Why have kids?

The Daily Circuit live chat for April 30, 2012

  • I'm 40. I never wanted children, never had any. Looking at the world now -- climate change, the impending implosion of the federal budget because of health care expenses -- I'm certain I made the right decision. I wouldn't want to be responsible for bringing someone into a world that's going to be worse than this one.
  • I married into a family where my father-in-law expected to come BEFORE the children; turns out my husband felt the same and required that his needs would come first. We argued plenty about this. I was on the fence about kids anyway - that clinched it. No kids.
  • "..I regret not having children as much as you regret having children..." @KerriMPR @MPRnews
  • @KerriMPR Brian... alone does not mean lonely!
  • I just don't think "I might regret it if I don't" is a sufficient justification for having children.
  • A few years ago, some friends of mine had their FOURTH kid. My husband and I visited them in the hospital. The husband, who had gained 40 lb since the birth of their first, sat in a chair staring off into space. The wife looked down at their newborn on the bed with a deer-in-the-headlights look. About three minutes into the visit, the husband turned to us and said, "SO! When are you two gonna start your family?"
  • From Jean in an email:

    "It seems that today's discussion assumes that the decision to have kids is a generous and selfless one. What about the people who tend toward narcissistic tendencies, and the kids are not much more than a reflection for the parents, and vehicles to pass on their own neuroses and pathologies?
    Those who decide not to have children should not be considered selfish, and should not have to "make up" for it."
  • I think we need to talk about how parenthood is not valued. Parents, more so mothers, are systematically disadvantaged and made dependent by a society that exploits those who perform its most critical work.
  • #dailycircuit Having someone to take care of you when you are old is NO reason to have kids; I respect those that choose not to.
  • At age 27 I got fixed. I thought I'd have to do some "Dr. shopping" but the first urologist I talked to was willing to do a vasectomy no questions asked. Absolutely best decision of my life, I don't regret it for a second!!
  • Response to Anonymous at 11:54am.

    I completely agree with you. I've been listening to MPR for a while now and this is the first time that I'm wanting to turn it off because of the negative attitude of Brian.

    My partner's parents have always said "MY children are MY descendents and will have MY last name... I will live through them forever!" .. we aren't living in the dark ages anymore. To me, it seems like Brian is the same way, which is unfortunate. I kind of feel like Brian may be a lonely and upset man with how his life has turned out, and he has high hopes that his children will want to go canoeing or on trips with him. Where are HIS friends? Having all those kids seems to be putting a hampering on his social life. I really enjoyed the woman they had playing the other side of the conversation. She was much more open minded and didn't say either way what people should be doing... rather just leaving it up as an option for adults.
    by Athena edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News 4/30/2012 5:02:34 PM
  • Like another listener, I made the decision to not have children when I was fifteen and have never changed my mind. The biggest factor in my decision was to stop the cycle of abuse and dysfunction in our family. I am 46 years old, and am still happy with my decision. I never had positive parental role models. Some of my friends who decided to have children feel burdened by them in their busy lives. I have actually been called selfish for my decision not to have children!

    Chris, Duluth
  • I'd just like to see people admit that having children is a selfish decision.

    That doesn't make it bad, but it IS selfish.

    As long as there are kids growing up in foster care, having biological children can only come from a selfish desire to propagate your own genes. Too many parents act like they're saving the world by raising their biological offspring. Well, maybe if they hadn't had kids, they'd have the time, energy, and money to help the billions of suffering people who are already on this planet.
    by kl edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News 4/30/2012 5:04:53 PM
  • We started our family after our careers were established and now at age 49 I have four healthy children.

    We will be long retired when our kids (hopefully) are college graduates. I LOVE my lifestyle and family. That said, I was a very happy 35 year old single childless person and do not find it unusual for people who make that choice.
    by Darcy McKenzie edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News 4/30/2012 5:06:21 PM
  • Morality of procreation?

    Ugh...for the sake of all: change the title of the conversation and let's talk * less polarization, please.

    50 yr old woman, just shy of 30 yrs married + child-free; amazing marriage, uber-happy - personal choice... how about if I don't judge your child-filled life and you don't judge my child-free life? What beauty and wisdom do our separate, but different lives hold? I thoroughly enjoy the children in my circle that I am privileged to love and watch grow up - they need interested, encouraging adults (like me) and I need their youth to expand my heart and my community.
    by mn edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News 4/30/2012 5:06:51 PM
  • So I say to all the women out there plan a great life, make decisions that are best for you, be happy with those decisions. Children are our right to bear or not to bear not man
    or woman or religion
  • I could care less if people choose to have kids or not. It's a personal choice.

    There are plenty of people who SHOULDN'T have kids. But having 3 kids of my own, I'M offended when people tell me that it's a selfish choice and then proceed to tell me why it doesn't make sense to have children. If you're looking for the pros and cons of having kids, you will never have them. It DOESN'T make sense.

    There's no way that a person who doesn't have kids can understand why a person DOES have kids. The amount of love cancels out all of the negatives.

    So live and let live. If you don't want kids, don't have them, but don't tell me why I'm stupid for choosing another path.
    by Betty edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News 4/30/2012 6:11:45 PM
  • Also, I do not agree with your guess regarding his comment about your child might be the one to invent something that will benefit mankind.


    How about all the millions of children already born with no chance of receiving a great education because of poverty, economics, and the school districts the people in office have chosen to for them to go to attend base on where they live. the rich get to invent and have the luxury to sit and ponder ideas and get paid for that. Every once in while u will here about a child from a power neighborhood who will have that great opportunity to sit are and ponder and have a great idea , but these are to far and in between.
    by Happy Rita edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News 4/30/2012 6:12:00 PM
  • First of all, I would like to say I totally found it disrespectful the you introduced the show this morning by using the words " are women selfish for no having kids" words like your play into the right wing religious groups out there that continues to try and put pressure on women regarding the decisions they make regarding their bodies, happiness, carers , and their right to live their lives the way they wish to. I personally do not remember signing a contract stating I am obligated to populate the world because I was born a girl would grew up to be a
  • When I was in my twenties and thirties guys my age didn't want to settle down and have kids.

    Only later did I realize (they told me) it was because they were waiting for younger and wealthier women to come of age, so they could have a wife twenty or more years younger to have their children, make them feel young, and care for the men when they got old.
    by Mary edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News 4/30/2012 6:12:27 PM
  • please do not have any more topics like this. have a topic about how women independent of whether they have kids or not still have plenty to contribute to mankind. thanks A women's womb is not a resource to the world nor a resource consumer.Women have inherent value independent of child bearing decisions. thanks
  • I'm 41, and I knew from the time I was about 15 that I had no interest (although I have plenty of 'caretaker/maternal' instinct, which seems to manifest in wanting to care for my younger siblings and nature.)

    The decision to do it, or not do it, both have 'selfish' aspects, inasmuch as people tend toward trying to arrange their lives to fit their idea of what will make them happy. One thing that always makes me roll my eyes is the idea that your kid might be that special snowflake that will make the world a better place full of clover and puppies. Trust me, the law of averages says our kids are likely to be average...very few people are so superior that their genes need to be passed along that badly, in a finite, overpopulated planet, where 1 of your developed-nation kids will consume 15-20 times the resources of a kid from an undeveloped nation. People reproduce because some really dig the experience, and because most people are evolutionarily (mindlessly) programmed to. We need to stop romanticizing something that EVERY creature on earth can do.
    by Tracy edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News 4/30/2012 8:29:14 PM
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