I have a fear, a quite overwhelming fear, of having children.
It seems like the risks and sufferings far outweigh the rewards.
My initial thought was to ask my parents about this topic.
Upon further reflection it seems ridiculous to ask an originator of my existence to objectively discuss the merits and pains that occur with the raising of offspring.
How can my father tell me having me was not worthwhile?
Unless he considers my birth a regret, the start of the end of his meaning and worth in life, he will view my birth and the 20 or so years raising me to be of the utmost value and worth. Otherwise all that pain and effort of those 20 years was of no worth and he wasted his time and effort in the attempt to produce a worthwhile adult in this society.
“Hey pop, is it worth it, having kids?”
An affirmative response affirms the parent’s decisions and actions of being a parent while it also affirms the existence of the child.
A negative response strips the child of worth and destroys any meaning or purpose to this (uncaring jackass) parent’s life and the time they “wasted” on the child.
Of those couples who have kids, most will claim they are better for it, while most couples who do not have kids will claim the same. (Studies have shown that couples who do not have children are “happier” than those who do; most of these studies also say that the majority of parents wouldn’t trade their kids for this supposed “happier” life.) Do parents construct this “reward” of parenting unconsciously to rationalize the suffering they go through raising crying, shitting, little monsters?
Are we positing and examining emotions where no amount of analysis will ever provide true insight into an evolutionary impetus that is beyond higher level cognitive understanding?
In a world that faces the threat of overpopulation are we giving in to an innate desire to produce little replicas of ourselves like an alcoholic gives in to that 10th jack and coke?
Or do we resign ourselves to the fact that this is our most basic impulse and make the best of it?
I can not come to an objective conclusion because I enjoy my life, or the life that posses this body. Therefore I’m glad I was born. (I’m also glad all of my friends and family were born. Otherwise this whole thing would be pretty dull.) Do I owe it to a potential being to “pay it forward?” I did not ask for life, I was thrust into it. Do I hope that the being I could help create learns to love the life they are thrust into, what if life is too much for them and they long to return to the nothingness? Am I not responsible for the pain this being is going through, for I’m one of the originators of this being?
Whatever the answers to these questions, I do know one thing.
I’m very grateful for my dad who put up with the crying, shitting, little monster that I was and the even more trying adolescent, asshole teenager, and arrogant college kid that I became. (I’d put something in here about my post college years, but I’m still to close in time to this phase to accurately evaluate it.)
Happy Father’s Day!
Thanks for being a great dad.
Hopefully it’ll be mostly rewards and a lot less suffering from here on out.
I’m not making any promises though.