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HOT TOPIC Having Children...Pros and Cons?

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JAJT

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Keep in mind that there are two parts of this:

1. The selfish part - How your children will influence your lives as adults.
2. The more important part - How you will influence your children's lives as they grow up.

Put another way - this decision isn't just about how children will change your life, it's also HUGELY about how good of a parent you think you'll be and your willingness to "step up" and be a damn good parent for them for the rest of your life.

I'll just come out and say it - too many shitty people have kids who deserve better parents. If you can't be the kind of parent that any child would be thrilled to call "mom" or "dad" - don't have children. Period.

If you're willing to be a great parent, the selfish part almost doesn't matter. Shit will go sideways and shit will get hard and you'll make sacrifices and hard choices along the way that you wouldn't have to if you didn't have kids but guess what? As long as you're a great parent, you'll figure it out and get through it because that's what great parents do.
 

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thechosen1

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Keep in mind that there are two parts of this:

1. The selfish part - How your children will influence your lives as adults.
2. The more important part - How you will influence your children's lives as they grow up.

Put another way - this decision isn't just about how children will change your life, it's also HUGELY about how good of a parent you think you'll be and your willingness to "step up" and be a damn good parent for them for the rest of your life.

I'll just come out and say it - too many shitty people have kids who deserve better parents. If you can't be the kind of parent that any child would be thrilled to call "mom" or "dad" - don't have children. Period.

If you're willing to be a great parent, the selfish part almost doesn't matter. Shit will go sideways and shit will get hard and you'll make sacrifices and hard choices along the way that you wouldn't have to if you didn't have kids but guess what? As long as you're a great parent, you'll figure it out and get through it because that's what great parents do.
This, exactly.

If you aren’t responsible enough to feed a goldfish or water a plant every day, don’t have kids.
 

csalvato

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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.

I agree with this.

I'm actually pretty surprised at some people's posts here, which is illuminating a ton of their own limiting beliefs about children and life. Some of it is downright defeatist (i.e. traveling is very difficult, or you can't do "fun" things, even though my 5 year old has been on more planes, and to more countries/states, than most 35 year olds)

Putting that aside, here's how I make most of my decisions: will this lead to a full life?

If the answer to that question for anything is "yes", then I find a way to do it.

For me, kids fit that bill. I couldn't ignore how many people I admired said that children changed their life, up and down the spectrum. From people with no pot to piss in, all the way up to millionaires and billionaires, people from all over the world who had kids, more often than not, said that they were the best thing that happened to them, and their biggest regret is not being able to spend even more time with them.

To me, this was evidence that having and nurturing children is a unique human experience. One that I would feel like I was missing out on during my short 80-year trip around the sun.

Ask yourself "will this lead to a full life?"

If the answer is "yes" for you, by god, figure out a way to do it.

Don't worry about "overpopulation", or your "freedom" or the ability to be spontaneous. There are solutions to all of those problems once you're down the path and need to solve them.

Not just with kids, but with anything : building a business, going skydiving, and even small things like trying a new beer.

You're going to be dead in just a few years, for god's sake. Make the most of your time here in the way you want to. Stop being scared of the things you want.

And, on the flip side, if the answer is "no", there's no shame in putting kids (or whatever it is) to the side.

If you are finding it difficult to get to a yes or no, just make a decision. Once you're down the path one way or another, you'll know it doesn't feel right pretty much immediately (before conception). If you're smart and self aware, you'll change course.

But once you're committed, you'll be surprised at how much you'll pull it out of the bag to be a great parent or a happy non-procreator. The key is you need to commit to being a great parent and taking the responsibility seriously, as @JAJT alludes.

This line of thinking is what the entrepreneur/fastlane/unscripted lifestyle is all about:

  1. Figuring out what you truly want to do with your time on this planet.
  2. Deciding to take massive action to achieve the life you want.
  3. Learning from the mistakes and changing course when necessary.
 
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socaldude

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I guess there are lot of ways of looking at this and it really depends on your goals and personality.

Pros:
1. Bonding with and mentoring your child.
2. Gives your live more meaning as it’s not about “you” anymore.

Cons:
1. Expensive and time consuming.

I don’t have kids and I’m not married so I might be a little biased. I’ve struggled with unemployment and loneliness so getting married and having kids wasn’t on the list as it’s expensive and requieres a stable income.

