Asking someone when they will have children seems like an innocent question, but it can be quite loaded. A recent piece in The New Yorker took a philosophical look in "The Case Against Kids."
"When we set the size of our families, we are, each in our own small way, determining how the world of the future will look," Elizabeth Kolbert wrote. "And we're doing this not just for ourselves and our own children; we're doing it for everyone else's children, too."
Economics, career considerations and the greater good can affect a person's or a couple's decision to have kids. Should the concern of world overpopulation change a person's plans for a family?
Laura Carroll, author of "Families of Two," and George Mason University economics professor Bryan Caplan will join The Daily Circuit Monday to discuss the morality of procreation.
Should would-be parents consider the societal impact of children?
Clearly it is wrong for those who can't financially afford to care for them. It is immoral to expect others to involuntarily provide for your children.
@KerriMPR Some of us just do not have any desire to have kids.
I don't buy the "cannot financially afford to care for them" argument. I've seen too many couples that were quite able to care for their kids at birth, but circumstances changed over the years... and many on the opposite arc as well.
It's not a one time decision, but a lifetime process, and you can't return a child to the store, with or without a receipt.
Birth rates around the world form the CIA Factbook.
I am in my early 30s; I've never wanted children and do not plan to have them.
Within the past few years most of my friends have started to have children. Very few of them considered the impact their having children will have on the planet (although there are a couple). It is one of my reasons for not wanting children. Many people find it difficult to relate to people that do not want to have children as if that is an odd choice. It is certainly something that has begun to put barriers between my friends and I as our lifestyles are now further diverging.
Everything in life is part of a zero-sum game and questions like this raise the prisoner's dilemma.
We cannot control what others do by our own actions, or even by national legislation -- as if a limit on children would ever fly in this country.
If you don't have children, others will. If you don't use resources, others will. Of all the ways to live and subsist on this planet, people raising families hardly top the list of egregious waste. It's not about how many kids you have, but how many cars, how much you consume and waste, how much carbon and toxins your carrying costs require.
I agree with Mike’s comment.
The consequences of overpopulation are major environmental and social destruction. So many people are having children just because they can; and not because they are equipped to raise children to be healthy successful adults. I am now in my sixties.
I grew up in a respectable family, but my parents were abuse. I chose not to have children, until I had a healthy committed marriage and could afford it. That did not happen, and I wish I had a family of my own now, but I think it was for the best. I have a small enviornmental footprint and I have enjoyed my freedom of being childfree.
I think about the economic/ environmental impact of my 1 year old constantly.
Before deciding to have a child I spent a lot of time thinking about this. I would try to have this conversation with friends and family. People always returned to the idea that my child would "make the world a better place".
Ultimately, my desire was so strong to have a child. I see so many thoughtful, well educationed, environmentally aware people around me having children as well. It feels almost like when a tree produces a lot of seedlings before it dies. I know it's dire, but these are my thoughts.
People who want to take themselves out of the gene pool probably should. Those who are thinking about future generations because they feel a parental bond are probably our best hope.
My husband and I both 31 now and we spent the first 9 years of marriage having long discussions about the implications of having children. The discussions included anything from the social/economic/environmental impact on other life (human and otherwise) to the mental/emotional/lifestyle impact on us personally.
For us, it's definitely been a challenge to reconcile a desire to have kids with a desire to be as conscientious as we can in the lifestyle choices we make. In the end, I think a balance can be made and a final decision on this issue is definitely a personal one. The important thing, in my mind, is that a conversation at least be had. We're 10 years married now and our 4 month old daughter has just woken up. We continue the conversation even as we embrace the joys and challenges of parenthood.
I am 53 years old and made the decision to be child-free when I was 15 years old.
This was the right decision for me and I was sure to marry a man who felt the same way. People who choose to be parents should not only consider how their offspring add to the stress of world population and environment but also they should consider if they have the personality and commitment to raise psychologically healthy children.
Each potential parent also needs to be prepared for the possibility of giving birth to a child that may have special needs. I have spent much of my life loving children through my profession, by mentoring children and youth, and by hosting foreign students. There are many ways to have children in your life without giving birth. I don't consider people who have a child or two selfish but I think people who give birth to large families are selfish. The cost to society (education, health care, jobs, etc) is quite large for each additional human being. Want a large family? Adopt, foster, or add to your family other than giving birth!
