I don't want kids - let's discuss

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?

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Comments (105)

Jul 24, 2018 - 10:00am

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.

Jul 24, 2018 - 11:21am

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

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Jul 24, 2018 - 11:04am

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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Jul 24, 2018 - 10:42am

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".

I don't know... Yeah. Almost definitely yes.

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Jul 24, 2018 - 10:48am

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 - 11:01am

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

Jul 24, 2018 - 10:57am

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!

Aug 14, 2018 - 5:50pm

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 - 8:56pm

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.

Jul 24, 2018 - 11:00am

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 - 11:00am

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 - 11:22am

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

Jul 24, 2018 - 11:56am

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.

Jul 24, 2018 - 11:06am

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 - 3:02pm

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.

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
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Nov 28, 2018 - 2:41pm

I am 29 with a 7 week old at home. Glad to hear it gets better. I can relate to both of you on this topic. I feel selfish complaining about my in-laws always being around and trying to set healthy boundaries because it is going to be a benefit when babysitting services are needed. Also, its a complete fucking pain in the ass how many people ask us when we are going to start trying for the second. Back off people, I am still coming to grips with the first one and at this point I cannot even say we want a second one. Rant over. Thanks for some clarity.

Most Helpful
Jul 24, 2018 - 11:08am

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.

Jul 24, 2018 - 11:08am

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 - 11:09am

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.

Jul 24, 2018 - 11:11am

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.

Jul 25, 2018 - 1:00pm
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

Jul 24, 2018 - 11:23am

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 - 11:36am
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.

Jul 24, 2018 - 11:48am
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

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Jul 24, 2018 - 11:55am

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

Jul 24, 2018 - 11:45am
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.

"Son, life is hard. But it's harder if you're stupid." - my dad
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Jul 24, 2018 - 11:50am

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?

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Jul 24, 2018 - 12:59pm
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.

"Son, life is hard. But it's harder if you're stupid." - my dad
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Jul 24, 2018 - 12:43pm

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.

Jul 24, 2018 - 1:11pm

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.

Jul 24, 2018 - 1:12pm

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.

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Jul 24, 2018 - 2:19pm

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.

Jul 24, 2018 - 1:44pm

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.

Jul 24, 2018 - 1:51pm

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 - 2:46pm

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].

Jul 24, 2018 - 2:52pm

Superb +1 sb -- also nice username

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

Jul 28, 2018 - 3:31pm

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

Array

Jul 24, 2018 - 5:20pm

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

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  • 1
Jul 24, 2018 - 5:49pm

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.

Life's is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
  • 3
Jul 24, 2018 - 6:03pm

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 - 6:23pm

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.

  • 5
Jul 24, 2018 - 11:36pm

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.

Array

Aug 4, 2019 - 4:47pm

Adoption is AWESOME.

I spent 6 months working at an orphanage and I can categorically say that there is no difference from raising an orphan than raising a kid of your own.

My wife and I have a gorgeous, happy little boy of our own (our own biological).
And I'm trying to convince her to adopt for the second kid.

From my time at the orphanage I know that these kids need and want love.
And if they are taken in they will love you as much or MORE than your biological child.
And if you as a parent start caring for that adopted child, you will quickly find yourself loving him/her exactly the same as if it was your own child.

People did NOT bring kids back to the orphanage.
When they wrote letters their only regret was not adopting a child sooner.
And there were parents that came back and adopted more than one - some 6 or 7 kids.

They realized that there was so much love being imparted on them by these beautiful, caring little people.
The benefits of adoption (depending on which country and system) may also be that you can choose the age, gender, and other aspects of your child.
You can't do that if you're having your own biological.

+100 for adoption. Do it!

Jul 25, 2018 - 12:02am

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 - 12:06am

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.

  • 1
Jul 25, 2018 - 9:17am

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 - 12:47pm

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.

Jul 25, 2018 - 1:28pm

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.

  • 1
  • 2
Jul 30, 2018 - 4:07am

I don't want to bring another human being into this world unless I can provide for them an extremely wealthy lifestyle. I dealt with a lot of problems with depression throughout my life, and I really don't think it's ethical to bring another being into this world unless you have enough means to ease life's hardships. Plus, I don't really like having to worry about anyone else other than myself, and I like the freedom of being single and doing what I want.