Doesn’t sound healthy or “balanced” but then again if you want freedom your gonna have to be a little weird.
 

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If you aren’t responsible enough to feed a goldfish or water a plant every day, don’t have kids.
I'm one of those people who killed every plant I ever had, and every pet :happy:

That's why I married someone who is a super nurturer as her super power.
 

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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?
If you are critically injured tomorrow who is going to help you?
 

BLIM

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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.
Well, I just have my son born and now he is around 7-8 months. At least from my opinion I did not regret because he bring joy and luck to me especially my ecom business as side hustle. Previously I only manage to earn small buck for my ecom business however when my son born and at the sametime I took ecom courses and the sales pick up and it can cover his expenses which I am motivated and that's one of my "why" also to make sure my son got better life compare to the one that I have previously

Some people doesn't like kids and it's fine because it's personal preference and most important things is you and your wife must be happy with the decision you made.
 

ProcessPro

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I'm one of those people who killed every plant I ever had, and every pet :happy:

That's why I married someone who is a super nurturer as her super power.
Lol at this.

Thanks for all the advice guys. Reading through slowly and taking notes. I'll respond one by one as I work through the posts.
 

S.Y.

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I agree with this.

I'm actually pretty surprised at some people's posts here, which is illuminating a ton of their own limiting beliefs about children and life. Some of it is downright defeatist (i.e. traveling is very difficult, or you can't do "fun" things, even though my 5 year old has been on more planes, and to more countries/states, than most 35 year olds)

Putting that aside, here's how I make most of my decisions: will this lead to a full life?

If the answer to that question for anything is "yes", then I find a way to do it..

This.

I am pretty surprised too.

I still have fun. Sure it is no longer going to bars 3 nights a week to drink or similar activities. I still do fun things. What I consider "fun" have evolved - and still is - to be more complex and rewarding.

Freedom to travel? Granted, during the school year there are limitations on that front. But that's it. I was still traveling pre-covid. We are two parents and don't have to be both with him all the time.

If you have less freedom because of the money, well find ways to earn more. At the time of my son birth, I was earning slightly above min wage,was barely saving. It pissed me off that I couldn't afford certain things for him... It fuelled me and I changed that.

People cherry pick things about parenting and use that as a justification to not have kids. Ignoring all others that are successful, and still do fun things and still have their freedom.

They will see the script in entrepreneurship but not in parenting. Very strange, but there is a name for it: domain dependence.

Now, am not saying everybody should have kid. That would be ridiculous. But many of the reasons advanced for not having kids should be questionned.

As most things that are rewarding, having a kid require efforts, even more so if you want to be a good parent. The same way it does to build a fastlane business.

And for people that are waiting. Nature is tricky. It is not as simple as saying I want a child.

For my sisters, it took a while for them to get pregnant, they both had one miscarriage and one lost her husband. Things happen.

And for men, we are getting old too. We might still be able to procreate but your energy won't be the same. When my son will be 20, I will be 44. I am expecting to have enough vitality and energy to be very active (vs a 60yo man with a 20yo kid)
 
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Mutant

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Reminds me of a story on Humans of New York:

“My wife and I were eating at a rib joint in Key Largo, and we actually took out a piece of paper and made a pros and cons list. The ‘con’ list was pretty normal: time, money, things like that. I remember at the top of the ‘pro’ list was: ‘Full Human Experience.’ After our daughter was born, that became an inside joke with us. Every time she was screaming at bath time, my wife and I would look at each other and say: ‘Full Human Experience.’ The first three months were the hardest. Honestly, we wondered if we’d made a mistake. It was like a bomb dropped and eviscerated everything in our lives. But then our daughter started growing up, and learning to do things on her own, and we kept taking small steps back and getting more of our own time back. There’s an unexpected sadness to getting your life back. It’s like your getting laid off slowly from an equally grueling but joyful job. She’s ten now. And I’ll notice that she’ll be reading alone for an hour without getting bored and jumping on me. We used to make tents on the bed, now it’s more homework and YouTube. Sometimes she’ll go in her room for a long time and close the door. Her life is becoming hers and I’m fascinated by where it’s going to go. But it’s bittersweet that she needs me less and less.”

Humans of New York
 

Voice Angel

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I never thought I’d have kids. Well I was told by my doc in my 20s that it would be almost impossible.

2 kids later and yes it changes everything.