Having a child will have different impacts depending where you live. In some societies it might be better for well off parents to adopt children rather than have their own.
I chose not to have kids or adopt after marrying in to a wonderful, pre-assembled family.
Over and over, people told me I'd regret that choice. I'd wish I'd had my own, I wouldn't realize until it was too late, not having kids is selfish, I wouldn't feel complete. The constant questioning of what is clearly the right decision for me has been stressful. My parents still hold out that I'll have my own kid, even after I recently became a grandparent. As far as we've come as women, we have a long way to go.
I don't have kids, and I'm not particularly interested in having kids. This is because I know that I do not have the patience for kid issues and don't feel like subjecting a child to that. My father was abusive and I sense a good amount of him in myself, again I don't want to subject a child to that; it's not fair to them.
I'm 36, single, and have had a vasectomy. I have never had that great viseral desire to be "dad" and I believe that should be first and foremost. Plenty of people procreate, but few are parents.
.@KerriMPR #dailycircuit doing segment on ppl being "child-free" by choice. Wishing they covered Natl #Infertility Awareness week last wk.
I'm amazed at how many people tell me that "when you meet the right girl, then you'll want to have kids." I respond by saying, "If she's the right girl, she won't want kids either."
We are in our early 30's and a very happy successful married couple and we do not want to have children because there is too much of this world to experience.
Our plan is to travel the world and experience life together while experiencing other cultures and help people. All too often people believe that getting married and having children go hand in hand so soon after they get married they have kids. The problem is they loose touch with each other in the process because of the kids. The frustrating part is people who think it's selfish. It's not selfish, its our choice.
For all of my life I have wanted to have children. I am now 24 years old and I was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
My Fiance has had a lot of stomach problems which has lead us to the decision that we may not have children due to the fact that we do not want to pass one the negative genes that we have. It does not mean we would not adopt but having our own has now become a very loaded decision where we will have to weigh the pros and cons.
I don't have kids but I'm married to a man who has two from a previous marriage.
Though he loves his kids and would do anything for them, he has told me more than once that he envies the child-free life I had in my twenties and thirties, and often wishes he could have had that. I have two stepchildren, and though I love them and do everything I can for them, they have confirmed for me that this is as close to parenthood as I want to get.
37 with no children. Work in a female-dominated field and it seems my coworkers spend a lot of time complaining about their children and childcare situations. They also can't seem to make it to work as consistently as those of us without children, which is frustrating at times.
I don't have kids because of infertility issues.
However, I've discovered over time that I was probably not a good candidate for parenthood afterall, and have instead enjoyed the advantages that childlessness offers. That is not to say that I don't recognize the joy and privilege of having them, but I've simply chosen not to make that the focus of my life.
I am 26, married for 4 years. My husband and I were both raised in a realm where having children isn't a decision, it just is the norm. We knew we wanted to wait, but for the last year I have been (and he too, but less) questioning whether to have kids at all. I am not drawn to it. It's not career, it's not travel...I just am not drawn to it. I love my friends' kids and nieces/nephews, but I don't desire to parent.
Thanks for asking the "why do we have kids" question. I have no examples of people in my life for how to make the decision. I found a great book "Two is Enough" that is helping.
Any tips for a couple coming to a decision when we lean different directions?
We are in our 40s and made the decision not to have children some years ago.
I'm sure that many assume that we cannot have children. I have no idea. We made the decision due to my own health concerns, as well as financial and career, but primarily due to the health. I have a long history with clinical depression. We decided that the risks to my own mental health were of concern. It saddens me, and I have grieved, but also have chosen to love the other children
life is incredibly rich with children! i am 24, my husband is 26, we have a one-year old and are excited for the next one. we are both passionate about the careers we are pursuing but see children as one of the main reasons we have entered this vocation.
I am early 30s and married. not interested in having more than 2 children--one to replace me and one to replace my spouse.
I'm encouraged by the thoughtful comments. In my family I have seven brothers and sisters. The eight children had eight children. Those eight grandchildren had seven children. The five adopted children have had ten! and they are not done yet.
I'm reminded of the pseudo-documentary opening to the film "Idiocracy" where a "smart" professional couple winds up without any children while a "dumb" trailer park-trash type man fathers multitudes. I guess the more you care about the societal impact of having children, the better suited you are to actually have children.
