My Biggest Regret Is Having These Children
I recently read an article that really shocked me and shook me to the core. A mom who publicly wrote in a national newspaper in the UK that having her children were her biggest regret in life. The article is peppered with horrific quotes such as “I resented the time my children consumed” and “Like parasites, they took from me and didn’t give back”. I suggest everyone reads the article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2303588/The-mother-says-h…
I assume you will have the same reactions that I did. What is particularly perplexing is why did she have to personalize her story, identify herself and her children and even provide photos of her family? Why do her children have to grow up with the burden of knowing that their mom thinks of them as parasites and regrets having them? As said by someone who commented on teh original article -By doing so, she shattered and violated the most fundamental and sacred covenant between a mother and her child. Earth shattering revelation couched in shocking terms to give her fifteen minutes of fame.
I want to ask this mom where it ever said that life was about being easy. I always marvel at the fact that some of the countries with the highest suicide rates are considered “easy lives” – In Australia there is a particularly high incidence of male suicides in the 60 plus age group. Life in Australia according to all the surveys is easy and desirable, so why are so many people coming to what should be the retirement time of an “easy” life and not finding a reason or purpose to continue living? Paradoxically in Israel where people are faced with threats of war, army service, greater economic challenges etc. there is a relatively low suicide rate. Life is not about being easy but having a sense of purpose. Life is also about giving – it’s about giving to others not taking for yourself.
This concept is beautifully coded into the very word for love in Hebrew – “ahava”. The root of the word “ahava” is “hav” meaning to give. The complexity and spirituality of the Hebrew language is coming to teach us that it is by giving and not by taking that we experience true love. The mom in the UK completely misses this – she was interested in what her children could give her and not the other way around. No wonder she is so regretful………
In an ideal world, we would focus our efforts on giving and not taking, being concerned for others and not ourselves. That is a world that Hashem created for us to find love and joy in.
Originally published: April 17, 2013
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