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Pinklady's avatar

Why would you want to have kids?

Asked by Pinklady (315 points ) September 18th, 2012

For me, only one of the reasons is that I want to give this world a piece of me. This may sound selfish for most, but I don’t really care.

What about you?

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24 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Never really ever wanted kids. But I also think I was conceived as a cheap source of labor for the farm, so maybe that played into it.

Sunny2's avatar

I think it was just natural instinct to replenish the species, but I also liked children very much and have worked with them most of my life.

KNOWITALL's avatar

They’re cute, they are mini-me’s for a sense of continuity and family….I debated it a few times before deciding against it with my husband. They’re expensive, a lot of responsiblity, the world is a shitty place with dwindling natural resources….not right for us.

JLeslie's avatar

To make a baby with my husband. A product of us. To teach them, see them grow, see what people they become. See my husband love them, and to see my husband in them.

As I get older I have a feeling of wanting to have more Jews in the world and that children would leave a piece of me in the world, and it would be nice to have family around as I get older, but I would never have children primarily for these reasons, it’s more like a perk if it works out. Sometimes kids find their own religion and cut off their parents, and so there is no guarantee with children on these matters. I also have no desire for my kid to be a mini me. I want them to learn from me, and I would love for them to have some or most of my values, but have no desire that they be just like me. I would love to see them develop their own interests, pursue their own goals.

wundayatta's avatar

A piece of me? That’s a part of it. I think that if you truly believe in yourself, you’ll want to leave a bit of you behind after you die. I’m a complicated person, in that I don’t believe in myself because I think society pretty much disapproves of me. However, I do believe in myself because, by my own standards, I think I am a good person and I am a useful and helpful person.

Similarly, I don’t parent the way some people appear to parent. I think things like spanking and ordering kids around are very harmful. I think I do a better job because I teach them in a different way—a kindly way. So part of parenting for me was showing it can be done in a different way. The proof, of course, is in how the kids turn out.

I also think that making a child is the ultimate creative act: creating new life. It turns out that I’m not a human being, since I can’t do that, at least, not naturally, so overcoming those technical difficulties showed how badly I wanted to become a parent of my own kids.

I think it’s fun. Teaching kids stuff; passing on stuff; interacting with them on a daily basis. It’s a hell of a lot of fun. Very entertaining. Kids are interesting. They have ideas and thoughts and opinions. I love it! Dinnertime is my favorite time. And it’s so enjoyable now that they are teens.

I suffered through the early years when they could talk. I did it from love and hope, but I was not interested then. Just don’t like babies and toddlers all that much. Women seem to enjoy that stage more often than men do, but I did not like it much at all.

Now it’s way cool. I love the little battles and the moments of creativity. I love it all. I don’t know why people don’t like teens that much. Maybe it’s different if you bring the kids up the way I do. But we do not have teen problems, so far. And now, could it be? Is my daughter dating, or just hanging out with a guy she likes? We’ll see. Too early to tell. And I have to wonder if she likes his mother as much or more than she likes him.

What a grand adventure!

Judi's avatar

Our children represent our belief in hope. That they can be better than us and create a better world.

jerv's avatar

I don’t. If I want a memorial, I would rather have something that will last more than a few decades rather than something that won’t outlive me by long. You don’t need a blood relationship to teach someone.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

I’m not sure if I want any.

janbb's avatar

My kids are now my props and two of my best friends. I didn’t know that would happen when I conceived them, but they made me grow and change and confront my limitations as nothing else in my life – up until now – has done.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I just want to say to jerv and Mama Cakes – it takes a lot of courage to NOT have children imo. I get treated like I’m weird or there’s something wrong with me for not having/ wanting children, but I remind people that my femininity and sense of worth doesn’t come from my womb. Hey, I’m gorgeous and so is my husband (if i do say so) and the world would probably benefit from our combined dna tbh.

It’s not selfishness, it’s self-empowerment, taking the path less followed, using our money to help children already born into this cruel world by irresponsible parents. To me, having children is a luxury, not a ‘right’, a luxury that some of us are physically, mentally, financially or emotionally not prepared to sacrifice for.

ucme's avatar

I wanted to have kids because I thought it’d be a fantastic, fun filled ride, I was proved right.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I used to work with a woman who after divorcing her husband moved to NYC (she had grown up in and lived her whole life in Ohio). She said NY was a relief because the expectations to get married and be domestic and want kids weren’t there. I actually live in a family oriented place, but a lot of the couples we hang out with don’t have children.

Growing up I never was around people who judged others for not wanting kids. Some people didn’t understand not wanting them, but they weren’t judgmental. And, ironically we sometimes felt that people who had children were selfish. Having children for selfish desires without really fully considering the responsibility and the children themselves. That not being prepared as a parent for the sacrifice, commitment, and work being a parent was unfair to the child for some selfish need to have a little me or to have someone to care for you when you are sick and old, or to create little people who would love you, etc.