I worry about the number of educated people not raising children. Don't we need educated people to be the one's raising children? \
\Also, I take offense to the idea of children to be a sacrifice. It can be one of the most fulfilling achievements in your life. Very hard, yes, but very important and fun!
My wife and I have been dealing with fertility issues the last few years. We are 32 and 33. I don't like how it's pushed on us as a society to have kids and if we don't, something is wrong.
I could live without them but my wife has always wanted them. After getting out of the Army and working in the civilian world again, something has changed and I really don't want kids now, I see how other co-workers use their kids as excuses and miss a lot of work. I just think it is also my responsiblity to have some sort of influence on the future population of the world. Everyone around us are having kids of course. The stress I see it causes them, I really has influenced my decision as well. STRESSFUL!
I would really like to know why your Dr. Kaplan seems so very committed to convincing us all how awful it is to not have children. His near-strident tone makes it difficult to believe the objectivity of the "research" he says he is citing.
58 years old, my husband and I raised three kids. I cannot imagine my life without kids. Having kids has given my life so much meaning.
The guest seems to believe that people who decide not to have children are necessarily workaholics. Many of us devote time to volunteering in our community and have deep relationships with other children in our lives -- it's not as if we're all working 80 hours a week.
39 year old male, knew from before I was married that I did not want children of my own.
Unfortunately, my former spouse said she felt the same and changed 3 years into our marriage, and we could not reconcile that. Before marrying again, being confident that my future wife would be able to honor my decision was the most important criteria. We now have many nieces and nephews whom we support financially and with our time, and feel this has been a blessing for all involved.
You have to remember that some people are childless by circumstance not by choice.
Failed fertility treatments or adoption placements that do not work out or both. We need to stop asking whether having children is immoral or not, as that sets up a good and bad dichotomy and too many people's lives are not black/white like that, but rather informed by circumstances of life.
I'm 33 and been married for 10 years, my wife and I have chosen not to have children simply because it will allow us to retire earlier.....possibly as early as our early 50s
I wonder if some of the regret people feel is about societal pressure, not their actual choice. I heard growing up that those who didn't have kids were "selfish".
I'm 34. We have one child, and have pretty much decided we're good with one.
I worry if someday I'll regret not having more, and feel like I should figure that out soon before it's "too late" to do anything about it.
If Dr. Kaplan would have felt silly going canoeing on his own, I suggest that if he didn't have kids, he could go with some of his child free friends. Seriously? Needing a canoeing partner as a reason to have children?!
I find it interesting that when I had my vasectomy, both of the nurses asked me how many children I have and both referenced my wife. I am 36, single (never married)
, and child-free.
I am a married, 31 year old woman, who has decided not to have children. I do not have a maternal instinct and am fearful that I would regret having a kid...can't exactly return a baby to the hospital. I am always asked when I am going to have kids and when I tell those who are asking that I am not going to, I don't feel like they believe me and they respond to me with doubt.
My partner and I will be 30 this year - and we seem to encounter this question more and more "So, do you have any children/when will you have kids?"
Although we have discussed having children, we haven't decided when we will have children. I'm finishing up my graduate degree, and my husband is also working on his graduate degree; the prospect of student loans, a mortgage, and saving for our future together seems daunting - and the thought of adding another person into the mix seems very overwhelming.
Great topic! Incredibly personal choice for every person and family.
We are extremely blessed to have 2 children. We initially wanted more.... but in interest of social responsibility decided to do foster care and possibly adopt. We now have our own 2 plus 2 through foster care.
I also agree with the guest that says many people make raising children harder than it has to be. All the commericalism and helicopter parenting so common today add to the financial and time pressures of parents.
I am getting married this weekend! My future husband and I have decided that we will not have chlidren. We love chlidren, but parenting doesn't appeal to either of us. To successfully raise children, one should love both chlidren and parenting.
(Ed note: Congratulations Alison!)
I'm 28 and my husband is 30, and we've grappled with the decision of whether to have kids since we got married almost 3 years ago.
There are a lot of reasons for our indecision. We like our life as it is now, with our ability to travel and be spontaneous, and we've seen how kids have diminished our friends' ability to do those things. In addition, we have more than $100k in student loan debt which we're aggressively paying down, and it's hard to imagine that we'll still be able to do that with the expense of a child.
@kerrimpr This 37 yo lesbian is willfully choosing child-free life. Wasn't built for it, don't want them, species will continue w/out me!
