General Question

MaybeBaby's avatar

Can you list a few pros and cons when it comes to having children?

Asked by MaybeBaby (28points) July 27th, 2009 from iPhone

I seem to be focusing on the negative, so I’d like to hear some good things about having children. I’d still like to know some cons, though. In case I have yet to consider it.

All my pros seem to be very selfish.

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45 Answers

jpasq03's avatar

Pro: You can give another human being life.

DeanV's avatar

Pros: You have children.
Cons: You have children.

cookieman's avatar

• You have the oportunity to help guide another human as they figure out “life”.
• He or she is yet another person you can love and be loved by.
• Children are often a mirror of your own personality which, if you’re paying attention, can be a good thing.
• Children can make you laugh like you’ve never laughed before.

• Children can break your heart like no one else.
• “Alone time” is difficult to come by as a parent.
• Children can be used as pawns by overzealous family members (grandparents, aunts, etc.) Be prepared to tell them where to go and how to get there.

eponymoushipster's avatar

proves you did it with someone.

depending on the someone, that can be a pro or a con.

nebule's avatar

OMG… I’m not sure I should start on this one… but here goes…And I’d just like to say before anyone starts laying into me for being negative… the Pros are on there way.. but I’m going to be blunt here…

Unless you are with a very caring husband…partner… you will never get enough sleep ever again…probably
When you feel thoroughly exhausted and feel like you can’t go on… they are still there asking for your life…and you have to and will give it to them
They are very messy
They whine a lot
They cost a lot of money
Childbirth is hell…well it was for me! But I had a horrible labour and a horrible midwife!
The six weeks after childbirth was therefore hell also… because of the bad care and hideous labour
You can’t get through doors properly
You will get sneered at for simply being a parent…particularly when
your child is screaming in the supermarket
or running down the aisles getting in peoples’ way
or when they are tired and being naughty and you are tired also and lose if for one minute in the billions of minutes that you your haven’t lost it but no-one is around to see those times…
or when you let them throw themselves on the floor for the fifth time in the day because you simply have not got the energy to pick them up again!
They mess with your hormones, your body, your sanity, your relationships, your friendships
You will not be able to sit in a coffee shop and have a quiet cup of coffee unless they are asleep and even then you will be on tenterhooks hoping and praying they won’t wake up
There will be little point in tidying up your house ever again but you will still do it and therefore feel like you are on a merry-go-round.
In short: They will require you to have a personality transplant

filmfann's avatar

You can learn to be a great parent. Usually, this is after your kids are grown, and you’ve messed them up, so you can be the knowledgable grandparent.
Your children break your heart in a thousand ways, and they are the most rewarding gift possible.

Lovelocke's avatar

The “miracle of life” has been exploited recently since the billion or so people in existence found out “anyone can do that miracle… many times” and pumped out 6 billion babies. I have no kids, but one day I will… today, I have nephews: And they’re terrific when I see em.

Kids are an outlet for you as a parent as you can summon phases in your childhood to relate to them, to bond, and to express yourself in a common way. When my oldest nephew was still a crawler, he remembered me well because of my long, vine-like hair. I would dangle it over him and it would tickle him. Last year? Little bastard said “Why do you have hair like a girl?”

Some people become impatient with children, and this I can’t tolerate. I won’t lie, I’ve had to whoop my nephews asses a couple of times when they reaaaaaaaally needed it. Here’s one example: The kids were playing a video game and the older one had the younger convinced that “it was a hard part” and that he should play one player mode to get them past it before player 2 could join in.

I wasn’t in the room (making the brats lunch) and I hear the younger one get aggrivated and scream. The older one says “Ouch, stop it!”. I stop what I’m doing to check on em just in time to see the younger one throw the controller at the TV screen. I raised my voice, telling em that if they break my stuff they can’t play it anymore. The older one says “He hit me and threw the controller”, I asked why… he said “I don’t know”.

Long story short, the game became a problem, I turned it off, both of them threw a fit… they didn’t want to eat, they tried to sneak away to turn the game back on, I took the controllers and put them on a shelf: They climbed the shelf for the controllers, I told them no more games or else I’ll take the whole system out of there… I put on a movie for them instead, one of them wanted to watch Spongebob and the other wanted to watch the movie… screaming, crying from both: Ass whoopin’ time.

One pop per boy… remember, you might be frustrated by they are children: You can’t just rail into em over and over. They cried for a bit, said they were sorry, I said “as long as you two can share and stop fighting, I’ll turn the movie back on and I won’t tell your folks you were acting up”.

Quiet afternoon… I watched the movie with them, halfway through they got hungry and ate the lunch I made, and when my brother showed up their spirits were high again.

Big story I know: But the thing is, I’m just the Uncle… their “cool” uncle, actually, heh. I know how to deal with the boys, but only because after a couple of hours they end up going home. This story represents about 4 hours in one day I was asked to babysit… I didn’t change diapers, nobody got sick or hurt, there were no bad grades, broken windows, clothes to buy, baths to take.

