I don't want kids - let's discuss

thebrofessor's picture
thebrofessor - Certified Professional
Rank: The Pro | banana points 23,436

As you all know, I'm a bit older, but not one of the oldest guys on WSO, been with my wife for a while, and we're at the age where people are constantly asking us when we're gonna have kids, as if it's a guarantee. now, I realize that it's probably abnormal for us to not have and (at least currently) not want children, but I wonder if I'm alone here.

let's talk about this - do you want kids? if so, why? if not, why not?

I'll start. I don't want kids, at the moment. I'm at the age where biologically it makes sense (don't want to be an old parent), but I still just don't want them. they're expensive, slow your career (precisely at a time where my group is crushing it), a drain on other activities that are important to me, take away from time with my wife, and studies show that having children has a pretty high correlation with depression. compound that with the fact that I see friends with kids and while it may be fun to visit for a weekend, I am so glad to get back to independence, and my wife and I both look at each other with that "thank god you're on birth control" glance. finally, and maybe least importantly, there are too many fucking people on earth. why should I add to the problem?

@Dingdong08 @DickFuld @Eddie Braverman @Layne Staley @SSits @jankynoname @InfoDominatrix

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Comments (81)

Jul 24, 2018

First off, asking when you plan to have them is fucking rude. People need to stop that. For all they know you're trying and having problems. The whole "children" discussion is so personal that people really shouldn't be butting into your business.

Beyond that, I have no children and have no immediate prospects for children. I'm perfectly content with my dogs. Nothing else to add here.

    • 6
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Jul 24, 2018

I completely agree, since when did it become socially acceptable for ANYone to ask (save maybe a parent, but still that's rude)

oi vei

    • 2
Jul 24, 2018

I agree. I'm getting married later this year, and people are already asking when we plan to have kids...thinking about just starting to claim I'm sterile.

Jul 24, 2018

I've never understood the "my dogs are my children" thing. Your dog is a dog....

    • 8
Jul 24, 2018

My dogs aren't my children. They're my companions and just about all the responsibility I can handle.

    • 2
Jul 24, 2018

Idiocracy was not supposed to be a how to movie.

    • 3
Jul 24, 2018

yeah I don't really care. it's not my duty to populate the world. in my opinion, I can impact more lives through charity and coaching little kids than I can by procreating.

that clip is funny af though, I need to watch the movie

    • 2
Jul 24, 2018

Everyone always pushes for educated people to have kids, as if that would offset the population of absolute degeneratives.

Answer is large scale population control and reduction, especially in "developing" nations. I commend Europe and Japan for reducing their population. Issue is rabbits are invading and diluting the party.

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    • 5
    • 1
Jul 24, 2018

But where would economic growth come from if population is declining and mostly dumb people are making kids?

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

Jul 24, 2018

Economic growth is one factor, but we also want healthy civilizations and cultures.
We ant kids raised right and people who are hardworking, but also have values that go above and beyond the mundane, the basic and plebeian.

Jul 25, 2018

If you want hardworking kids with values, then you want smart people to make children, not plebs.

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

Jul 28, 2018

"Darwin had not considered a world where smart people have fewer children and stupid people have more."

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Jul 24, 2018
kayz08:

But where would economic growth come from if population is declining and mostly dumb people are making kids?

This assumes that the primary purpose of a nation is to maximize absolute GDP. I disagree, hence one reason why I support reduced immigration and population control policies in general.

Jul 25, 2018

Of course no one can say what the primary purpose is. But for all advancing societies, the goal has always been the prosperity of all citizens in the country.

Prosperity =/= high GDP, but they are highly correlated. As GDP rises, we develop new medicines and technologies that help improve the lives of all. I'm certain the end goal is to eradicate absolute poverty.

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

    • 1
Aug 14, 2018
TNA:

Everyone always pushes for educated people to have kids, as if that would offset the population of absolute degeneratives.

Answer is large scale population control and reduction, especially in "developing" nations. I commend Europe and Japan for reducing their population. Issue is rabbits are invading and diluting the party.

Is that a subtle r/k reference?

Jul 30, 2018
WolfofWSO:

Idiocracy was not supposed to be a how to movie.

LOL, so true:)

Jul 24, 2018

I like to think that I will have a family someday, but I really dislike small children. It's nice to have when you're older, but the pain and hassle of raising a child from 0-10 during my 30's/40's kills it for me.

I have also thought about adopting to get rid of the short-term liabilities, but I'm too much of a narcissist to raise anything but "mini-me's".

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Jul 24, 2018

I am not sure if i will end up having kids but i think it would be very nice to have adult children when you are older. Especially thinking about when you are 70, 80, 90. Having adult kids to hang out with and be your support network would be great. However this means you have to put in the work and sacrifice during the prime of your life to get to that point. Not an easy choice by any means.

Jul 24, 2018

And this assumes the kids will hang with you. Most will move away and you'll maybe see them on holidays.

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Jul 24, 2018

I have two kids, ages 2 and 4 months. I, similar to QuiltEmerson above, am having a hard time connecting with younger children. Not to say I don't love my kids, but there is something about the lack of direct interaction that makes me feel this way.

