10 Reasons to Have Children and
20 Reasons Not to Have Children
- Birth. Imagine pushing a grapefruit through your
anus. Imagine it taking ten hours. Imagine that after ten hours of
trying to push a grapefruit through your anus and failing that doctors
cut a big hole in your belly to remove the grapefruit. Don't believe
anyone who says that they forget all about it in a few months.
- Responsibility. All of life's prior responsibilities
pale in comparison. If you decide to have a child, that new person must
absolutely be your top priority. As your child will remind you when he
or she is older and something goes wrong, "I didn't ask to be born." A
child is a life long commitment to a person who is innocent of this
- Diapers. Disposable diapers these days absorb lots of
liquid, and they don't leak. But you still have to change hundreds of
them. Often they contain more than liquid. As the child gets older,
diapers become smellier and bigger tasks. Then there is toilet
training, with its inevitable setbacks and accidents.
- 3am wakeups. Caring for a child takes a lot of
physical and emotional energy, made all the harder by babies that only
sleep for ninety minutes at a time. Many parents of much older children
seem to forget how hard the first few months were as they look at the
past with rose colored glasses. Don't believe them. Parents need sleep
to work well, and they often can't get it.
- Hard on marriages. A baby takes so much time and
attention that spouses must already have a great friendship and work
well together before the baby arrives. It is a certainty that one
spouse will disagree with the other about decisions on how to care for
the child. It is likely that one spouse will resent the lost time with
the other. A marriage with some difficulties will get much worse when a
baby is crying and the parents are sleep deprived.
- Advice. Total strangers leap forward to offer advice
about how to raise your child. Most of the advice is contradictory and
flat out wrong. Strangers will be much easier to ignore than your
friends and family, many of whom have raised children quite
successfully. Some advice you may want, but lots of it will be
unsolicited and unappreciated.
- Changed relationships. When your family expands by
the addition of a child, your relationships with everyone, and I mean
everyone, changes. Your child is at the forefront of most of your
thoughts, and those people without children cannot relate. Those people
with children are finally happy to see that you can relate. Everyone
will watch how you raise your child and will at some point cluck and
disapprove, including those who raised ten children and those who
raised none. Some strong bonds will weaken, some friends will not been
seen again. Some may improve, but with your energies and devotions
directed towards your child, that is much less likely.
- Free time. You will have none. Most time not spent
with your child will be spent catching up on work you need to get done.
You and your spouse must carefully plan any time away from your child,
and very little can be done spontaneously. To pretend otherwise is
probably neglectful of either your child or your spouse.
- Worry. Parents always worry about their children,
monitoring how fast they reach each milestone and how well they grow,
eat, sleep, crawl, walk, read, make friends, and so on. And yet there
is little a parent can do beyond allow a child to proceed at his or her
own pace. It can be frustrating and scary when your child isn't eating
well, or cannot read at his or her grade level, or is socially inept.
- Money. Children are expensive in several ways. One
parent loses wages while caring for a child. Children need to eat and
be clothed. They need toys with which to explore the world. They need
health care, they need education, they need activities and hobbies.
They will need car insurance. The proper raising of a child is not
- Laundry. Children do not contribute to household
chores until they are older, and even then they generate more work than
labor. Having a child means that your living space will need more
cleaning than before, not only as your child makes a mess of it but
also because you cannot let your child crawl around in dust and dirt.
Your child will find all sorts of vile things to put in his or her
mouth in the cleanest of homes. Your laundry and dishes will double,
and you will do all the picking up after your child for many years.
- Tantrums. Many times you will tell your child that
they cannot have what they want, and they will scream to get you to
change your mind. You will need to avoid saying "no" as much as
possible, but then stick to your decision when you do. Otherwise you
will encourage tantrums. However, younger children cry because that is
the only way they have to express themselves, and you need to be
attentive. It becomes difficult judging when a child is having a
serious problem and when he or she is having a tantrum. Tantrums are
not just for two-year-old children, they will continue for years in
many different forms as your child will attempt to change your mind. At
some point children figure out how to get what they want despite you,
and that opens another can of worms.
- Rebellion. Children need to assert their independence
and individuality. All will feel stifled in some way by their parents
or other authority figures, and they will attempt to subvert the
dominant hegemony. Didn't you? It usually isn't pretty.
- Dissonance. Lots of adults do not get along with
their parents. Perhaps they forget all the work that their parents put
into raising them, or perhaps they resent that the work that their
parents did was not enough. At some point your child will probably be
very angry with you, and may even hate you for years. This is not
uncommon, and you know it because you can name a dozen people who don't
get along with their own parents.
