Thoughts on Having Children

How to decide if you want kids

For quite some time now I have been at a loss as to whether or not I ever want to have children. Everyone older than you wants to blather away about how selfish childless adults are, but is that really the case? Is it really that horrible to be different from the status quo? To be honest, there are times when I wonder if it is not really rather selfish to have children. What I really mean is there are tons of children in the world that need love and homes and with this planet being such that it is (a war, poverty, crime, greed zone), why would anyone want to intentionally bring a child into this world? Nay, adopt.*

But then that costs money. And everything is always money.

But Liz, you say shaking your head, children will always cost money.

Well, of course they do, and that will always be the case, but there is really a distinct difference between paying sums here and there and dropping thousands and thousands of dollars into legal fees or a hospital. Clothing and toys can be purchased second hand for minimal costs, but a hospital bill is a terrifying creature looming over you….. for years. And, of course, legal fees are typically paid up front.

When I was younger, I desperately wanted to have that stay at home mom life – 3 kids, large house, a homework helper and cookie baker. Let me be clear: the is nothing wrong with that. But I have changed – at that age I really had no clue what I wanted out of life. Being a mom sounded like an honorable default position. As I enter into my 30s, I crave something more out of life, as if I was running out of time for… everything.

How to decide if you want kids

I know it is just a feeling, and probably everyone goes through this phase at some point, but that is where I am now. This feeling of restlessness and wonderment is painful. The thought of making the wrong choice rips through me. The only thing I know now is that I could not be someone who’s life only revolves around her kids, like I once imagined for myself. There are people who’s televisions only breath child-friendly materials. Their radios blast only children’s songs. Everything they do in life is a game involving that child. Now, at this point in my life, the thought of being one of those people turns my stomach. I am glad they are happy and wish them well, but I still feel queasy placing myself in their shoes. For that, I feel selfish, but it is true.

However, before this gets out of hand, let me clarify: I would absolutely sacrifice and engage with a child if we had one. But to be the center of everything all day every day? Nah. I am also a human being, and I have needs. I need to have time to focus on art, to read, and to love myself.

Nonetheless, if we had a feasible opportunity to adopt a child, I know in our hearts that we would. Helping someone who cannot help themselves is one of the most fulfilling things in life and I would absolutely cherish that opportunity. To fuse our genes and create our own child? Well, I really don’t know. I feel like if I was going to have had biological children, it should have happened years ago, when the mind was young and innocent. Less riddled with evidence of war and inner human filth.

At the same time though, if we had an “accident” as they are so aptly called, I wouldn’t shed a tear in this day. It’s an opportunity to create one more person to share the life philosophy of love each other. Love instead of war. Love of people instead of money. A desire to do better for the animals and people we share this planet with. Typing that out, I honestly feel a little obligated to have a child in my life, but somehow I have gotten 500 words into an essay and I still have no idea what my decision will be.

Only that it will need to be made soon. As one enters each decade, one’s own mortality stares at you with cold eyes.

How do you feel about this sensitive topic, dear readers? Do you want a family someday? Do you care if they come from your own flesh and blood? Or do you want to find fulfillment in something without a beating heart? There is no crime in any of it, only the source of love.

*I feel I should point out that this is not really a preachy moment. I do not mean that you are selfish for wanting children, only that sometimes I feel I would be selfish.

  • I feel the exact same way – throughout my entire life, there was only a very brief period where I thought I wanted to be a mom, and this was only because at a young age the only women I knew were moms so I thought it was necessary for being an adult. Aside from that moment at a very young age, I’ve had no inclination towards being a mom. However, if I were to change my mind, I wouldn’t want my own biological children, I’d want to adopt. Having my own children would feel selfish to me, for the same reasons you said. Not that I harbour ill will towards those who have their own kids, but it’s not something I’ve ever been personally interested in.

    Kate | girlinthebluejacket.blogspot.com

  • Some deep thoughts, but having one is always a matter of choice. Nice post.
    http://zunera-serena.com/

  • Parenthood is something I’m unsure about. Sometimes I think it just isn’t meant to happen for me, and others it’s all I think about. I’d want biological children. I’d want to experience pregnancy, at least once. I agree though, it’s more selfish to have children just because it’s expected of you at a certain point. My brother (and only sibling) just became a father for the first time. I thought this would take the pressure off of me a bit, but it hasn’t. Parenthood is expected, but I’m unsure.

