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HOT TOPIC Having Children...Pros and Cons?

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ProcessPro

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Hi Fastlaners

My wife and I are trying to decide if to have children. She's 28 and I'm 26, so her remaining children bearing years are limited.

On one hand, we have a vision of a beautiful family and family culture etc. On the other hand, friends are warning that we'd be giving up our lives to take care of another human etc. We already know all this, but...

If you can:
  • Share advice/things we should consider
  • Share stories about your experiences, the good and bad, the pains and pleasure
  • Regrets of having or not having
  • If you don't have, do you feel a void? How do you fill it? Is it sufficient?
Please, no condescending responses, or 'you shouldn't have if you're asking this' sort of responses. I'm asking because there's immense value and learning in other perspectives.

Thanks!
Jon.
 

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thechosen1

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There’s no shame in being a mediocre regular person.
The guy said no condescending responses... lol

I am younger and don’t have kids so I shouldn’t answer this. Someone with a family should. I suspect they’ll say go for it.

Consider the fact that almost every billionaire is married and has children - obviously it’s not going to make you a failure or something.

That being said, I sure as hell ain’t ready for that. It’s a highly individual decision.
 
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S.Y.

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Zero regret. My son was born when I was 24.
It has made my life a whole lot more fulfilling.

Now obviously you will need to invest a lot of time in your kid, and a decent amount of money too.

Which means less time and less funds to put toward a business venture. And a whole different approach to taking risks.

The flip side of it is that a kid can be a very strong why. And can force you to be much better with your time. And a lot more mindful with how you spend your money.

If both of you really want a child I would not wait too long. Regretting not having a kid once your wife can no longer have one.... I imagine that it would be a very painful to carry for the rest of your life.
 

James Klymus

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On one hand, we have a vision of a beautiful family and family culture etc. On the other hand, friends are warning that we'd be giving up our lives to take care of another human etc. We already know all this, but...

Just to get this out of the way, I don't have any kids.

You basically summed it up. You're no longer the priority for yourself, your kids are.

MJ talks about it in Unscripted, Marriage and kids are consumption accelerators. You are now buying clothes not just for you, but your kid. Same thing with food, and pretty much everything else you consume, you can expect to double it. YOU can live in a basement on a couch with a friend, But if you have a kid, You have to at least have your own apartment.

It depends what you want. I know of people who are entrepreneurs, that had kids when they were trying to get their business going, and they succeeded. But kids, and even a girlfriend can get in the way of what YOU want.

I heard someone say "I like kids, but I like doing whatever I want, whenever I want better."

It all comes down to your priorities. If a family and kids is the priority, cool. If making your life better is the priority, cool.
 

Tom H.

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Do it now. Childbirth is terrifying and there's no guarantee you will just have a child because you want one, so better if you do it now, it might not happen on your timeline. Not trying to spread fear, but my personal experience with this is extremely real and traumatic, PM me if you want the details. Or anyone reading this who's gone through loss, PM me if you need to talk about it.

I have a 7 month old baby now and it's brutal sometimes, but we're doing fine and I'm so happy to have a son. There is no relationship I've ever had like this, it is heavy and surreal.

Saying "it's expensive" is for losers, stop being poor. Saying "you're giving up your life" is also for losers, grow up and get over yourself.

If I didn't want a family life, I'd be a monk and meditate full-time. I can't see myself living in the world without a family. For what? For my ego? For pleasure? For narcissism?

Some people think the individual is the fundamental unit of society. Sadly, a lot of people today seem to think it's the state... but I believe that the family is the fundamental building block of society.

At the basic level, we need family to survive and our only real purpose is to procreate. People can argue whatever hippie bullshit they want against that, but it's the harsh reality of biology. So we are hard-wired to want children. Even though it's a completely insane thing to do, we keep doing it.

I believe you can lead a fulfilling life without children, but for most people, starting a family is a skillful thing to do. I thought my wife wouldn't be able to have a baby and I started exploring that life. I could do it and create meaning if I had to.

@ProcessPro I think you're smart to bring up this topic because family isn't something to take lightly, it's worth spending time learning and thinking about.
 

TheCj

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Zero regret's no kids and 38.

As a guy don't have the same age pressure for kids as a women would. So would be more important to really see how your wife would feel either way. I do wonder why this hasn't been a topic of discussion before you got married etc.. Some women really don't have that maternal pull and that would be something to consider since traditionally more will be required in your family life from your wife.