@kerrimpr This guy seems to think if you don't have kids that you're deciding to be a workaholic.
I have been told before when asking about more permanent birth control options by medical professionals that they would be willing to discuss those in the future with me and a (at the time) non-existent partner. I was outraged that it was not my choice and that I had to have a partner to make that choice with.
I feel fortunate to live in a time when it is my choice as a woman whether I want to have children but there is still an attitude and assumption that having kids is the default.
I am in my 20s and plan on having as many children as God gives me - if that is 5 then so be it. If its 10 then so be. I think the question of how faith plays into this question is the most important and should be addressed.
I was the most reluctant mother. I was not maternal.
I thought the world was overpopulated. I was unsure I could be a good parent. I didn't want to be the "typical suburban mom" running here and there. I had a career. I was annoyed by other parents. Married and at 34 I found I was pregnant. I was still not sure I wanted to be a parent, but my husband forged ahead, dragging me along.
Now we have 3 children and I love it more than I ever could have imagined. People like to talk about the sleepless nights and sure, the other sacrifices, but no one can REALLY TELL you how wonderful it is. I could not have predicted how I would change and find the rewards so purely indescribable!!.
I am a psychologist with 20 years experience in reproductive mental health. The term "parenting free" seems the best, as children are in everyone's lives in some way. Also, I continuously hear clients say they wish their OB/GYNs had told them that research shows their fertility starts to decline at 35.
Kind of hard to think about having kids before there is a guy available who a) into you, much less b) into having kids. In my experience, men who are in their 20s and 30s -- heck, even their 40s, are completely confused about what it means to be a man these days, and don't even "date," but just "hang out." Sort of puts a damper on even thinking about kids.
I heard a talk on World Population about 10 years ago. Ever since then, I have decided not to have children. There are not enough resources to feed all the people on this planet now. I wish more people were aware of this. We are so sheltered from this in our country. Over-population is the root cause of almost every social problem we have.
I work with youth and teens at a community center and have several nieces/nephews, so my life is full of and enriched by kids. I know my husband and I will always be in mentoring relationships, if we never parent.
I too get annoyed at the people who think those that don't have kids are selfish....I think it's the other way around....selfish parents having multiple kids to fufill their lives and so they can dress up like a doll to take pictures of and show off...also, I'm dealing with depresssion, PTSD, etc. I don't want bring a kid into this world to grow up and be as frustrated as myself in dealing with life. Yeah, those who chose not to have kids are smart...not selfish!
My husband and I have 2 wonderful boys. I am very happy to be a mom, but I also know many people that choose not to have children, and I fully respect that. If they do not want children, no one should ever make them feel guilty about it. They are making the best choice for them.
I love the title child-free- it's an absolute luxury, not just for lifestyle, but monetarily. Husband of 8 years & I are child-free and having offspring has never been a pressing issue for us- we are only children. As for the mothering instinct-take a look around you- women who are physically built for motherhood have always wanted kids and women with boyish figures don't really think about it.
In my early 20's I was briefly engaged to someone who did not want children. At that time, I convinced myself that I was okay with that.
I got pregnant at 18 when my birth control failed.
I wish I had known that motherhood is massively educational in every area, especially compassion, which cannot be taught in college. I had 4 daughters and recently went back to college and laughed at how little I am learning. I wish I had known how rich my life would be because of my kids and how little I was "losing."
I'm 36 and would love to have kids!
However finding the right mate has been difficult. It feels like men nowadays don't respect the fertility limits that women have which means they waste a lot of our time. While I've been waiting for my somebody at this point I think I might just have to get pregnant and not worry so much about a husband.
I am turning 40 this year and have never had kids.
My hubby of 11 yrs wanted kids when we first got together, but i told him he'd better choose a differnt wife if that was the case.
I have family history of mental illness, and after dealing with close family who was violently schizophrenic, i have no wish to bring anothe life into the world to curse them with a lifetime of dibilitating illness. Not to mention i am not a "motherly" type. I am too quick to anger and afraid i would be abusive. Also i work in heavy industry and would have to take off far too much time to raise a child. as the sole breadwinner in our family, not an option. I will keep to my furry four footed kids, thanks.
I've never wanted kids since I was about 13yrs old (I am 30 now and happily married). I hate when people say that I'll change my mind. No, I won't, neither will my husband and we are perfectly happy.