There are certain things I can’t do now that I have kids. But when I think about it, I’m not sure that I’d want to do them anyway anymore.

What I’m able to do – I can do, for the most part.

If anything, I’d say the “day job” is far more restrictive than having children. So that’s what I’d strive to move away from.

As for the realities of having kids.

It’s the most confounding, confusing, stressful, challenging, enjoyable, meaningful and joyful experience I’ve ever had.

There is nothing better in my life than hugging and kissing them. And having conversations with them.

I’m astounded every day at the things they come up with, the ways they see the world and life.

In the end, it’s really a choice for anyone debating it.

And sometimes, it’s a phase - something you choose to experience a bit later.


My husband swore that he’d never get married or want kids - up until 6 months before we married (haha!)
 

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CaptainAmerica

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Finally, a question I am qualified to answer! I’m in my 50s, and I have seven children.

The decision to have children or not is deeply personal, and doesn’t involve just pros and cons.

I’ll tell you what I wish someone had told me: What are your key values? What are the hills you’re willing to die on? Most importantly, are you and your wife in agreement with those values? If having children enhances those values, then the balance swings in that direction.

Try it: sit down with your wife and each of you write your top five values, in order. Share them, talk about them, see where children might fit in there, or not. Imagine being old man, looking back on your awesome life; are there children there?
 

Dianne Cohen

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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.
Here is the thing...Kids take up a lot of money and time. I now tell my kids, not to have kids until they have a lot of money, or a really strong business/career. It will make a difference. You can do the kids thing while growing your business, but it is more difficult.

So many people I know are always torn between work/business and their kids.

I will say, you are both still young. I had my first at 32 and adopted my second at 43. Having kids when I was older makes me feel more relevant. I know about today's music, what streaming on twitch, etc...You get the idea.

My last thought is that just like anything else, having and raising kids is a lot of work, but for me, it is so worth it.
 

SiuLung

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Interesting thread, I'm surprised that this topic wasn't discussed before on the forum (or maybe I missed it).

As someone who's 99% sure that I won't ever want kid, I want to give my opinion. The 1% uncertainty comes from me being in a long term relationship (almost 7 years, living together for 3-4 years) - she doesn't want kids right now but she will in the future.

My goal is not to prove anybody wrong, but just to give a different point of view.

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.
When you say "I can't see myself living in the world without a family", I think this perfectly sums it up. It's just a question of knowing what is your vision for your life, how you'd feel living this or that kind of life.

I feel like saying "our only real purpose is to procreate" is a bit narrow regarding our experience of life. Biologically, I agree with you.
But if you think about how our species evolved, and where we are from an evolutionary standpoint, I disagree.
I think that this was true when we were at the beginning of our history as a species: because there were so many threats out there (predators, diseases, etc.) and because there were so few of us, yes our most important purpose was to procreate.

But right now, we're more than enough on the planet. I'm not saying we should kill people, or totally stop making kids, but the truth is that it is not a necessity anymore.
Same for saying "at the basic level, we need family to survive". I don't think it's the case, not anymore at least. Yes, we still need someone to take care of our basic needs until we come to an age where we are able to take care of our needs., and to provide fundamentals to make us a functioning adult.
What I think we can't survive without though, is a social network. We all need to have interactions with other people, some people less than others.

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.
Let me tell you the story of my grandfather. Had 10 children, had to remarry because my grandma died before him and there was some things he could not take care of (he was almost blind and diabetic).
When my grandmother died, the family exploded, and my grandfather had less visits from his children and grandchildren.
When he died, he left us some real estate. One of my uncle bought it, he distributed the money from the sale to the family and as it was not an expensive building, when you're dividing it by 10, you don't end up with a life-changing amount of money.
The building collapsed because of some construction site right next to it that did some damage to the structure. No way to recoup the money because insurance stated that the building was erected on a wobbly ground.
See, there's always some risk with about eveything, you just don't know it yet.
Keep in mind, I'm not stating you should avoid doing or trying anything because there's some risk involved.

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.
I laughed at your comment haha.
Seriously though, your comment hits close to home because I spent several months, even a couple of years to be honest, with a really weak state of mind. I'm just starting to bounce back.
And sometimes I'm wondering if me thinking I don't want kids is because I spent a long time in a bad mental state or if this is who I am.
Regarding choking hazard, well... thats a good point haha! But you could choke when your kid's at school (not that I want that to happen to you!)