I'd say try to think of when you are on your deathbed would you want to look back on a life with having kids and possibly grand kids? Would you look back and regret not having that?

There is a biological programming in all of us on some level to have offspring at some point.

Only thing I'd suggest is if you know you want kids, is to have them as early as possible.

If have kids by 30's they will be in 20's by 50's and you could see grand kids grow up into teens in 70-80's. If wait till late 30's to have kids I think be missing out and be harder. You would be closer to 60's when they are in 20's and 70-80's to see grandkids being born etc..

Like anything there are people who make kids there main life purpose, there are others who make having kids part of there lifes purpose.
 

BizyDad

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Marriage and kids are consumption accelerators. You are now buying clothes not just for you, but your kid. Same thing with food, and pretty much everything else you consume, you can expect to double it.

Double food? Where did you get that idea?Breastfeeding takes you to the first year or longer. Little kids don't eat you out of house and home. Kids menu at restaurants, then have them split a grown up meal. It'll be a while before they are teenagers...

Do it now. Childbirth is terrifying and there's no guarantee you will just have a child because you want one, so better if you do it now, it might not happen on your timeline. Not trying to spread fear, but my personal experience with this is extremely real and traumatic, PM me if you want the details. Or anyone reading this who's gone through loss, PM me if you need to talk about it.

I have a 7 month old baby now and it's brutal sometimes, but we're doing fine and I'm so happy to have a son. There is no relationship I've ever had like this, it is heavy and surreal.

Saying "it's expensive" is for losers, stop being poor. Saying "you're giving up your life" is also for losers, grow up and get over yourself.

I agree with all of this. Especially that last part.

I also have a childbirth horror story. I won't get into it, and yes, I'd do it again.

I wanted to be a dad since my younger brother was born. First I waited to find the right girl, then we waited until the right time. Until I finally realized there would never be a right time, and we just went for it.

I was 37 when we had our first. I can't say I felt a void in those 37 years, because I always knew we would, we were just waiting to.

I'm 45 now, and divorced, facing the prospect that I'll only have 2, and my only regret is that I wish we had started sooner.

I know I would have been miserable if I had never had kids.

I don't know if that helps, and I have no advice on whether you should or shouldn't. That is totally a personal choice. Only you can decide what the right or wrong answer is.

All I can tell you is whenever you decide to, assuming you do, you will not regret it.

I used to hate when people would tell me, "you don't understand unless you have kids", but yeah, it's true. I struggle to put it into words how awesome it really is.

I can't describe the feeling of looking into the eyes of my little ones and them looking back at me.

Things to consider... Do you have a good support network? Family close by? That's the big help.

I think you two should discuss certain things now, about how you want a parent, how you want to discipline, what kind of expectations you have of each other as parents, what are your attitudes about education, and make sure you are, generally speaking, on the same page. It will go a lot smoother now, while this is all kinda hypothetical.

If you don't, you will be having these discussions later when you're both exhausted. And things will feel a lot more real when you actually have that little one. The stakes will be higher.

Hope that helps. And good luck.
 

WestCoast

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Not having children has been one of my favorite decisions in my life.

Fiancé and I travel from country to country, working from our laptops wherever we are.
I’m on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean for 3 days for thanksgiving.

Because we can.


I have more time for business.
I have more time for charity.
I have more time to learn about myself and improve.

Without trying to offend anyone, and just be helpful to the question: anyone can have kids. It’s not a special magical right that is earned with hard work.


Yes, being a good parent is incredibly hard.

But being a parent? Any 15 year old kid post-puberty can do it. I’m always uneasy doing things that everyone else can do easily too.


If kids was ever something we wanted as we got to midlife, I think we’d adopt.

So many unwanted babies out there that need homes.


I’m stoked to be free. So is she, and my friends without babies are doing incredible things right along with us. Very liberating.

One of the best choices we’ve made. We’re happier every year about it too.
 

Kevin88660

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Hi Fastlaners

My wife and I are trying to decide if to have children. She's 28 and I'm 26, so her remaining children bearing years are limited.

On one hand, we have a vision of a beautiful family and family culture etc. On the other hand, friends are warning that we'd be giving up our lives to take care of another human etc. We already know all this, but...

If you can:
  • Share advice/things we should consider
  • Share stories about your experiences, the good and bad, the pains and pleasure
  • Regrets of having or not having
  • If you don't have, do you feel a void? How do you fill it? Is it sufficient?
Please, no condescending responses, or 'you shouldn't have if you're asking this' sort of responses. I'm asking because there's immense value and learning in other perspectives.

