Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Why have kids?

Man. I'm turning into a parenting blog. I'm sorry about that. But I suppose that when I saw the title: Why Have Kids? on the Vanity Fair website, I had to take a look and write a reaction.

What? It's like baiting me with race issues. Personal is political at times folks.

Anyways, the website linked me to an article from New York Magazine that described parents loving their children, but hating parenting. Titled, All Joy and No Fun, I could see it almost being used as an argument against procreating.

But I keep going back to the question, "Why have kids?" and I can't give a good answer. Because I have no idea how to articulate it. The only thing I've said is that, "I like chaos," and I got it in fucking spades when I had a baby. Now that she's a toddler, I'm tempted to give it a go again, because I like more chaos.

What bothers me about these articles (and articles that go POP THEM PUPPIES OUT NOW CHILDLESS SPINSTERS!) is that there's an implicit idea that doing one or the other brings you more happiness. And from what I've seen, happiness is a very temporal thing.

To quote Denis Leary: "Happiness comes in small doses folks. It's a cigarette butt, or a chocolate chip cookie or a five second orgasm. You come, you smoke the butt you eat the cookie you go to sleep wake up and go back to fucking work the next morning, THAT'S IT! End of fucking list!"

I can't say that I'm a happier person after having Benevolent Dictator and staying home. That would imply that I'm skating around the kitchen like some Betty Draper clone on Zoloft. I can't say I'm unhappier either, because I don't think I am. The beginning battles were hard as hell, but I'm also of the belief that if you do anything right in life, some scarring occurs.

What I can say is that I feel like overall, I made the right decision for me and that I regret nothing. I know people who don't want kids and don't have kids who will say the same thing. To each their own.

These articles bother me in a way because it sets up the idea that there is a race, or a way to maximize your happiness quotient like in the Sims, or that there's one path to happiness. And we all know that's not true. I just sometimes wish media would treat these issues with the complexity they deserve, instead of making it an "either/or" situation.