Lauren Martin wrote an article titled “The Most Brutally Honest Reasons You Should Never Have Kids“. While I agree that parenthood isn’t for everyone, as a parent, I see major holes in her reasoning. For me, her arguments fall short for two reasons: 1 – She employs the “Why try if you’re just going to fail” logic and 2 – the love and satisfaction you feel as a result of being a parent is immeasurable. So let’s go point by point:
1 – You’ll Most Likely Screw Them Up
This reasoning is along the lines of the “Why try if you’re just going to fail anyway.” I don’t agree with it. It feels like lazy logic. I might feel like my dad may have been out of touch here and there but he didn’t screw me up. And my mom did an awesome job as a parent.
2 – You Will Go Broke
Yes, money gets tight, but the value of raising and loving (and being loved by) a child is literally priceless.
3 – Your Life Will Never Be Yours Again
She says, “The moment you have kids, your life becomes theirs.” What she fails to add is “And their life becomes yours.” Life becomes a shared experience with people you will love more than anyone or anything in the world. This above any other point encapsulates the reason I love being a parent.
4 – They Will Resent You
Yes, they will. But odds are when it’s all said and done, they will love you more than they resent you. See reason #1 — lazy logic and #3 priceless love.
5 – Your Relationships Will Deteriorate
It should read, your sex life will be different. It’s not easy and is probably one of the more difficult ones for me to argue against. But I think she’s also missing the value of #3 priceless love and the new and different kind of love you share with your partner as parents.
6 – You Can’t Be Spontaneous
There’s tremendous value in responsibility. Am I saying that being spontaneous is irresponsible? No way. But I hope to one day put into words the wonderful feeling I get when I see the happiness and contentment on my kids’ faces as a result of the stability my wife and I provide them. See #3.
7 – They Could Disappoint You In Big Ways
They will. See #1.
8 – You Have To Relive High School
I can’t speak for this one since my kids aren’t old enough yet. However, she hints at one of the beautiful things about parenthood–empathy for your child.
9 – They Ruin Your Body
10 – You Have No More Free Time
This is true in my life, but it has more to do with work than it does with my kids. My wife and I work on finding free time as much as we can but it would be selfish if I said that the time we spend with our kids isn’t always considered “not free time.”
11 – You Will Always Be Financially Responsible
Yes. This one can suck and is tied to #2.
12 – None Of Your Friends Without Kids Will Ever Want To Hang Out With You
I’ve gained more friends and strengthened more friendships as a result of having kids. Yes, at first there will be friends who’d prefer not to hang out because of the kids, but a great number of those same friends also become parents and those friendships become stronger. And don’t forget, life and friendships change regardless of kids.
13 – You Can’t Smoke Weed Or Get Drunk
If she added “as much” then she’d be on point. But I harken back to the value of responsibility and the priceless love.
14 – You’re Gonna Be That Person In The Minivan
Probably the only one I can whole-heartedly agree on. I hated the minivan. Thank God I just got an SUV.
15 – Personal Space Doesn’t Exist
Check that, this is the second point I whole-heartedly agree on. HAHA.
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