A usual life cycle is to be born, go to school/college, find a job, buy a house/car, get married, have babies, grow old as a family, retire and then die peacefully. This maybe normal for most people, but not me. I choose to differ when it comes to having your own babies.
It’s my personal choice to not have kids (ever) and I am more than willing to share my reasons with you. You may think I’m out of my mind or I’m not thinking straight. Well I can be indecisive at times, but I am a 100% sure about my decision regarding childbearing. While I don’t hate kids per se, I don’t really love them either. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind children, but as long as they are somebody else’s. In that case I can play with them whenever I want or ignore as I please (depending on the type of child) and mainly, it is not my responsibility at the end of the day. It’s similar to how I feel for a dog (only that I prefer canines to humans). Having a child of my own is not easy like adopting a dog. Being a dog-master is much less responsibility as compared to being a parent. (I don’t claim that it’s easy, but it’s a less tedious process than that of a child). In the long run, you can afford to have an ill-mannered dog, probably hire a trainer to set it right eventually; but a child is going to grow up and will contribute to society and hence, needs to be raised right. You can’t afford to mess with the life of a human, let alone one which comes out of you and for whom you are solely responsible for. Also, difference between raising a child and a puppy is that the puppy is going to give you unconditional love in return, while a child will probably love you unconditionally only until it’s a child. Once it’s grown up, it’s going to become self-absorbed and get too busy with it’s own life. If you’re lucky, you may be visited or spoken to over the phone during festive times and birthdays. Basically, you ruin your life to enrich the child’s life and by the time the kid is independent, you’re old and neglected.
I’m not against people who love kids, or those who choose to have countless babies. I do love children in my own way – their innocence, their cuteness, their mischievousness, etc. They are highly loveable creatures. Love is a beautiful emotion. The act of love is a beautiful gesture. Making love is a beautiful experience. But I fail to believe that babies are a beautiful creation of love. Why you ask? Well, apart from contributing to macro-level problems such as overpopulation, global warming, etc. there are innumerable micro-level factors that bring me to making my wise decision. Let me explain…
Physical pain and disfiguration – This is a pretty self explanatory reason. I am not a narcissist, but why put your body through all the trouble? What’s with the morning sickness and swellings and food cravings?! Why gain all that weight and then work so hard to get back in shape! Also, I’m no expert on labour pains, but from what the media shows us, it seems to be quite a horrifying experience and probably every mother can vouch for it. Is it all worth the pain? Or do you just bear it all coz after-all it is an extension of YOU that YOU brought into this world coz of what YOU did for pleasure?
Relationship damage – Not everybody is blessed to find a partner when they are so young that they get to spend enough time with their significant others, to share many special moments and then eventually take the plunge. Most of the time, couples need to rush into baby-making as the woman’s biological clock is ticking. So there is barely any time in between the “two of you” becoming the “three of us”. Once the baby is out, the initial years are just spent on baby-this and baby-that. In the bargain, romance and sex goes out of the window. Before you know it, you’ll have grown apart and you’ll recollect all those times of the “two of you” like an ancient memory.
Mental torture – This can be a long list of complains that can break the strongest of people – depression, mood swings, sleepless nights, headaches, etc. The mental strain due to all the fights that you have with your significant other regarding sharing of baby responsibilities. The family drama that you need to tolerate concerning baby formalities. The constant need to protect your young one could probably trigger symptoms of OCD. You may think that I’m being too pessimistic, but ask any mother if they have or haven’t gone through these rough patches in their life. Maybe you think now that the baby is worth all of it, but when it actually happens, I doubt you’ll still hold the same opinion.
Stuck in time – Children bring joy to your life is one big fat lie. Once there is a baby in your life, be prepared for the fun to be sucked out of your life. Initially you’ll just be coping with sleepless nights, so the little time that you get for yourself will be spent sleeping. Once you’ve mastered the art of being a night owl, you would have realised that it’s been months of life that’s passed you by and you’ll be lagging behind in terms of social connectivity. So in the little spare time that you’ll have you’ll basically be catching up with friends and boring them with your baby talk since you have no other activity in your life to brag about. No doubt you might enjoy the baby time since it’s like a shiny new toy, but I’m sure you’ll get saturated with the baby related fun sooner or later. You know it’s more work than fun, besides, the physical strain is just exhausting and everybody needs a break. But with a tiny infant to handle, it’s difficult to catch on a break, you can’t really relax by going to the movies or for a short holiday. Life gets hectic and eventually you realise you’re stuck with nowhere to go unless you have a good support system like family or a nanny. Bottom line is that you’ll have no time to do anything that you love to do. Getting back to work (post the baby leave) has a whole different story on it’s own where you’re juggling between fire and ice. In the process, you’re doomed!
Financial drain – You may choose to not get back to work and be a stay-at-home parent to raise the baby well. But this will pinch you when you have to pay off your card bills or plan for the child’s future. Apart from baby related things being a costly affair, it seems to be a negligible amount when compared to their education and rising demands. Don’t expect things to be the same like when you were a kid, times have changed and so has the generation of kids. Bare necessities, daycare, food, fashion and accessories, school fee, college fee, gadgets, etc. all amount to lots and lots of $$$, burning a big hole in your pocket.
Bequeathal – Many are of the opinion that one should reproduce so that you have someone to pass on your legacy and wealth to. Well, after incurring all the above mentioned expenses, I doubt anybody will be able to to leave behind any “wealth” as such. That being a different issue altogether, what most parents do is use those little retirement savings as a backup fund for that poor offspring, so that the hard-earned money can be put to good use during the bad-times. Why can’t you just use all that money and invest it in yourself. You have one life and you got to make the most of it. You’ve worked hard for that money and it’s only fair that you should be eligible to splurge some of it on yourself and make life better. Well, if you do have a little extra, there is no harm in donating it to charity and making this world a better place with all that cash.
Senescence – Don’t let the little monsters ruin your expectations of a great retirement plan. The concept of old-age homes came into existence because of children treating their parents like an unwanted burden. You spend an eternity caring for them and being there for them, but in-turn all you get is a lonely stay, maybe comfortable, at some home for the aged because there is no space and time for the old in the lives of the young. You spend your whole life for them expecting the same in return. But let me remind you that children are no longer the breed they used to be. They only get more selfish with every passing generation, it’s probably something they learn from their parents.
I can put a stop to my whining here, but I have yet to come across good enough reasons to have a child of my own. Well, don’t give up on me yet!! I do intend to adopt a child if and when my parental instincts kick in. I believe that adopting a child will bring more love and happiness to this world than reproducing someone of my own lineage. I will be making a difference in someone’s life by adoption. Maybe you think that it would be better to be an orphan than get parented by a person like me, but I guess you’ll have to take that up with the orphanage! 😛