My wife and I have been married for six years, I have always wanted kids but she has never been so keen. The biggest problem for me is I'm not really sure why I want kids and the reasons against sound quite convincing, at least from a maths point of view! Could anyone offer any advice?

asked 12 Nov '09, 11:46

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chris
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As was mentioned on another question: Please bear in mind that no matter how objective an answer is, we are all at least a little biased since this is a forum for parents.

(12 Nov '09, 14:09) mkcoehoorn

@mkcoehoorn, there may be regrets also (although I don't think so), so it's a good place to ask

(12 Nov '09, 14:19) JJJ

Thank you all for your fantastic answers, all very helpful, I'm sorry I can't 'accept' more that one, I guess that's a drawback of applying stack exchange to a 'chatty' subject :-)

(13 Nov '09, 13:19) chris

The logical reasons for not having children are staggering. More free time, more money, more alone time with your spouse, only having to deal with one (supposedly) rational person in the house. If we all stuck to these reasons, the human race would die out in one generation.

The fact of the matter is that deciding to have children is an irrational decision; it is deciding to enrich your lives by complicating them. You will never know such joy as hearing your child cry for the first time, nor such sorrow as not being able to figure out why your child is crying uncontrollably.

But trust me, from a new dad to a potential new dad, it's worth it. Every midnight changing, every family function given up, even your lost free time, it's all worth it.

So don't listen to logic. Have a heart-to-heart with your spouse, tell her you want kids, and (over time; this is not going to happen overnight) you both will come to a conclusion about when, if you decide to, have a child.

You won't regret it. I promise.

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answered 12 Nov '09, 15:11

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Matthew Jones
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+1 Enriching through complication. Excellent description.

(13 Nov '09, 15:12) Emi

You've both got to be committed or you're in for a disaster. The idea that babies unify couples is only partially correct. They are also very stressful and can be very divisive. If you're not both truly committed, then you're risking the health of your marriage and of another person.

I'm not trying to negate all the positive things others are posting here: they're all absolutely correct. But if having a child is done unwillingly, there is a dark side which I felt needed to be mentioned.

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answered 12 Nov '09, 15:34

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I completely agree.

(12 Nov '09, 17:13) Kiesa ♦

There is one big logical reason to have kids: you believe there's something of yourself that's worth existing after you're gone. You are here because innumerable generations before you thought there was something of them worth continuing on, and you're the result.

On the other hand, they're also a lot of fun. Well, the first two months are really really hard for both parents in unique ways (everyone's different, but in our case it was far harder on Tammy), but after that it gets better. It's probably the most challenging thing we'll ever do, but if you like a challenge, it's worth having kids. (Note: ours is only about 14 months, so I can only speak about our experience until this point.)

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answered 13 Nov '09, 01:22

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+100 First paragraph. Simply brilliant :)

(13 Nov '09, 15:09) Emi

There is no rational argument for having children. This is life instinct, the freudian Eros.

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answered 12 Nov '09, 12:28

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All I can tell you is that the moment you hear your baby crying for the first time when he's born, is indescribable; I had never felt more happiness in my life than in that moment (and that's just the beginning).

There's no math in the universe that can negate that.

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answered 12 Nov '09, 13:28

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JJJ
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You asked for it from a math point of view. Here's an article I read on The Simple Dollar that talks about how much kids cost, and how it's not as much as you'd think. http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2009/01/06/do-children-really-cause-financial-burdens/

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answered 12 Nov '09, 17:23

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Fun2Dream
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The tax argument's don't apply as I am in the UK, but we do get "Child Benefit" and other allowances, and the point that cost alone isn't a strong enough 'no' factor.

(13 Nov '09, 13:33) chris

Don't intellectualize the question. If you do, the answer will be no. Unless you are someone who just doesn't like kids, just do it. You will be in for the biggest treat of your life. And here's some math for you: nothing will ever give you a bigger "bang for your buck" or "return on investment". In fact nothing will come even close. Whatever amount of "work" you will put in, you will derive umpteen times more pleasure. Here's how I spend my days with my fifteen month old: dancing, singing, clowning, chasing, mimicking, exploring, laughing, smiling, holding, kissing, playing, hiding, learning. Never have I been happier (and I'm a happy person) and never have there been more positive vibes around me (and I'm a positive person). Are there some things I don't have as much time for as before? Absolutely. Do I care? Absolutely not. I can't imagine that you will be anything less than overjoyed to have a child.

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answered 12 Nov '09, 13:54

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My husband and I were in the same situation. He was much more interested in having children than I. I felt that my husband had no idea the amount of work it took to raise a child. I was also afraid that I would end up doing most of the work while he occasionally condescended to "play" with the baby.

Once you have a baby you can't go back and say, "oops, this was a horrible idea, I don't want to deal with an infant who has been screaming nonstop for three hours." Unless you are planning to be the primary caregiver, be very careful of convincing your wife that you should have children. Trust me, if things don't work out the way you expect she will remember that you were the one that wanted children.

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answered 12 Nov '09, 17:11

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It's worth noting that this is definitely a one way street. It won't matter if she's the one who wanted kids and you didn't. When she's giving birth, she'll still blame you. ;-)

(13 Nov '09, 01:33) Scott ♦♦
1

I would like to note, that not once did I blame my husband for my labor pains. I was fully aware that I wanted kids as much or more than him so I just fussed about him playing with his contraction timer more than helping me through the contractions.

(13 Nov '09, 15:34) mkcoehoorn

Having a baby is the biggest decision you'll ever make in your life. There's no going back. There is no undo button.

Parenting is hard. One need only consult your favorite news source for cautionary tales of parents and caregivers who did horrible things to their babies. Holding my screaming infant in my arms I suddenly understood -- just a little -- how an otherwise-rational human would want to do anything to make the screaming stop. That scared the hell out of me.

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answered 12 Nov '09, 17:31

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Calvin's Dad
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My parents said the exact same thing when my little sister was born. She had colic for months.

(12 Nov '09, 17:35) Dinah

When you come home from work, and you're little one comes running with a huge smile on their face "DADDY!!!", you know you made the right decision. 'nuff said.

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answered 13 Nov '09, 16:51

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Asked: 12 Nov '09, 11:46

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Last updated: 13 Nov '09, 16:51