If you believe you can handle this type of thing and not lose your cool with your minions, then you get all the sweet benefits that I, as just the uncle, don’t get: The chance to shape the development of a child so they grow up to be a hard worker, a kid that can say no to drugs, one who’s happy and loves and respects his friends and family so that when he’s all grown up he can live happily and spread happiness as an adult, as you have for him.

Then he becomes a movie star and you get free sandwiches from Subway.

Quagmire's avatar

The children you bear can possibly change the world someday. They can make someone happy who otherwise would not have been. They can make a difference in someone’s life. They might discover a cure for cancer, or win a Nobel Prize for Peace. They might save someone from a burning fire or carry a fellow soldier to help. They might write the great American novel or a tune so beautiful it will make you cry. In order to see the pro’s in having children, you should try looking at the good they can someday do.

And they can be there for you when you are old and need someone.

nebule's avatar



They are an amazing being…
They are very cute…to begin with and as they grow up…
Every time they do something new you will think you have won the lottery: Particularly:
The first time they smile, giggle, walk, catch a ball, say mummy, eat with a spoon, point at the moon
They will amaze you with how much they love you even before they can say the words
They do make you a better person;
You have to stop being selfish, learn a lot of patience and respect
The act of giving a life to someone is the most precious thing you will be able to live with and take away with you
You will finally appreciate what Unconditional Love is
You will find the beauty and essence of Joy in fearing that the most precious thing to you could ever be taken away.
They will make you look at life as invaluable
You get cuddles generally on request
You get to hold their hand when they are about 2 walking up the road (one of the most wonderful feelings on earth)
You get a glimpse of pure peacefulness when they sleep
They will make you laugh at the bizarre things they come out with and create in their fascinating and subjective minds…
You will see the true bitter-sweetness of parenting that they are yours but never really yours..and that’s ok too.
They are part of you like no-one else can be
They are unique
As they get older parenting gets better and easier… I think anyway
You will actually be able to sit in a coffee shop eventually without being interrupted..even though it felt like you never would…
You will gain a friend like no other if you choose to go that way
You will be proud at what you have created for them and in them and of what they create of themselves independent of you.
You will love them no matter what they do
They will bring tears to your eyes for many reasons too many to list tears are good
They will make you laugh about things you didn’t know were even remotely humourous

They are a huge commitment, but whether you do fall into it and hope for the best or plan it down to the nth degree, do it for selfish reasons…or do it to give life away… you won’t regret it…. and I have a poem that better sums all this up…which I can send to you if you like….

cookieman's avatar

@eponymoushipster: not yet, but I’ll let you know how she turns out.

AstroChuck's avatar

A couple of pros are making them and they come in handy when you’ve misplaced the remote control. Cons: Early on they make a lot of noise and tend to smell. They’re like this later in the teenage years as well.

mea05key's avatar

Until you see a child smile and laugh, you will probably not be able to undertand how much excitement and happiness the child can bring to you. A child can be a good companion. Life in family will be more exciting and filled with energy.

On a long run, children can be some sort of an investment. Treat them well, educate them well, they will grow up as fine people. In return, children will remmeber parents good deeds and return it to the parents when the parents aged. Life is a cycle.

benjaminlevi's avatar

They say funny things!

Environmentally its one of the worst things you can do, as that child will probably have more children and those children will have their own children. Were at roughly 6.75billion peoples and using up natural resources far faster than is sustainable, and that is just another mouth to feed.

Tearofdeception's avatar

Being a new dad, I find that children are not THAT much of a hassle. I wish to say that my fiancé and I were blessed with a very good baby, and I with an amazing fiancé. Our son Maddox slept through the night (6–7 hour stretches) at 5 weeks old. He giggles, laughs, focuses on new colours and shapes, which makes our heart melt. The delivery went flawlessly, for a first baby. (my fiancé is 21) I can’t really say any cons coming from me… Of course it’s less sleep, of course there’s less alone time… But you have that freedom before you have that baby! Once you decide that you are ready to have kids, priorities changes, your mentality changes too. You shall find that there might be a lot of negative things from having children, but it doesn’t beat the pros… Ever. @benjaminlevi : your parents fed you and made you a man, aren’t you grateful? This world is based on evolution, the children of our children might be suffering from our mistakes, but is that a reason to stop procreating?

Cheers, and good luck!

eponymoushipster's avatar

@cprevite something about what you just said is strangely creepy~

YARNLADY's avatar

I can’t imagine not having a child, or some, but if you are not 100% committed to it, don’t.

Jack79's avatar

The cons are all minor things like “you can’t go out anymore” or “you never get enough sleep” or losing stuff like money, time, space etc. Sacrificing your life for your child is also not so pleasant.

There is one advantage that outweighs everything though: the look on my daughter’s face when she smiles :)

tinyfaery's avatar

I can’t think of anything but negatives, sorry.

cookieman's avatar

@eponymoushipster: something I said?!?!

rooeytoo's avatar

It was always too big a commitment for me. I think if a woman brings them into the world, she is responsible for raising them, that means they are your entire life for the first 6 years and after school for the next 12, then they are legal adults but you may still have them hanging around your house for who knows how long. There is a day care center down the street from me and I see women taking tiny babies in and leaving them so they can go off to work and I always wonder why they had them if they are going to allow someone else to raise them.

galileogirl's avatar

@eponymoushipster Why would anyone feel the need to prove they had sex? In fact if that is one’s mindset, they should not have children.

