what does YELM have to say on the kids subject?
--FoSO Wed Apr 26 10:28:22 2006
Having children in order to have someone to look after you in your old age is certainly common logic in third world countries. That being said, personally I think there's more responsibility required for having children than retirement planning.
I suspect that if you took the $$ you would have spent raising those kids you would have a very nice nest egg to retire on.
And are you going to be a good example to your children? Are you prepared to take care of your aging parents?
On the Quote of the Moment, that sounds a lot like a pro-photographer's view of taking good pictures.
--ericball Wed Apr 26 12:15:54 2006
Well, I suspect MELM (my ever lovin' mom, for people wondering... and she might speak up here) wouldn't mind having a grandkid, but is pretty respectful of it being my decision and would studiously avoid bringing it up.
--Kirk Wed Apr 26 12:37:18 2006
My wife and I are both in our mid-30s and we are getting ready to take the plunge and have kids. I fear it for all the reasons you mentioned.
--Cole Wed Apr 26 12:54:47 2006
Are you also doing it for the reasons I mentioned, that kind of cosmic feeling?
--Kirk Wed Apr 26 15:01:01 2006
YELM/MELM here...MELS has it down pretty accurately. Wouldn't mind be "Grandma", but it not, that's ok, too. Releasing, and respecting, MELS to make (and live with) his own decisions in life was a major developmental step for me. No turning back!
--YELM Wed Apr 26 15:19:18 2006
I will confirm this much for you: there is absolutely no way to grok being a father until you are one. I have a large extended family and spent a lot of time in my teens around small kids and babies. I was an uncle for several years. None of this really comes close to preparing you for the real thing.
It's amazing, frustrating, terrifying, and fullfilling beyond belief, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
--FB3 Wed Apr 26 15:27:35 2006
Er, that should've been "I was an uncle for several years before becoming a father" as I am still, in fact, an uncle.
--FB3 Wed Apr 26 15:29:16 2006
Look at these two statements: 1) I don't want to have kids, because it would cost me too much freedom and cash. 2) I better have kids, so they can shoulder my retirement.
These two statements are two sides of the same coin -- what's in it for me?
Try turning outward: Think of the good you can do for a precious child entrusted in your care, or the good a well-raised child can do for the world.
Parenthood is a lot like marriage: If your whole perspective is "what's in it for me," you'll be a terrible parent (or a terrible spouse). And yet, if you look at it as a way to give and to serve, not to receive and to take, you'll actually end up receiving far more than you ever give.
Funny how life seems to work that way.
--one lucky dad Wed Apr 26 17:23:23 2006
How about the desire to fulfill an instinct and drive to experience the adventure of having a kid? Along with a slight "vindictive" wish to try my best at fostering a healthy, well-rounded kid to make up for my feeling of feeling slightly "screwed up" and "over"?
--The_Lex Thu Apr 27 00:17:15 2006
I've always thought that the "I'm doing a service to the world by having children" reasoning is a bit misguided. Misguided because there's no way to ensure that the world is going to be better due to your child's existence or your parenting and also because there are other investments in time, money, and emotion that you can make (teaching, philanthropy, etc.) that might have a better "return."
--Max Thu Apr 27 08:04:53 2006
"one lucky dad" has hit it on the nose, for me. thanks, guy.
--FoSO Thu Apr 27 09:28:14 2006
heh, I was going to abbreviate "one lucky dad" but "o.l.d." sounded like I was trying to make a cheap shot...
Anyway, lucky makes a beautiful sounding case, though I think in practice few live up to that kind of idealism.
Lucky presents 3 sets of interests: the potential parent, the potential child's, and the world in general. He kind of accuses me of being selfish (which is probably why I might be taking a defensive tone here)...but the thing is, you don't have to consider the interests of a potential child. As for the world's interests... well, it can watch out for itself, and Max points out that its kind of a crap shoot if a child (especially a typical American "uber-consumer") will be a net blessing to the world in an objective sense.
So the question becomes, what are you creating here? And I think some of the "cosmic" sense I talk about comes from creating something beautiful, sculpting dumb, blind matter into a think, concious being who might even be grateful for his or her existence and chance to see the universe.
I think it's optimistic and possibly even purposefully self-delusional to say "I want to have a kid as an opportunity to give". As Max says there are plenty of those around... but I think your attitude about how to view a relationship (couplehood or parenthood) once it's a fait accompli is absolutely admirable.
--Kirk Thu Apr 27 10:44:09 2006
Some might even say that a kid shouldn't necessarily show gratefulness. After all, they never asked for life. . ..
--The_Lex Thu Apr 27 15:40:15 2006
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