So… why have kids?

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Why? (by: Emran KassimCC BY 2.0)
I am at the point in my life that I want to decide whether to have kids.

In a logical sense, I am able and capable of having children. My husband and I are in the fortunate position that we are both healthy, and fertile, and have good careers, and supportive families. But I’m not completely satisfied with having kids merely because I can.

When I asked my OB/GYN about it, her advice was to start taking a prenatal vitamin.

So I am curious how people, who had the luxury of deciding, decided on having kids? Any good books on the subject? Why should I grow my family? -Cass

OMG THIS QUESTION! Truth time: I had even thought of asking this question to the Homies, myself.

I know that I don’t want to have kids. On a daily basis I seem to come up with so many wonderful wonderful reasons to not have them. But I haven’t really ever come up with, well, any reason to go ahead and have them. I am extremely curious about the motivations behind having/birthing/adopting/raising children.

All that being said, I’m really excited to present this question to all y’all and to read your answers. So guys… why have kids?

Comments on So… why have kids?

  1. My reasons for wanting kids are thus:

    1. To teach someone the values I believe are important (like equality and kindness, etc.) in the hopes that a bit of that will make it to the future world.

    2. To be able to play pretend games without feeling weird.

    3. To be able to hang out on playgrounds without feeling creepy.

    4. I actually really LOVE kids. I work with kids, I find them hilarious and fascinating, and I can’t wait to see the weird personalities that emerge from the children I will raise.

  2. I was talking about this today with my 95 year old grandmother. For me, at the end of the day, it is the people in your life that count and I wanted those relationships. No degree, job, amount of countries visited will sit with me at the table when I am an old lady. I am not the “mother type” and up to my thirties was not sure I would have them and was ok if not. But my feelings simply changed and I am grateful for my children. For her, through wars, violence, immigration, poverty and finally happiness, my grandmother looks back at her children and grandchildren and also says these relationships are what is important. I guess just family- came from a strong one and wanted that to continue. Many of my friends and relatives have chosen the child-free route and that works for them too. Everyone is different.

    • “will sit with me at the table when I am an old lady”
      Not to be rude, but this is a selfish reason to have children. Having kids so someone will wipe your butt when your 80 is the worst reason to have a child.

      • Here’s how I read the comment you replied to. Relationships with other people are important to this person. They are willing to put in the immense amount of effort that it takes to nurture new people and cultivate community. Sitting at the table with == having conversation, or maybe sharing food, not necessarily someone wiping your butt.

        There are worse legacies to leave the world.

  3. I’ll echo the irrational, but I also put a lot of rational thought into becoming a [single] mom [by choice]. The biggest reason was: I couldn’t imagine a better way to explore what it means to be human. And it’s been true so far. The depth of my understanding of humanity, of what might drive some of us, has increased manyfold since I had my now-toddler. I’m learning a ton about myself and other people through my life with him.

    This sounds esoteric, but has led to some practical social action on my part. I truly feel that I’m a better human for having a kid.

  4. My little boy and I play da-dum. He gives me our shark hand puppet and I chase him around the flat singing the Jaws theme tune. (badly).
    My little girl grabs her dad’s dirty socks and holds them over her head like she just won an Olympic medal.
    Okay I sometimes wonder if they charge you with manslaughter if your child dies of laughter, but I also wonder what they’ll do tomorrow.

  5. We’re a couple years off from this but it comes up now and again. Mostly things we’ll be okay with or not.

    We’re looking at (so long as we’re a little lucky) solid careers and okay income. Not millionaires, but okay. Just need to get there.

    My main fear (the husband is mainly concerned about funds) is more personal. My mother was birth raped twice, with psychological damage that has lasted decades. She still is dealing with after effects in some ways. It’s not a super common, and I know that, but the whisper of watching her go through that is always there.

