Originally Posted by Johnny Soporno
A rational person, Elias accepted the reality of his situation: His marriage had come to an end, his wife and he had generated two children, and they needed parenting and support.
He also recognized that he had NEVER wanted to have children - and that attempting to offer them sufficient attention was unrealistic.
He felt trapped, and unfairly burdened, and knew that his children would sense that - and suffer for it.
His not wanting to have kids is no besmirchment to his character, and neither was his presuming that his wife, actively taking contraceptives explicitly to avoid becoming pregnant, would opt to have a child if she were to become pregnant in spite of their best efforts.
I am firmly of the opinion that the best thing anyone can give a child is a happy home.
I am equally of the opinion that the LEAST thing anyone can give a child is NO EXPOSURE TO AN UNHAPPY HOME.
There is NO RATIONAL WHATSOEVER for Elias's damaging his children's self-esteem and self-schema through his discomfiture in having to attend to them against his will. Not to mention that it would be detrimental to his own enjoyment of life, and his ability to earn enough to ensure that his kids would be able to receive excellent parenting/education through nannies and schooling.
Sorry, Johnny, I'm just not buying. Your advice was 'get a full-time nanny to take care of your kids so you don't have to.' This is an explicit dismissal of his responsibilities as a father.
I notice that the one part of my post that you didn't quote was the very salient point that Elias ended up with not one but two children, despite his supposed commitment to not having them.
I am unsure how clear he was with his wife that should she get pregnant on contraception, he would expect her to have an abortion, but if he was serious about not wanting to have children, he should have been. I don't think that there should be any presumption that because a woman is happy to take contraception to avoid pregnancy that she would also be happy to have an abortion in the event of contraceptive failure. Those are two very different things.
If he wasn't clear, it's his tough luck that nobody gets to tell a woman to have an abortion once she's pregnant, and regard that as a sufficient dismissal of parental responsibilities. Particularly not TWICE. I believe your response to that was 'Oooops!' A child is not an 'oooops'. Elias wasn't 'unfairly burdened'. His children came about as a direct result of his unwillingness to be responsible for his own choices.
In fact, I think Elias is pretty clear where his problem came from.
All of it because of my lack of resolve and long term thinking and predicting consequences.
I am firmly of the opinion that you CREATE a happy home. Every single day people have to do things they don't want to, and yes, childcare can be exhausting and frustrating but nobody suggests parents just palm their kids off to someone else because they don't feel like dealing with that. Offering children sufficient attention (particularly on a part-time schedule) is not 'unrealistic'.
His children are not stopping him from earning money - nowhere has he said that he has had to give up his job. He has to spend time with them outside of work hours and on weekends every second week.
You think his kids are going to grow up being grateful that he handed them off to a nanny because he didn't like spending time with them? That they're going to respect him for that, and not feel damaged? I doubt it. I think it would mean more to them if he 'sucks it up', just like he suggested, and sits down in front of a Disney film, or goes out and throws a ball around or builds a Lego castle with them, even if he doesn't 'feel' like it. That's what being a grown-up is about.
He knows what he needs to do to be a parent. He's obviously not stupid. He's not beating or abusing the kids or mistreating them in any way. He just doesn't want to put the time in, and he wants to be able to blame someone else for the situation that he got into fair and square.