10 Most Common Reasons Why People Want Children
Married with No Kids?
- New neighbor: Are you married?
- Me: Yes!
- New neighbor: How long?
- Me: Seven years.
- New neighbor: Kids?
- Me: None!
- New neighbor: Seven years of marriage and no children?!
I have this conversation often, and it usually ends that way. My response is either a yes with a smile or a shrug with a smile. Seldom do I hear somebody asking "Why?" How do they look? Perplexed, confused, and without any ability to understand why we are taking this long to have a child or, perhaps, children.
They must have assumed two things: We keep it for later, or we just can't. The truth? We chose to be child-free!
The words "child-free" has many meanings but for us, we just do not intend to have children. It's voluntary childlessness. It's not about not liking babies or kids. It's much more than that. But this article is not about that.
Here are the the most common reasons I hear others give when asked "why have children?" along with its counter arguments.
Ten Common Reasons to Have Children—With Counter Arguments
- To have someone to take care of them when they get old. Old age is inevitable, and you don't need to create another human being for this purpose. It sounds so selfish and foolish. Children are not insurance that matures and is ready to use when you are old. You cannot guarantee that your children will take care of you when you reach that age. What if they won't? What if they die before you do or become invalid? What if you even die earlier before you could even take care of them? What now? You better save money for retirement. Make friends and be a good friend to them so that they'll take care of you. Most importantly, rather than looking for someone to take care of you, learn to take care of yourself and others around you.
- To carry on family name. Whose family name? The father or the mother? Has anyone considered the option of letting the kid use the mother's name? What is it about the family name to carry on, anyway? Christ never had children but his name is praised by millions of people all over the world more than he could have imagined. Einstein had children but he is not remembered because of them. Same with Gandhi, Buddha, or any other figures in history. What carries on in a name? Great, revolutionary, and enduring work or maybe a creation or invention that changes people's lives. Your children have nothing to do with carrying on your name. Do something remarkable or something great, then maybe your name will live and linger forever.
- Because they love babies. Babies are cute and adorable! So are baby pandas, kittens, puppies, tiger cubs, leopard cubs, chicks, and so forth. So if you give this reason, you must have forgotten that babies will eventually turn to children, and soon turn to adults. You might as well try a job in pediatric department, or apply for a job as a nanny, or become a toddler or nursery teacher. This way, you will not run out of babies in your care.
- It's human nature. Yeah, right! But stopping at one or two is definitely not human nature. So if you view procreation as human nature, you should continue creating children till you no longer cannot.
- Pregnancy and childbirth are life experiences. The world is full of wonderful things to experience. You might as well try a number of them. Being childless is also an experience. You should assess more carefully which life experiences you really want to achieve. Ask yourself whether you want children for their own sake or because you just want to experience pregnancy and childbirth. It's really important to think about your unborn children and not about yourself. People rarely do this!
- To let their children (who don't exist yet) experience the joy of existence. Existence could be enjoyable, but it also could be something else. Also, there is a big difference between existing and living. What if your child doesn't want to be born? What if he or she never finds enjoyment in existence? What if you just assumed that he or she would? What will you do? Just let your child suffer because he or she exists? As vhemt suggests, "Promote existence of joy rather than imagining joy in mere existence." Try it! You may find deeper joy without children.
- To give your parents grandchildren. What for? What if your children don't like visiting or staying with their grandparents? Is there some sense in that? Children should be brought into this world for their own sake and not for you, your parents, not even for your friends. You cannot please everyone (if you are doing this for that reason).
- To embody love for each other. Humans are gifted with imagination. Why not use it and do something more helpful that embodies your love for each other. Certainly there are so many other ways. You could plant a special kind of tree and watch it grow, for one.
- They want children of their own, with their own bloodline. By this reason, anyone who donates blood to another person should become family. Logically correct? This reason, for me, is really very narrow because there isn't really a word like mine or ours. Our body is not our own. Even our partner is not our own. I didn't even know my husband existed before I met him. But when I met him, I tried to find various ways to know him and he did the same. So, we make a person or a thing our own. The same applies to children. If you are really so eager to have one or two, you don't need to create your own. Adopt and provide an orphan a home that he or she has been wishing for.
- They don't know. Some people just say they don't know as if creating a new life is not a serious issue. They just don't think about it. Other people are doing it so I will, too. This is the kind of mentality they have. This has to change. Think what your unborn children would feel if they're brought into this world without thinking, that they just happen. It really matters.
When you decide to bring a new life into this world, think many times and think as if you are your unborn child. Ask questions and answer them in your unborn child's perspective and not in yours.