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.

3 comments:

queenthesixth said...

I kind of want to tell the woman in the New York Magazine article to STFU! Boo hoo, having kids is hard. Really? Because I always thought it was a piece of cake and want to have more than Michelle Duggar does!!
I don't have kids but I do know what it's like to have that kind of responsibility for someone else. Having responsibility is no fun. That's why I think fondly of when I was growing up and could sit reading or playing to my heart content because the big stuff in life was someone else's problem. But as an adult, you make choices and you live with them. And sometimes, things can seem very complicated and hard because we make them that way.

As for not having kids, well that's a personal choice and sometimes our life doesn't go the way we want it to. I mean, I always thought I might have a child or two at this stage, but that was not my path in life. I might have them yet, I don't know. But with all the work that goes into them, I don't think they'd be the stuff that happiness is made of. My mother likes to say that when I was a child, she was happiest when I was asleep. Remembering me as a child, she has a valid point.

Viv said...

Oh, I'll admit, some of my favorite moments are after the kid goes to bed, or is quietly playing so I can do stuff like reply to you :)

I was talking to a friend about the article (she pointed out that there's also been the OMG! YOUR EGGS ARE DRYING UP SINGLE LADIES! articles) and I came to the realization of something:

This is all a way to make people inadequate about their life decisions to get them to BUY MORE STUFF.

Think about it. If you're a mom, dissatisfied with your life, BUY SOMETHING TO MAKE YOUR KID PLAY MORE QUIETLY! Single and childless? BUY SHOES TO FORGET ABOUT YOUR LACK OF FAMILY LIFE!

I'll admit I'm simplifying slightly, but I can't help but stare at these article and where they appear with a bit of suspicion. I just hate that they're taking something complex and turning it into something where you buy shit or feel like you SHOULD BE HAPPIER DAMMIT.

Loestrin said...

I dont think its neccessary to have kids.There are so many kids in orphanages,we can adopt one from there.

Thanks
_______
Roger