Monday, January 08, 2018

Is It Now Irresponsible to Have Children?

I'm not talking about overpopulation or carbon emissions or any of that dung. I'm also not talking about the world being a scary place. It has always been a scary place to some extent, at least since The Fall, if you believe in that sort of thing. In many ways, life is actually a lot better than at any time in (fallen) human history.

I ask if it is now irresponsible to have children because we're apparently unable to raise children within intact homes, with decent mothers and fathers.

My parents had twice as many children as my wife and I do, my father was highly dedicated to his career, and yet I think I hit the jackpot as far as having a good father. I compare myself to him and I find myself lacking as a father. I never got the feeling my father didn't want to spend time with me. Granted, I was very good at entertaining myself. Maybe my memory is skewed but I think he was far more likely to seek me out for shared activities than I was to seek him out.

That has carried over to being an adult. I like being alone. Just about everything I want to do at home is solitary. I know my kids need attention and want to do things with me, and if they ask me to do something with them I almost always agree and drop whatever else I'm doing.  But other than trying to get one to go along with me on errands so as to make brawls less likely, I don't ever seek them out just to play or interact for the sake of it.

I certainly don't feel like a good father. I see what other dads, some of them my friends, are doing and I just don't have the energy, time, or real desire to do it.

So I think I never should have had kids in the first place, between who I am and the reality of who my wife is.

If any one of the following is true, it is irresponsible to have children:

1) We are not suitable fathers.
2) We can't find suitable wives and it is irresponsible to do it "alone".
3) The system is detrimental.

Let's take those one at a time.

1) We are not suitable fathers. See what I wrote about marriage material men. How many men fall into that category? Very few. Changing that means a complete overhaul of society. That's not going to happen. Between work, paperwork and bills, chores and errands, and so many other things you have to do, you're not going to have the time and energy to be as involved as a father as you should be.

2) We can't find suitable wives and it is irresponsible to do it "alone". Children need a mother and a father. But just as I noted above that most men would not make suitable fathers, most women are not wife material, either, and so many of them don't really want to mother, either, but let hired help do it.

3) The system is detrimental. Our education system, media, and government subvert parental authority and otherwise militate against a healthy family life and good conditions for raising children. This is why advice media/programs and therapists, which constantly contradict each other, are plentiful. No matter what you do with your children in public, eventually someone is going to think you're abusive in some way, and then they may call authorities, and then you have to deal with them. Even if you're cleared, it is a stressful experience and puts a wedge between you and your children. And yet we now encourage children to be dependent on their parents through age 26 and beyond. We aren't raising children to be able to deal with life. Even if you raise yours well and somehow manage to overcome the subversions, your children will have to deal with a culture that is highly dysfunctional. 40% of first marriages end in divorce, and many of the rest, which can end but don't legally divorce, are problematic. This makes it more likely than not that you'll be bringing children into a seriously troubled system.

I know there are countless reasons people have for not having children. I also know there are reasons people give to have children, such as to perpetuate humanity (looks like that's going to happen whether you or I do it or not), that people are of inherent worth (true, but they are fallen, too), to spread your values (Ha! how many kids have utterly rejected their parents' values?), on and on. To me, the bottom line is whether or not we're able to provide them with a start in life that will be stable, reassuring, and inculcate them with the skills and enduring values they'll need.