I am 58 with no children and always been very satisfied with my decision until the last 5 years when I seem to continually hear from all around me, including President Obama, that having children is the greatest thing in their lives. I began to wonder what I missed.
More from the reluctant mom. It's ok to not have children. I was going that direction and I respect it.
However, now that I do have children, I can't help feeling a little bad for my close friends who have chosen not to have children. I know they don't realize how great this thing is that they are missing.
I am 30 and have been married 7 years. We are constantly conflicted about starting a family. Lately I have been feeling a lot of peer-pressure from friends who are now starting families. I worry about the quality of life my children would have and their children's children. At the same time, I wonder if we would regret not having a family 30 years from now.
Whether right or wrong, I will not have children because I cannot plan sufficiently for the financial hit. I just can't let myself go into debt like that.
@KerriMPR My husband didn't want children, I did. We compromised w/ 1 who is now 7 and very busy. I don't know how people keep up w/ more!
Many of the world's problems are due to people who should never have children having children.
They don't have money to feed them or clothe them, they beat them, they don't educate them, they neglect them, etc. People should earn licenses to have kids.
I find it interesting that the majority of the the comments on this have been by people who do not have kids when the majority of people do have kids.
I think this is a sign that those of us do not want kids feel the need to justify this position due to the fact that this is still a decision that has some stigma attached.
I'm 54 and our 2 daughters are in their 20s.
When we made the conscious decision to have children, I left my job to start a business at home before we became pregnant so I could be a stay-at-home mom (which I was for 13 years). What makes me furious are the people who say they'd go crazy if they had to stay home with their children. Then why did they have children in the first place!?
I'm 31, my kid is 5 and I really want her to have a sibling before both she and I get too old, but I'm also a recent college graduate and an active job-seeker.
My husband lacks a college degree and I will likely have to become the primary bread-winner. The job market & social infrastructure (i.e. child care) are hostile to an expectant job seeker, and I feel compelled to put off hopes of having my second child for a few year until I can put my career on track.
I'm curious about the impact of divorce and remarriage on the trends.
My partner's first wife didn't want more children after they had two, so he had a vasectomy. For my part, I chose not to have kids with my former partner, whom I was with throughout my 30's. Since my current partner and I didn't find each other until later in life, our choices now are constrained by those we both made previously. I'm guessing we're not alone in this.
I think that parents should think more about the time they'll be able to actually parent their child
when deciding to have kids.
Having 2 parents working full-time and dropping kids off at daycare is affecting our next generation negatively. It would be a huge cultural improvement if people would actually consciously parent and make the change in their lives to be around their children instead of working.
As a married young woman who doesn't want kids it is scarry to think about when all or most of my friends do have children. I feel like they will be lost to the 'kid vortex' and will not have time for old friends without kids.
Who is going to take care of these people when they're old? My 70 yr old father is with his 97 yr old father everyday It's an honor to watch the grace of their relationship and I'm certain my grandpa gets better care because family visits everyday. I expect to be present for my parents when they need more care and hope this modeling will encourage my kids to be there for me.
Abby - I am living that right now. It's quite difficult.
Having children is a selfish choice. No child ever asks to be born. Those of us who have decided not to have children are very aware of our needs, and if a child doesn't fulfill that need, I think it makes us very self aware and just in our decision.
Great question Anne... what is society's role and responsibility for the elderly going to be like in 50 years?
Yes, I think those of us without children do need to justify it or make it aware. We are a minority population per say.
We are parents of 5 children.
When we married in 1973 the population bomb was a strong cultural issue so we thought we would have 2 children. Once we started having them however we discovered that in spite of the amount of work involved they brought us much joy and we ended up with our five. I love all of our children and our 9 grandchildren. I have no regrets having sacrificed a high powered career for a large family.
We are parents of 5 children and now have 9 grandchildren.
We have no regrets having a large family and know many families with few or no children and some who have 6-7 children. Each couple must make the decision as to how many to have and how far apart for themselves.
Having children isn't immoral-- what's immoral is stripping the American education system for faux austerity cuts. It seems that soon only the rich will be able to educate their young. The public schools are suffering and college is more and more out of reach. Doesn't seem fair to bring a child into that situation.
Wanting to have children was a clear deal breaker when my wife and I considered marriage.
