December 2010

Does anyone else find Christmas difficult?

It’s Boxing Day and, as I’ve done for many years now, I have just managed to ‘get through’ another Christmas. All around everyone seems to be moaning about being stuck with the family having no idea what it’s like to be, as it were, standing outside in the snow and cold looking through the window at family life. I was born just after the war at a time when women obtained their only status by becoming a wife and mother. My mother had to wait six years before I came along and, whilst I now appreciate how difficult that must have been for her, I have always felt that my only reason for being alive is to give my mother the status of ‘mother’. She rarely praised me (though she was never unkind) because she was so scared I’d be seen as a ‘spoilt only’. This was all about her [...]

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Why do some families have only one child?

The growing number of one-child families, is an interesting phenomena that is occurring in both the US and Europe. With an increase in population the only-child family has been advocated as a way to curb population, particularly in China. One of the main reasons in the West for the increase in only children, appears to be due to such factors as later marriages, careers for women, a higher divorce rate, lower fertility and a desire to combine family and work. Having a child, and a career, is now a common expectation for women, and limiting the family to one child avoids some of the disadvantages of increasing financial responsibility, and dividing time and attention between children. In the past most families who had only one child did not do so through choice.  My research indicated that having one child was more often the consequence of a negative event, like a [...]

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