i must admit reading some threads on here has prompted this read, but it is in no way an attack on anyone or meant to start an enormous debate.
I just want to know for your personally, where do you draw the line between a parent doing someone to help their child vs a parent being selfish?
Examples, hmmm. A parent is studying, remaining on centrelink until finishing their degree as they know that in the long run they will earn enough to support themself and their child. They do not work now as they spend many hours outside school away form their child due to studying. Are they being selfish by studying something which takes their time away from their child? Are they being selfish by not getting a job and aski the government to support them?
Another example, a parent of special needs child has their mother help take their child to applintment, is this selfish? Should the mother attend every appointment or is it ok for her to get others to take the child sometimes?
I'm sure there are many more examples but hopefully from this you can glean what I mean :-)
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30-07-2012 19:09 #1
Parenting priorities vs selfish wants
30-07-2012 19:12 #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2006
Both totally the opposite of selfish. A mother trying to get an education so they can provide a better life for her children, awesome!
A mother of a special needs child seeking help, is fine. After all -if the mother cracks under the pressure then the whole family will go down. She needs help too.
30-07-2012 19:18 #3
I think anything that disregards the "best interest of the child" is selfish.
Education, appointments, work etc etc - that provides a better lifestyle or quality of life for both child and parent in a direct or indirect way isn't selfish.
I'm studying P/T and have my kids in care. One at after school care, one 2.5 days and the other 1.5 days. I feel
enormous GUILT that they are in care, but I think I'd go mental not having anything.at.all for me. So it makes me a better mum/person, not selfish.
30-07-2012 19:19 #4
Hmmmm. I think those two examples, to me, are not selfish. The parent studying, while not in an ideal situation right this moment, is doing it to better her child's life in the long term. The mother with a special needs child, without knowing why the grandmother is taking the child to the appointment it's hard to say but again to me doesn't seem selfish- maybe the mum just needed a break. Or she is sick herself. I would be more concerned if the child did not attend any appointments at all, rather then who takes him/her.
To me, selfish parenting (and I am guilty of this myself in the past), is putting your own needs before that of the child- as in having "no money" for nappies/food/rent/etc yet can afford smokes and alcohol. Leaving the child/ren multiple times a week/fortnight to go party/drink/etc. To me that's selfish.
Having said that, I also acknowledge as parents we do need to put ourselves and our needs first at times, but I don't think it should be at the expense of our children.
Hope that all makes sense.
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30-07-2012 19:26 #5
I will be studying as of next year, and will be on welfare. How is improving future employment prospects, income and lifestyle in any way selfish?
DD will be in childcare whether I work full time or study, so I may as well study towards a career that will earn more money rather than put her in childcare so that I can work in a job not earning much.
Not selfish at all!
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30-07-2012 19:30 #6
Thankyou all for your opinions. I agree that these things aren't selfish, as I was describing my own situation, but I often feel guilty and terribly horrible about it. I am curious though, what is selfish to you?
30-07-2012 19:32 #7
Doing a hobby course with no intention of gaining employment from it, which takes time and money away from the kids, not leading to a better future might be seen as selfish, but studying and struggling through in order to get out of the poverty cycle in 4 years instead of staying in it for the next 30 is not in any way selfish.
Having family take a child to some appointments is fine, depending on what they are. Many of the physio or OT appointments did not really require me to be there, simply for *someone* to get her there and back. But other appointments I had to be there.
On the topic of hobby courses, I have recently looked into a couple of cheap evening classes for myself and my daughter, I want us to do a course together to get us out of the house. I have not found any suitable, affordable courses that are on at the right time.
30-07-2012 19:41 #8
I studied fashion design, purely for my own interests, knowing that I'd never actually take it further as a career. Why? Because sometimes it is good for you to do something for yourself too, as long as it doesn't affect your children negatively. And it didn't impact negatively on my child at all, in fact, he's benefited from it too as I now can make him some awesome clothes!
30-07-2012 19:42 #9Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2006
I have just joined a hobby group. I don't see anything wrong with it, at the moment I am a stay at home mum, I have 4 kids 1 with special needs, his therapies alone have me running here, there and everywhere.
So I have decided one 2 hour group a week is needed to keep me sane. Not sure how that is selfish. How strange.
Ana Gram - study is so important. Don't let the naysayers drag you down. You are doing the best for your family.
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30-07-2012 19:43 #10
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