She has absolutely no maternal instincts; children were not an option. We both have very active lives and are gone almost every weekend. We are involved with coaching and spend hours with children of all ages. Satisfying enough.
I'm rather surprised with how snide and condescending Brian is being in this adult conversation. He seems like a rather hypocritical and close minded person (his way or the highway). It seems as though he's upset he can't have more of a life with being strapped down with 4 children (considering his first 2 children were unplanned).
I think Brian needs to respect others personal wants and needs. If people want to pursue head strong degrees then that's their prerogative.. it has a lot to do with personality, please respect that. Having children is a choice and not a requirement. My partner is a biomedical engineer and I am in pursuit of a medical degree. We are both workaholics with large life goals in mind. It's our personal choice to not have children at this point in time instead of having children and not having enough time to devote to them.
RT @ProfBanks: I was a Fulbright finalist 10 yrs ago, & made a bargain w/ my husband: if no Ireland, then baby. My eldest is 10 in June. :)
As a mother trying to raise a bilingual/bicultural kid in the U.S., one thing to weigh when considering whether or not to have multiple kids is the level of commitment to provide the necessary learning opportunity.
For my dual-citizen child to have the opportunity to learn and work in two countries as I have had, I will need to be able to make multiple trips with her to spend time with her family in Japan. Doable for one kid, but two? Three?
I dislike the assumption that children will take care of their elderly parents.
There is no guarantee of that. Children can have disabilities, die in childhood, or live thousands of miles from their parents. They can also dislike their parents and choose not to help them. A better idea? Don't have children, save the $200,000 or more it costs to raise a child from 0 to 18, and hire someone to take care of you.
@Athena: you and me both. Honestly, his tone and his condescension are incredibly off-putting. Having a personal opinion one way or another is one thing, but he all but states that anyone who doesn't decide to have children is less of a human being and less of a contributing member to society (since we will never give birth to the one fantastic human being who will change the world for the better). Ugh. It's rare to have such a poor guest on MPR.
I'm 40. I never wanted children, never had any. Looking at the world now -- climate change, the impending implosion of the federal budget because of health care expenses -- I'm certain I made the right decision. I wouldn't want to be responsible for bringing someone into a world that's going to be worse than this one.
I married into a family where my father-in-law expected to come BEFORE the children; turns out my husband felt the same and required that his needs would come first. We argued plenty about this. I was on the fence about kids anyway - that clinched it. No kids.
@KerriMPR Brian... alone does not mean lonely!
I just don't think "I might regret it if I don't" is a sufficient justification for having children.
A few years ago, some friends of mine had their FOURTH kid. My husband and I visited them in the hospital. The husband, who had gained 40 lb since the birth of their first, sat in a chair staring off into space. The wife looked down at their newborn on the bed with a deer-in-the-headlights look. About three minutes into the visit, the husband turned to us and said, "SO! When are you two gonna start your family?"
From Jean in an email:
"It seems that today's discussion assumes that the decision to have kids is a generous and selfless one. What about the people who tend toward narcissistic tendencies, and the kids are not much more than a reflection for the parents, and vehicles to pass on their own neuroses and pathologies?
Those who decide not to have children should not be considered selfish, and should not have to "make up" for it."
I think we need to talk about how parenthood is not valued. Parents, more so mothers, are systematically disadvantaged and made dependent by a society that exploits those who perform its most critical work.
#dailycircuit Having someone to take care of you when you are old is NO reason to have kids; I respect those that choose not to.
At age 27 I got fixed. I thought I'd have to do some "Dr. shopping" but the first urologist I talked to was willing to do a vasectomy no questions asked. Absolutely best decision of my life, I don't regret it for a second!!
Response to Anonymous at 11:54am.
I completely agree with you. I've been listening to MPR for a while now and this is the first time that I'm wanting to turn it off because of the negative attitude of Brian.
My partner's parents have always said "MY children are MY descendents and will have MY last name... I will live through them forever!" .. we aren't living in the dark ages anymore. To me, it seems like Brian is the same way, which is unfortunate. I kind of feel like Brian may be a lonely and upset man with how his life has turned out, and he has high hopes that his children will want to go canoeing or on trips with him. Where are HIS friends? Having all those kids seems to be putting a hampering on his social life. I really enjoyed the woman they had playing the other side of the conversation. She was much more open minded and didn't say either way what people should be doing... rather just leaving it up as an option for adults.
