To have children or not to have children?
Possibly, this is one of the most important and complicated decisions that we all have to make throughout our lives.
And it is a decision that…
- It has a direct impact on absolutely everything. In your relationship as a couple, in your professional career, in your lifestyle… Both your day-to-day life and your future are going to be very different depending on whether or not you have children.
- It is irreversible. If you decide to have children, they will be your children for the rest of your life, and you will be bound forever to the person with whom you had them. And if you are a woman and decide not to have them, after a certain age your biological clock will prevent you from turning back (unless you vitrify your eggs).
Hence the importance of making a thoughtful decision, and above all consistent with your definition of “a life to suit you”.
In my case, I have always known that one day I would like to be a father.
And next February, if all goes well, my intention will come true with the birth of my first child: little Řehoř (name not yet final) 👶
Maybe you are not as clear about having children as I am…
For this reason, in this post I would like to share with you my 3 reasons for opting forYeahhave them, in case my point of view could be of help to you.
IMPORTANT: What I tell you below is only my personal opinion, which is influenced by the fact that I am a man, having had a good childhood (despite not having perfect parents), and by my values and my current circumstances.
In no case is it the absolute truth, and I do not intend to convince you of anything or that you agree with me.
In fact, I speak without having lived the experience of having children, so it is likely that I am wrong and that when I have not slept for 5 days and the baby does not stop crying, I will see things differently😛
My 3 reasons for wanting to have children
Reason #1: I think having children is the right option for me
Human beings can have different motivations to do something.
The first, the most basic of all, is to get immediate pleasure. For example, you eat an ice cream because its taste is pleasant to you.
The second is to believe that said action will bring you pleasure in the future. For example, you study for university exams, even if you don’t like it, because you think that in the future it will allow you to access a good job and earn a lot of money.
Finally, there is a third reason to act in a certain way that at least for me has much more weight than the previous two and that is to do something simply because you believe it is the right thing to do (even if it does not bring you any direct benefit beyond the knowing that you have acted as you should).
Well, for me, having children falls into that category.
In the end, the fact that I can be here today writing this article is the result of my parents, the parents of my parents, the parents of my parents of my parents… and a very long list of people at the time decided to have children.
All these people made that decision despite the fact that their conditions were much worse than mine, and in many cases knowing that having a baby meant that the mother could lose her life during childbirth.
All of them had to make great sacrifices to support their family…
So I, who have infinitely better circumstances than yours, cannot come and break that chain of thousands of years just because I want to sleep well at night and be able to do whatever I want.
If I believed that I was not going to be able to give my children a good life or that they were not going to be born in a healthy environment, it would be different for them.
But in my case, I meet all the necessary conditions to be able to bring several little people into the world and give them everything they need to become healthy and happy adults.
Therefore, above all else, I believe that my moral obligation is to have children, to be the best possible father to them and to give them the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful gift that is life, just as my parents gave it to me. .
Reason #2: I think having kids is going to make me happier than not having kids.
Yes, you read it right.
Despite the sleepless nights, the stress, the time and energy that I am going to have to dedicate to them, the money that they are going to cost me, the negative effect that they can have on my mental health and my relationship…
I want to have children because I am convinced that, overall, having them is going to make me happier than not having them.
And I’ll tell you why I think this way.
One of the great discoveries made by psychologist David Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner and author of think fast, think slowthe thing is there are two types of happiness:
- A short-term happiness, related to experiencing pleasant sensations, emotions and moods in your day to day. What we could call well-being.
- A long-term happiness, related to waking up every morning with a clear reason to live, with feeling that what you are doing makes sense and with looking back and feeling proud of everything you have achieved. What we could call life satisfaction or self-realization.
There is no doubt that the arrival of a child negatively affects the first type of happiness. It’s common sense.
You will enjoy more free time, greater comfort and a better relationship if you No you have children, and there are plenty of studies that prove it:
This graph from the book Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert shows the results of 4 different studies that come to the same conclusion: marital satisfaction plummets after the birth of the first child and only recovers when the last child has left home.
Having said this, my opinion – and also that of some sociology experts– is that the magnitude of this negative impact depends on different factors that Yeah that you can control
If you have a stable partner, a job with flexible hours, economic stability… and above all, if you have the necessary financial resources to hire someone to help you, having children will reduce your well-being much less than if you don’t have access to all these things.
For this reason, citizens of countries such as Germany or Norway, which offer very generous maternity and paternity benefits, report higher levels of happiness after having children than citizens of the United States (USA), where this type of aid is almost non-existent.
Besides, I think that short-term happiness is not so important. Of course, it is necessary to keep your levels of comfort and pleasant sensations above a certain threshold in order not to become bitter and collapse, but I do not believe that life is about maximizing that variable.
On the other hand, seems that being a father or mother does increase long-term happiness, because children give great meaning and purpose to your life.
Having a little person who depends 100% on you and whom you love madly is a very powerful reason to get up every morning and try to do things well.
And to see that little person grow and prosper and create their own family, and to think that you have contributed to all of that, must be very satisfying. It is the type of experience that when you are 60 years old and you look back makes you feel that your time in the world has been worth it.
In short: I believe that, in my case and my circumstances being what they are, even though having children will worsen some aspects of my life, it will add and give me more than it will take away.
Reason #3: I think having children is an exciting part of life and I don’t want to miss it.
Seeing your children’s faces for the first time, hearing them say their first words, being given a hug and told that they love you…
(And yes, also: arguing with them, being more worried because they don’t come home, the sadness of seeing how they leave home to go their own way…)
All these are emotions and experiences that can only be lived by having children.
And I don’t want to miss them.
As I explained in the previous point, I am aware that my life would be much easier and more comfortable without children of course.
But it is that if I did not have children and formed my own family, I would feel that I have missed an important part of life. That I have lived halfway.
In the end, I have come here to play.
In the game of life, I have no interest in staying forever in the first area of the map just because I know it well and the enemies are easier.
What I want is to explore everything: I want to visit all the worlds, do all the missions and face all the monsters… even if it is more complicated, requires more work on my part and leaves me with some scars.
And in order to live and do all that, I need to be a dad.
Conclusion: a very personal decision
These 3 reasons that I have just told you are the 3 reasons why I have decided to want to have children.
It may be that you share them, and that you want to have (or have had) children for similar reasons.
Maybe No you share them, and that you want to have (or have had) children for totally different reasons than mine.
Or you may have chosen because children are not part of your life project due to the coronavirus pandemic, because you do not have maternal instinct, because you do not want the birth rate to increase… or for whatever reason.
And you know what? That you choose what you choose seems phenomenal to me.
In the end, it is something very personal, and all opinions and decisions are equally respectable.
The key is that it is a conscious decision that you make for yourself.
That you reflect on it, make your list of pros and cons, and form your own opinion. And that you (with your partner) choose instead of letting yourself be carried away by social pressure and doing what is fashionable at that moment or what your parents or friends tell you.
So if you are already clear about whether or not to have children, congratulations!
And if not, I hope this article has helped you clarify your ideas, and that whatever you decide works for you 🙂
Now is your turn!
Would you or would you not like to have children? Because?
And if you already made the decision to have them or not to have them, what were the reasons that led you to act that way? And are you satisfied or satisfied with your decision?
Tell us in the comments 👇
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