@Tearofdeception There is a reason why nature made the maturation of human offspring such a long process, If they could be so surly, nasty tempered, foul mouthed and manipulative at 13 months as they are at 13 years, few would ever live to grow up. Enjoy your child while you can. And when you eventually reach the end of your rope in a dozen years bring those memories back.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@galileogirl hi, i’m called humor. have we met?~

of course, i agree fully.

galileogirl's avatar

@eponymoushipster My first pronoun was not ‘anyone’ but more specific. Now that answer made me laugh.

charliecompany34's avatar

having children is a beautiful thing. once born, they do change your life forever, but it’s the long-term results that provide the fruit. parenting is up to the parent. it takes work and a good eye for children’s faults and their gifts. correct their faults and inappropriate behavior early on—VERY EARLY—and also notice early on their gifts and talents and you will be rewarded in the long run as a parent and a grandparent.

galileogirl's avatar

You haven’t had teenagers or you had a great tranquilizer.

eponymoushipster's avatar

kids are cute til they’re about 6 or 7. then they can go take a walk.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

pros: you might pop out a cutie like this one!
cons: poop, money draining, no return policy, etc.

…this is coming purely from speculation.

ShanEnri's avatar

Pro:unconditional love (more so than your mate)
Con:Less freedom

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think all the cons of it are worth it, but they do exist – less ability to just get up and go someplace far far away alone with your partner, less sleep, less money to spend on yourself (not necessarily a negative), interruptions during sex, they test your patience (again, something that can also be considered a positive), they can be stubborn and uncontrollable (after all kids aren’t video games)...the positives: well, they make you feel like you can handle anything after you handle them, that you’re a stronger person, that you and your partner are closer, that you’re a better person yourself, that you can teach them to be good people, that you can not screw them up in ways you feel you’ve been screwed up by your parents…that you can view them develop and be proud all the time

berry_lips's avatar

I highly recommend the book “Childfree and Loving It” by Nicki Defago. You can find used copies at It’s a good read and offers a different perspective.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@berry_lips nick defago? awesome.

sakura's avatar

@tiffyandthewall that little girl was soooooo cute :) Lots of lurve for her xx

benjaminlevi's avatar

@Tearofdeception Yes, yes it is a reason to stop procreating (well not stop entirely). You said yourself that our children will suffer from out mistakes. Why do we needlessly overpopulate when we could give them a planet that is in better shape ecologically?

sakura's avatar

Pro’s – having soemone else to love and to love you
Con’s – Messy bedrooms that have been tidied – but not to your requirements!!

Tearofdeception's avatar

@benjaminlevi : but aren’t we already living our ancestors mistakes? And are we greatful to be here?

benjaminlevi's avatar

@Tearofdeception I am grateful that I am alive, but what does that have to do with deciding to make more people or not? Its not like if we refrain from having more children there will be bodiless entities sitting around thinking “Gosh darn it, I wish I had been conceived”. Its not like they existed before they were born…
I really don’t understand what you are trying to say there.

Yes we are living our ancestors mistakes but if we can avoid screwing things up for our children why shouldn’t we try and give them a better life?

MissAusten's avatar

@tiffyandthewall I am in tears from laughing so hard at that little girl—she is the French counterpart to my 4 year old son, who tells horribly graphic stories about zombies ripping people apart when they get angry because the Wal-Mart doesn’t sell brains.

Seriously, the best part about having kids is hearing what they come up with and how they see the world. Each little thing that is mundane to an adult is fascinating to a kid. Through them, you get to experience how wonderful the world is all over again.

The cons have been covered pretty well, and I have to say that those sleepless nights go by so fast. They are a fair trade for having a little baby to cuddle with and love. There are times when I would happily trade questions from my ten year old daughter (such as, “Why was Martin Luther King Jr. killed?” or “Why is it wierd for girls to like bugs?” or “Did you see that my boobies are starting to grow?!”) for another night of her being tiny enough to carry everywhere and unaware of things like racism and boobies. On the other hand, seeing her learn to navigate the world and come up with her own ideas on difficult subjects is a very big pro. Thank God those birth control pills failed that month!

MissAusten's avatar

Around midnight last night, I was forcibly reminded of another con. Cleaning vomit out of carpet when you aren’t really awake is one of the low points of parenting.

MrBr00ks's avatar

For me:

Cons: Less sex. True story.

Pros: Entertainment, expensive entertainment under four feet tall and no more than twenty feet away.

For her:

Cons: Entertainment, expensive entertainment under four feet tall and no more than twenty feet away.

Pros: Less sex. True story.

tuesday242's avatar

children are a brilliant invention,
but they are knackering and you cant leave them in kennels.

Deitzee's avatar

I think my children helped me grow out of my selfishness more than anything else ever could. My oldest are heading off to college (twins)...and the pros just keep piling up as the cons fade into my memory. I’m so glad that I had children.

AshlynM's avatar

Cost of living goes up because it’s not just you you have to worry about anymore.

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