It also does a number on the family when I can't be home by certain times due to career commitments or my work travel. It also makes it harder to make career moves that would require even more time commitment or travel.

It's not easy, there is no doubt about that, but I do think it will get more fun with time, or at least I hope!

    • 1
Aug 14, 2018

Don't mean to be to intrusive, but does your wife work? like a decent amount of hours? if so how do you go about watching kids during work hours? The biggest issue for me if I were to have a kid would be the need of some nanny or daycare having to watch over them and I don't really know if I trust them to raise my kid with the values I want to teach them.

Aug 14, 2018

My wife doesn't work. Her job before we had kids was not lucrative and her salary would have effectively gone to pay for child care. So, we did make a choice for her to not work and take care of the kids. That situation helps, but I will tell you that if your wife is home alone with kids all day it will not make it easier on you, as you might have suspected going into it.

    • 1
Jul 24, 2018

You do you

You do you. Enjoy your life and don't fret about what other people think. Hell, if you and your partner get into your 50s and suddenly do want kids, adopt.

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Jul 24, 2018

I don't hate kids, but I don't really care about them. Like I love my niece and will take care of her, but I don't take care of her either.

Who asks you about when you're having kids? Zero people in my friend group do and I care nothing about others opinions. My parents have learned long ago to shut the fuck up as well.

Just laugh in their face and leave the situation. Sounds like a lame ass discussion.

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Jul 24, 2018

who asks? you name it.

coworkers
mother in law
wife's friends
only a couple of my friends
clients

most people close to me know not to ask, or they're polite and realize it's none of their business. I have told people that I'm getting a vasectomy and that shuts them up. I wish I could tell clients to fuck off...but the risk reward for that is pretty poor

    • 1
Jul 24, 2018

Ahh, clients. Yeah. That's going to never end. People hate when someone else doesn't make the same choice as them. Makes them uncomfortable and question tjemselces.

Hold strong and ball hard.

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Jul 24, 2018

My son is about 3 months old now. Always wanted kids but it's a handful man, and I didn't want a kid pre-30 but it happened anyway. I love him to death. He can be annoying AF but he's just so damn cute. Can't wait to raise him to be a gentleman and a scholar (I'm serious). The toughest part isn't the money or career shit. The toughest part thus far is needing to plan when to go to dinner with my GF or when we can go to a movie etc. Also the fact that vacations will be much harder. When he hits like 1-2 we can easily leave him with the grandparents for a week or two so that we can travel overseas again. Having grandparents around is great b/c they can watch him for free.99 and I trust them far more than any babysitter. We live around 20 minutes from both sets of grandparents. At the same time, I feel shackled to that location (closer to the suburbs than the city) because of the easy grandparent access. The loss of freedom can be tough to be honest.

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Jul 24, 2018

Can definitely relate to this, had a baby at 29 and yep, freedom is gone. However, daughter is 2 now and it gets a lot better (can take her around to a lot of places and she doesn't need to sleep much during the day anymore). Hang in there, bud. Despite all the challenges I would not trade in my daughter for all the freedom and money in the world.

Most Helpful
Jul 24, 2018

I don't like spending prolonged periods of time around other people's small kids (more annoying than they are cute). However, I think having your own must be quite different. I do think that while the stress of raising kids must be insane, it also has to be extremely rewarding. I'm not looking forward to a few years out when I'll (probably) be waking up periodically throughout the night to take care of a screaming kid, but watching them grow, mature, etc. has to be pretty awesome. I love traveling and reading a ton and having a good chunk of free time now, but at some point I'll be ready for a new phase of life that's less focused on myself. I think the happiest people are those who serve others (not that having kids is the only way to do this).

I think on my deathbed, I'd regret not having kids even if I didn't regret it most days in my adult life. Very few people, as they're dying, spend a lot of time thinking about how successful their career was, or how they visited 70 countries instead of 50, or how they wished they had a net worth of $4 million instead of $2.5 million. Most take comfort in the fact that they've raised (hopefully) responsible and successful kids. I also don't think kids limit careers that much - most senior people I know have multiple kids.

I think going to college football games with my 10 year old son would be more rewarding than getting shitfaced with a 50 year old friend every home game.

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Jul 24, 2018

My thought in response to the "aren't their to many people already, why add another" line of thinking is, if you/your spouse are smart enough to take the time and think about if it's right for you to have a kid (from a monetary/career/timing standpoint), you're more than likely going to add someone who is a net positive to society. So if you decide to pull the proverbial trigger and have a kid, you really are in your own small way making the world a better place.

Jul 24, 2018

I've always thought that kids are like a car, or a house; you see all the dings, scuffs and scratches on other people's models and think wow what a POS, but when it comes to yours, those aren't scratches, those are experiences that make yours unique and personally valuable.

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Jul 24, 2018

I think asking someone/a couple "when are you having kids", is just small talk for most people. I wouldn't take offense to it.

If you're hesitate about having kids, I would say don't have them, because it's worst to be a "bad" parent than not one at all. I wouldn't feel bad about it, usually this comes from some author telling you that biologically we are all here just to procreate. I think two of the biggest lies that are separate through society are that everyone should get married or have kids, namely because some people are not good in relationships or with kids. Most people don't realize/recognize this in themselves though, it's kind of like how you never really mean a person who calls themselves a below average driver.

