People magazine has run this article about singer Kellie Pickler saying she is “in no rush” to have children. Ms. Pickler is recently married, age 25 and in the article states she is not in a rush to have children and makes a broad sweeping statement that young mothers are not ready for the responsibility of having a child and equates having a child at a young age with a “fad.”
The commenters on this post are rabid. “Having children is selfish,” they say. “I want more time to spend with my husband,” others say. There are a few who dare to post that not all young mothers fall under these sweeping accusations of young motherhood.
My issue with Ms Pickler’s interview is that, first of all, her comments are not specific enough. She refers to “kids” having babies. Is she speaking of teenagers or women her own age? Being that she says she does not feel ready for children, if appears her reference to “kids” is directed to men and women of her own age group. Which, to me, is disturbing on a number of levels.
First of all, maturity is not a matter of age. While I will be the first to say that teenagers should not be having children, if a man and woman are in their twenties and married, they may in fact be mature enough to have a child. The Church teaches us to be open to life (and I recognize not all people are Catholic, but I cannot speak of faith practices of churches to which I do not belong) in our marriages and to only avoid conception for the most pressing of reasons (but certainly gives us room to determine what that means within the unique circumstances of each individual marriage). By this rationale, couples who wish to “enjoy each other” for a few years before having a child do not exactly have a compelling reason to put off pregnancy and therefore, should not be married. I am actually in complete agreement with that statement. I know it is unpopular in today’s world, but I don’t apologize because what is “of God” is very often not “of this world.” Couples unable to have children, as long as they are remaining open to life,’s marriages are not considered invalid under this rule.
Secondly, selfishness is not a matter of age either. A selfish parent will be one at age 20 or age 40. Someone who is saying, “me, me, me, mine, mine, mine” in regards to either having children or preventing them is selfish regardless of age.
But the most disturbing trend I am noticing both in Ms. Pickler’s comments and many of those in culture at large is “it’s a choice, not a child.” Not only is this message pro-abortive, it is also pro-contraception and ignorant of God’s role in our lives. It is to say that we have complete control in our lives, not God. A child is an inconvenience not a blessing from God. And unfortunately, some of these couples who take this belief to heart are stunned to find out that when “they decide” that they are ready, their bodies may no longer co-operate. God gave us fertility and He allows it to us for only a limited time.
People have long bought into the lie that they can completely control their lives and destinies. It allowed us to believe that taking a pill or wearing a condom was the way to go. Or that if that pill or condom failed, having a life obliterated was the correct solution. In our culture of death, we have not just disregarded human life, but God Himself and His will. And that is true immaturity and selfishness at its core.