Anyway, I think part of the pressure around you to have kids is where you live and your community. It isn’t a criticism, I just know how difficult it can be to be one of the very few in a community to do something different. Even when people are not putting pressure on you, when you see everyone around you doing one thing, it is hard to decifer our own desires.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I am blessed in that I have an uncle and an aunt who both chose not to have children, so I was raised to belief it was my choice. My grandmother told me before she died that there’s always time for children so enjoy your life and decide when you’re older.

I tend to agree with you that some people have children for nothing more than their own narcissim (my word), and there are some who do it for the right reasons, too. I try not to judge but I do often feel judged in the Missouri heartland for not being all about children, family and all that bs. My friend has two children, one who knows they are poor and hates her life, the other is still too young to know how deprived she will be growing up compared to other kids. My brother-in-law has a teen girl who hates him, she doesn’t understand his lack of ambition or motivation, and told me she can’t wait until she’s 16 so she can get a job. I just feel so sorry for the poor kids born into a world of misery and more than likely will perpetuate the cycle. Maybe I need to check out NYC someday!!

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I differ with your grandma slightly. I think once you know you want kids and you are in a stable relationship, best to have kids sooner rather than later. I don’t agree with the idea that people have plenty of time. But, if you are undecided you are undecided, that is a different story. You seem rather sure you don’t want kids. There are studies that say childless couples tend to be happier than those with children, especially comparing the years when the children live in the house. Usually happiness goes back up once the children are adults. But, certainly there are many happy couples with children. A girlfried of mine asked me, “how do you stay married without kids?” My reply was, “because I like my husband.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

My grandma was trying to tell me to get out there and live life not just be some guy’s breeder. She was raised in the old days when children were had to help farm and do chores and she was wore out with it. She never learned to drive and never had to work a ‘job’ per se. She wanted more for me and for her 6 children and several of us took her advice and have much happier lives than that blessed saint did.

I like my husband, too, we have a great time together and are best friends. Congrats to you on that, it’s rare.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I agree with your grandma on that. Kids too soon usually puts the kabosh on exploring ones own interests and slows down pursuing goals outside of family. I have a feeling she worried about you getting married or having kids very very young, while I never assume anyone would have children before age 23 on purpose. My grandma waited 5 years after getting married to have her first child, she was 27. She would be in her mid 90’s if she were still alive. So, the norm in my family might be very different than yours. My other grandma was younger, but I never knew her. My mom was 26 when she first had me.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I wanted to be a mom more than anything else in the world. I love my kids, and I couldn’t even tell you how much pleasure they have brought me. Even when they have brought me heartache, at least I had someone to feel heartache for. I can’t really describe it, and I don’t understand why it was so important to me. Having children is not important to most of my children, and that is okay, too.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’ve always loved children and never had a time when I didn’t want them.

It never occurred to me to not have them. What I did learn just out of high school is that overpopulation is real, and we should limit ourselves to replacement children only.

Seek's avatar

I had a biological imperative to procreate. I satisfied it and nearly died doing so. Once was enough, and I have no intention of doing it again.

I love my son, but I love me, too. ^_^ One kid’s enough.

Blackberry's avatar

I need someone to level my MMORPG characters.

AshLeigh's avatar

I think it’s about having someone to love, and feeling needed. Watching them grow up, and seeing them turn into toddlers, teenagers, and adults. Trying to help them become the kind of person you can be proud of.
A lot of it is about doing a better job than your parents, I think. Although in the end, you have a better understanding of your parents. It’s about carrying on the family.
I don’t exactly know why I want to be a mother. I just imagine myself (a long time from now) holding a healthy little baby, in the hospital, and feeling like there are some perfect things in this world.

captainsmooth's avatar

I always pictured myself as a father, but didn’t rush to have kids. I had my first at 31, second at 35. I wanted to have kids so I could have a family, husband, wife and children.

The wife didn’t work out so well but my girls have.

They have filled my heart with a love that I have never felt. I feel all sorts of immense pride when I am told that they are good kids, considerate and kind to others. Some parents of boys have told me that if they would have had girls, they would’ve liked to have had girls like mine.

If I knew the joy that they were going to bring me, I would’ve started earlier and had one or two more.

Symbeline's avatar

@Blackberry lol

I don’t really want any, but I can’t really think of a reason besides that I’m not good with kids and I don’t know how to handle them. I suppose you learn though, and things might get different if I had some. But for now, no kids.

dxs's avatar

I would not want kids at all. We’re getting overpopulated and I am terrible with children. That’s what siblings are for :) I’m also very independent.

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