struggling with the same issues. The ATI fundies have created a completely new set of restrictive rules for their children which they did not live by. So although Mormons seem deeply sexist there is not the same issue of parents denying their children the chances they themselves had.

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  • 6 months later...

I always assumed that the white hangers were an isolated thing, but it makes sense that there would be a whole tradition built around it. I had no idea there were poems! I'm positive we didn't get a poem at camp, but there was a lecture about how special it would be to use our hangers for our wedding dresses. As metaphors go, I suppose it's better than used chewing gum or licked cupcakes, but not by much. Mormon camp would have been a real shock if my best friend hadn't told me beforehand that Mormons believe in no sex before marriage, and that they actually follow it! I was in disbelief that this could be true, but chalk that up to my heathen upbringing. ;)

The hangers certainly weren't an isolated lesson. Mine was white satin and had a quote about celestial marriage printed on card stock tied to it with ribbon. I ended up using mine to hold my strapless prom gown when I moved in with my (non-Mormon) dad.

Sorry for dredging up all these dead threads about Mormonism (not really, I kind of enjoy throwing in my two cents. I'm new here, and I'm sure the novelty of a place to discuss this stuff will eventually subside).

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Guest Anonymous
I know the church doesn't accept polygamy now but why was it okay for Joseph Smith to do it if he was supposedly getting commands from God?

The US government wasn't accepting of Deseret because of their religious beliefs, including polygamy. The Mormons conceded on polygamy to prevent the further shrinking of the land, and eventually became the state of Utah once they were mainstream enough.

I hope History Channel never goes as off course as The Leaning Channel. I learned about that just this week. It's a regular program, "How the States Got Their Shapes," or something like that.

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I think virtually every Mormon woman who went through Young Womens can testify to having a licked cupcake, crumbled cookie or damaged rose lesson at least once during their teen years.

*Raising hand*

I'd like to be counted in with the Mormon (now ex, in my case) girls who got that special lesson as a preteen. It helped me SO much in my life. When I was 13, and in a horrible state of mind, I got sucked in by a sociopath who managed to date-rape me, and then mind-fuck me into staying in a relationship for 18 months. I was abused in every way you can imagine - my mother was unaware of the scarier parts, and she tried VERY hard to get me away from him, and did finally succeed, but the circumstances were complicated.

Anyway, out of this relationship, I was 15 years old, and was talked into going to a church dance. My father's family hoped to bring me back to the Church, and my mother was fine with it as long as I was okay with it. I went to the dance. Being socially awkward to begin with, it wasn't a good scene, but the worst thing was meeting a friend of my cousin's, and developing a crush on him. I went home and cried myself to sleep, because no good Mormon boy wanted a girl who was already "used". My mom tried to convince me that of course a decent boy could look past what had happened to me, but all I could think was that ALL of us kids at church had listened to the instructions of how important it was to stay pure. Any Mormon boy who wanted to marry me wouldn't be able to do so in Temple, and then everyone would know that I was "used".

So, the Church taught me a valuable lesson - that I was worthless once I had been taken advantage of, and I might as well lower my standards in a major way. Probably not a shock that I had my first kid when I was 16, with an asshole who I married later because it was the proper thing to do. I don't think I've ever had a time, since that lesson and that rotten period of my life, when I've felt "good enough" for anyone. I'm so grateful for that. :roll:

It also sucks that now that I've made it clear that I want nothing to do with the Mormon church, most of my Mormon family won't even friend me on Facebook. Mutual friends always ask me why - I really have no idea how to tell them that while I love my relatives, they're hopelessly brainwashed.

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The comments on this are pretty insulting towards women who don't want children:

http://www.mormonmommywars.com/?p=2161

This is my favourite: I always respond with a very perky-blond tone of voice, “oh really? How interesting—was your childhood really so horrible that you would never want anyone else to experience one?â€

I sound so innocent and curious that I have never been shut down–not once. They usually are taken aback by having the tables turned on them, and then they admit that maybe they will have kids someday but they’d have to have a committed partner and they just don’t trust that they’ll find someone that they will 100% be with for the rest of their life. Sad.

Wtf?!

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The comments on this are pretty insulting towards women who don't want children:

http://www.mormonmommywars.com/?p=2161

This is my favourite: I always respond with a very perky-blond tone of voice, “oh really? How interesting—was your childhood really so horrible that you would never want anyone else to experience one?â€

I sound so innocent and curious that I have never been shut down–not once. They usually are taken aback by having the tables turned on them, and then they admit that maybe they will have kids someday but they’d have to have a committed partner and they just don’t trust that they’ll find someone that they will 100% be with for the rest of their life. Sad.

Wtf?!

WTF is right.

Yeah, I'd love to rip this person a new one. YES, my childhood was in some ways pretty fucking awful. My mom developed full-blown schizophrenia by the time I was eight years old. When she took her medication, things were better, but you know, sometimes (a lot of the time) she didn't take her meds. And sometimes the illness was so bad the meds didn't work. I don't want to dredge up memories here as I have to go to work, but as a kid I wish my parents would divorce so we could live with our dad.

If that post wasn't 2+ years old, I'd leave a tart comment about walking in someone else's shoes before being a jerk.

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However, I think virtually every Mormon woman who went through Young Womens can testify to having a licked cupcake, crumbled cookie or damaged rose lesson at least once during their teen years.

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WTF is right.

Yeah, I'd love to rip this person a new one. YES, my childhood was in some ways pretty fucking awful. My mom developed full-blown schizophrenia by the time I was eight years old. When she took her medication, things were better, but you know, sometimes (a lot of the time) she didn't take her meds. And sometimes the illness was so bad the meds didn't work. I don't want to dredge up memories here as I have to go to work, but as a kid I wish my parents would divorce so we could live with our dad.

If that post wasn't 2+ years old, I'd leave a tart comment about walking in someone else's shoes before being a jerk.

Sorry if the post brought up bad memories. Sh's seriously an idiot and besides, even if you did have a happy childhood that doesn't mean that you should therefore have children. Fucking ridiculous. The argument seems to be that you're depriving future children from existing or something. It makes zero sense.

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Sorry if the post brought up bad memories. Sh's seriously an idiot and besides, even if you did have a happy childhood that doesn't mean that you should therefore have children. Fucking ridiculous. The argument seems to be that you're depriving future children from existing or something. It makes zero sense.

I could be wrong, but isn't this a Mormon belief? That souls exist first in heaven/the spirit world/whatever and the more children you have the more souls get a chance to live an earthly life and then...go to the higher level of heaven? I'm not explaining it very well, but I think I remember reading/hearing that somewhere.

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I could be wrong, but isn't this a Mormon belief? That souls exist first in heaven/the spirit world/whatever and the more children you have the more souls get a chance to live an earthly life and then...go to the higher level of heaven? I'm not explaining it very well, but I think I remember reading/hearing that somewhere.

I seem to remember that the idea of souls are waiting to be born is a Mormon belief.

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Guest Anonymous

Sorry if the post brought up bad memories. Sh's seriously an idiot and besides, even if you did have a happy childhood that doesn't mean that you should therefore have children. Fucking ridiculous. The argument seems to be that you're depriving future children from existing or something. It makes zero sense.

One of my best friends had a fantastic childhood, but doesn't want kids because she and her husband can't afford them, and she gets her fill of kids by playing with my kids, her sister's kids, and kids of her friends. Then she gets her nights to herself and can take long, hot baths in peace. She's got it made, and it has nothing to do with a bad childhood. My childhood was awful, but I became a mother by choice. The type of childhood someone has doesn't matter much or at all!

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