    Amber – yachtsmaan.blogspot.com

  • Amy

    I hear you. I hear you. I hear you. I am often so tired and puzzled by the way society engrains and in doctrines these philosophies of ‘right or wrong’ ‘selfish’ or ‘selfless’

    Life is so much more complicated than society gives it credit for. I don’t know how many friends I’ve had who decided not to have children and to me, it is a perfectly rational decision. To me, it is the equivalent of what you like to eat. If you don’t like tacos, why does society say ‘well you’ll like them if only you tried them this way or that way’ or ‘you’re wrong for liking and living how you want.’

    Wanting children does not suddenly make you more fit to be a member of society. It doesn’t make you a better friend or have a higher capacity to love. Children require a lot of responsibility. I happened to be raised in a home where my mum and dad never made things ‘kid proof’ for me. I think this is why I am who I am today. I don’t think it’s fair that to have a child, you must give up your personal being and space. You should be allowed to be yourself as long as that self isn’t hurting anyone.

    Some of us are mother’s to plants, some of us to children, some of us to ourselves. I understand how you feel. I truly do. Never let society judge you for the choices you will make. You are a kind hearted artist.

    You give to the world more than you take. That is important. You are important. Childless or not.

  • I’ve always known that I wanted to have kids and pass along our families traditions and teach them and read to them and see them grow up, but I also have friends who’ve known from when they were young that they never wanted to have kids. I think if you know yourself and you’re sure of what you want either way then that’s what counts. But then again, it’s always okay for people to change their minds as well. People change as do their thoughts and circumstances, so I think people should always do what’s right for them. You do you, girl!
    ~Sara

  • There’s nothing wrong with not wanting kids or tending to your needs and own sense of fulfillment before kids. I use to want a family of 12 kids ( thanks to cheaper by a dozen ) and a big house, two dogs, bunnies etc. And although at times I just wish I could jump to that already I know I’d HATE to start a family knowing I didn’t live my life for me before bringing kids into it. And sometimes I dont even want those kids at all! They’re a lot of work!

    Then I remind myself that I am 19 and I have a whole lifetime to live before I should even be thinking of kids 😂

    Ama / Albatroz & Co.
    http://www.albatrozandco.com

  • I’m only 19 so I have a long, long, LONG way to go before having children, but I echo your sentiments at this point in time. The thought of having children SCARES me and the thought of having to raise one scares me, and a lot of people chalk it down to the fact that I’m still young, and perhaps that’s true, but I do have a more substantial reason other than the matter of my age.

    I grew up in a rather — shall I say *dysfunctional* family, with financial problems, relationship problems and emotional problems to say the least, and I have often wondered why in the flippin’ world my parents decided to start a family when they are, at most times, completely incapable of starting and maintaining a family? What is the point when their child spends most of his/her time pondering upon the thought of how burdensome and how tiring their existence must be to two other adults. It’s not that I’m not grateful to be in this world, and it’s not that they are wrong to have kids, but it’s the fact that raising children is not just birthing one out and leaving it to the hands of the world and fate. It’s work, and it’s work that needs to be done right, whatever that means.

    That said, I also want to be able to truly live before even thinking about children. Or not. I really don’t want children.

    MAY | http://WWW.THEMAYDEN.COM

  • I clicked on this post as soon as I saw it because I wonder what everyone thinks about the topic of having children. For the past few years I have been the person who thinks of children and automatically thinks -no. I am young but I can not picture myself with children for anything. A part of me has no faith in relationships working out maybe because I came from a family that divorced. I also think about the future that kids brought into this world will have. It’s defiantly not the same as it was before. I don’t know my thoughts are very scattered about the topic but I loved reading your post on this. A very eye opening post and comments as well!

  • I didn’t think about having children until my older sister had her first child last year. I fell so hard for my niece. I knew I would love her, I just didn’t expect how much. Not that love can be expressed in size. But I love her so much.

    I learned then that one day, if I’m lucky enough, I hope to have children. But that time is definitely not now. I would love to have a child of my own, but I’m not sure if they will happen. My boyfriend had cancer so his chances of having a child biologically are pretty slim. But we both said, if we really wanted to be parents then adoption was always an option we’d look into. But if we never had children…that’s ok too. Not having children, from a woman’s perspective, seems to have a lot of negative responses. I don’t think a woman should feel guilty or shame for not having a child/not wanting to have a child. For me, I’ll see what the future brings.

  • Elizabeth Hisle

    Hey, I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for your kind and thoughtful comments. This is definitely a touchy subject and my mind still is not totally made up, but it’s always so reassuring to know that other people are simply floating with the tide as well. Best wishes! XOXO