One thing I would also say is, its okay to have kids if you want. I think we live in a society now were it's "cool" to bash having a baby when you can get a dog. If someone wants to have a kid, let them have a kid.

Also, if someone doesn't want to have a kid they shouldn't need to offer an explanation. I've seen a lot of articles recently about the older generations trying to understand why people don't want to have kids, and 30 years olds have to give a half ass answer when they shouldn't have to give an answer at all.

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Jul 24, 2018

I'm struggling with this very thought currently. I'm in my early 30s, and while I've always given casual, passing thought to having kids, the further I advance in my career and life, the more impractical the idea becomes. Recently had a pretty open discussion with my partner and a few friends at dinner, and my stance was that you have to be true to yourself.

If you are a selfish narcissist who prides yourself in career advancement and taking pleasure in the finer things in life, you probably won't be the best parent, and that doesn't make you a bad person and it's also totally ok. I think a lot of people struggle with the "idea" of wanting to be a parent and having kids, versus considering the actual reality and execution of essentially handicapping your liberty and adult independence for 18+ years. Parenting is not glamorous, and if you want to be a truly good parent, you will have to prioritize your kid over your desires for 1/3rd of your adult life. I think the only people who should truly have kids are those people who have always wanted them, and for these people having children is one of the pinnacles of life / achievement. For everyone else, simply wanting children because "it seems right" is not enough.

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Jul 24, 2018

thank you, I am not alone. sounds like we have similar dilemmas

Jul 25, 2018
iggs99988:

If you are a selfish narcissist who prides yourself in career advancement and taking pleasure in the finer things in life, you probably won't be the best parent, and that doesn't make you a bad person and it's also totally ok.

Not sure where exactly, but I've read that having a kid can make you more caring / less narcissistic, due to feeling that you have someone else to live for/take care of. Could be a way to balance out the selfish side with a more caring/nurturing side

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Jul 24, 2018

In my mid 20s and within my group both MD's have 2+ kids, one has 4. The idea of having children now like my peers are starting to (welcome to the South) seems absolutely insane. For my age group, unless mom and pop are footing part of the bill, providing the kind of life most want their kids to have, meaning solid education, good house in good school district, maybe private education, and then college, is very difficult. I am of the opinion that it takes some serious wealth building in your late 20s to early 30s before you can seriously consider procreation. I've had this conversation with my SO and she definitely is not the biggest fan of waiting until 30+ but I fully intend on providing all the above with room to enjoy life on the side.

As for the overpopulation argument, developing nations' birth rates are such because they are still transitioning from extremely high infant mortality rates compounded by agrarian family dynamics ie. to ensure enough cheap labor and offset deaths, pop out 12 kids. As technology is introduced to these places, the need for family labor decreases and more time can be spent educating children. There is an extremely strong correlation to levels of education in populations and birth rates. Africa especially is going through these growing pains but as economic development continues we can expect the mismatch between infant mortality rates decreasing and # of kids per family to decrease over time. Question is can it transition fast enough.

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Jul 24, 2018
thebrofessor:

here are too many fucking people on earth. why should I add to the problem?

Well studies show the opposite is true. An aging population and low births is leading to a dying off of the working class. The US will plateau hard in 20-30 years before it starts shrinking if you don't count immigration.

But, more importantly, I think all of the factors you considered seem to position you as having ruled it out for you. If I have kids it's because I realize there's just an innate interest in being a parent to the next generation. That means have kids, to me. I guess you can be a soccer coach, but as a man, that's all the more reason to have kids of your own and not seem like a weirdo. Just my thoughts.

    • 1
Jul 24, 2018

let me be clear - I've not ruled it out forever (forever is a long time). people change, my opinions and thoughts may change. at the moment, I feel this way, but this isn't something permanent.

thanks for adding to the discussion

    • 1
Jul 24, 2018
iBankedUp:
thebrofessor:

here are too many fucking people on earth. why should I add to the problem?

Well studies show the opposite is true. An aging population and low births is leading to a dying off of the working class. The US will plateau hard in 20-30 years before it starts shrinking if you don't count immigration.

But, more importantly, I think all of the factors you considered seem to position you as having ruled it out for you. If I have kids it's because I realize there's just an innate interest in being a parent to the next generation. That means have kids, to me. I guess you can be a soccer coach, but as a man, that's all the more reason to have kids of your own and not seem like a weirdo. Just my thoughts.

I've heard similar things. The lack of children is furthering the baby boom epidemic with no one to care for or provide for the elderly.

