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      03-26-2014, 11:29 AM   #1
carve
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Hey guys. I'll be 37 in a couple months, and my girlfriend just turned 32...and it's kind of freaking me out. We're at the age where we have to decide if kids are in the future pretty soon. The thing is, neither of us have a real burning desire to have them, but it's something we still consider. Is that weird? To the people who want or have kids...why did you want them? How would your life be different if you didn't have them?

She has an older brother who is crazy, and sees the emotional and financial burden he continues to put on her parents. I wound up with a brother at age 14 1/2 and saw how much work kids are when I was in high school.

Babies: babies exact a huge toll on the woman's body and changes what initially attracted you to her (unless you're Mrs. Litos, apparently). You also, from that point on, are no longer the most important person in each others lives- there's a higher priority, which seems damaging to the relationship to me. If the relationship does go south, that person will still be a part of your life, at least until the kid is grown up. Everyone on both sides of my family divorced the person they had kids with, except my mom and step dad who have an unhealthy relationship, and I'd hate to put a child through that. You can no longer partake in activities together without lots of advanced planning and added expense This could be as simple as a hike or complex as a last second weekend getaway, which is most weekends for us. We go mountain biking together several times a week...that would pretty much end- if we got to do it at all, it'd be separately. You probably both have less time to take care of yourself so become less healthy and less attractive. You must consider the child first when doing anything risky (e.g. skiing, motorcycle, sports car, etc). They prevent ever becoming fully rested, and I'm grumpy and negative with insufficient sleep, which would further damage relationships. They emit foul substances from every orifice (diaper changing alone is a major factor for me) and destroy your house. They're expensive again- you must lower your standard of living, consider them first when making risky decisions like a career change, and have to work many more years before you can afford to retire.

Ages 6-12 looks kind of fun...they can do things with you, it's probably the least expensive phase, they take care of the basics for themselves (eating, bathing, sleeping, etc.), and you get to really introduce them to the world, which seems kind of fun. Then they become a teenager. They rebel, think they know it all, get into trouble if their boys or become emotional wrecks if they're girls...often wind up resenting you, and become horrendously expensive again. Then they go to college and you're a human wallet for four years. Then they're grown up, move away, and you might see them a couple times a year. It can be fun, or feel like an obligation depending on how good a job you did raising them. Hopefully they become a friend at that point and you've left some kind of legacy, or at least did your biological function of reproducing.

I used to have a Golden Retriever. I really loved that dog, but am dogless now for just a few of the reasons above- tied down, expense, mess, sadness when he got sick, etc. A kid would be an order of magnitude bigger commitment.

This doesn't even touch on stuff out of your control, such as winding up with a kid who has a severe disability, or becomes an addict, or just a disagreeable person. Parents are also statistically less happy than non-parents who are otherwise similar. Most of my friends with kids look frazzled, tired, and stressed out, and their houses are littered with kid-stuff...and that's in the unlikely event I even see them. They tend to disappear after kids. In fact, I noticed that between the mid 20's and late 50's...your prime years, the biggest difference between people isn't whether or not they're married or how old they are, but whether they have kids. People think I'm much younger than I am, and I think it's mostly due to the free-spiritedness you lose with kids...I still have that...hell...I took a year off a few years back just to travel around the world! I went to volatile Egypt last year and planned the trip a few days before I left. Parents who are younger than me tend to be very serious and dour...almost a trapped visage. They have to bring home the bacon...usually in a minivan.

Logically adding all that up it just kids just don't seem to make sense. Given all this, why do most people want to have kids? I suppose if I made a ton of money and could afford a nanny and stuff it would solve most of these problems, but I'm not there. I don't want to regret not having them, but I think it'd be even worse to have them and regret it. What am I missing here, guys? What were your expectations before kids, and how does that compare with the reality?
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      03-26-2014, 11:38 AM   #2
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Honestly I struggled with this for a while. I don't think you are going to get an answer that makes sense logically.

I don't have kids (yet - but one is on the way), and to be honest, I'm now a little excited. I agree with your observations, but I'd add to them - the parents I see also seem more selfless / better people than when they were without children. They are also happy albeit it tired and more focused on the family.

All I can say is that I believe there are intangible benefits / feelings that you are probably not considering, and never will know till you have them (because how can you know the feeling). I certainly hope this will be the case for me.

One of the main reasons we went down this route was that despite my nervousness on the matter (of that, one of my chief concerns was that I wouldn't be a good enough parent / love them enough...because I certainly don't love other people's kids, though as they grow up I can admit they are kind of cute now...just not at the baby stage) is that I love my wife and I know she would feel incomplete without children. So for me, it was easier.

