Why Have Kids?
Remember when you could roll into your home around dawn? Remember when you could sleep till afternoon o’clock and have breakfast for dinner because that was your first meal of the day and you weren’t being silly? Remember when you could lay in bed with your partner all day and nap and make love and talk and nap and make love … Well? Remember? Yeah, we don’t either.
Lee says: I miss the halcyon days of being a newlywed. The days would bleed into the other. It was a time of hedonism and it was good to be selfish which generally meant that you were being pleasured. Those were the days where older couples would look at us and call us newlyweds and chuckle like it was a bad thing. Those were the days where we built castles in the sky and perused the Ikea catalogue to furnish our highest tower with a Malm of our own. So if things were that great, why have kids?
Having children is a choice. Yes, there are some people that believe having kids is their duty. There are people who believe that it is the natural progression in life to go from child to adult to parent. There are even those who are a little perplexed with the whole process and have no idea how they even wound up with a kid. Ultimately, having kids is a choice. Choosing to become a parent is something that should not be taken lightly and is permanent. I know people who became parents and put more thought into a tattoo than how they would parent.
I realize the topic of this post is a little harsh and in some cases, late. The thing is that I have developed more respect for people who choose not to have kids. These people have put some thought about themselves as parents, how it would affect their lives and the overall reality of child-rearing. It has been shown that the average couples’ depth of conversation regarding childbearing is limited to ‘do you want some?’
Researchers have seen that unless a couple has experienced a delay in conceiving, the conversation of how a couple would rear a child does not take place until after the child is either already due or is born. In most cases, it never takes place at all. We put more thought into what theme to decorate a nursery. We put more thought into what kind of car seat we want. All of this is scary and is a disservice to a child.
The decision of whether or not to have kids is serious. It should never be an after-thought or automatic. There are a million factors to consider such as the physical, social, financial, marital and relational issues. Just because you babysat the neighbor is not considered resume worthy information. How about checking if you even like kids? How about if you see how you do with other people’s kids? How about if you take a hard look at your marriage or relationship and do some soul searching regarding whether you guys can stand the stressors of a baby/child?
Once a couple makes an informed decision, I believe it is important to respect that decision. I have met so many people who have said they did not want kids and watched as hordes bombarded them with judgments and clichés. Parenting is not for everyone and, in some cases, just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should.
Paul says: OK, you have convinced me. Let’s not have kids. What? It’s too late now? Damn. In that case, children are a blessing and everyone should have one. Send me an email with an address and approximate age requirements and I will ship one to you. I have three in stock.
(BTW That is a joke. When I get a good night sleep, I adore my kids. All the other times, I just love them.)