A family office adviser once told me about a power couple with no kids. Husband was a CEO on many boards and behind dozens of social benefits. The wife was the same way as a CMO socialite. They retired from their busy city lifestyle and moved to a quiet Florida beach property. The adviser, after getting more and more calls just cause, found that said couple was lonely. When you're in the game, everyone is your best friend. Retiring took them off the bench leaving them washed up; until someone wanted a donation or contribution. Needless to say it sounded like a very sad legacy and a lonely way to spend the golden years

    • 2
Jul 24, 2018

I'll actually disagree with this. we have several clients without kids (usually means you have money), and their mileage varies quite a bit. if you rely on your adult children to provide entertainment and self worth, you will be disappointed perpetually. if they're far away, distance affects the relationship, and if they're close, unless you're goldilocks, you either nag them to the point of resentment, or in an effort to keep your distance you don't see them hardly at all.

if, however, you get fulfillment out of other things like travel, charity, hobbies, education, and so on, you can have a great legacy, be perfectly fulfilled, and be a long ways away from lonely. it sounds to me like this couple spent too much time on work and not enough time having a well rounded life. we have clients like that, and it's sad, the best advice I can give them is not about their money, it's GET A FUCKING HOBBY. as if kids would solve the problem. sure, babysitting grandkids is great, but is it your offspring's job to be your entertainment? fuck no, it's your job to raise them to be productive members of society.

I've seen his example before, and while it's true, that's not a reason to have kids, it's a reason to live a well rounded life, be social, and so on

    • 4
Jul 24, 2018
thebrofessor:

I'll actually disagree with this. we have several clients without kids (usually means you have money), and their mileage varies quite a bit. if you rely on your adult children to provide entertainment and self worth, you will be disappointed perpetually. if they're far away, distance affects the relationship, and if they're close, unless you're goldilocks, you either nag them to the point of resentment, or in an effort to keep your distance you don't see them hardly at all.

if, however, you get fulfillment out of other things like travel, charity, hobbies, education, and so on, you can have a great legacy, be perfectly fulfilled, and be a long ways away from lonely. it sounds to me like this couple spent too much time on work and not enough time having a well rounded life. we have clients like that, and it's sad, the best advice I can give them is not about their money, it's GET A FUCKING HOBBY. as if kids would solve the problem. sure, babysitting grandkids is great, but is it your offspring's job to be your entertainment? fuck no, it's your job to raise them to be productive members of society.

I've seen his example before, and while it's true, that's not a reason to have kids, it's a reason to live a well rounded life, be social, and so on

Yeah @WolfofWSO I have to say I agree with thebroferssor here. If you want something to do, get a hobby. Don't juggle small ones' lives as if they're just toys. I think it has to be deeper than that.

    • 2
Jul 24, 2018
iBankedUp:
thebrofessor:

I'll actually disagree with this. we have several clients without kids (usually means you have money), and their mileage varies quite a bit. if you rely on your adult children to provide entertainment and self worth, you will be disappointed perpetually. if they're far away, distance affects the relationship, and if they're close, unless you're goldilocks, you either nag them to the point of resentment, or in an effort to keep your distance you don't see them hardly at all.

if, however, you get fulfillment out of other things like travel, charity, hobbies, education, and so on, you can have a great legacy, be perfectly fulfilled, and be a long ways away from lonely. it sounds to me like this couple spent too much time on work and not enough time having a well rounded life. we have clients like that, and it's sad, the best advice I can give them is not about their money, it's GET A FUCKING HOBBY. as if kids would solve the problem. sure, babysitting grandkids is great, but is it your offspring's job to be your entertainment? fuck no, it's your job to raise them to be productive members of society.

I've seen his example before, and while it's true, that's not a reason to have kids, it's a reason to live a well rounded life, be social, and so on

Yeah @WolfofWSO I have to say I agree with thebroferssor here. If you want something to do, get a hobby. Don't juggle small ones' lives as if they're just toys. I think it has to be deeper than that.

I get it. I'm just sharing a tale I once heard. What's true for one is not true for all. The point of his story is business relationships can and do cease once you're out of the business; then what?

Jul 24, 2018
WolfofWSO:
iBankedUp:
thebrofessor:

I'll actually disagree with this. we have several clients without kids (usually means you have money), and their mileage varies quite a bit. if you rely on your adult children to provide entertainment and self worth, you will be disappointed perpetually. if they're far away, distance affects the relationship, and if they're close, unless you're goldilocks, you either nag them to the point of resentment, or in an effort to keep your distance you don't see them hardly at all.

if, however, you get fulfillment out of other things like travel, charity, hobbies, education, and so on, you can have a great legacy, be perfectly fulfilled, and be a long ways away from lonely. it sounds to me like this couple spent too much time on work and not enough time having a well rounded life. we have clients like that, and it's sad, the best advice I can give them is not about their money, it's GET A FUCKING HOBBY. as if kids would solve the problem. sure, babysitting grandkids is great, but is it your offspring's job to be your entertainment? fuck no, it's your job to raise them to be productive members of society.

I've seen his example before, and while it's true, that's not a reason to have kids, it's a reason to live a well rounded life, be social, and so on

Yeah @WolfofWSO I have to say I agree with thebroferssor here. If you want something to do, get a hobby. Don't juggle small ones' lives as if they're just toys. I think it has to be deeper than that.

I get it. I'm just sharing a tale I once heard. What's true for one is not true for all. The point of his story is business relationships can and do cease once you're out of the business; then what?

That's true. If you're looking at it that way, maybe kids change the trajectory and the story later on down the line (your career moves slower until kids get older, then it continues an upward trend). When you get down the line, it becomes a good time to hangout with kids and do mentorship or join them, at least in spirit, as they go on their own journeys. I guess that works, but that still assumes you would put the time in and give a shit for the first 10-15 years or so. But, I get what you mean.