- Pain. Your child will cry and you won't know why or
how to fix it. You will mess up and let your child get hurt. You won't
be there and your child will get hurt. Your child will get really sick.
Your child will fail at something and feel humiliated and worthless.
Guaranteed. The world is a hard place on everyone, especially small,
naive, fragile people.
- 6 billion. The world is already overpopulated. Do you
really have to add to it? Do not answer this question lightly. Every
new human draws on our limited resources, tramples over previously
undamaged land, creates more waste, and accelerates worldwide
- Failed expectations. You may expect your child to be
interested in things that fascinate you, and then be disappointed. You
may be brilliant and your child may be dull. You may be athletic,
unhappy to discover that your child has trouble walking a straight
line. Your child may abandon your religion or main beliefs. Your child
may grow up to be someone you have very little in common with. In fact,
your child will definitely not be a little version of you. Any thoughts
about what kind of person you want your child to be are wasted
thoughts, and probably detrimental.
- Lost freedom. People without children can easily pack
up and move. They can be without work or change careers. They can break
up with their partners and find new ones. Children, while often
flexible, must be accounted for in all major life changes. In fact,
they demand that the world not change around them so fast while their
own understanding of the world grows and changes at the same time.
Stability and routine allows a child to explore life from a vantage of
safety and consistency. You must be willing to give your child such
stability at the cost of your own freedom.
- Hard work. Raising a child takes more than love and
time. You must concentrate on all methods of communication that your
child attempts so that you may properly understand his or her needs and
wants. You must introduce your child to new stimulation and situations
regularly. You have to figure out best ways to teach your child at each
age, what to teach them, and when to teach. You must be available and
responsive to your child even when you are tired or sad or very busy.
- The unthinkable. The death of a child, while
unlikely, is devastating. It often destroys marriages, as both spouses
need comfort that the other cannot provide. Frequently one parent will
blame the other. So much emotion, time, and energy gets poured into a
child that to lose it all at once is crippling. Many well meaning
people say hurtful and stupid things in a misguided attempt to help.
This is one case where it is better to not have loved at all than to
have loved and lost.
10 Reasons to Have Children
- They're cute. In fact, your own child is adorable. Every sigh, every laugh, every motion is bliss. You fall in love with them.
- Re-experiencing childhood. Regardless of how good your
own childhood was, your child allows you to vicariously relive
childhood. Usually it's much better the second time around, when you
have all the wisdom of age but can enjoy the energy of youth. Playing
with a two-year-old feels like being two years old again.
- Learning. Watching your child learn is fascinating
and fun. Each new skill or idea or word learned is a little victory. If
you watch carefully, you will see that something new is discovered or
conquered every single day. Your child will need to learn a lot from
you, as he or she starts without much knowledge at all except for
perfect sense of his or her feelings. While you are busy teaching your
child about practical aspects of the world, your child will be teaching
you emotional sensitivity. The active teaching and learning process is
rewarding and fulfilling.
- Reflection. Everything that you already can do
probably take for granted, but your child will remind you that all
those skills had to be learned. It reminds you of how far you have come
in life, and shows you the sorts of difficulties you probably had when
you were your child's age. Your child will also notice things that you
have long since filtered out. I didn't realize how many birds there
were outside my house until my daughter showed me.
- Reincarnation. Your genetic makeup is a small part of
your identity. More important are your ideas, beliefs, manners, and
stories. All of these things will be taken up by your child and then
changed around. Your child will never be a clone of yourself,
fortunately, but instead will be a new variation of you and the other
people that raise him or her. If you like yourself then this is very
- Socializing. Every society has a subculture for
people who raise children. At every age you can find people also
raising a child in a similar situation. You can make many new friends
with whom you have a lot in common. The comradely and shared
experiences ease some difficulties.
- Control. You must not tell other people how to raise
their own children. However, if you raise your own child, you get to do
it your way, which you presumably believe is the right way. People
might disagree with your methods, but if you have thought at great
length about it--and you should if you plan on having a child--then you
probably have good reasons for all the decisions you will have to make.
When you find that your methods are not perfect, which you will, you
can change them appropriately.
- Adoption. There are lots of children in the world
without parents. Adopting a child is an excellent way to greatly
improve the life of someone who would have a very hard time otherwise.
- Entertainment. Children have lots of energy and can
be lots of fun. They develop imaginations, a sense of humor, and lots
of excitement. Little kid laughs are infectious. Playing with children
is very enjoyable.
- Love. You are the center of your child's world, and
as much as you may love and need your child, he or she will love you
more. Children that are shown love and affection show it back many
Source: Play Again Games