This comment by Alara Rogers gave me new words to describe my fear about becoming a mother.
I saw the perception that ... if mothers aren’t completely selfless and also perfect then they will ruin their child ...
This is really tied up in with both of my parents', as well as my paternal grandparents' + aunts/uncles', frequent classist statements about childbearing. "There oughtta be a way to require a license to have kids." And the "stupid" people who wouldn't get a license are almost ALWAYS middle-or-lower in class.
Now that I'm doing more leftist readings, I'm learning that most of these behaviors my family members attributed to 100% stupidity, and yet almost always pointed out in poorer people, were more likely 80% influenced by effects of poverty.
BUT, that doesn't provide me a lifetime of positive alternative models to emulate. I just read about poorer people raising kids.
Now I'm looking at having significantly less wealth & income than the rest of my family. I can't see another way about life that I can stand the thought of.
Back to Alara's quote about "ruining" my child...there's this part of me that, thanks to my parent, is aware of the upper-middle-to-upper-class escape from being completely selfless. You pay to have other people help you raise your child "right."
But...society and my parents at large definitely gave me this message that I have to be completely selfless if I'm going to raise children without enough money, to avoid "ruining" them.
Alara also wrote:
I saw the perception that ... if mothers are completely selfless then they are doormats...So I'm avoiding having any. Damned if I know how to be selfless. (That's the other thing I learned by observation. Not being selfless. The money ensured they didn't have to do that to "not ruin me.")