    • 3
Jul 24, 2018
thebrofessor:

let's talk about this - do you want kids? if so, why? if not, why not?

Yes, I do. I don't have any yet.

I've never thought of the idea of raising kids as something that you do for the short-term enjoyment. I think raising kids will be an enormous challenge, day-to-day, month-to-month, year-to-year, that will put strain on my career, my marriage, and my finances. To the people who are saying "I don't think I want to do that, it doesn't sound like fun," well, no shit, guys.

The decision is not whether or not you think shouldering the never-ending responsibility for another life sounds fun; it's whether or not you think it's worth it. The upside is the opportunity to guide another human through the most intimate developments in their life -- crawling, walking, talking, success, failure, love, loss. If done with incredible patience and care, the upside is a human who loves you, and a relationship you get to share with them until one of you leaves this Earth.

It's risky, it's difficult, and in my opinion, it's the greatest responsibility I can undertake in life. I'm blessed with wonderful parents and a very close family, and for me, I think it's worth the struggle to build that experience with the next generation.

This calculus is about as personal as it gets -- if someone else looks at the same prospect and shakes their head and says "no way is it all worth it in the end," it doesn't mean they're wrong. I don't think I'd ever argue with someone who viewed the cost/benefit and ended up with a different answer.

    • 10
Jul 24, 2018

I see you're a PE VP so you are pretty advanced in your career. How old are you and how much longer do you plan to wait?

Jul 24, 2018
BobTheBaker:

I see you're a PE VP so you are pretty advanced in your career. How old are you and how much longer do you plan to wait?

Due to the personal nature of these questions, I'll answer ridiculously:

  1. Advanced in my career? I'm barely at the stage where I can answer questions honestly instead of bullshitting my way through them and hoping nobody notices. I'm just getting started, man.
  2. How old am I? Older than @APAE, apparently. Old enough that my friends have kids and I'm sensitive to being the "old dad."
  3. How much longer do I plan to wait? I'm waiting for a slow Friday so I can run down to the kid store and pick one up. Seriously though, nature is tough. We were all taught in high school that if you so much as wink at a girl, she'll get pregnant; the reality is much, much different for some couples.
    • 2
Jul 24, 2018

I didn't mean any disrespect man. Thanks for the candid response. I like the humiility regarding your career but by "advanced" I meant that you've reached a point most people on this site will never get to.

Jul 24, 2018

I'd like to address your points one by one. Allow me to preface this by stating the obvious in that the decision to have children needs to be carefully considered by each individual and only through brutal self evaluation can they determine if they have the necessary attributes to raise children.

1) They're expensive

You'll get no argument from me that raising children is expensive. However, if you do a good job, those children that you raise should provide you a return on your investment by helping with medical expenses/care when you get older. There is also the possibility that one of your children ends up doing really well and can provide you with some luxury later in life. I don't think Mark Zuckerberg's parents are worrying about paying for their next vacation. It's obviously not a reason to have kids but in evaluating the merits, we should acknowledge the possibility.

2) Slow Your Career

I'll throw a hard maybe at this one. There are plenty of people whom have had astounding careers whom also have children. Just as I'm sure there are people whom have had middling careers whom were childless. The decision to remain childless is less popular so the population of people "eligible" for astounding careers is skewed in the direction of those with children so we can't really get good data on the correlation between the two. However, it is certainly possible to have a successful career and have children. I really doubt Steve Schwarzman would say his career suffered greatly because he had two kids.

3) Drain on other activities that are important to you

I guess my argument here is that the activities that were important to you ten years ago probably aren't the ones that are important to you today which are likely different from those that will be important to you 10 years from now. I think most people find having children to be a personally enriching experience and find the time spent child rearing worthwhile.

4) Take away from time with you wife

If I interpret this literally, you're concerned about the number of hours spent [interacting] with your wife if you have kids. I'm just postulating here, but I would think that the time required for child rearing would increase the amount of time you and your wife are actually spending together/interacting....I understand that during those hours the attention/focus is on the kids rather than each other but you are still spending time together. I imagine its kind of like husband/wife run businesses. The time spent working on the "project" together results in bonding.

5) Studies have shown that having children has a pretty high correlation with depression

No one ever said having kids was easy. Like anything else in life worth doing, it's going to be hard. It's going to be thankless. It's going to require sacrifice. As such it is probably not for the faint of heart who don't get out of bed on days they "don't feel like it." Kids are indifferent to your precious fucking feelings. If you can't deal with that, then you probably shouldn't have kids and as such, shouldn't reap the ultimate rewards associated with parenting.

6) You only kind of like other people's kids (paraphrasing)

Childhood is 10-11 years of the life of your child. They're mostly a teenager for the next 10 and then an adult for another 20-30 before you die. Even for that first 10-11 years, you're not glued to them at the hip. Yeah you spend more time with them than you probably do with anyone other than your spouse, but it seems like a comparatively small price to pay for the benefit of the relationship you have over the remainder of your life. Also, you were probably annoying as shit to your parents when you were a kid so, you know, karma.

