We all know how great children are. They’re so cute and clever and creative and… they’re simply amazing. You have so much fun with them too. Your house is never quiet when they’re around and when they’re not there you feel empty and alone. So it’s pretty much clear, everybody should have children. Full stop.
I spend some time every day talking to parents, especially mums. One thing always surprises me when I hear it, even though I heard it more than few times before. “You must have kids. What else will you leave on this earth if not children?” or even better: “Who will take care of you when you’re old?”
For me, those two things are the biggest reasons why NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN. I will not care what I’ve left here when I’m dead. I will be dead, right?
Seriously, I can’t think of worse reason than: I have kids so they will take care of me when I’m old.
Ask yourself 3 simple questions:
- Will you get old? I know that you hope so. Everybody does.
- Will your children be around when you’re old? What if they move to another country, establish their lives at the other end of the world. Or simply what if they have enough trouble of their own to go through at the time that would prevent them from being with you every day? …and realize that I’m only talking about optimistic reasons why they won’t take care of you.
- Will you feel bitter and resentful everyday they won’t visit you in the nursing home? Do you want to feel that way?
I know a fairy tale about 3 coins. One not-so-rich man had three coins. He spent them wisely. One coin kept for himself, other one gave to his children and last one returned to his parents. When his children grew up, they gave him the coin back as he did to his own parents some day so he had just enough money to live from and didn’t have to work any more. Story has a very nice idea and I fully agree that children should always help their parents in need.
My understanding of life at present is that everything I got from my parents, I’m giving to my children. I’m up all night worried when they’re sick. Is it something special? No, it’s simply what parents do and exactly the same thing my mum did for me when I was little. So many times. I want to raise my children with love and care so they can raise their children with love and care. I’m giving them all I have so they can give it to their children some day. When I’m old, I want to keep helping them and giving them my love as long as I will be able to. I want to be happy every time I see them. I want to see my children and my grandchildren raising their own happy kids. I will look at them and I’ll be reassured that I’ve done a good job. All I want is to know they’re happy, living decent life, taking care of themselves and their families.
….everything I got from my parents, I’m giving to my children.
If I only think of this one reason to have children: me being old, not being able to take care of myself… Honestly, I think it’s too much trouble to go through until you’ve had raised your children so they can take care of you. It’s high risk transaction too – you never know if they’ll really be there for you. Maybe if you don’t spend money on kids you can save enough money to pay for some great nursing home and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to be surrounded by people who love their job and take care of elderly people with all their hearts, right?
So what is a good reason to have kids?
If you want to think of it realistically and practically, here are some facts about having kids you should review before you make a final decision:
- Your life WILL change. It will never be the same as it was before. Don’t get me wrong, if you want to travel around the world, build your career, hike the mountains, or anything else, you can still do it. But your baby will be there with you.
- You will be up all night. Many nights. Yes, you will be sleep deprived.
- You will have to change soiled nappies, clean a lot of mess and do whole lot more tidying up.
- It is beautiful to watch kids grow, learn new things everyday and to be part of this process. You will feel so proud and every step they make will feel better than if you’ve made it yourself.
- You will laugh a lot, kids are funny. Sometimes silly, sometimes cute. You also get to play with all the great toys and games they have.
- They will make you mad at times too.
- Kids cost fortune. (No, you cannot sell them.)
- Kids will do what they want and you will have to adapt to it. (starting with your baby crying every night at 3am, continuing when you won’t be able to get any greens into your five year old, up until teenage age when they will seem to be completely out of control.)
- Children are great for your own self-reflection. They’re like you in the mirror. They help you grow to become better person every day.
- You will be busy. Sometimes maybe too busy to realize how amazing your children are.
Going through the points above, it’s very clear that there is no real logical reason for having children. You either feel it in your heart or you don’t – in which case it’s probably better for you not to have them.
If you do have kids and you believe that it is the best thing you’ve ever done, please consider some of the points in this article before trying to convince anyone else to have children too. It’s not for everyone. People can accomplish many wonderful things in their lives even without having children.
For me thinking of having children to take care of me when I am not able to is kinda selfish. I have seen firsthand 80 year old mum refusing to go to nursing home and thus forcing her 50 year old daughter to tend to her every day despite having a career herself (though limited thanks to mum).
So I guess if I have done my job right, I won’t have to worry about my future.
Thanks to JB for her great insight.