Serial kid-producer reveals top 10 reasons not to have kids

Barb Taub

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.

imgresI was lying awake last night, trying to memorize the feeling of everything being right with my family. We’re all healthy, happy, and remarkably satisfied with where we are in life at this exact moment. Even Child #4 has just taken her last ever Uni final, and pronounced herself ready to go off the family payroll.

A friend asked if I ever regretted having so many kids, or the time/money/everything that it took to raise them. She said her book club (having dispensed with the required 8.5 minutes of book-related discussion) were all talking about the reasons their grown children were not producing grandchildren.

That reminded me of this blast-from-the-past I wrote a few years ago.


Top 10 reasons not to have kids

There are actually LOTS of reasons not to have kids. As a serial kid-producer, I offer a revised list:

10. Vermin =…

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OPINION: Is there still life in Sepp Blatter after FIFA scandal escalates?

CitiBlog Milton Keynes

FOR many people, the arrest of high-ranking FIFA executives by a Swiss/US probe has signaled a horizon shift.

The last few years have seen football fans despair at FIFA corruption scandals, which have somehow managed to peak ever after the award of the 2022 tournament to Qatar. But with the organisation remaining as strong and, as John Oliver put it, “comically grotesque” as ever, it seemed like the gravy train was continuing to hurtle along at rapid speed. Sure, there were the odd scalps – including the noticeable one of former Vice President Jack Warner – but most of the time, it felt like FIFA had used them up and spat them out.

The fatalism had continued, with a number of opponents stepping down in the race to be FIFA President, leaving Jordan’s Prince Ali the only competitor to sport’s ultimate despot Sepp Blatter. This Friday (29/05) sees the election…

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Guest blog post: Hands like these, by Beverly Rycroft

Anthony Wilson

Bev Rycroft

This is the first in a series of guest blog posts by writers I admire.

Having enjoyed speaking and reading with her at The Aldeburgh Poetry Festival last year, I am especially pleased to have Beverly Rycroft as my first guest blogger.  Full details of Beverly’s recent work can be found at the end of this blog post.

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In the winter of 1984 I lived in London.  Homesick, cold and tired, I glanced up in the Tube one day and read these lines:

Days I have held,
days I have lost,

days that outgrow, like daughters,
my harbouring arms.

The rush of heimwee (Afrikaans: homesickness/nostalgia) that I felt on reading Derek Walcott’s Midsummer, Tobago was triggered not only by missing my family in South Africa, from longing to be a daughter protected by parents again.  The first stanza of the poem, describing the “white heat” and “scorched yellow palms”…

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If my words are worth nothing, why are you stealing them?

days like crazy paving

A few days ago, I noticed that people were sharing around my blog post “Muslim, queer, feminist: it’s as complicated as it sounds” without including my Twitter username. Not a huge deal – they were linking back to my blog, so I was still getting clicks and page views out of it – but it was a little disconcerting (not bad, just disconcerting) to realise that my work was being shared around by people who didn’t even know me and therefore couldn’t directly credit me as the creator.

People keep telling me this is a consequence of “fame” (I wasn’t even aware that I was famous!) – that people will share your work without letting you know about it. I suppose I can live with that, as long as people aren’t just copy-pasting words of mine without any kind of course or attribution…

…which is exactly what happened to me…

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My daughter, Caitlyn Jenner, and Laverne Cox

gendermom

As the mother of a young transgender child, my response to Caitlyn Jenner’s headline-grabbing announcement is a visceral one. Yes, I’m kind of put off by the hype. No, I’m not a big fan of celebrity culture or reality television. But when I look at the cover of Vanity Fair, and read the news articles that respectfully use Jenner’s new name and female pronouns, I’m overwhelmed by this new state of affairs, and by a world that might just be ready to accept my daughter. And that knocks me off my feet with awe and gratitude.

I called my friend Alice, a member of our support group whose trans daughter is a few years older than mine. “Did you see it?” I said. She knew what I was talking about.

“Of course,” she said. I could hear her shaking her head over the phone, as overcome as I was…

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Undercover Autistic: on disclosing autism in the (academic) workplace

The Third Glance

Autistic – the word that I first heard applied to me my freshman year of college – it was weighted full of disdain, and I feared it. I feared it, knowing but little of the disorder I’d never really encountered, but had heard some very awful things about.

Autistic – the word that I learned more and more about, as I devoured everything I could read on the subject, which was just so utterly fascinating to me.

Autistic – the word that I learned explained the why of how I interacted with the world. The word that explained nearly everything that made me different from the people I was surrounded by.

Autistic – the word that gave me freedom from my fear and belief that I was just a completely broken person who would never succeed.

Autistic – the word that gave me power over myself and my environment.

Autistic…

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Hair and boobs

Zsofi Writes

On the morning of my 39th birthday, I was grateful for two things: my hair and my boobs.

There were other things too, of course – the way Sam buried his little face in my hair at 5:30 in the morning. The way he and Drew planned how to surprise me with breakfast and cake and presents.

But my hair and boobs were on my mind the most because in the week leading up to my birthday, one friend had to shave her head and another friend found out she might be losing her breasts.

I sort of hate to feel gratitude like this—it seems like such a selfish feeling. Like by being grateful I am saying that I am grateful that YOU have this horrible disease and not me. I am grateful that I have my hair, but too bad about yours. That’s clearly not what I want to…

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