Thanks!
Jon.
Imagine we you and your wife are in the 70s. Cannot walk or see things clearly, and need to visit the hospitals for regular check up.

It is always good to have someone to call to when you just accidentally had a fall.

I get to interact with a lot of old people in my industry/circle. The old cliche is still true. There are things that money can’t buy.

Having too much money in your 80s and having no choice but to leave it for your favorite charity or young helpers..is to some extend regretable.
 

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csalvato

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Having kids and pursuing your dreams aren't mutually exclusive. If kids + a business is your dream, then that's worth pursuing and figuring it out. The question isn't "are children the right choice?", it's "do I want children?"

While a family is a "consumption accelerator", they are also a "motivation accelerator" too. Once that kid is placed in your arms for the first time, you realize that you're now working for something far greater than yourself.

We often hear how kids and a family hamper progress but we somehow filter out all the highly successful people who say their kids were a driver for their success.

Statistically speaking, a vast majority of billionaires have a spouse and kids. If they can make it work, so can you. Do you want to?
 

Kak

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Having kids and pursuing your dreams aren't mutually exclusive. If kids + a business is your dream, then that's worth pursuing and figuring it out. The question isn't "are children the right choice?", it's "do I want children?"

While a family is a "consumption accelerator", they are also a "motivation accelerator" too. Once that kid is placed in your arms for the first time, you realize that you're now working for something far greater than yourself.

We often hear how kids and a family hamper progress but we somehow filter out all the highly successful people who say their kids were a driver for their success.

Statistically speaking, a vast majority of billionaires have a spouse and kids. If they can make it work, so can you. Do you want to?

This...

It is a choice...

Why do we do what we do? We are individuals, shaping our lives in the way WE want to. There is no cookie cutter life that we should all subscribe to.

Suggesting kids aren't worth for entrepreneurs it is prescribing a form of script.

Suggesting kids are a must is prescribing a form of script.

I myself want a big family. Since it is something I want, why would I sacrifice it on the alter of business? I am an entrepreneur so I can improve my life. I am improving my condition. Why sacrifice something else that would give me joy? How unscripted is it to forgo something that you want to do in life to avoid the responsibility?

If you want kids, do it. I truly believe responsibility is the foundation of greatness.

If you don't want kids, don't.
 

Thoelt53

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The guy said no condescending responses... lol
It’s just in Johnny Boy’s nature. He is the ultimate authority in just about everything. Ask him. (just playing “bro”)

If you are up to the challenge of children, which I believe you are by virtue of asking the question, they will be the most rewarding and joyous treasures of your life. Words cannot describe. You have to live it.

There is a modern hate for childbearing. Ignore it. If you want kids, have them. There are no vacation days, there are no breaks. But they will shock an awe you every single day. You won’t regret it (most of the time lol).

Kids are a pain in the a$$. They will try your patience, push your limits, and break you down. But they will make you a better person. They teach you and bring forward lessons from your childhood that you wouldn’t otherwise understand. We all grow up and forget what it is to be a kid; they will most definitely remind you. They know how to live life and it is a blessing to live life with them.

My oldest was born when I was 22. No regrets. None. It was hard at the time, I was broke and working a shit overnight job. My wife and I made the best of it, and I would never have imagined I’d get to where I am today. I’m not rich, but I’m far from the loser I was at 22. If it wasn’t for having kids, I’d still be f*cking off and “living life.” I didn’t know what life was at the time.
 

Johnny boy

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The guy said no condescending responses... lol

I am younger and don’t have kids so I shouldn’t answer this. Someone with a family should. I suspect they’ll say go for it.

Consider the fact that almost every billionaire is married and has children - obviously it’s not going to make you a failure or something.

That being said, I sure as hell ain’t ready for that. It’s a highly individual decision.
if being called mediocre is condescending and taken as an insult then don't have kids before you're successful.
 

beswaax

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Having children is selfish. This is totally my opinion. I personally would not want to bring a child into such a corrupt world, or what if they are born with some sort of disease. A big reason is that I have my own life that is way too short, I would not want to waste it by having kids. Many people seem to want kids because they want to fill a gap inside of them, but you have to already be happy, not search for happiness in something external like a kid. If I were to ever have kids, I'd adopt, because like this I'd help a child in need.
 

