Wednesday, June 29, 2011

To Have Or Not To Have

So Yahoo did a piece on “The No-Baby Boom” and stated how unhappy people are when they have children. So this got me to thinking about the different stages we have talked about in particular the yesterdays. The report is probably accurate about how happiness decreases after having children, but the real question is what happiness are the referring to and how does it affect a person in their 30s and 40s and beyond. You can read the full article here.

I think for me life got much harder having my first child I still miss being able to have two incomes the extra cash, not feeling as if I am a failure as a father. Yes I think that I was less “happy” but I feel better as a person especially now that I can sit around the table eating popsicles and talking to my four children. Life feels more fulfilling and I feel as if I making a difference in society because of how I am raising my children. There is more to the question than of to have or not to have than if a person is happy.

I think Erikson would agree that the choice not to have children would lead a person to the stagnation side of things rather than the Generativity side. It is important when we make decisions that they are based on more than one data point.

Now to end my rant I hope that everyone who reads will understand an important word that I used above it was the word “choice.” There are many who want children who cannot or many other circumstances that will keep a couple from having children. It is when we make the choice to not have children that we need to be careful not when we can’t.

Please feel free to disagree I am open to differing opinions and would appreciate such. I would also appreciate any other ideas or opinions for this idea. Finally I think that this idea brings up a great idea for a story. Perhaps this is a way that society destroys itself? Or maybe the government pays people to have children and then the government raises them. (Which in some instances is already happening today.)


  1. I wanted children. I have to be content with a lovely hubby and 2 lovely cats.
    Yes raising children can be difficult (we fostered 2 boys for a few months), but I guess it's what you give and take to anything in life that makes your own happiness. :O)

  2. Josh, I think part of what makes having and raising a child is the fact that families in general are so far-flung in modern society. I, for one, have parents in one state and siblings in three other states and having my daughter without family to surround me when I needed something, however small, was a challenge.

    We are less likely to seek out help raising our kids from friends as this is a sort of unspoken rule-- you don't pawn off your kids on those who are not family, if that makes sense.

    Hence, going it alone, as it were, is unspeakably tough as children, especially infants and toddlers, are an unprecedented drain on a person's emotional and physical reserve.

    That said, the benefits outweigh the costs. Though if circumstances inhibit the possibility for someone to have kids, they can certainly joy in the freedom that comes from being childless and can even use said freedom to contribute meaningfully to the lives of others in a way parents of small children are not free to do.

    Just like you, just my two cents.

  3. I completely agree that choice is key. For those who choose not to have kids, I am fine with it, as long as they do not judge me for choosing to have kids. We need to respect other people, whether or not we agree with their choices.

    As far as happiness, I agree that they need to do a long term study. They need to look at long term happiness. I have an aunt and uncle that have been unable to have kids, due to health issues, and they do seem to be happy. So I'd be interested in a long term study.

    I have to feel that all this work will be for my good at some point!

  4. having children is a huge change...i had trouble with it and i love changes your lifestyle lose freedom, income andnow you have someone dependant on you all the took me a bit to get over and even still at timesit gets very hard...

  5. I wouldn't have missed having mine. We were extremely proud when our youngest son made it to be a pro soccer player,(though now is in Spain after an accident forced him to quit) My daughter was into dancing......all sorts and belonged to a disco group as a nine year old and appeared on a TV show, Our eldest did well at work and was promoted a few times. Since his dad's death he works as a carer in a home for the Autistic adults and is taking a degree for a carer in this field although he no longer speaks to me I am proud of him.......and love him.

  6. I choose to be a parent...I was a stay home Mom, when my kids were young. I wouldn't of done it any other way. That came at a price, literally lol! Now that I'm a Grandmother, I look around at young families now and wonder if I would have children today. Children change your life forever...Our Love for them is constant...We feel proud...My son has twin girls and my daughter lives on in my heart and through memories, along with the Love I spoke of as well as endless yearning...I didn't choose that...

  7. Thank you all for the wonderful posts today. I appreciate everyone's personal stories and thoughts on this. I have learned a lot. Thank You all.

  8. Being happy isn't dependent on children. But at the same time having children give people opportunities to develop new ways to be happy. A parent will find joy in the little things that their children teach them while someone who doesn't have children may find joy in other ways.

    Happiness is a choice that is given to everyone despite personal situations.

    (I want children. Really, really want them. Maybe in the next year I'll be lucky enough to have one.)


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