Why Did You Have a Baby?
By: Beth McHugh 2008
Women have babies for lots of different reasons. Some women have wanted babies since they were quite young children themselves. Others have no interest at all in having children, but as time progresses they decide that they do want a child of their own. Some people deliberately choose to have a child and plan the birth accordingly. Others find themselves pregnant through a mistake or have a baby at a time that they haven't quite planned. Some babies are wanted and others aren’t.
I recently encountered a 39-year-old woman who told me the she was desperate to have a child. Her biological clock was ticking fast and she was feeling increasingly desperate to become pregnant. However the reason why she wanted to have a child was possibly not the healthiest one in the world. She wanted to have a child so that she wouldn't be lonely in her old age. She wanted to have a child so it would look after her when she got old. This is what she verbalized to me.
She did not express any joy in watching any child of hers grow up or assisting that child in its travel from childhood to adulthood. Instead she just wanted this child so that she wouldn't be lonely in her old age and to have someone to care for her at that time.
Although it is very nice to have a child or children to look after you when you're old, you cannot depend on this. So many different circumstances can occur that would make this impossible. Your child may not reach adulthood, for example. On a more positive note, your child may be very successful in its career and move to different locations, often far away from you, in order to follow their career. We all know elderly people who may have many children who do not live anywhere near them and therefore cannot be of daily assistance to them. Often nursing homes are full of such older people.
However, in thinking right from the start that the only reason why you would have a child is for it to support you both emotionally and financially in your old age is extremely selfish. In saying this, this person revealed that they saw their child not as an individual but as an object or tool for their own use. Unfortunately this way of thinking is not uncommon, especially when the child is a female child. Female children are often expected to take on the job of looking after elderly parents. However there is no reason why this should be so. Males are just as adept at caring for the needs of the elderly.
We can only assume that any child who was conceived and raised to be
used solely as a companion and bank manager to an elderly parent will
feel less than friendly towards that parent. Thus they are less likely
to undertake the job for which their birth was intended. Ironically
parents who use their children from this purpose often end up alone
and then blame the child, when it is clearly the attitude and belief
system of the parent that is causing the disruption in personal relationships.