MTF

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I had a vasectomy when I was 22. I'm 30 now and I'm super glad I did it.

It was one of the best decisions of my life. The peace of mind is so worth it.

I understand why people want to have children. I don't have an issue with that. But personally, I prefer a child-free life. I value my freedom way too much.

I'll share some of my unfiltered thoughts below. People with children: this is just my personal opinion, not an attack on you. You make your choices, I make my own. I'm writing this post to respond to @ProcessPro.

The big question is whether the pros of having children make up for the inevitable losses in freedom. For many people. they do. For me, not at all.

People with kids will tell you that you can have all the freedom you want when you have kids but you simply can't.

I can pack my stuff right now and live wherever in the world I want. As a parent, you can't. It takes a ton of planning to be able to do that, if at all possible.

I can take more risks. As a parent, you have to play defense more.

I can do what I want, whenever I want, and wherever I want. As a parent, at least until your child is an adult, you can't. The child is your boss.

Parents may argue that not having children is selfish or that if you don't want to have kids, you're shirking responsibility. But having children is also selfish. You want to have nice kids who will give you a sense of meaning and hopefully take care of you when you're old. You wouldn't want to have ungrateful kids that would hate you, would you?

Share advice/things we should consider

1. Spend some time with children, ideally from your family so that there's some bond.

My sister has 4 kids. I can spend at most a couple of hours with them and then I'm exhausted. So exhausted that I need at least a few days off before I can see them again. I can't imagine dealing with this every single day. I try to be a good uncle and the kids like me but I can only offer so much.

Children can be a giant pain in the a$$. They require constant attention. They're loud (this alone kills me). They don't listen. They cry. They're purely emotional beings (which is part of the allure for people who like them).

Some people will say that it's not the same to care for someone's child vs having your own. But the reality of caring for one is the same whether it's yours or not. Your life will be dedicated 24/7 to caring for the kid.

2. Even if you're a great parent, your child may become an ungrateful punk. Or a bully. Or a crybaby. Or a communist. Or a politician. Or grow up to be a person you simply don't like. How does that make you feel?

3. For the first few years, you'll be sleep-deprived, stressed out, and regularly sick (my dad, who's retired and spends at least one full day a week caring for my sister's kids, is sick a few times a year; it's always because of the kids).

Parents say that it's still worth it, and for some it probably is. For me—and maybe I'm just too weak—it would be impossible to live on 2 hours of sleep a day. I can't function well on 6 hours of sleep, let alone a third of that and every day for at least 1-2 years.

I can't imagine how you can improve your life in such a suboptimal state. Again, maybe I'm just too weak and an average parent is more resilient.

Regrets of having or not having

I doubt I'll ever have regrets. If anything, I'm now even more glad that I can't have kids. My life would have been so much poorer in experiences if I had kids. Parents would say: you'd have different experiences. Of course I would. But I wouldn't be able to have the experiences that I value more: traveling, learning new things, making spontaneous decisions, etc.

My sister and her husband used to travel a lot before they had kids. Now they can travel through the country only because it's too costly to travel elsewhere.

They seem to be happy to have a big family. But at the same time, my brother-in-law always tries to one up me when we talk about stuff I do that he can't because of the kids.

If, for example, we talk about my most recent travel (and no, I'm not bringing out the topic just to brag; they ask me), he needs to counteract by saying how fun it was to, say, ride bikes with the kids. He doesn't say it just to share the joy. He says it in very specific situations as if he wanted to convince himself that having kids is better than not having them (but at the same time, underneath all the jokes, you can sense a feel of regret).

I'm NOT stating they're unhappy because they have kids. I think it suits them and they try to live their lives the way they want to. But at the same time, it doesn't mean they can't have some regrets, even if they won't voice them out loud.

If you don't have, do you feel a void? How do you fill it? Is it sufficient?

I understand that people want to have kids because it gives them a sense of meaning to care for someone. Maybe they also find some peace in the fact that they'll leave something behind (which, as many tragic stories demonstrate, is sadly not guaranteed).

But this is in many ways like looking for a partner to make you feel happy. If you aren't happy single, you won't be happy in a relationship. It'll just hide your problems and won't address the core reason why you're unhappy. Same as having liposuction instead of fixing your diet and exercise routine.

I do feel a void but not because I don't have children. I feel it because, due to personal reasons, I've been obsessively thinking about death the last year. Having children wouldn't cure it because it only makes you so busy that you don't have time to think. Understandably you won't have existential worries if you have prosaic worries (I don't mean it in an offensive way).

