Maslow Remix: "Part of Being Human"

For parents out there feeling weary and unappreciated, a reassuring update on Maslow:

Reworking of the famous psychological pyramid of needs puts parenting at the top: "part of being human"

Works for me!!


  1. That bothers me quite a bit, actually. It's one thing to value parenthood, but another to suggest that those who cannot or do not want to be parents are somehow less than human.

  2. I'm perplexed by this. I'm reading something positive, and you are reading it as a negative. That humans are built to be able to, to have a drive for, and to get fulfillment from parenting is not to say that those who don't do this are deficient - those people may get their nurturing needs met in other ways or not need that much of it. Someone who doesn't wish to or cannot parent still fulfills this drive - by being part of society, friends, uncle, teacher, co-worker.

    Turning broad positives into personal negatives like this can be a sign of depression. I say that because I've been there. I also suffered from secondary infertility so I'm familiar with a painful form of personalized fury at those who assume that everyone has kids and wants them.

    But that isn't what was meant here, by anyone.

  3. This is actually really not a personal issue for me--maybe I'd like to have kids someday, but that's years away right now--but I've known quite a few people who have either been unable to have kids or chosen not to who have really been hurt by the assumption many people make that it should be everyone's goal to have kids, and that there's something wrong with those who do not. (Okay, there it's a bit personal; I've been told there's something wrong with me as a woman just because I don't squeal over every baby I see.) Granted, I do come from a very conservative culture.

    I don't really think it's fair either to suggest that I might have something wrong with me because I disagree with you. I realize you didn't put it quite so harshly, though, and I appreciate that. Elsewhere on the internet it might be "You think that? Well, you're obviously psychotic."

    If you notice, even that article mentions the controversy, and there are quite a few articles that do so in more detail. I'm not the only one concerned by this. There's nothing wrong with affirming those parents who find parenting immensely fulfilling, and the man who created this claims he didn't mean it as aspirational, but the fact is that Maslow's original hierarchy was meant to be universally applicable, and he did mean self-actualization as something to which we all aspire, and people are going to see the new one the same way.

  4. Points taken.

    I admit I'm responding in part to another recent set of anonymous responses that found offense where none was meant, and really do worry that these responses can be signs of depression. That, by the way, is concern, not criticism (i.e "something wrong with them").

    I really think that aspiring to nurture/parent is not the same as wanting to have kids - so I do think the principle CAN be universal. And some people may not want to self-actualize, either, being quite satisfied where they are!

    Sorry to be reactive earlier. By the way, you can give yourself a name when you comment to distinguish yourself from other 'anonymouses.' Helps me not feel there is one single anonymous.

    I didn't mean to cause offense and I'm sorry. I really don't believe everyone should want to have kids!

  5. Yeah, sorry, I usually give myself some kind of name when I comment places (which isn't very often), but it wasn't working yesterday for some reason, and I was in a hurry this morning and didn't want to mess with it just in case.

  6. Uh, really? Someone disagrees with you and they must have depression? You're diagnosing anonymous people based on the comments they leave on your blog? This all strikes me as somewhat inappropriate.

  7. I'm sorry. Not diagnosing anyone. Not telling anyone they "must" have depression. I was actually sympathizing. But, sorry anyway.


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