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.
Your comment is similar to Tom H's. I think that saying "this makes you a biological failure" is true, but that this doesn't have as much weight as it used to.
As a species, I think we're way past the biological survival stage.
I can't remember where I read that, but someone said that what's important is not passing on our genes, but passing on our memes. Not in the sense that you have to feed pepe the frog pictures to kids at school, but that you have to pass knowledge and lessons your learnt to them.
Of course you can do that with your own kids. You can even do that by adopting, or even fostering.
You can even mentor kids.
This is not something new, but I think we're getting closer everyday to this way of thinking. You could see the scouts as an organization where adults would pass their memes to young people.
A lot of people work with children, either by helping them with their homework or their sports practice, and I think they feel as much pride doing this as if they were doing it for their own children.

Orcas (killer whales) are one of the most evolved mammals: they can recognize humans in water in order to not attack them - maybe they tried eating us a long time ago and came to the conclusion we were not edible. They also eat very specific parts of their preys, depending on their taste.
They live together in pods (similar to wolf packs). They procreate for survival, obviously, but children are taught hunting and stuff by the whole pod, not only the parents.

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.
I don't think this is regret, regret comes when you want something and you can't have it due to external causes. You regret it and you suffer because you did not find the right partner or because you're unable to procreate for medical reasons.
In the case you're mentioning, I think it would just be what-ifs or seeing other people with a happy family and you thinking you could've had that too and wanting it for yourself. Granting your family would have turned out the same way obviously.
And I feel like voluntarily childfree people don't regret their choices usually, except for those who live very dull lives, without friends, hobbies, passion or purpose, or those that had this choice made for them.
Whatever our situation is, our goal is to make to most out of it.

To me, this was evidence that having and nurturing children is a unique human experience. One that I would feel like I was missing out on during my short 80-year trip around the sun.
I think that nurturing is not a unique human experience. I feel like the experience you're referring to is the bonding and unconditional love between you and your kids, this powerful yet invisible thread between you and them.
As humans, I think we're one of the few species where parents and children do not totally part ways when growing up, our parents don't become strangers once we hit 18 (unless you had an abusive household or other issues of that sort).
If I want to experience nurturing, I could take care of an injured animal or a puppy that's totally dependent on me. But experiencing that unique bond, I agree that only kids can provide that (a dog too if I'm honest, I mean look at them, some of them still love their human even if they're hitting them, we don't deserve dogs).

To sum it up, there's no right or wrong answer, it's not all black or white. You can be successful and have kids, and be a total failure without kids. The opposite is also true.
It all comes down to what you want in your life and making the most out of it.
Do you want to have kids? Awesome, now go and try to be the best parent you can and enjoy all the perks and experiences raising children will bring.
You don't want kids? Awesome too, now go and try to be the best childfree person you can, it has its perks and provides unique experiences too, enjoy them.
How do you see your day to day life? If you were 90 and about to die, how do you want your memories of your life to look like?
Personally, I don't hate kids, I think I would make a good father. But the life of a parent, right now, does not appeal to me and I don't know if it will ever do.


I'm curious to know @MJ DeMarco's point of view regarding kids. I remember reading in here (can't find the thread though) that he was in a relationship with a woman who has a teenager living with them at home (my memory can be faulty, sorry if this is not exact). Do you feel any regret MJ, or do you think you missed something by not having kids of your own?
 
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Andy Black

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I don’t think I fully grew up till I became a dad at 37. My regret is messing about for at least 7 years and not really growing up (I was even called Peter Pan a few times). It was fun, but it means me and my kids have each other for 7 less years.

I know I’m a lot wiser and more mature for having kids and trying to “Be the man I would like my sons to grow up to be.” (I also know what brings me from calm to fury in no time flat so I'm not saying it's all sunshine and roses!)

My whole view of the world and people changed once I became a parent. I see my place in the big scheme of things. I have so much more sympathy and empathy with people. No matter what age someone is they’re someone’s child after all. How would I want my children to be treated?

As soon as I became a parent I looked at my own parents completely differently. “Oh, you went through this for me?” Their smiles and support when I did stupid things or hurt myself suddenly look very different to me as a parent. The laughs and understanding I shared with my parents after I became a parent are priceless.

