Thursday, February 28, 2008

Compulsive Motherhood

An ABC news story about Angelina Jolie, who is apparently expecting her 5th child, claims that "compulsive motherhood" can be a sign of depression or manipulation. The 32-year-old actress who is in a relationship with Brad Pitt has adopted 3 children and birthed one of her own.

More tabloid gossip than news, the article outs Mother Teresa as depressive and all but dismisses charitable work as something only psychologically empty people engage in. Ms. Jolie's crime? Adopting three children from three different countries and giving them a loving home, economic prosperity, and a happy childhood.

If compulsive motherhood or fatherhood means caring for neglected children, would we all become as compulsive as Angelina Jolie.

Here's an excerpt from one of the comments on the story from a writer friend of ours, Meagan Francis:

"...focusing solely on "finding ourselves" throughout our entire lives creates selfish, self-centered and boring people. Human beings create relationships because without relationships, life IS empty. Not everybody has kids, and that's fine. Some people form friendships, they get a dog, a partner. And some--gasp!--have and enjoy children, sometimes even more than one or two! Finding fulfillment in motherhood doesn't mean you're competitive, compulsive, twisted, avoiding life, trying to re-define yourself, seeking attention, mentally ill, or any of the above. For most of us, it simply means you like children, and want a house full of them."

--Meagan Francis, Author "Table for Eight: Raising a Large Family in a Small-Family World" (Alpha/Penguin, 2007)

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