Jul 30, 2018 - 11:44am

I want kids purely so I don't have to give my money away to other people to squander on some dumb shit that won't fix anything. I'd much rather a few generations have a hell of a party than have money go to some fucking charity.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

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

Jul 30, 2018 - 2:49pm

Do whatever would be most convenient for you. Kids take time and if your efforts would be best found elsewhere then go right ahead. I've found that "depression" correlation more so comes from men being divorced and having their children taken. I also wouldn't really worry about the "too many people on earth" argument. Every western country doesn't even have a replacement level birthrate. At the end of the day you can do what you want.

Aug 14, 2018 - 6:16pm
thebrofessor:

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

Yeah, they are expensive. I dunno about you all but I feel like that's a helluva lot better way to spend my money than on the selfish shit most people do.

To your point about too many people: There are a shit ton of people, but A: most Western countries are now below replacement birth rate. B: There is a decided shortage of good people in today's world.

Regarding "depression" you need to double check that. Postpartum is a real thing and there tends to be a bit in the short team while you adjust. Long term people with kids rate a higher happiness.

Also for the career: unpopular opinion is that it REALLY helps to have a partner who is domestically oriented. Some folks might blast me for that but whatever. There are some people out there who genuinely want to have that focus in life so if you're with one of them both partners get what they want.

  • 7
Nov 28, 2018 - 2:54pm

1) You shouldn't throw away your good genes like that. You are a smart dude, it's a waste.
2) I can understand the career thing and quite frankly if none of the parents is there, kids find role models in other ways and they might not be positive ones. Under that aspect, I agree with you. If you don't have the time, then don't do it.
3) I actually never thought I wanted kids until I got in my 30s, now I actually enjoy their company. In a sense, I enjoy teaching things I wish people told me when I was younger. Also, their ingenousness is fun.
4) Kids are cost, true and that's why Western societies are going to shit. It's an unfortunate way we have become so materialist about things.

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

  • 1
Nov 29, 2018 - 10:40am

I'm gonna be knocking up Mrs. Goldie in April because the world needs more of Goldie. Even a diluted version will be incredibly beneficial for all of mankind. You'll all thank me in several decades when I solve all problems.
https://i.gadgets360cdn.com/large/the_expanse_new_york_1486628467457.jpg

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
  • 3
Nov 30, 2018 - 8:33pm

idk man. I only started that show 'cause some nerd told Rogan it was accurate. Or some shit

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
Nov 30, 2018 - 9:42am

Don't know why so much MS was thrown at you. It is a valid discussion. Like anything in life there are pros and cons. I'm relatively young and don't want kids. Who knows, maybe I'll change. Maybe I won't. But its the business of my SO and myself, not other people.

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
Nov 30, 2018 - 8:23pm

eugenics: the thread

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
Dec 1, 2018 - 10:16am

I'm going to try to share an opinion coming from a different perspective. Particularly, the traditional South American perspective. For a myriad of reasons and influences, South Americans have always tended to value family units and as a result, the creation of such. The concept of family below the American equator inherently includes the existence of children within the family unit for the family to be complete.

From what I've come to notice, there are obviously several reasons for why ambitious couples decided to eventually have kids. One of the reasons I find most interesting is procreation in order to leave a biological legacy. People from historically traditional and economically powerful families value kids as a continuation to their historically rich existence. The greatest tribute they can make to their ancestors is allow for their lineage to continue. In order for this lineage to continue in a controlled manner, meaning the kin doesn't stray too far from the families values and identity, rather strong parenting education tends to follow the birth of of a new child.

In conclusion, by having a child, you are essentially leaving behind someone who can potentially look after and continue to foster the beliefs, ideas, and potentially mannerisms that matter to you and make you who you are.

Hope that made sense. Cheers.

Carl Van Loon Van Loon & Associates
  • 2
Aug 4, 2019 - 4:40pm

My kid was unplanned.

And when I found out my wife was pregnant we actually looked into an abortion.

But I couldn't bring myself to do it.
Somehow I felt like we were going to have a cute little boy, and I wanted to see him.

And it happened.
We have the most awesome, adorable, energetic little guy!
Now, when he was born, I was stressed as hell, and didn't know how I'd be able to provide for him.
My career has not been smooth, and my wife chooses not to work (against my desires).
When he was born I didn't feel much of a connection either.

There is little cold logic in having a child - but it's not about logic, it's about your whole world changing for the better.
Now I'm freaking addicted to this little guy.
I can't stop from wanting to play with him, to take him to the park, to teach him new things, to watch his retarded inability to play hide and seek, and to have him talk to me about his obsession with socks.