I look at the lady struggling to do her grocery shopping with a crying baby and toddler. I can wave to the baby and maybe calm him so that mum gets a moment to take a breath.

I look at old folks at Christmas who know they’ve not many years left but take pleasure in watching their children celebrating Christmas with the grandkids.

The closest I can describe it is like in the film Highlander where he wins The Prize and can hear the thoughts of everyone in the world. I just feel more connected and part of humanity.

Just my 2c.
 

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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.
If I could change my past I would go for financial stability and freedom first. Then have kids. You are young and you can have children 10 years later, trust me. Even your wife can have children when she is 36 or 38 years old. It is a great blessing to have a kid or two in your family but what blessing it is when you spend all their best lives at work trying to figure out how to pay the bills, their care, taking them to Disneyland (well, I liked Disneyland more than them, LOL)... My kids are now almost adult (one finishing college, the second will start college next year), and when my wife and I are looking at the pictures of when they were little we feel very sorry that we spent all those years at work trying to end our meets... So, if you can, go for financial freedom first, then have kids.
 

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I think that nurturing is not a unique human experience. I feel like the experience you're referring to is the bonding and unconditional love between you and your kids, this powerful yet invisible thread between you and them.
As humans, I think we're one of the few species where parents and children do not totally part ways when growing up, our parents don't become strangers once we hit 18 (unless you had an abusive household or other issues of that sort).
If I want to experience nurturing, I could take care of an injured animal or a puppy that's totally dependent on me. But experiencing that unique bond, I agree that only kids can provide that (a dog too if I'm honest, I mean look at them, some of them still love their human even if they're hitting them, we don't deserve dogs).

That's a fine opinion to which you are entitled. My opinion differs, and that's OK.

After all, I did say this:

And, on the flip side, if the answer is "no", there's no shame in putting kids (or whatever it is) to the side.

In fact, if you really don't want to have kids and don't see the benefits and don't feel any negative feelings about not experiencing parenthood, please DON'T have kids.

That's a real travesty. I know people in this situation and I feel tremendous pity for their children, and for them.

Like, I have no desire to care for a snake, so if I went out and bought a snake that would be terrible for me and the snake.

I do think that, generally speaking, you can't possibly know what you're missing out on unless you try it. Not just parenting, but any human experience.

Unfortunately, there's no such thing as "trialing out" parenthood, which is why it's important know if you want it first. Then, if you do, don't let fear hold you back. Just like with anything else.

With respects to raising a dog or mentoring others as a substitute: I have 7 pets and a tank of fish, and mentor people through their careers. I can definitively say that pets and protégés are not even close to being a substitute for children in the human experience.

That doesn't mean children are worth it in their own right because they are unique - but one making this decision should know that the experience is distinctly unique. Anyone with kids (biological or adopted) would corroborate that. The only people who say they are the "same thing" are people without children.
 
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SiuLung

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I do think that, generally speaking, you can't possibly know what you're missing out on unless you try it. Not just parenting, but any human experience.

Unfortunately, there's no such thing as "trialing out" parenthood, which is why it's important know if you want it first. Then, if you do, don't let fear hold you back. Just like with anything else.
Totally agree with you on this. You can long for it, wonder what life would be like if you had it, or how things would be different.
And again I agree, don't have kids if you don't want them. The important thing to remember, and I think this applies to almost everything in life, don't do stuff because you're supposed to. Do the stuff you want to do, whatever it is (well, there are some limits obviously).

With respects to raising a dog or mentoring others as a substitute: I have 7 pets and a tank of fish, and mentor people through their careers. I can definitively say that pets and protégés are not even close to being a substitute for children in the human experience.
I can only take your word and the word of others on this subject, as I don't have kids myself. But I believe you.
I know, and fully understand, that having children is something uniquely rewarding. I understand it, but for now I can't grasp it, I may never will if I do not change my mind.

Thank you for your feedback.
 

mon_fi

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I'm your age, and the thought of you being married already frightens me.

No one can make this decision for you. It is for you alone to make. I think the main question you should ask yourself is "did I do everything I wanted to do in my life"

There are two reasons for that.

1. Kids eat your time away.
2. It is irresponsible to have kids and not take care of them. That's how people become criminals and it costs a lot to society.

To be fair, I think you are wayyyyyy too young to both being married (I wrote yesterday a 4000-words blog article about 18 reasons to never get married) and have kids.

