How American Parenting is Killing the American Marriage by D. Teller
Sometime between when we were children and when we had children of our own, parenthood became a religion in America. As with many religions, complete unthinking devotion is required from its practitioners. Nothing in life is allowed to be more important than our children, and we must never speak a disloyal word about our relationships with our offspring. Children always come first. We accept this premise so reflexively today that we forget that it was not always so.
In our recently published book, Sacred Cows, we took on our society’s nonsensical but deeply ingrained beliefs surrounding marriage and divorce.
…Another sign of the parenthood religion is that it has become totally unacceptable in our culture to say anything bad about our children, let alone admit that we don’t like them all of the time. We are allowed to say bad things about our spouses, our parents, our aunts and uncles, but try saying, “My kid doesn’t have a lot of friends because she’s not a super likable person,” and see how fast you get dropped from the PTA.
….Much as parents love their children and have their best interests at heart, however, they don’t always like them. That guy at the office who everyone thinks is a jerk was a kid once upon a time, and there’s a pretty good chance that his parents also noticed that he could be a jerk. They just weren’t allowed to say so.
…. Of course, Ayelet Waldman’s blasphemy was not admitting that her kids were less than completely wonderful, only that she loved her husband more than them. This falls into the category of thou-shalt-have-no-other-gods-before-me.
As with many religious crimes, judgment is not applied evenly across the sexes. Mothers must devote themselves to their children above anyone or anything else, but many wives would be offended if their husbands said, “You’re pretty great, but my love for you will never hold a candle to the love I have for John Junior.”
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site
(Link): How American Christians Were Influenced by 1950s American Secular Propaganda to Idolize Marriage and Children and Against Singles and the Childless -and how over-emphasis on “family” and lack of respect for singleness started a backlash against both (excerpts from ‘Pornland’ book)