For you, neither side seems to know, so you are in a harder spot. Could she be saying she's unsure simply because she likes you and sees you as a future husband and does not want to jeapordize this because she feels you do not want kids? I don't know...in the dating phase I don't think you necessarily see the whole truth right? How does she react around kids? Does she have any sisters or brothers who have kids and if so, does she relish the opportunity to get to spend time with their kids?
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      03-26-2014, 11:40 AM   #3
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^^ based on the above I have determined you should not have children.

/thread
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      03-26-2014, 11:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upstatedoc View Post
^^ based on the above I have determined you should not have children.

/thread
Agreed...100%

Seriously, going point by point would just come across like i was trying to bash you and that wouldn't be my intent! Some people are just better suited to having kids, some are not. If, at this point in your life you are still questioning it, I think you have your answer.
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      03-26-2014, 11:45 AM   #5
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I agree Carve, I'm unsure about kids also. For me, I think it's safer (for me) NOT to have kids. If you're unsure if you can commit 100% to them, it's not fair to the kid(s).
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      03-26-2014, 11:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upstatedoc View Post
^^ based on the above I have determined you should not have children.

/thread
Exactly
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      03-26-2014, 11:54 AM   #7
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LOL- I wasn't asking whether you think I should have them. I asked why you wanted them and how the expectations compared to the reality

I think she is being honest with me. Her brother, thank god, is childless. We haven't had many interactions with young children

I was married for quite a long time. High school girlfriend. We waited to have kids for the reasons above, but she was like caring for a child herself so I ended it after many years of trying to make that work. I at least don't have those same reservations with my GF. I know she'd do her part
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      03-26-2014, 11:57 AM   #8
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Can't think of any real reasons to have kids other than labor around the house....


Its not even free labor either....
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      03-26-2014, 12:00 PM   #9
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Of course, you should have kids so you can collect more $Money from he govt..... duh it's a no brain-er.
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      03-26-2014, 12:04 PM   #10
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      03-26-2014, 12:14 PM   #11
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I get where the OP is coming from because my wife and I don't want kids either. Every once in a while I think it might be fun but, I snap myself out of that pretty quickly.

Unfortunately it's kind of hard to articulate reasons for not wanting kids without sounding at least a little shallow, self-absorbed or narcissistic and honestly that's because the reasons kind of are. I mean it is pretty much the most primal of instincts to perpetuate your genetic code and you are ignoring it for what? Material gain and hopefully an easier trip through life mostly.

I personally don't want kids because I'm 35 and I have siblings ranging in age from 26, 24, 20 and...12. Thanks to mom starting off early and finishing late I feel like I've already raised my kids in a manner of speaking. Oddly enough so does my 26 year old sister who kind of got the same deal I did. Let me tell you being a teenager with an infant sibling is about the best birth control I've ever seen.

I'm also sure some of my siblings will have kids so, I can be the fun cool uncle and then give them back when they get annoying. That and as the OP said I just don't want the financial burden of having a child. I know it's selfish but, I'd rather have nice things than be dumping money into a college fund for a kid that will likely tell my how much he hates me for 5-7 years.

Of course there will be a few martyr parents who will tell you it's hard but, totally worth it and how much of a joy kids are and how it's the most fulfilling thing in life and they don't even miss their Porsche or vacations on tropical islands blah, blah, blah but, if you could look into their eyes you'd see they are dead inside. Don't fall into that trap.
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      03-26-2014, 12:16 PM   #12
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Thumbs down

As a parent... The title of this thread is offensive. What if your parents had asked this question?

Also... If you have to ASK the question, you probably should NOT become a parent.
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      03-26-2014, 12:16 PM   #13
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Oh- I'd commit to them 100% if I had them. I'm not worried at all about not being a good enough dad. I think I'd do a great job. I think it's BECAUSE I take it so seriously is what makes me reluctant
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      03-26-2014, 12:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXSTYLE View Post
As a parent... The title of this thread is offensive. What if your parents had asked this question?

Also... If you have to ASK the question, you probably should NOT become a parent.
There's a lot of people who are parents and should have asked themselves this question.

I think the first 10 minutes of Idiocracy pretty much nailed where this world is going.
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      03-26-2014, 12:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrod2448
Let me tell you being a teenager with an infant sibling is about the best birth control I've ever seen
You can say that again. I was scared to death of becoming sexually active as a teen for that exact reason

Whether one has a child or not, you're doing it out of your own self interest. Not having one is no more selfish than having one. If you feel like a maryter making a big sacrifice by having kids I feel really bad for you and your children
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      03-26-2014, 12:24 PM   #16
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I think you ask a fair question and I commend you for giving it so much thought as opposed to others in this world that just have a kid or 5 and see what happens.