I intend to have kids because it is the meaning of life, but not before I turn 50. It is because

1. I want to have time for them.
2. I want to be able to afford Harvard for the 6 of them if they want to, and holidays in 5 stars hotels in Singapore.

Children is a lifelong commitment. If you have them now, you'll have them forever.

To me, it's actually insane to have them before 40. But that's me. If you have a fastlane business and are happy with your life as it is, by all means, have kids.
 

Mutant

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I intend to have kids because it is the meaning of life, but not before I turn 50.

Make whatever choice suits you, but make an informed choice. Men may not have the same cut off point as women, but an advanced paternal age does increase health risks for the child. Certain cancers, schizophrenia, bipolar, autism, birth defects, miscarriage, etc. Obviously you play the odds at whatever age you have kids, you just play different odds, so it's worth factoring into your decision.

At 26 & 28 though the OP is far from that concern for now.

Wishing healthy children for everyone who opts for parenthood!
 

mon_fi

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Make whatever choice suits you, but make an informed choice. Men may not have the same cut off point as women, but an advanced paternal age does increase health risks for the child. Certain cancers, schizophrenia, bipolar, autism, birth defects, miscarriage, etc. Obviously you play the odds at whatever age you have kids, you just play different odds, so it's worth factoring into your decision.

At 26 & 28 though the OP is far from that concern for now.

Wishing healthy children for everyone who opts for parenthood!
Crossing the road significantly increases your chances of dying, make an informed decision!
 

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Mutant

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Crossing the road significantly increases your chances of dying, make an informed decision!

Just sharing something that is often NOT actually common knowledge that may help you or someone else in this thread.

:peace:
 

Saavedra

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I don't regret having kids, maybe I would have had only one instead of two, or had two but with more years in between. Kids make you a full human being, capable of the most basic human understanding of life, which is the relevance of legacy. Plus they train your patience a lot, and also your social skills.
What I do regret is the world they are going to grow up in, a world were we still have communist countries and military, and in which people live in cities bumping into each other day after day with no connections whatsoever to each other. A world that has lost focus on what happiness truly is.
And also regret not being financially independent to be with them more time.

As a man, the best strategy is to gain a lot of financial independence and work hard up to your 25-30 (40s if you are late...) and THEN start to think about *getting* a GIRLFRIEND. Ideally a man would be more or less independent (at least have a home paid off or almost) by their 30-35 and then after some years testing this woman and seeing that it is a good fit (living together) take that step. Obviously this means you should date-down at least age wise; which is exactly how nature intended it.
 

WillHurtDontCare

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A meaningful life requires engaging in a project beyond oneself. Raising children involves not only becoming involved in other lives, but in lives that will continue after yours ends (you should start reflecting on your own death now, because it will drastically impact how you make decisions - you only have so much time, after all).

"Aut liberi aut libri [either children or books]" - Nietzsche. What he meant was that you should contribute kids or ideas or actions with your life. If you aren't going to have kids, you should find some meaningful project to dedicate your lives to - social, political, religious, cultural, charitable, etc. You're on your own for this one, because that meaning is quite personal to your own lives and circumstances. People need meaning in their lives or they begin to rot.

I'm 29 and I don't have kids yet, but I do spend as much time as I can with my cousins (4 & 6) and their friends as I can. They're wonderful - having them around definitely changes the atmosphere of whatever social setting that we're involved in. I won't pretend that kids aren't exhausting sometimes, but far more often than not I am invigorated and happier from spending time with them; that youthful energy is contagious.

They will also impact your character, as you will find yourself as an authority figure in their lives and you'll have to balance being liked against helping them develop character themselves (AKA scolding them, never fun).

On the other hand, friends are warning that we'd be giving up our lives to take care of another human etc.

Does anyone respect people who lead easy lives? Sacrifice is a prerequisite to fulfillment.

I think that your wife would be well served by reading about many of the lives of people who didn't have children, both positive and negative stories, to see which stories most resonate with you two and see which ideas you can pull from them.

I will say this though, if you decide not to have children and do not find some meaningful life project, instead pursuing having a good time (partying, traveling), you will end up miserable.
 

farmer79

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I think one of the great underrated parts of MJ’s “Uncripted” are the non financial aspects of his book. You don’t have to have 1.5 kids in your early 30’s and live in the suburbs.