Here's something from Gavin McInnes, "Why Your Top 10 Reasons For Not Having Kids Are Stupid" at The Federalist that appears to be written with tongue firmly planted in cheek, but I'm going to address some of it anyway.
You know that commercial where the guy goes, “I am never getting married,” then he says he’ll never have kids or move to the suburbs? Most of us suburban dads are embarrassed by how perfectly that imitates our lives.
This is one reason why so many people divorce.
I was so adamant about not having kids as a young man, I tried to get my tubes tied at the tender age of 21. Now that I have three, my only regret is waiting so long. I wish I could have had five.
Well that's great. But many people didn't want kids, have them, and resent having them. Others thought they wanted kids, and then once they did, they thought they made a mistake. Those are awful situations for kids, no matter how much someone tried to hide the reality from them.
You’ll hear a lot of parents lament that they had too few or didn’t have a boy or had all boys, but you’ll never hear them say, “I wish I hadn’t had a kid.”
Maybe they won't say it out loud, but in anonymous forums, or in their own heads, there are some who do say it. There actually have been a few people who've published commentaries saying exactly that they wished they hadn't had kids, presumably under pen names, and the reaction has reinforced why people won't speak up.
Whenever I see couples without kids, I plead with them to change their ways because, almost without exception, the ones who refuse to breed are the ones who would make the best parents. Here are the same ten excuses they always make and why they’re wrong.
I sure hope he's joking.
1. Ew, Diapers? Gross
Do you wipe your own ass? This is the same thing, only much smaller.
Uh, no. While I had no problem changing diapers, it isn't the same thing. It is never the same thing when it is not you.
2. I Hate Kids
No, you hate other people’s kids. We all do. These are your kids. They don’t just look like you, they are you.
Surely you know that some people really don't like themselves all that much, right?

5. I’m Too Selfish
This is the opposite of the egomaniac excuse, and it’s often followed by, “I can barely feed myself.” Don’t fret, virtue signalers. You will be able to summon the strength to prevent your child from starving to death. It’s an instinct that goes back at least a quarter of a million years. Besides, they scream so unbelievably loud at night, you can’t possibly ignore them.
Oh yeah, that sounds greeeeeaaaaat.

It isn't that people don't think they'll be able to feed their kids. It is that they won't be able to give them a good education, and that feeding, clothing, and paying for everything else kids need will mean that these people won't be able to afford the retirement, home, car, or vacations they'd like. Don't argue with someone who says they're too selfish, and that they'd rather take a nice vacation to the Riviera than have a child. You don't want them raising children.

8. It’s No Big Deal If I Don’t
Really? How could it possibly be a bigger deal? Besides the part where our entire civilization is choosing to stop reproducing, what about you?
Plenty of people are still going to have kids. Really. Ever driven the freeways in the greater Los Angeles area from, oh, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or at just about any other time?
9. It’s Too Expensive
So is eating out in New York if you do it wrong. You can have a dinner for $4 or you can have one for $400. Public school is free, and there are still plenty of areas where they’re just as good as private.
Public school is NOT free. Parents are constantly hit up for fundraisers and pressured to hit up others for fundraisers. Public schools are pretty much Leftist indoctrination factories now, too, but education expenses are just a small part of the overall cost of raising children (clothing, food, utilities, pediatrician visits, insurance, medicine, toys, birthday parties and gifts - for their friends, too - car seats, extra rooms on where you live, bigger cars, more gas, clubs/sports/classes, on and on and on it goes). Do not try to convince people they can do it without money. The people who try either have their kids taken away or become drains on the public treasuries.
10. We’re Not Ready

Women are convinced they can cram a career in before their ovaries dry up, but did you notice you started menstruating at 14? Twenty-four is already ten years past that date. At 34, you’ve basically told your womb to pack it in. I’ve heard doctors get in trouble for saying this to their patients, but for the umpteenth time: The hour glass of your fertility turns upside down at 30, and five years later it’s all but drained.
What does that have to do with being ready? All that does is point our that our culture has departed from biology-as-king; do you want 14-year-olds having babies? 2,000 years ago it wasn't a problem for them. It is now.

Some people will NEVER be ready. Some people who advocate having children say nobody is ever ready. So I don't begrudge anyone who decides they aren't "ready" and never have children.

Look, going out for dinner is fun and Barcelona is beautiful at this time of year, but eventually you close that chapter in your life and move on to the next one.
Says who? Some people don't.
You’ve been a kid for decades now. It’s time to grow up and make some of your own.
People can grow up without having kids.

Even if it isn't irresponsible to have children, it is reckless to try to convince people to have them if they don't really want to parent them.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love kids - I wanted to have four of them - but what I had to choose from as a co-conspirator in such matters and the one who raised me, but never stopped reminding me of how much she resented it and hated my father, convinced me it was somewhere between a longshot and a pipe dream.


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