Like another listener, I made the decision to not have children when I was fifteen and have never changed my mind. The biggest factor in my decision was to stop the cycle of abuse and dysfunction in our family. I am 46 years old, and am still happy with my decision. I never had positive parental role models. Some of my friends who decided to have children feel burdened by them in their busy lives. I have actually been called selfish for my decision not to have children!
I'd just like to see people admit that having children is a selfish decision.
That doesn't make it bad, but it IS selfish.
As long as there are kids growing up in foster care, having biological children can only come from a selfish desire to propagate your own genes. Too many parents act like they're saving the world by raising their biological offspring. Well, maybe if they hadn't had kids, they'd have the time, energy, and money to help the billions of suffering people who are already on this planet.
We started our family after our careers were established and now at age 49 I have four healthy children.
We will be long retired when our kids (hopefully) are college graduates. I LOVE my lifestyle and family. That said, I was a very happy 35 year old single childless person and do not find it unusual for people who make that choice.
Morality of procreation?
Ugh...for the sake of all: change the title of the conversation and let's talk * less polarization, please.
50 yr old woman, just shy of 30 yrs married + child-free; amazing marriage, uber-happy - personal choice... how about if I don't judge your child-filled life and you don't judge my child-free life? What beauty and wisdom do our separate, but different lives hold? I thoroughly enjoy the children in my circle that I am privileged to love and watch grow up - they need interested, encouraging adults (like me) and I need their youth to expand my heart and my community.
So I say to all the women out there plan a great life, make decisions that are best for you, be happy with those decisions. Children are our right to bear or not to bear not man
or woman or religion
I could care less if people choose to have kids or not. It's a personal choice.
There are plenty of people who SHOULDN'T have kids. But having 3 kids of my own, I'M offended when people tell me that it's a selfish choice and then proceed to tell me why it doesn't make sense to have children. If you're looking for the pros and cons of having kids, you will never have them. It DOESN'T make sense.
There's no way that a person who doesn't have kids can understand why a person DOES have kids. The amount of love cancels out all of the negatives.
So live and let live. If you don't want kids, don't have them, but don't tell me why I'm stupid for choosing another path.
Also, I do not agree with your guess regarding his comment about your child might be the one to invent something that will benefit mankind.
How about all the millions of children already born with no chance of receiving a great education because of poverty, economics, and the school districts the people in office have chosen to for them to go to attend base on where they live. the rich get to invent and have the luxury to sit and ponder ideas and get paid for that. Every once in while u will here about a child from a power neighborhood who will have that great opportunity to sit are and ponder and have a great idea , but these are to far and in between.
First of all, I would like to say I totally found it disrespectful the you introduced the show this morning by using the words " are women selfish for no having kids" words like your play into the right wing religious groups out there that continues to try and put pressure on women regarding the decisions they make regarding their bodies, happiness, carers , and their right to live their lives the way they wish to. I personally do not remember signing a contract stating I am obligated to populate the world because I was born a girl would grew up to be a
When I was in my twenties and thirties guys my age didn't want to settle down and have kids.
Only later did I realize (they told me) it was because they were waiting for younger and wealthier women to come of age, so they could have a wife twenty or more years younger to have their children, make them feel young, and care for the men when they got old.
please do not have any more topics like this. have a topic about how women independent of whether they have kids or not still have plenty to contribute to mankind. thanks A women's womb is not a resource to the world nor a resource consumer.Women have inherent value independent of child bearing decisions. thanks
I'm 41, and I knew from the time I was about 15 that I had no interest (although I have plenty of 'caretaker/maternal' instinct, which seems to manifest in wanting to care for my younger siblings and nature.)
The decision to do it, or not do it, both have 'selfish' aspects, inasmuch as people tend toward trying to arrange their lives to fit their idea of what will make them happy. One thing that always makes me roll my eyes is the idea that your kid might be that special snowflake that will make the world a better place full of clover and puppies. Trust me, the law of averages says our kids are likely to be average...very few people are so superior that their genes need to be passed along that badly, in a finite, overpopulated planet, where 1 of your developed-nation kids will consume 15-20 times the resources of a kid from an undeveloped nation. People reproduce because some really dig the experience, and because most people are evolutionarily (mindlessly) programmed to. We need to stop romanticizing something that EVERY creature on earth can do.