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
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!