But this is a different topic so let's talk about some ways you can create a sense of meaning/legacy:
  • Start a non-profit. You'll do way more good than by having a child.
  • Create a timeless, meaningful business that will outlive you. Similar to a non-profit.
  • Create art. Unless you're world-class, it probably won't outlive you. But the process of creation in itself is very rewarding.
  • Plant a forest or protect the environment. (Hopefully) a national park that exists today will still exist in a few centuries.
  • Be a great uncle, to your sibling's children or your friend's children. You can get the upsides of interacting with children without the day-to-day responsibilities.
  • Realize that in the end there's no legacy and no meaning. Your legacy might end with your only child deciding they don't want to have children. When you die, your business may collapse after the new owner makes a stupid decision. Your forest may be chopped down by idiots looking for a quick buck. Nothing that you do matters in the long term. I don't mean it in a depressive way. It's just a fact of live we have to accept, both parents and the childless. Naval Ravikant puts it well:
Here’s a hot tip: There is no legacy. There’s nothing to leave. We’re all going to be gone. Our children will be gone. Our works will be dust. Our civilizations will be dust. Our planet will be dust. Our solar system will be dust. In the grand scheme of things, the Universe has been around for ten billion years. It’ll be around for another ten billion years.

Your life is a firefly blink in a night. You’re here for such a brief period of time. If you fully acknowledge the futility of what you’re doing, then I think it can bring great happiness and peace because you realize this is a game. But it’s a fun game. All that matters is you experience your reality as you go through life. Why not interpret it in the most positive possible way?

Any moment where you’re not having a great time, when you’re not really happy, you’re not doing anyone any favors. It’s not like your unhappiness makes them better off somehow. All you’re doing is wasting this incredibly small and precious time you have on this Earth. Keeping death on the forefront and not denying it is very important.

Whenever I get caught up in my ego battles, I just think of entire civilizations that have come and gone. For example, take the Sumerians. I’m sure they were important people and did great things, but go ahead and name me a single Sumerian. Tell me anything interesting or important Sumerians did that lasted. Nothing.

So maybe ten thousand years from now or a hundred thousand years from now, people will say, “Oh yeah, Americans. I’ve heard of Americans.”

You’re going to die one day, and none of this is going to matter. So enjoy yourself. Do something positive. Project some love. Make someone happy. Laugh a little bit. Appreciate the moment. And do your work.
 

Lex DeVille

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I have a kid and I kick more a$$ than most of you and I'm fitter and better looking too. I'm selfish tho. I spend all day with my family, and all day doing what I want, including growing my income.

If you have a weak mind and you have a kid, you will still have a weak mind when the baby comes. Same goes for if you have a strong mind before/after.

If you don't have a kid and you choke on a McNugget, your kid won't save your life because you never had one. In that sense, they're an expensive long-term insurance policy.

Also, I don't plan to die ever and I'll go to any length to ensure my continued existence.

:)
 

alexkuzmov

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Hi Fastlaners

My wife and I are trying to decide if to have children. She's 28 and I'm 26, so her remaining children bearing years are limited.

On one hand, we have a vision of a beautiful family and family culture etc. On the other hand, friends are warning that we'd be giving up our lives to take care of another human etc. We already know all this, but...

If you can:
  • Share advice/things we should consider
  • Share stories about your experiences, the good and bad, the pains and pleasure
  • Regrets of having or not having
  • If you don't have, do you feel a void? How do you fill it? Is it sufficient?
Please, no condescending responses, or 'you shouldn't have if you're asking this' sort of responses. I'm asking because there's immense value and learning in other perspectives.

Thanks!
Jon.
Do you like kids?
Do you like being around them, playing with them, talking to them? Do you smile and feel happy when you see parents with their kids?
Are you a responsible person?
Do you have your shit together? At 26 you might be too young for kids and she might be too old for you.

It comes down to if you wan to or not.
Choosing the right partner is the most important thing.
Consider their charectar, their family, their behaviour, their health.

Dont worry about the good and the bad.
Youll give up sleeping and you wont feel good for a while. But when its good, its awesome. You cant feel those good feelings without having kids. Its an experience which cant be described, it has to be felt. Same as trying to explain how colors look like to a blind person. It cant be done.

