AsphaltAnnie, Those are some really great points. I agree that when the children are older, the parents should be honest about how hard it is. My father, who I adore and who has given SO much of himself to be a great dad actually encourages me *not* to have children. He says once you have them, they become your life and you love them more than anything, but if you don't have them, and don't know what you're missing, life is a lot simpler and easier. I SO love him for being truthful with me. My mom goes back and forth on telling me what to do. haha But anyway, [b]I guess what I'm getting at is that sometimes faking it can be necessary in order to spare others' feelings [/b](like children) - or to maintain harmony in a situation that can't be reasoned with (like with impossibly unreasonable people). I don't like fake people either, but sometimes it's the better alternative if there's no getting around whatever situation you're having to act fake in. I'm sure we'd all love to feel "genuinely" happy and loving all the time, but that's not realistic. As long as our "intentions" are good and genuine, I think that's what matters most. I guess what it gets down to is either let your child be adopted by a loving family, or vow to love you child and fake it if you have to. When the child grows up, you can then be honest about how hard it was... but even then, I'd tread the waters carefully there. Nobody wants to be told they were a total burden, right? Susannah, I comprehended what you said just fine - I just don't agree. We might have different ideas, but let not forget that we're both on same side here of wanting what's best for these kids. We can disagree, but there's no reason not to do so respectfully towards each other or without compassion towards these mothers. I wasn't comparing baby-sitting to raising children. I used it as an example to show that kids can be fooled and be none the wiser - I saw this for myself, and it at least appeared to work. You disagree - that's fine. You have a right to your opinion. Maybe you're right and I'm wrong. You are right in pointing out that not all studies are true. The best way to find out is to apply those studies to yourself and see what works. If I believed nothing of what I read, my life would be pretty sad. Anyway, we can continue this discussion if you'd like, but maybe there's no point, as we both disagree. Also, I won't continue this discussion unless it's done so respectfully. I'll respect your opinions if you respect mine. That doesn't mean we have to agree, but we can disagree kindly and with compassion, can we not? I've got to get going for now anyway - my happy garden is calling, and it's a beautiful day. :)