Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Should I have a kid or not?

I thought I didn't want one, but now I'm in my 30s and I'm not sure.

I'm linking to the "print" version of this in case the messy text in the main article is a problem with the page and not my browser. This is almost two years old, and pre-dates this blog, but I had to include it for the great little quote below.
For me, it was a matter of coming to understand what it actually feels like to want something -- to really, really want something. One day I realized that I knew what it felt like to want to be a writer. I knew what it felt like to want to marry my wife, to play music. And when I thought about having kids, I just did not have that same feeling, and neither did my wife. We knew that there were people for whom having kids had never been in doubt. They always knew it, as we had always known certain other things. That was the key point.

Then, having discovered what we felt, it was a matter of making practical choices. We knew we could not have everything.

So, being somewhat conservative in our estimate of what is actually possible to achieve, we decided that we ought to concentrate on those things we really knew we wanted. That is what we are doing now.
So she happened upon a childfree advice columnist (yeah!) and his reasoning is novel and insightful.

It ties into what I am always trying to articulate - that I am childfree less because I have reasons not to want a child, but more because I lack reasons to have them. Granted, there are also many factors that ensure me my own choice is permanent - factors that have to do with not liking kids as much as parents should and liking my quiet a bit too much.

But at the heart of it I bristle at people asking me why I'm childfree, because I feel it is the wrong question to ask. The writer sums up a different approach and reasoning to the same conclusion: having kids is not the default. It is something you must want.

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