Dont think of regret.
We only regret things that we wanted to do and never did. Think of all the things you never ever want to do because you hate the idea of them. Do you regret not doing them? Or are you glad you didnt do them?

Im not sure about feeling a void.
Maybe some people do feel a void.
Your life will be fuller with kids.
They will be an obstacle and a source of hope.
A challenge and a learning opportunity.
A hindrance and a relief.
A annoyance and entertainment.
A drain for resources and energy and an endless source of motivation.
A constant worry and a constant drive to do better.
 

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I have a kid and I kick more a$$ than most of you and I'm fitter and better looking too. I'm selfish tho. I spend all day with my family, and all day doing what I want, including growing my income.

If you have a weak mind and you have a kid, you will still have a weak mind when the baby comes. Same goes for if you have a strong mind before/after.

If you don't have a kid and you choke on a McNugget, your kid won't save your life because you never had one. In that sense, they're an expensive long-term insurance policy.

Also, I don't plan to die ever and I'll go to any length to ensure my continued existence.

:)

You lost me at better looking, yes I know that’s rich coming from someone with a kangaroo for a profile pic :rofl:

Each to their own, I would never advise someone to either have kids or to not have kids, I’m sure I’ve read @Kak say on here “working for your last name not your first name”, and that resonates with me personally.

I always wanted kids, I’ve got a boy and girl now, I’ve never been more busy, tired, stretched, tested, but I love every second of it, I’m building the life I want, and one my kids can hopefully benefit from in the future.

For us the line was 2 though, I couldn’t imagine having 3 and trying to balance that. But then plenty of people have 3 or more and are killing it as well so I don’t judge them, I’m happy for them. And those that don’t have kids, I’m happy for them too. I grew up in areas where people had kids because they were no hopers and there was nothing else to do, I don’t like seeing that, poor kids don’t have a lot of hope with parents like that. Make your choice and own it :thumbsup:
 
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GatsbyMag

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I'm with my close friend @Lex DeVille on this.

At the end of the day, the most basic function of life is to continue your genetic lineage.

If you can't do that, then your lineage ends with you. This makes you a biological failure.

However, there are also good reasons to not have children.

At the end of the day, it's your choice to live with for the entirety of your life. Choose wisely.
 

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Tom H.

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Having a wife or fiance is also extremely difficult, maybe more difficult than having a kid... I can't imagine going through all of the struggle of having a wife and then NOT having kids.

Also, yes, anyone can have kids (kind of), but it works both ways, anyone can remain childless.

Ultimately, nothing is satisfying and nothing matters. If you're really looking for satisfaction, go learn insight meditation. Kids won't fix things, traveling won't fix things, money won't fix things. Given that, I do see starting a family as a more skillful choice with greater benefits, and more in line with our nature as mammals.

I don't see starting a family as selfish at all, it's the opposite. You're giving another human being the chance to exist and spending your time and energy helping them do a better job of it than you did. You're giving your parents a grandchild. You're contributing to the stability of your society.

After having my child, I realized that is some level the whole point of my life was to create grandchildren for my mom. Now my son has the same obligation.. with all the bullshit he puts me through and will put me through, he better produce some grandkids ASAP.
 

xmartel

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I had my first kid at 26. I have 3 now and am 34.

One of the best decisions of my life. Along with getting married.

As soon as you have a kid, you'll understand the immense joy they bring and won't regret it. If you don't, you'll never fully understand what you missed, but will most likely come to regret not having that in your life once you get older and it's too late.

And yes, it's very possible to build a large successful business when you have a family. I'm doing it. You just have to adjust your priorities, get better at time management, and generally just be less selfish.

Kids are frustrating at times and it's not always an easy road. But it's definitely a road worth travelling.

Also, if you're going to have kids, please discipline them. So many parents these days let their kids do whatever they want, and those kids are rarely happy or fun to be around. Their entitled, have no attention span, etc.

When it comes to parenting, be old fashioned.

Have your rules and be strict about them to a T, but be consistent, fair, and loving.
Know the difference between defiant behaviour and a childish mistake. Punish the bad behaviour, give grace with innocent mistakes.
Spend focused time with them, (not in front of a tv).
Limit their screen time. Ours get no more than 20 min per day each, they do old fashioned playing the rest of the day.
Give them chores and responsibilities from an early age. Expect a lot from them. Kids will surprise you with how intelligent they are and how much joy they get out of helping the family. A 1 year old can be taught to clean up their toys.
Don't helicopter parent, kids need to fall and get hurt and settle their differences with friends on their own.