I don't have any kids, but I think the answer to your question is people want kids for reasons that don't have a tangible answer. One example would be, imagine looking your very own son/daughter in their eyes and knowing this is your seed, you made this human being...
















...and then they start shitting. A lot.
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      03-26-2014, 12:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXSTYLE
As a parent... The title of this thread is offensive. What if your parents had asked this question?

Also... If you have to ASK the question, you probably should NOT become a parent.
Why? I certainly hope you asked it before having kids. Did you?

I wish my parents HAD asked the question and thought it out. Then perhaps they wouldn't have had created a broken family. My childhood was mostly stressful, and I'd hate to do that to a kid, which greatly increased my reluctance when I was married. I didn't exist for millions of years and it didn't inconvenience me in the slightest

It's interesting that only joekerr seems to be able to answer the question (thanks, man)
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      03-26-2014, 12:31 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by hotrod2448 View Post
Of course there will be a few martyr parents who will tell you it's hard but, totally worth it and how much of a joy kids are and how it's the most fulfilling thing in life and they don't even miss their Porsche or vacations on tropical islands blah, blah, blah but, if you could look into their eyes you'd see they are dead inside. Don't fall into that trap.
I've seen many parents who say that, and they seem to fall into 1 of 2 categories.

Those who truly mean it, with every fiber of their being; you can usually tell by the way they talk about it. These are often the people how knew beyond a shadow of a doubt from the time they were a teen that they absolutely wanted kids.

Then there are those who say that, but you get the sense they are saying it out loud to try and convince themselves of it, more than they are trying to convince you of it. I know that look in their eye you are talking about. Those who always knew they definitely wanted kids, and never wavered from that, tend not to be in this category. People who had kids because they felt pressured by society/parents/culture or simply a fear of regret, they tend to be more in this category.

I guess the best advice is to pay attention to both groups of parents, cause you can learn from both of them. An honest self-assessment will tell you which group you are likely to fall into. My guess is, Carve already knows the answer.

"If you think you can, or if you've convinced yourself you can't, you are probably right." -Henry Ford.

Henry wasn't talking about having kids, but I think it applies just as well.

Good luck with your decision. Unlike accepting a job, or getting married, or even moving across the world, it is one decision you cannot really undo, if it turns out to be not what you expected.
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      03-26-2014, 12:33 PM   #19
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my 17 yr old was not planned, my 5 year old was planned and we're working on our 2nd which is my 3rd. and maybe 1 more after the my 3rd . So 4 for me and 3 for her. I love my kids, I wish I could've had them closer to each others ages so we could do things together as a family.
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      03-26-2014, 12:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carve View Post
Hey guys. I'll be 37 in a couple months, and my girlfriend just turned 32...and it's kind of freaking me out. We're at the age where we have to decide if kids are in the future pretty soon. The thing is, neither of us have a real burning desire to have them,
then please please PLEASE, do NOT have any kids......

don't wanna read another story of child neglect or a story about a kid that was allowed to play with weapons who shot and killed himself or his parent....


Quote:
Originally Posted by carve View Post
To the people who want or have kids...why did you want them? How would your life be different if you didn't have them?
yes, I wanted them.....

I didn't start having kids until I knew I could afford them, spoil them and care for them, which is VERY un-Mexican of me...

I got a boy and a girl - both of which are clones of my wife and I

I take responsibility for these kids - I care for them - I provide for them - I ensure they are safe and I ensure they get everything they want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whostheboss
Of course, you should have kids so you can collect more $Money from he govt..... duh it's a no brain-er.
most of the time you do, but in my case, my wife and I made so much money, that the $2000 we could have potentially got back for each kid turned into $0 dollars.....

we haven't received any payments for either of them for 6 years....

government only gives you money for your kids if you have a shitty income.....
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      03-26-2014, 12:36 PM   #21
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Kids aren't for everybody. I wasn't big or obsessed on the kid thing either until I had one (now two).

Now it's amazing. My toddler son has turned into a verifiable car aficionado, and it's freaking great. When we go to Cars & Coffee, he goes nuts and can name pretty much any car there. One time an R8 pulled into the parking lot next to the Porsches, and I said "Hey little man, it's an R8!", and he replied, "Dad, R8 Veee-Ten!" You know what? He was right!

Little weird things like that make my day now. You have to be a parent to understand, but it just makes sense in the greater scope of things.
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      03-26-2014, 12:39 PM   #22
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If you have to ask.....
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