  6. This may be saying what others have already said in yet another way, but I would say that logic in the end doesn’t enter into it, there are logical reasons to have children and to not. I really can’t get behind the “to help you when you’re old reason”, because, for so many reasons, there is no guarantee that that will happen, and really, if I was told by my parents that they had me for elder care, I woukd personally be furious, but I know that taking care of parents is still a cultural expectation for many. My hunch is to say that people who had good childhoods/good relationships with their families are more prone to want kids, and vice versa, but I can think of so many exceptions to that hunch. I’ve always loved kids and as a teenager, thought I would have them (and do a way better job than my parents). I even had a number and names. Now I have my hands full with my cats, have friends, and enjoy spending a lot of time with just my husband. I have plenty of people to share my love with, and can’t think of something I want less than that much responsibility. My best friend used to actively avoid children, and now she’s a mom!
    I have a friend who has two kids, loves being a mom, but respects the choice not to have kids and basically says ” if you feel in your heart of hearts and soul of souls that you *must* have kids, have them! If not, don’t!” I think she’s onto something.

  7. I don’t have kids yet, and I’m no where near a point in my life where I’ll be able to have them (student loans, job hunt, etc.). But for several years I’ve been mulling this question over. For me, all it comes down is: I just plain LIKE kids. I don’t think they’re perfect, sweet little angles, or any such nonesense. I had a rough time as a kid, as many of us have, and don’t really have fond memories of that period of life. I’m also much older than my younger siblings and VIVIDLY remember how difficult they could be. And yet, despite all that, I love their quirky weirdness and their wonder and all the different messy stages of development. I even keep finding myself drawn jobs where I interact with them on a daily basis.

    I don’t feel a great desire to have kids biologically, and have looked seriously into adopting. Someday, I’ll be able to give my home and my love to a messy, complicated little human, and it’s gonna be AWESOME.

  8. I am not in the “have kids” camp, for one particular reason that I have seen happen to so many wonderful women. They lost themselves, something I won’t budge on.

  9. My hubby and I decided that we don’t want children for a slew of reasons some great and some not so much but I can say working in the old folks home has given me 1 good reason to want to have them. Because its lonely when your old i know that sounds lame but when your 85 and you friends are all dead or suffering from conditions where they can’t visit or remember you and your spouse is gone all you have left is your kids and grand kids. and the thought that care and might visit is a powerful force that keeps some of these people alive. We had a lady who tried to kill herself because her husband was gone, she was unable to have children, her only family left is a cousin who visits once a month so she feels she has no one and life is no longer worth it.Mothers day she locked herself in her room because she couldn’t take the “celebration” Her story touched me because I never think that far ahead and how sad it must be to one of the few who doesn’t have anyone to visit.

  10. As someone happily Childfree as well as medically childless, the only reason I can think of *to* have children is to know that someone else in the world has the ethics and ideals you find most important and might pass them along to another generation after theirs. What I find as someone who has been a nanny (live in) who has no children and thus no nieces and nephews except by marriage, is that the people that piss me off are the parents who aren’t teaching their children to have ethics or values or social skills. The people who make me comfortable doing our wildlife educational events and letting strangers kids sit in my lap for snake photos and feed baby alligators are the ones who teach their kids not to be selfish little ingrates glued to a device with a screen. If you’re going to have kids, teach them to live and appreciate life in all its forms. Please? I’d like to have doctors that think my life is more important than my insurance copay if I get old.

  11. I’m not having kids. I see the joy they bring, and I see there are plenty of people taking the plunge. So, I’m good with letting other people have the fun/personal growth/ etc. I’m not religious, so the whole selfish argument seems ridiculous to me. On a biological level, we are geared to want to reproduce for no other reason than it feels right. I just choose not to because I think we have enough people already. Reproduction is exponential, and we don’t do the best job of conserving resources or respecting humanity as it is.

  12. I have always wanted children but never really understood why until I babysat for and professor in college. I loved watching their daughter learn. I could see her experiencing something for the first time and it was amazing. It really made me rethink the simplest aspects of day to day life that I had taken for granted.

    Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond my control I have to continue to wait for this to be a reality. This is both terrifying and heartbreaking as I worry about my ability to have children for much longer. I explained to my husband that the feeling of wanting children and not having them is like a loved one dying. You feel a sense of loss because there is someone you love who isn’t there. In this case you have never known them and you don’t have happy memories of them to comfort you. There’s just an overwhelming feeling of incompleteness. It’s irrational but realizing that doesn’t make it go away.

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