January 19th, 2006
|dirty_deeds||02:08 pm - What's up with having kids?|
For those of you who have had children intentionally, why did you do it? Instinct? Something else?
Ummmm, that's a really personal question, there....
I have known since I was really young that I wanted to have kids. For me the feeling of having kids in my arms was always a really good one. I am a natural dad. I am a walking, talking jungle gym for toddlers. From the moment my wife and I knew that we had a baby on the way, it was like the best feeling in the world. I could not imagine never having kids. I waited until I met the right woman to have them though. Does that answer your question somewhat?
Jonathan Swift just makes it sound so delicious.
It's the natural thing to do. When you get into it, you don't realise what you're getting into, and they're a huge drain on your finances, time and energy, but they more than make up for any costs. For people who haven't yet found a meaning or a goal for their life, they become a default giver of meaning - you try to be the best person you can be, because you're the role model for your kids. You teach them about the world, and in so doing are forced to contemplate it more deeply - how do you explain literally everything a 2 year old might ask about? They confront you with original thoughts and ideas that came from nowhere but themselves. They can inspire you, drive you nuts, and then light you up with a smile. Seriously, I wouldn't want to spend my life any other way.
a friend of mine who's hit brooding age admits completely openly that it's hormones and evolution making her really really really want to have a baby, but that doesn't stop her wanting it. I think it's an instinct in the same way as people wanting to have sex is.
I haven't got broody yet, but I imagine I will have children in a few years time. A way of passing things forward, sharing knowledge, life... I don't know something feels wrong about the idea of dying old and childless. Whether that feeling is nature or nurture though I couldn't say. I have been brought up in a family and lifestyle where having children is an assumed next step after you've found a long term partner.
Another thing is, when I hit 18 or so, I suddenly started looking at babies in a new light, first they became sweet rather than irritating. But more importantly I suddenly thought Wow I could make a baby and it could be half me and half the person I love, and have the two of us melded together in it and isn't that utterly amazing and fabulous, being able to look at your child and see echos of your lover, or of your youth... I admit this latter feeling is probably a weird just me feeling, but that is something that excites me, and one of the reasons that adoption just wouldn't be the same. Before that had occured to me as a child i didn't get that and figured adoption would be equal. Not that I'm against adoption, which i think is utterly wonderful - to adopt and give a child a home and family, but I think it'd be harder to replace a natural child who shares your genes, and some of your own quirks. It would be more conscious effort and less instict. I think.
Having neither had children nor adopted I am hardly an expert on this topic however!
|Date:||January 19th, 2006 08:47 pm (UTC)|| |
What's up with having kids?
Both my wife and I pondered this question for a long time. We both decided we would be fine with or without them.
When we got to about 32, after being married about 1 1/2 years (both our first marriage), we decided to go ahead and take the plunge and have exactly two. Two so they would each have one sibling, I am now fixed.
Our motivation was three fold. 1. It is the ultimate experiment in human nature. Let's see what a human being would become coming from two intelligent, non religious open minded deep thinking people and we have the financial ability for her to stay home with the kids until school age.
2. We thought that we would be doing society a favor by canceling out at least two other humans coming from horrible parents.
3. I wanted to pass on my genes into the human evolutionary pool.
So far so good.
Re: What's up with having kids?
Number 2 is a big one for me. Thanks for having kids.
|Date:||January 19th, 2006 08:52 pm (UTC)|| |
Good question. Very general...
Personally, I am not a fan of kids, dealing with kids, cleaning up after kids and/or taking care of kids. Emphasis on the last part.
|Date:||January 19th, 2006 09:06 pm (UTC)|| |
There was just this feeling between my wife and me. It was like our love had reached a new level and felt like it needed to "explode", or grow exponentionally very quickly.
I love being a dad. I was a full time stay at home dad for 2.5 years and I miss it a lot. But I still get to see her when I get home, and I have all weekend with her while my wife works.
I think that asking what we've learned since having kids may be a better question. I find that, often, the reasons for doing something and the actual benefits received aren't necessarily the same.
I wanted to have kids because this world seemed like so much wonder, that I just wanted to share it. Having kids makes you aware of what all you might be otherwise missing in your daily life. They make you look at things differently -- VERY differently! :D
Although the boys in the group won't likely relate to this, here goes my ultimate "benefit" of having kids. When I was pregnant, I went through a phase where I wondered where the love for my baby would come from. (I hear this isn't an uncommon concern.) I wondered if my love was limited, and if I would have to share it with my husband and child(ren). It might sound petty, but this was a real concern for me. I didn't want to believe that my love for my husband would have to decrease, in order to allow enough for my baby.