My wife and I have a large family and we love it, there are some amazing benefits and blessings that come from having a house full of kids. (Full disclosure this is tied to our Christian Faith) For example during Covid we have our own chess tournaments lol.

I think it is a mistake to wait until you are essentially rich before you have children. We have always been very frank with our children when it comes to finances, we don’t burden them, but we also explain if we don’t have a good crop, or if the grain prices are really low that we not be able to do something(trip etc.) Being part of a family team embracing something difficult I think makes a family stronger. Waiting until you have all the puzzle pieces put together takes so much away from the journey. I certainly don’t celebrate poverty, but the unscripted journey is so much better with a wife and kids.

Another aspect if you are embracing the unscripted life of entrepreneurship is you’ll get the opportunity to work with your kids. This is a great experience that cannot be replicated any other way. Nothing builds bonds like working together on meaningful work. I never have to tell my kids (although I do) they are valuable or important because they know they are. When my 10 year old goes out, feeds the chickens, collects, and then cooks the eggs she knows she is a contributing member of our household.

And the natural conversations that come while working together could not happen any other way. “Why is Lego so expensive?” That is an hour an everything from Marketing to Quality. And when they are earning their own money watching them make their own decisions, Real Lego or Knockoffs is so fulfilling. There is no right answer but they are talking and thinking about these things.

Here’s a video of our oldest 5 (yes there are more lol) working in our leaf cutter bee operation. (It is online already so I don’t mind to show here.
 

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ProcessPro

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Keep in mind that there are two parts of this:

1. The selfish part - How your children will influence your lives as adults.
2. The more important part - How you will influence your children's lives as they grow up.

Put another way - this decision isn't just about how children will change your life, it's also HUGELY about how good of a parent you think you'll be and your willingness to "step up" and be a damn good parent for them for the rest of your life.

I'll just come out and say it - too many shitty people have kids who deserve better parents. If you can't be the kind of parent that any child would be thrilled to call "mom" or "dad" - don't have children. Period.

If you're willing to be a great parent, the selfish part almost doesn't matter. Shit will go sideways and shit will get hard and you'll make sacrifices and hard choices along the way that you wouldn't have to if you didn't have kids but guess what? As long as you're a great parent, you'll figure it out and get through it because that's what great parents do.
Great advice. Thanks.

"I'll just come out and say it - too many shitty people have kids who deserve better parents." Agreed - Unfortunately some people in my family who are parents fit this.
 

ProcessPro

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Great advice. Thanks.

"I'll just come out and say it - too many shitty people have kids who deserve better parents." Agreed - Unfortunately some people in my family who are parents fit this.
Keep in mind that there are two parts of this:

1. The selfish part - How your children will influence your lives as adults.
2. The more important part - How you will influence your children's lives as they grow up.

Put another way - this decision isn't just about how children will change your life, it's also HUGELY about how good of a parent you think you'll be and your willingness to "step up" and be a damn good parent for them for the rest of your life.

I'll just come out and say it - too many shitty people have kids who deserve better parents. If you can't be the kind of parent that any child would be thrilled to call "mom" or "dad" - don't have children. Period.

If you're willing to be a great parent, the selfish part almost doesn't matter. Shit will go sideways and shit will get hard and you'll make sacrifices and hard choices along the way that you wouldn't have to if you didn't have kids but guess what? As long as you're a great parent, you'll figure it out and get through it because that's what great parents do.
What are the most important ways a parent should influence his/her child?
 

Thinh

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I can pack my stuff right now and live wherever in the world I want
Many people here think freedom = ability to pack stuff and go travel around the world on a whim.

My definition of Freedom is not relying on something external to be happy and satisfied.

The mere fact that one thinks not being able to travel anywhere whenever is a deprivation of freedom shows a dependence on that lifestyle, which means they're not free.

We can put things the other way around: you’re so attached to being successful that you’re not free to have kids.

Life is about choices. Real freedom (to me) is being able to make your own choices (which, on a more philosophical note, we’re almost always able to do).

I don’t believe we can truly help OP with our advice. It’s a personal decision they have to make, within their context. All I can recommend is to veer toward the things that scares you, not the one that makes you feel comfortable / safe.
 

csalvato

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I'm your age, and the thought of you being married already frightens me.
You seem easily scared :)
What are the most important ways a parent should influence his/her child?

This depends on your own values. You really need to have that sorted out before you conceive.
 

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