7) Too many fucking people

I think this is actually the most important of your reasons and the one that I have the hardest time arguing with. My answer, is that you don't have to procreate to be a parent. There are millions upon millions of orphaned children in the world whose quality of life, even if you are a shit parent, you could drastically improve.

    • 5
Jul 24, 2018

I appreciate your input, +1. I'll respond briefly then we'll just say "agree to disagree"

  1. price - in nearly every single case (sole exception is a family where the matriarch blew everything and one of her 5 kids ended up at a well known hedge fund that's probably top 5 globally in assets, and he bailed everyone out), no parent I've managed money for has ever viewed children with a positive ROI. in fact, many people specifically arrange their financial affairs so that they don't have to count on kids for medical expenses.
  2. career - I've seen plenty of cases on both sides, but I also fully realize that I can't be both the dad I'd want to be and grow my business the way I want, one would have to suffer, and for me, not wanting to make that sacrifice either way is a huge hurdle.
  3. that's where you're wrong, bud. I've been surfing, golfing, and travelling nearly my whole life. I hear what you're saying, preferences change, but I can't in good conscience take off to some 3rd world country to go surfing and let my wife change diapers for 2 weeks unassisted. children are personally enriching for some, but you don't do it because it's "fun." I'm hedonistic right now, I'm about me, if that changes, so be it. but for now, nah fam.
  4. similar to #2, the time I'd spend with my wife would be more of an offensive lineman/quarterback relationship rather than a husband/wife one I'd imagine. it's hard to imagine our level of intimacy would remain the same if we had other lives to care for, and I'm not ready to give that up yet, nor is she. hours together? we'd have a lot, but would they be meaningful, intimate hours? doubtful.

as for 5,6,7, while you're accurate, it just seems like we have a different worldview and different priorities. I hope you enjoy a family someday, but for now, I'm good with being a hedonistic husband.

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Jul 24, 2018

Your #6 definitely.

I guess it sucks to be depressed and take time away from your wife, but I don't think I could deal with other parents being bad parents because I can't now.

Like, you ever be somewhere and a kid is being annoying to others and the parents don't do anything.

Jul 24, 2018

On #1 - of course kids are a huge expense. I think it's silly to argue otherwise. But just because it's expensive, doesn't make it not worthwhile. My trip to Australia didn't have a positive financial ROI, yet I'd do it again 100 times out of 100.

Jul 24, 2018

I think its very important to have children. A child is an extension of your partner and yourself. This is why I think one child (no more and no less) is the optimal amount. Anymore and you devalue his/her worth and divide your money/time. Love in the form of a partner is surface level or settling for less. It doesn't exist in the partner form. It exists to quell your loneliness and your carnal desires. Why have a child? Because a child is the realest form of love on this planet, it is unconditional. Most of you possess Type-A personalities, why shy away from a challenge?

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

Jul 24, 2018

Having sibling is a great experience though, no one will have your back like a brother or sister. Its also something to consider that as someone ages, their immediate family slowly prunes away due to the cruelty of life we call death. Grandparents, then parents and its a blessing to make it to middle age and still be able to call Mom or Dad.

Chances are sometime after 50 the only person from the home you grew up that you will be able to call will be a sibling.

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Jul 24, 2018

Was gonna type out a long response, but then I figured that anyone asking this question has their mind made up so there is no point. I'm super excited about having a kid, as there is only so much materialistic shit one can buy and pictures of "exotic" cuisine and locales my wife and I can take.

I also personally don't want Idiocracy to become a reality all so I could watch more bullshit Netflix shows and go out to $200 dinners whenever I want. But you do you bro, different strokes.

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Jul 24, 2018

I have my mind made up for the moment, but as I said above, people change. I'm mainly wondering if I'm the only one who feels this way (clearly not) and where I might be missing the point. so I would appreciate your perspective, even if we disagree. that's the goal of discussion, to discuss! if you self censor, this goes nowhere.

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Jul 24, 2018

God, every time a topic like this comes up, I just shake my head. It's absolutely a pointless discussion and both parties basically need to lay off of their opinions and move on with what you think would be best for you. For those who don't want to have kids, you just simply don't know the type of joy kids can bring and tend to be more exposed to the negative aspects of raising them (lack of sleep, lack of freedom, high cost, significant time commitment that prevents you from working long hours, and etc.).

My conclusion has always been this: if you think you don't have the ability or financial means to handle the stress of raising kids, do society a fucking favor and don't have them. Have your freedom and age well with your wife. Contribute the excess fund you have to other charitable causes. Because the last thing we need is retard parents raising a kid that's doomed to fail.

If you are planning to have kids or already are a parent, stop caring about other people's choice when it comes to kids. Dedicate your time raising your kids so they can be productive members of our society.

For me, I'd love to experience what it'd be like to experience a life without kids. But because I'm given only one lifetime to live, I choose a life with kids because as tiring as they may be, it's an absolute joy to see them grow and nurturing that relationship.

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Jul 24, 2018

Personally I would rather have 5-6 kids and provide them a middle class lifestyle rather than have 1 or 2 and with a wealthy or in the no kids route, provide myself with all the money I make.

I have my culture and ideas about family and childrearing, you have yours. We each live our life according to those principals nothing wrong with that. No one should have kids if they don't want to.

