Bringing a child into this world is an immense responsibility. It not only demands high levels of personal and physical commitment from the primary caretaker but also the involvement of several other people in the process of child rearing. So before you take this major decision, go through the following ten wrong reasons to have children.
It will make him/her stay.
Having a child to make a partner stay back in a relationship is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Once a child is on the way, years of social conditioning make it socially and morally unacceptable for partners to walk out. They feel compelled to remain in the relationship, no matter how unhappy it has become. The saddest part of all this is that eventually the stress of bringing up a baby proves too much for the partners and the relationship breaks up anyway – only now an innocent being must get the worst of it.
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It means that we’ll get married.
A variation of the above point, having a baby is often used to prod an unwilling partner down the aisle. He or she may be willing to stay in the relationship and even be a parent, but may not be ready to get married yet. However social expectations are used to bear upon the reluctant partner to get married and ‘do the right thing’ both by the baby and the relationship. Once again any marriage which is entered into by compulsion, no matter how noble the reason behind it, usually has very slim chances of surviving.
Because everyone else is having one.
As a young adult, it is only natural to be influenced by friends who have had babies and now are enjoying seeing them grow up. But if it works for someone else, it does not automatically mean that it will work for you too. Moreover you are getting to see the fruits of long months of hard work and sleepless nights – not when your friend may have sat in pajamas the whole day to nurse a sick child or have had the family heirloom broken by an inquisitive toddler.
I want my parents to have grandchildren.
It is understandable for parents to egg on their adult children to have kids. It gives the older generation a chance to right their own parenting mistakes and at the same time indulge the little ones without feeling guilty or knowing that they don’t have to bear the consequences. However you should remember that after all you are the one bringing a child into this world, and no matter how eager your parents may be to offer help, ultimately it is you who will have to bear the actual responsibility of rearing a child.
It will make my spouse more responsible.
It is a huge mistake to imagine that somehow the biological process of having a baby is going to make your partner a new person overnight. You might want your partner to “grow up” and be more responsible in the relationship but having a baby is hardly the way to go about it. Not only is an individual extremely unlikely to alter his/her essential personality, having a baby when he/she is already of an irresponsible nature is extremely unfair on the child who needs people to look after it willingly and with love. This is not to say that carefree people don’t make good parents or that having a baby leaves no impression on a person’s mental makeup. Only that any change should be motivated from within and is unlikely to work if imposed by external circumstances.
Because my husband/wife wants one.
A spouse’s desire to have a child should ideally be a starting point for a discussion between the couple on the right time to raise a family. And not an occasion to be pushed into something that one of them doesn’t really want. Even though a spouse may come around to his/her partner’s wishes, especially if a baby is already on the way, it is best to agree to become parents when both partners are equally ready.
Babies look so cute.
Yes they do when fed, kept warm and they have somebody to play with. If you have ever woken up for the fifth time at night at the wailing of three-month old, have had to change a wet diaper or soothe colic pains and still found it cute, then you might have something in your arguments for having a baby.
Because it is necessary to have a male heir.
In many cultures around the world and indeed in liberalized countries like US too, there are families who will keep having babies till they are given a male heir. This kind of conditioning has to do with traditional thinking in certain cultures that men are better capable of looking after their aged parents for whom a male child works as a kind of social insurance in advanced years. However with increasing economic empowerment of women even in countries like India and China, the argument no longer holds weight but unfortunately the bias remains.
I want someone to love me.
Children are individuals too, albeit little ones, and thus have a right to offer or withdraw their love according to what they feel. Just like you. And when they grow into teenagers, you will lose count of the times when they scream at you from behind banging doors that they simply “hate you for being so uncool”. So if you are looking for unconditional love, it might make more sense to get a dog or a goldfish.
Because I’m pregnant.
Today it is much easier for single women to bring up a baby on their own. But getting pregnant may not be the same thing as actually wanting a baby right now. So even if you have unexpectedly conceived, don’t feel pressured to go ahead with the pregnancy or imagine that your heart will come around when you hold the baby in your arms. There are lots of other options available and it is always a good idea to check them out before taking such an important decision.
Children are undoubtedly one of the best things to happen to couples. But only when both partners are emotionally and practically ready to shoulder the responsibilities that come with bearing and bringing up a child.