Well, after we had been home for an entire day (we had complications during labor and had to go to the hospital for a c-section, and we were there for almost a week), I was holding my baby. All of a sudden, I started crying. My husband had just come into the room and came to comfort me, not having any idea what was "wrong." They were tears of joy, though. It had just hit me that there was an entire other source of love in me, just watiting for a baby. I had almost physically felt this "opening" of some door to the love that was reserved for my children. At that moment, I felt an immeasurable amount of love for both my husband and my baby. It was the most intoxicating feeling I've ever had!
While it can be quite overwhelming to consider having kids, there are intense payoffs. You will go through frustration, anger, tears, sadness, exhaustion, and fear. Your savings account will be a mere fraction of what it used to be. Your need for privacy will be thrown out the window. Your time will not be your own for another decade or more. Your heart will never be yours again. Everything you do will take twice the time, because you will take your babe everywhere you go, if only for the experience s/he will gain. Your house will never be the same. Your need for quiet will not be met again for many -- MANY -- years.
But, one moment will happen, maybe your child looks at you and spontaneously says, "I love you, Mom/Dad!" Maybe s/he is so amazed at how s/he accomplished something on his/her own. Maybe they come running to you, hugging your leg and singing "Happy Birthday!" to you (this happened to me -- just last week!). But, that moment will come -- and, they'll be too many of them to count -- where all the frustrations you've felt, all the tears you've cried, all the hours of sleep you've lost will all melt away. And, you'll know that everything was worth this one moment. And, that you're willing to go through it all again, just because of the joy you just felt.
I had kids for one reason -- I wanted to share my life and world with an intensely curious being. My reasons for loving my decision to have kids are something else entirely -- every day, I get to help create loving, compassionate, wonderful citizens who just may one day, spread compassion to others. I figure, two more compassionate people in this world is a small start. And, they're my best teachers. I couldn't ask for a better teacher for learning to be patient, aware, and present.
interestingly there's a hormone called Oxytocin
that is released during child birth in vast quantities... it's said to be the "love hormone" and I don't think you can help but love the child you've given birth to, which is good.
Its nice to hear that the feeling keeps coming back with the "i love you"'s etc.
I feel I want to have children one day, but I'm petrified of it. the rest of your life changed, and the immense amount of work and commitment!
|Date:||January 19th, 2006 09:20 pm (UTC)|| |
I knew I wanted to have my son when he looked at me the first time. And touched me with his cold wet nose and planted big slobbery kisses all over my face while wagging his little tail. :D
|Date:||January 19th, 2006 09:29 pm (UTC)|| |
Uh, I actually like kids. I like seeing their development and growth. I like helping them develop. I like teaching.
I am the oldest of four, two of who are 10 and 12 years younger than me, so I knew this from experience.
Also, having kids forces you to think about things deeply. That is, it's like having somebody watching how you behave all the time. Many people tend to behave better under this circumstance. (Not all, I will grant you.) Being a good parent means you don't have the option of eating junk food or doing other things that are bad for you but marketers tell you are so bad they are good, because you have to be an example to your kids. And ir forces you to think deeply about why things are the way they are if you want to have an honest answer when your kid asks, "why?"
It's the difference between enjoying what is and building for the future. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I find value in it.
Being a good parent means you don't have the option of eating junk food or doing other things that are bad for you but marketers tell you are so bad they are good, because you have to be an example to your kids.
I don't think I know a lot of good parents, then....
I just wanted to be a dad. I've always enjoyed holding, hugging, playing,
and cuddling little ones. I've enjoyed watching them grow up to be someone.
Good question. Especially from a ego or attachment perspective.
I don't have a child - I don't know if I ever will, but I will admit I have moements where I want to nuture something "new" and "mine" (as opposed to nurturing just anyone randomly).
I think that for some people it is probably part of their middle path. But probably not for as many as are parents. I wonder how many people give their motives full consideration? Then there are unplanned children - I'm very much pro-choice, I think that decision is part of some people's middle path as well.
If I were to get pregnant unexpectedly - I'd probably be really happy with that new opportunity to practice loving kindness. But I do wonder that if I intentionally sought to get pregnant if that would be loving kindness or feeding my ego.