I also don't understand people's expectations these days. its perfectly normal to have kids super late or not have them at all. It would have been a shocker 50 years ago, but things have changed for better or for worse.

You do you man.

Jul 24, 2018

For those that will find this TL:DR... the bottom line is this...

Having children is an incredibly deeply personal choice that you shouldn't decide on because of society, parents, friends or your significant other's wishes... it's either something you want or that you don't. And whether you want children or not, there's absolutely no right or wrong choice, as long as it's what you truly want.

~~~~~

When I was younger, pre-high school, I wanted children. As years passed, I dated, then married, I realized I actually didn't - that it was actually something that my mom and many others in society seemed to expect of me. Some of it is a generational thing - my 82 year old uncle 2 weeks ago said "it's a such shame you never had kids!" Mom's friends also don't think twice about broaching the topic with me.

Right after getting married, a few friends asked "when are you going to start?" but we've only infrequently been asked why we haven't had our own kids other than the occasional "you guys are so great with kids!" but rarely does it go into the "why don't you have your own?" realm. Most of our closest family and friends know that we did want a family at one time, but after a lot of back and forth about it, we agreed not to have our own.

We are each god-parents to several children of both friends and family. Last Friday we took our youngest nephew [one of our mutual god-children] and niece shopping for some books and then the diner, "Books n' burgers night" - giving their parents a break and getting the kids to ourselves for a bit instead of when it's a full family gathering where all the grandparents and cousins are vying for their attention. We loved being the cool, energetic aunt and uncle who could afford to take our nephews to DisneyLand and on camping trips back in the 90's and early 00's when their mom was working full time and attending nursing school. I have a blast taking my eldest god-son to Comic Con and to museums. Over the years, we've helped family with school tuition, application fees for schools, civil service test fees, etc.

We have very dear friends with a highly non-verbal, autistic teenager that I babysit. Kids are a lot of work in general, but kids with special needs, their parents deserve a fucking medal. The dad has literally cried on my shoulder more than once over the years re: the lack of "normal' milestones that he'll ever have with his son along the anger and fear of being unable to afford ever-escalating healthcare coverage for his small family and his fears for his son's future once he and his wife pass on. It breaks my heart when the teenager can't explain his needs, but I can't even fathom how trying it must be for his parents 24-7, the stress, effort and worry of trying to understand a child that can't communicate in the most traditional sense.

Today I'd probably make a very decent mom today at 51, being way more laid-back, content and zen in my life. Having a first child now or even adopting/fostering would mean seeing them graduate high school when I'm in my late 60s, early 70's - certainly not impossible or unreasonable, as we're in far better shape physically and fiscally than our parents or grandparents were at those ages. Had I wound up having kids in my 30s when I was super high-strung and stressed, I suspect I'd have been a helicopter-parent, something I utterly abhor when I observe it in others.

We enjoy our life as it is. We get to enjoy time with our friends' and family's kids. We have a deep abiding respect for the parents and we're well aware that taking kids on a trip once or twice a year is not parenting. Vacations are comparatively very fun and very little structure - no helping with homework, no holding their hair back as they vomit from the flu, no doling out punishments for coming home after curfew or going over your phone's data plan. Parenting is the toughest and also the most rewarding of commitments.

It does take a village to help raise kids, despite the bulk of the raising falling on the parents' shoulders. Had I had my own kids, I'd be far more limited financially and time-wise to help my family and friends as I currently do. For me this is the best of both worlds, I get to have an impact on the kids that I volunteer with [been a reading buddy for grade schoolers for a number of years], my nieces, nephews and god-kids. The older ones seek me out for advice on jobs and relationships, while the younger ones get an extended range of family/friend members that will spend time with them, doing things that the parents can't always manage due to work or finances.

As for somehow hoping/expecting/anticipating that your children will take care of you in your old age, it's far saner for a person to set aside money for retirement and healthcare versus thinking that a blood relation will step up and tend to you in your old age. I've seen many adult children who are not only hands-off but incredibly disinterested with their elderly parents and do nothing to assist or help them [whether they're asked to or not].

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Jul 24, 2018

Superb +1 sb -- also nice username

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

Jul 24, 2018

bra-fucking-vo

thanks for your perspective.

by the way, you should do an AMA (ask me anything) sometime

Jul 28, 2018

This is a fantastic response. I wish more people could/would read this.

Jul 24, 2018

I NEVER want children. EVER.

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Funniest
Jul 24, 2018

Based on your posting history I am extremely happy with your decision.

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Jul 24, 2018

I cracked a smile at this

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Jul 24, 2018

i'm thinking about, not serious enough about the topic to have the surgery just yet, but it's been on my mind. for reference i'm in my mid-30's, never married never had kids. would like to get married in the next ~10 years but no rush.

some of the stories on r/childfree are kindve funny, mostly i just find the sub helpful for reading stories from other guys who have had the surgery and any potential negative side effects

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Jul 24, 2018

That'll be a nope from me on the kids.

I totally echo all the reasons you listed and add one more -- based on the evidence I see (both anecdotally and otherwise), 'good parenting' is either extremely misunderstood or largely irrelevant to outcomes. Said another way, being a good person and doing 'the right things' seems have little to do with whether your kids develop into good people.

