Another social stigma, one that is just as damaging but not as overtly stated as the stigma against housewifery, is the stigma against parenting in general. Everyone has a right to choose to not have children, that is fine, but I don't like the use of excuses, such as a bad economy, to back up such personal decisions. I also don't like it when people go around making it seem like they are some sort of hero out to save the world somehow simply because they have decided to not support "overpopulation".
In my personal opinion, parents are the heroes on this earth, I mean for the term "parent" to include those people in the world who either choose to not have children or cannot have children of their own and still are good mentors to the kids and people around them. Not everyone has to have a child in order to be a good person, but everyone should support the next generation and go out of their way to help the people around them, not judge them for having kids and trying to make themselves out to be the good guy when they decide that having children is the cause of terrible happenings in this world.
Children are the reason this world is as beautiful as it is, they are the innocence and peace givers, and they are the ones we should be focused on. There is never a good time in life to be selfish, isn't that something our parents tried to teach us? After all, we were all children once and had parents, does that mean that we are also the reason for things that are bad in the world and our parents shouldn't have ever had us? This form of logic could work its way back all the way to the beginning of time and become an argument to God for why he shouldn't have created man and had children on earth at all. What a depressing and worthless way to live one's life.
What is most sad to me, however, is when parents themselves talk about parenting as though it is too difficult of a burden. I understand that simple human nature necessitates some complaining, at least it appears that way to me, but some parents honestly talk to me as though I will regret being a parent in the first place. I hate it when I'm talking to other parents about how happy I am, that I enjoy taking care of Squeaker all of the time and they say something like, "Oh, you will understand when she gets a little older and is into everything." I say that I actually don't mind diapering her, cloth diapers have actually become a fun hobby for me, but "Oh, you won't like it when she starts eating more solid foods and you've been doing it for two years, trust me." Not to mention when people belittle having only one child and say things like, "Oh, you will understand when you have a couple more running around." Can't a young mother be happy to be a young mother? Not to mention, I'm not trying to say that what I do isn't hard, I'm just saying that the benefits outweigh the costs.
I know that parenthood is hard, Squeaker isn't an angel all of the time and I don't get much sleep or the things done I set out to do at the beginning of the day, but does complaining about it really make it better? Parents need other parents to vent to, but I want to make my job to build other parents up, not bring them down. When I was pregnant it was a similar thing, women were making me scared to death of pregnancy and labor. I thought I was pretty much going to die and have to be resuscitated, but hundreds of thousands of other women have done it before and lived. Hundreds of thousands of people have survived parenthood, while still smiling! I hope that I don't become so jaded and stigmatize parenthood too because although it is the most difficult calling in life, it is also the most rewarding.
Squeaker can keep me up all night, wanting to be fed every couple of hours when I know she can go much longer, but when I see her smile it all makes it worth it. She isn't just a burden, a pet, or a project that is difficult, she is part of me and I helped to give her life. Maybe more people should think about that fact before stigmatizing motherhood and parenthood.
I am proud to be a housewife, to be a parent, and I am grateful to have the wonderful occupation of being a mother.