Should I Have Children?

Child with a goose

I’m not sure I want children. I am young and my mind will likely change in the years to come, as I discover the world more as it truly is, rather than as I imagine it to be. But today, if I would be told that a child is coming my way, I won’t go rushing to the nearest store to buy baby furniture, baby clothes, and baby toys. I won’t borrow books on parenting. And I won’t be thinking about baby names. In short, I’d have my doubts.

I don’t dislike children, or the troublesome process of raising them. Children are extraordinary creatures, especially when they are little and frail and unwise. Still…

Why I don’t want children

  • I’m not sure my genes are worth passing on. (If you read my About you’ll learn that I dislike my body, to say nothing of my character.) I would be disappointed to make a child that resembles me. Maybe if I accomplish something wonderful in the years to come I will come to like myself more.
  • I don’t think I will be a good father. My father was distant – he was there without being there. I’m a copy of him, and I might not be a good father either.
  • Economic inconveniences. Lack of time.
  • Additional responsibilities.
  • Overpopulation. From what I’ve heard on the BBC World Service, there are a bit too many people around, or there will likely be in the not-so-distant future. The planet cannot accommodate all. Resources are finite, the human reproductive drive is relentless. A time might soon come when not everyone who can have children should have children…
  • It seems to me that raising children is hell, at least most of the time. Of course there will be many wonderful moments to compensate, but still…
  • Noise pollution, especially in the middle of the night.
  • Lost love: It is my personal, questionable opinion that women who have a child end up loving the child more than their partner. The child becomes the center of their universe. A child probably unites its parents even more, but the child becomes more important that the man. I am selfish with the little love I get. But if I would have more love, then I would have more to share…

What if I decide my genes are not good enough to be passed on, and that I will do a service to the planet by choosing not to reproduce? I can choose to support financially poor children in other parts of the world to make amends. Or I might even adopt or mentor other children. Of course, it will be years before I do that.

But can I really make a decision like that on my own? Or is it wiser to reproduce anyway, and let nature decide whether my offspring are fit enough to survive?

Why I want children

Painting of a happy little boy

Painting of a little boy and his puppy

Painting of a little girl and her kitty

What are those minor disadvantages listed above compared to the joy of seeing a squalid little thing come out of a lover’s womb kicking and crying, and then to clean it, to dress it in small fancy clothes, to name it, to spoon-feed it, to teach it the colors, to tell it not to be afraid of dogs, and all the while to see it grow before your eyes, a miniature version of yourself?

On a spring day with glorious sunshine to hold his tiny hand and walk with him about, slowing down your pace to match his, and to see him widen his eyes and marvel at the sight of a cow, and point his finger at it and ask ‘Daddy… what is that curious thing!?’ and to reply ‘Daddy, that is a cow. It gives us milk. We drink milk. Milk makes us strong.’

It melts the cold heart of the cool philosopher, and his eyes become watery…

Back to the matters of the flesh…

While I think these philosophical thoughts, I know in my heart that if a hatted girl will materialise in my room this instant, naked, and will lay on my bed, rolling her hair behind her ear as she is wont to do… the matter of whether I should reproduce or not will be instantly decided.

Therefore, I conclude that I will probably reproduce, but it all depends on the hatted girl.

The world shall be peopled!

Painting of little children

31 thoughts on “Should I Have Children?

  1. My kids are a major pain in my ass. But they inspire me in ways no other human ever could. Argument for…

  2. kids…it seems to me you either want them or you don’t. You either love kids or you don’t.

    I do, They are a great joy to me. I have always had fun with mine, and like any good relationships the emotional ties, up or down, good or bad, just come with the territory – and makes it all the more interesting, challenging, entertaining, and loving.

      1. I have three girls and one boy. The girls are…ummm…much more difficult and challenging, especially once they reach adolescence. But I wouldn’t trade those challenges – and how much they have matured me – for anything in the world. I have loved loving them

  3. Nice post. I can relate to having a father who is there but at the same time not, and your ideas on overpopulation are sound. One thing that worries me is the fear of having a police car show up at my door one day and two officers coming up to the screen and saying ‘Mr. Childs, your son/daughter was murdered tonight’ or some other heinous occurrence. However, your views on why you want children are very positive. Well done.

      1. Yeah, I agree. I never think of it like that. On the plus side, your son or daughter would be alive though. On the down side they’ll go to jail and your family will become the town pariah. Dunno which scenario I think is worse. Good question!

  4. What you say – “A time might soon come when not everyone who can have children should have children…” Possibly, this time is here already, no? Me – I’d look after someone else’s kid any day, if they would loan them to me… 🙂

  5. Its excellent as your other content : D, regards for putting up.
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    Ted W. Engstrom.

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