^That realization ruined any morally driven argument that might have swayed me to have kids so, unless I wake up one day with an insatiable desire to change diapers, I'll leave it to you guys.

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Jul 24, 2018

The truth of the matter is: most people make lousy parents and should not have kids. They either can't properly take care of them and/or lack the emotional depth, maturity, and sacrifice needed to be truly good parents. Marriage is one thing; having kids is another. My friends who got married said their lives didn't change that much. But once you have kids, it will NEVER be the same. Of course, kids are an utter delight, one of life's greatest joys, so I am certainly not arguing that kids are "bad" nor that they are not worth having. Rather, the problem is that too many people see kids as a rite of passage, something that just has to be done, and fail to honestly examine their core values.

For me, my decision to not have kids hinges upon the following reasons:

  1. I really enjoy my freedom to do what I want and when I want. The loss of such freedom scares the living crap out of me, and I know that I cannot give it up.
  2. From the moment your kid is born, YOU are responsible for that kid's well being, development, and life success. Aside from taking care of him/her, you will impart your values and beliefs to your kid. He will be your creation. Are you truly ready to bear that type of responsibility? Are you truly ready to surrender your life for the sake of your kids? For me, the honest answer is no.
  3. On a far darker note, the world is pretty messed up, and life in general is overrated, filled with bad moments and punctuated by a few glorious ones. The core essence of life is struggle, pain, and sorrow. I actually think it's sadistic to bring new life into such an existence simply because you think kids are cute, and you want to keep up with the Joneses.
Jul 24, 2018

Couldn't read entire thread but obviously a lot of interest. I'm one of the old birds on this board and have a 32, 22 and 18 year old. First, for those who are having a hard time connecting with their young children, I suspect most of these are fathers. I will say for most of you that will pass. As children get older, we men are better able to connect with them on a visceral level, regardless of male or female..

There are those who should NEVER be parents. I would submit that anyone who is honest enough to post that they are too wrapped up in their own lives and careers to think about having children, that would be a prime candidate to never parent a child. Why bring a small human being into this world if all you will do to it is be resentful at them because you can no longer cultivate your inner being, play X-box all weekend and binge-watch NFLX. Or, of course, further your career and/or immerse yourself in a bacchanalian orgy.

This self-fulfillment garbage above all else is simply amazing to me.

Jul 24, 2018

Way too young for this personally but you should probably just make sure you and your wife are on the same page... If so then fuck everyone else... not that big of a deal

Jul 24, 2018

I'm still very young but I feel in line with your mentality. And if I ever want to have children, I will adopt one or two in my early 50s. The Earth is full, I'm not gonna reproduce.

Kudos to developed nations for bringing down their birthrate, and to China for enforcing one-child policy for decades to stifle its population burst.

Jul 25, 2018

Although I'm young, I've decided that I don't want kids. I don't hate kids and I do find them adorable, but I will never be a parent of one. Planning to get a vasectomy sometime in the future, and DINKWAD.

Jul 25, 2018

A friend of mine has 3 daughters. He tells me to stay single.

Another friend just gave birth to a beautiful baby daughter, his purchasing options went into a negative.

My ex-girlfriend's coworkers are majority, all single parents who are night shift nurses who relies on families to care for their children.

Regardless, I do want children of my own to leave a legacy behind (or a few). However, I am not there financially yet (nor have met anyone worthwhile to stay long-term with).

Kids are expensive, they take time, and a certain level of maturity in order for them to be proper people as they grow older. I am not looking for any long-term satisfaction out of them, but probably make them do chores while I binge watch Game of Thrones.

No pain no game.

Jul 25, 2018

I said the same thing... Who doesn't dream of being 35, single and living in a high rise in midtown Manhattan with a Ferrari? But... when you turn 50 and you're living in a big house and it's just you and your wife, you'll both eventually get bored. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong...? But just the feeling having your own kids that you brought into this world, sitting around the dinner table on a thanksgiving night, talking, laughing and building memories together, I don't think anything beats it.

Jul 25, 2018

I agree with you, I think these memories and family moments are great.

I think people get into trouble when they have kids just because they focus on those moments and don't understand the risk going in. It's kind of like buying a big house because once every 3 years you host Thanksgiving.

Jul 25, 2018

Longtime lurker, first time poster. My wife and I have twin girls that will turn one next month. I wasn't in a hurry to have kids either, and when it turned out to be two, let's just say it was a surprise. I sprinted through the seven stages of grief and settled on the state where you realize you'll be broke and never be able to do anything again. Fast forward through their first year, and I would say those concerns are overblown. You definitely have to be very intentional about your schedule and how you spend your time, but sacrificing all television except for important sporting events is hardly much of a sacrifice. The smiles. When those kids smile at you, it's awesome. Not to mention you get 18 years to project which target school your kids will be multisport athletes at.

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Jul 25, 2018

late 20s/early 30s..

50% want marriage
10% want kids

Almost no desire to have kids at all. Too expensive, too time consuming, too selfish, and honestly for the amount invested into them to turn out good, there is no guarantee that they will turn out good.

Jul 30, 2018
Jul 30, 2018
Jul 30, 2018

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Jul 30, 2018

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