Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Case for Having Kids

Some couples without kids refer to themselves as "child-free." If this applies to you, I assume you've made up your mind not to have kids, so you don't need fake, condescending sympathy from me, and you don't need any judgement from me. You're a grown up, and you know what you're doing.

This post is for people who don't become parents because they think there are rules, and that they'll be bad parents if they don't follow those rules.

I feel like the biggest obstacle standing in the way of those on the fence, is that someone in their lives who is just one "biological clock" comment away from hearing, "You know why I don't have kids? YOU'RE the reason I don't have kids!!!" So let me tell you, potential mothers and fathers, that you will not become that person. I swear.

You will not turn into that person who represents everything you feel is wrong with parenting and with becoming an adult, and your kids will not become the worst parts of yourself. It's the opposite.

Why do you think us parents post pictures of our kids on Facebook? Because we think our kids are incredibly beautiful? Maybe, but that's not the reason. We post these photos because we see our kids the way we'd like to see ourselves. We put those Mini-Me pictures because in our minds, we're just like them. We would have loved to laugh or cry without thinking, like we used to do. We put these pictures of our kids experiencing the wonders of the world because we only remember those wonders when we see these pictures. We spend years creating our identities, only to end up hiding our best traits: our sense of wonder and our spontaneity, so is it any wonder we think our kids do a better job representing us than our own manufactured self-identities? Is it any wonder we use our kids' pictures as our Facebook profiles? That's not hollow pride about how photogenic our kids are, it's an image to strive for.

But you don't have to post your kids' photos on Facebook. You don't even have to have Facebook. Your kids don't have to play soccer and dress up Barbies. What do you like? You like to play video games? You like to hike? You can do all that with your kids. Sure, you may have to take a break from killing zombies on your Playstation. But you know what's better than killing zombies by yourself? Playing Star Wars Lego on the Wii with your 5-year-old kid. All the rules you think exist, about what you should or shouldn't do as a parent, don't exist. You think you have to be the dad who grills? The mom who gives up her career? The parents who give up their identities?

Sure, there are downsides to being a parent, and the majority of people who say No to kids, make that decision because of those downsides. Parenting is not for people who won't have the time to be good parents, it's not for people who are afraid they'll do more harm than good to their kids, and most importantly, it's simply not for people who don't want kids.

But if you won't have kids because you're afraid of becoming a person who talks about kids and about parenting more than he talks about himself and about his own personal growth (or even about his hobbies), if you're afraid you'll become a person who puts thousands of his kids' pictures on Facebook, if you're not having kids because you're afraid of becoming someone like me, let's say, then you need to know you won't be me. I'm not offended. Hey, I was afraid of becoming the guy who would call his boy, "Buddy," and his girl, "Princess," but if I'm not that kind of person, that won't be me. And it won't be you. You won't be the minivan mom. You won't be "Coach." You won't be the parent who fills the back of his car with "My kid is an honor student" stickers. You won't be the parent who listens to crappy kids' music all day. Or even the parent who listens to good kids' music.

Unless you want to be all these things. It's OK either way. Your kids will be happy if you're happy.

I'm not pushing you to have kids. The world doesn't need more unwanted kids from disgruntled parents. The world does need loved kids with parents who think about having kids as an option rather than as a rite of passage. If that's you--if you're the guy who could potentially be a great dad but none of the other dads you see make any sense, or if you're a potentially great mom who can't even be around other moms, and her biggest fear is being welcomed into their circles, don't be afraid. You are you. Your kids will be your kids. You make the rules, and society will accept your family or get out of the way.


  1. Hi there. I just found your blog.
    All I can add to that is well said!

  2. obat perangsang wanita
    obat bius
    alat bantu sex

  3. vimax
    vimax asli canada
    obat pembesar penis
    obat vimax
    pembesar penis
    obat perangsang wanita



    Featured On...

    Get widget