I get annoyed when my time is diverted away from him.
I'm happiest when I get to take him to Disneyland or the park, with him riding on my shoulders.

He's my little buddy.
And he's going to be my little buddy for life, even once he becomes older, jaded, and annoyed with the old man.
I don't care.
He's still my little buddy.

Now he's 4 and getting even more interesting.
We get to play ball, and do fun things together.
He tells me things that are on his mind, ridiculous though those things are.

Have a kid or adopt a kid, but definitely do it.
Your world will get much bigger and more interesting.

Aug 5, 2019 - 1:52pm

In the past few years, do you feel like the time you have spent with your wife has reduced? You mention being addicted to the little son. Seeing you are a ED as well, I'm just wondering whether you are able to be there enough for your wife given the new commitment of the son. Also how has she felt after the son being born? Does she get enjoyment out of him like you?

Array

Aug 5, 2019 - 4:05pm

This is a free country and you choose to do whatever you want. I couldn't care less if you never wanted to have kids or if you wanted 10 of them.

That being said, I have 3 daughters (6/4/2) .. and our house is busy. Just to address a couple of the points brought up.

  1. Expensive. Yeah, kids are expensive no doubt. Although in my personal experience, I was doing a pretty decent job spending money when we were married with 2 incomes and didn't have any kids. In fact, the things we did then were far more expensive .. Long weekends to Vegas, vacations abroad, eating out a lot. I would blow over $200 on a round of golf and drinks with a friend on a random Sunday. By comparison's sake .. Our family of 5 went to a minor league baseball game yesterday and probably spent $150. So at least for me, the consumption shifted.

  2. Kids are annoying. Sure, they certainly can be. When my 4 year old starts screaming because my 6 year old took a toy (that wasn't being played with by anyone) out of the room that shit gives me gray hairs. However, I find that grown ups can be much much more annoying. A child doesn't have a fully developed brain or control of their emotions. So when they're annoying, it's not intentional. Adults however, do know better (or should) .. but can often be underhanded, superficial, narcissistic, flakey,.. amongst other things.

  3. Career development. I think your milleage is going to vary a lot here based on your situation. For me, and I'm sure others would concur, when I started a family there was a complete paradigm shift in my priorities. I work hard to provide for my children .. Not to earn a promotion or new fancy title. My family is my priority now. However I think that if you are a point in your life where you still define yourself by your career, you're definitely not ready for children. I think a lot of people have a bit of a shift in the 30s where they no longer start of a conversation by asking "so what do you do" .. and when you get to that point and you know that work is work .. then you're totally ready for kids.

Aug 5, 2019 - 4:10pm

Did you feel any benefits from having children? Not gathering any after reading your OP.

Array

Aug 5, 2019 - 5:03pm

Benefits of having children? For me absolutely- enormous benefits. I didn't mention any in my post because I was just trying to address a few points without sounding like a cheerleader for having kids.

For me the principal benefit of having children is the unconditional love between a parent and a child that can only be experienced and not described. A few examples for me personally...

When i walk in the door after work my 3 girls stop whatever they are doing and sprint to me, tackle me down, give me hugs and tell me how much they missed me. Best part of my day hands down.

Its also a great feeling providing pure joy for a child. The other weekend i took them all out to breakfast, then to the pool, and then we got ice cream. They told me it was the "best day ever" - and they meant it.

It also gives me great joy watching then learn and grow- and teaching them how to navigate life. A couple weeks ago they told me about these little paint sets that they saw at Target and desperately wanted. I told them they can earn money by helping me in the yard, and then get the paint sets. These little girls worked for two hours straight, netting them $6. They saved half, and we went to get their paints. They were so proud of how they earned them... and by God I've never seen them take such good care of any item they've ever owned than they have these paint sets.

Overall for me having children has brought great joy and fulfillment to my life and has made me a better person. I get so much more from a game of frisbee than I ever did chowing an expensive steak or blowing money at a craps table.

To quote Pa Bailey from It's a Wonderful Life...

"All you can take with you is that which you've given away."

Aug 8, 2019 - 6:27am

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  • Economist in Risk Mnmgt
Sep 15, 2021 - 12:45pm

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Sep 15, 2021 - 1:27pm

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 15, 2021 - 1:33pm

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