I'm human, I fail at parenting from time to time. So these things aren't always enforced 100%. But they do happen most of the time.

All 3 of our kids are very strong willed, and if they were in a home that didn't have these rules they would be a handful. But our kids are a joy to be around and people comment all the time on their behaviour.
 

Kevin88660

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Do you like kids?
Do you like being around them, playing with them, talking to them? Do you smile and feel happy when you see parents with their kids?
Are you a responsible person?
Do you have your shit together? At 26 you might be too young for kids and she might be too old for you.

It comes down to if you wan to or not.
Choosing the right partner is the most important thing.
Consider their charectar, their family, their behaviour, their health.

Dont worry about the good and the bad.
Youll give up sleeping and you wont feel good for a while. But when its good, its awesome. You cant feel those good feelings without having kids. Its an experience which cant be described, it has to be felt. Same as trying to explain how colors look like to a blind person. It cant be done.

Dont think of regret.
We only regret things that we wanted to do and never did. Think of all the things you never ever want to do because you hate the idea of them. Do you regret not doing them? Or are you glad you didnt do them?

Im not sure about feeling a void.
Maybe some people do feel a void.
Your life will be fuller with kids.
They will be an obstacle and a source of hope.
A challenge and a learning opportunity.
A hindrance and a relief.
A annoyance and entertainment.
A drain for resources and energy and an endless source of motivation.
A constant worry and a constant drive to do better.
Those who want to have children will have.

For those who seriously do never want they won’t. Just take the gay community for example. Plenty of smart dudes who are financially successfully.. Who am I to say they are a “biological failure”....

The purpose of this thread is for those sitting on the fence. It is more about risk/reward and the partial/full irreversibility of certain decision.

The risk of a “bad marriage” is overblown. At worst there is satoshi nakamoto these days.

If you are a 26 year old single dude you can curse and swear not to have any children now and focus on making money.. 10 years later at 36 when you suddenly realized that you were such a fool you can always change your mind and find a simple girl in her 20s working as a elementary school teacher or nurse and get married in six month and have a baby (provided you are financially rather okay).

When you are in your 60s and 70s with failing eyesights and you hope you can have a trusted adult by blood besides you so that you won’t be scammed by some simple online transaction..who knows what technology it is by then...you cannot reproduce a 28 year old son/daughter immediately by throwing your money.

Given that the op is in a committed marriage with her wife then operation of delaying that decision is not there.

The correct way to think about it is which is a bigger risk to you and your wife? The cost of regretting having a child 2-3 years later losing your freedom and having more obligation, or the cost of decades down the road not having a child or regretting not making earlier investment.

People always change their perspective on things 3-5 years. The biggest risk is when your views changed you are already stuck and unable to unwind your decision.

When it comes to important decision, what would you lose when you are proven wrong later is a powerful decision tool.

If I were the op I would have one kid and hustle for money at the same time, because having a nanny will certainly take care a lot of the hassle. If it is something that can be solved by money I rather not tackle a problem that cannot be solved by money, because I can then single mindedly focused on making the money.
 

Ing

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Havin kids is like having a business: it requires skills.
Which some have and some don’t.

A friend of mine someday said, when he meets a woman, he never knows if she loves me or my money. So maybe having a woman before growing rich is an advantage.
In case of the children its point, wheather you get the skills to educate them right.
Mine are in the low 20 s now and they are not only family,but very good friends.
The genes are similar. So is the way of thinking. Thats a great aspect imo.

So, when you want to have children, it will never hold you back from building a business and become successful.
Sure they cost a lot of money, too. But the only thing here I regret is, that they won’t have the kick to make money as hard as they would , when they were born poor. Perhaps.
The problem sure is, that when I go dirtbike riding now while my riding buddy is studying, I have to pay everything twice! 2 bikes, 2 gears, 2 beds, 2... but hell, thats what for I m working.

With my 2 kids I had not one single holiday I didn’t go to. You can go everywhere with kids! They are dooropeners often.

And the point of investment? I think kids are a investment, too. You will be payed of at the end.
But with a business, you can fail 20 times until one will be good.
With kids you have to set up the skillset so good, that you don’t fail.

Summary: Being an entrepreneur is easier than being parents, but one doesn’t exclude The other. But you yourself must decide, what you want!
 

thechosen1

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I would like to add that having kids is an investment in your future. Of all people, the folks here ought to comprehend that.

