Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Reasons to Have Children?

More and more, I'm having conversations with friends about children. While a few of my close friends have children already, most do not, so the conversations mainly revolve around how much freedom will be lost (will, not might). I thought about all the things that would make me decide to have children, and even did a google search on it, but there are only two motivating factors for me to have kids:

1- Having children is just what you do when you're over 30.

2- Other people always say I'd be a good father.

In five years, if I still have the same two reasons for having children, should I do it? Or will I end up being the kind of parent that gives his children lunchables for dinner every night?

And no one who had children and regrets it, admits it publicly. That's not very helpful to people like me. How am I supposed to know?
Comments:
I have two kids. After the first one, it doesn't matter how many you have, because it's the first one that does all the damage.

You've probably heard it a million times: no more late nights in bars, no more spontaneous "let's see a movie" moments, no more travelling light...oh yeah, and losing sleep, losing spare time, losing childless friends who are sick of your not going out anymore...

But I do not regret it.
 
Thanks. I hear the "I do not regret it" line a lot. That gives me hope. Have you ever heard someone say they regret having them?
 
I have heard of people saying they regret having the third or fourth. But never the first.

It's a trade-off that sounds about even on paper, like mass' comment, but when you hold a little version of you, it all makes sense.

By the way, you and the wife will make great parents, just accept that as fact, not opinion.
 
LB it's like justin said: a trade off, but that trade off can't be explained properly because of what you end up with -- that child will reprioritize your world.

I've never heard anyone say they regretted having kids -- although it's obvious that outside my personal experience there are several "parents" out there who act as if they don't have kids.
 
No one in their right mind would have children. They suck the very life out of you... all your energy, time, money, and, more importantly, your emotional will and spirit. It's not just that you can't go out anymore. It's that you can't even sit and enjoy a movie at home because it's too hard to get even a five minute break from the child... and when you do get that five minute break, you're so tired all you want to do is sleep. Your life ends when children come along because EVERYTHING you're used to doing and all the things that have made you happy have to stop.

That said, I think we've got some innate and overpowering need to nurture life. We don't know why we do it, but we feel like we have to. It's the same with owning a dog or other pets that need a lot of attention. And while the rewards are wholly intangible and, from all outward appearances, even non-existent, it feels like the greatest thing we could ever do.
 
Interesting discussion that's developed here.

When I think about all the things that I enjoy about my life---freedom to get up and go, international travel, sailing, going out, etc.---I understand that kids would either severely alter or eliminate them all. It's hard for me to see a lot of benefits in that regard.

I understand all the reasons that you've mentioned and all the ones that people say, but things like "seeing the world through their eyes" just don't seem to make up for the losses.

Maybe I just have to experience it to understand it.

LB
 
"They suck the very life out of you... all your energy, time, money, and, more importantly, your emotional will and spirit. It's not just that you can't go out anymore. It's that you can't even sit and enjoy a movie at home because it's too hard to get even a five minute break from the child... and when you do get that five minute break, you're so tired all you want to do is sleep. Your life ends when children come along because EVERYTHING you're used to doing and all the things that have made you happy have to stop."

If there was a product on the market that would do that to you, no one would buy it.

If any adult behaved like a child, no one would be friends with that adult.
 
But they are so cute! What about cuteness? Surely that must be a reason. People buy things (e.g. shoes) just because they are cute. Why not have kids for that reason? (I don't have kids, just throwing out alternative arguments here.)
 
Oh, yeah, and check out http://www.dooce.com/. She is even funnier than you & gives lots of insight into the whole kid question.
 
Crappy Pants said:

"That said, I think we've got some innate and overpowering need to nurture life. We don't know why we do it, but we feel like we have to."
 
Crappy Pants said:

"That said, I think we've got some innate and overpowering need to nurture life. We don't know why we do it, but we feel like we have to."

Sure we know why. Organisms that lack a strong desire to pass on their genes through reproduction are quickly culled out of existence.
 
Is MrHappypants talking out of dread or experience?

From experience, I must admit it limits what you, LB, currently enjoy as leisure. But know this; It will heighten the fewer experiences you have to a better level.

I got both sides of advice while we were expecting, and the only truly accurate statement was . . .

IT'S LIKE NOTHING YOU'VE EVER EXPERIENCED BEFORE!!!!!!!

Just go with that. Discussion is pointless.
 
Dear Anonymous,

Having anal sex with a horse is like nothing I've ever experienced before and I don't plan on doing that.

Cheers,

LB
 
If you equate the possibility of having children with the allegory of having anal sex with a horse, you probably don't want to have kids right now.
 
Right.

That's what I meant: having children is just like having anal sex with a horse.

You read me so well.
 
I like lunchables!
 
cuff says it doesn't matter how many you have, because it's the first one that does all the damage. I made that mistake, after nr.1 I said let's have another one. I found one is much easier, we had a very relaxing time with our only daughter. Then came our son, after 15 months, and you can really forget your rest. I would seriously recommend having only one child, if you really want to have the experience. But in all honesty, I would have preferred my life without children.
 
I have two children, a 2 1/2 and 9 months. Don't expect a life of your own for the next 5 or so years. No money, time, have to accept a crap job because you must have flexibility. Is it all worth it?......I don't really know.
 
Don't get knocked up
Or Raise your children better

EVE-
 
i have a little boy just turning two and he is so amazing i miss going out and have lost a few friends but it is totaly worth it i couldnt imagen my life without my baby he is the best thing that has ever happend to me and its just amazing yeah there are a few bad sides about having kids but what about all the good things when your baby takes its first steps and stars talking that gets me my little boy is saying all sorts of stuff now and it is so amazing i cant beleve how grown up he is there are so many possitives so you cant go out as much so what is it really that great and you can always get a babysitter. and they dont suck the life out of you if anything they give you strenth whenever im having a bad day or times are hard i just look at my baby and think im going to get through this for you where as if i didnt have him i probley would have given up and he cheers me up there is nouthing like it when your feeling down and your baby comes up to you and cuddles you and says i love you its unbeliveable i do not regret it one bit. i have never heard anyone say they regreted it but some of my friends have said they wished they waited a bit longer before having their baby but wouldnt change their baby in anyway
 
Good God you people...from all of your comments I hope those of you who don't have children yet definitely choose not to!! And to those of you who already have kids and "regret it", I pity your children. They get the brunt end of you negative attitude, and trust me, even if you try to hide it from them, children sense it. I personally never thought I'd be a mom, and now I am a proud mom of a 4 year old girl and one year old boy and I'm sooo very glad that God made this decision for me. They are amazing! And I had a pretty good life before them, but don't regret the change one bit.
 
so lonnie, you're a dad now i see from your profile.....what's the verdict? the wife is pressuring me like hell, in chorus with other family members. my gut and my mind tell me to avoid the inevitable.....what say ye?
 
Anon:

I saw your comment on my Blackberry as soon as it came through and have put off commenting for nearly 24 hours because I've been thinking about whether to write my true thoughts here, in public.

It's been 4.5 months since I've had a son. I love him quite a lot and there are definitely good times, but at this point, there have been severe changes to my life that people with kids had warned me about, and I am still struggling with.

My quick advice: listen carefully to people with kids -- and I'm not just talking about what they say in public. Find a close confidant of yours, get him in private over a few stiff drinks, and seriously discuss what the first 6 months were like for him after he had a child. Then you will have a better view of what you should do.
 
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