Kids aren’t kids for very long. They become adults and they become family. And if you raise them well, they’ll become people you are truly proud of and enjoy having in your life.

It doesn’t seem very fastlaner to expect it all to be up to random chance. Will your business fail randomly? Do customers just decide not to use you because of some random reason and you give up? No, you put in effort! Same with your kids.

Some of the most selfish people I know swear that having a family was the best thing that ever happened to them. People like my grandpa, the CEO. He didn’t care, he just wanted to make money and chase women. But he tells me all the time now that he’s about 80 that the best thing he ever did was start a family, and how happy it makes him to see the next generation of our family carrying on.

Wait until you’re ready obviously and if you can’t keep a plant alive also obviously don’t have kids!

But picture your life when you’re a mega millionaire at 70 years old. Do you want to be completely alone? Or do you want to be surrounded by people you’re close to and that love you? You must make the investment.


“Without effort, nothing will grow but weeds.” This includes your personal life.

(eventually, we all get old and ugly - family may be the only thing you’ve got - and having money is pretty boring once you’ve bought all the toys for yourself)
 

ProcessPro

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Zero regret's no kids and 38.

As a guy don't have the same age pressure for kids as a women would. So would be more important to really see how your wife would feel either way. I do wonder why this hasn't been a topic of discussion before you got married etc.. Some women really don't have that maternal pull and that would be something to consider since traditionally more will be required in your family life from your wife.

I'd say try to think of when you are on your deathbed would you want to look back on a life with having kids and possibly grand kids? Would you look back and regret not having that?

There is a biological programming in all of us on some level to have offspring at some point.

Only thing I'd suggest is if you know you want kids, is to have them as early as possible.

If have kids by 30's they will be in 20's by 50's and you could see grand kids grow up into teens in 70-80's. If wait till late 30's to have kids I think be missing out and be harder. You would be closer to 60's when they are in 20's and 70-80's to see grandkids being born etc..

Like anything there are people who make kids there main life purpose, there are others who make having kids part of there lifes purpose.
Do you ever wonder who you'll have to help you when you get old? I know it sounds a bit selfish, but it's a practical aspect of being elderly, that you need someone trustworthy to help. What are your thoughts on this?
 

Onakosa

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Hi Fastlaners

My wife and I are trying to decide if to have children. She's 28 and I'm 26, so her remaining children bearing years are limited.

On one hand, we have a vision of a beautiful family and family culture etc. On the other hand, friends are warning that we'd be giving up our lives to take care of another human etc. We already know all this, but...

If you can:
  • Share advice/things we should consider
  • Share stories about your experiences, the good and bad, the pains and pleasure
  • Regrets of having or not having
  • If you don't have, do you feel a void? How do you fill it? Is it sufficient?
Please, no condescending responses, or 'you shouldn't have if you're asking this' sort of responses. I'm asking because there's immense value and learning in other perspectives.

Thanks!
Jon.
I had two in my 30s. I can't imagine not having them. I went from being the most 'emotionally distanced' person you ever met to loving the pair of them with an intensity that's quite frightening (to me) at times. All the cliches are true.

It's not always been easy and the life I have now is not the life I thought I would have. Not worse or better, just different. You do have to change the way you do things. Some people feel you can just carry on as before and the kid will just fit into that, I'm not so sure. Not going to get into judging other people but I personally feel that as a parent you're kind of obliged to put your children first before your own wants.

I would say though that you both need to be absolutely clear that it's what you want. I know so many couples who have children then decide to split up a couple of years later. That's not fair on anyone least of all the poor child.

Good luck!
 

Thoelt53

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Do you ever wonder who you'll have to help you when you get old? I know it sounds a bit selfish, but it's a practical aspect of being elderly, that you need someone trustworthy to help. What are your thoughts on this?
Your kids aren’t born to take care of you in old age. While many children do just that, and which I will do for my parents, it’s certainly not a requirement and many elderly people are abandoned by their children. Probably for good reason, but sometimes it’s undeserved and is what it is. C’est la vie.

It would be insidious to have kids solely to care for you in old age. They are a blessing and an experience, just as life is.

As far as we know, this is it. We get one life. Do you want to experience it with children, or without?

I think that question just about sums it up. There is no wrong answer. Of course there are variables and circumstances involved, but assuming you’re in a position to raise children, that’s pretty much the sole question you need to ask yourself.
 

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