I don't want to raise children.
I don't hate children or anything like that. But most people consider being a parent an integral part of being an adult. They can't conceive of life without children. They feel a strong compulsion to have kids. But not me. I simply don't feel that compulsion. Raising children is very important and it's all-consuming and not something one can "try out" to see if one likes it. One should be very sure that's what they want to do. I'm pretty sure it's not what I want, so I probably shouldn't.
It's not a decision I've made. It's a recognition of what I really want, deep down. In me, there is just no desire to raise children.
I realize that makes me different that almost everybody else in the world. I read a stat recently that 80% of women end up having children (down from 90% a coupla decades ago.) And that 70% of those who don't have children regret that they don't. That means only around 6% really don't want kids. I don't know the percentage for men, but I suspect it's not all that much different.
When I was younger I used to assume that if I met the right person that I'd probably end up having kids. In my late teens and early twenties I didn't recognize that my lack of desire was so fundamentally different than most people. I pretty much was just going to go along with the behavior expected of me in that situation.
I now realize that my near-crippling inability to meet women helped me dodge a bullet. I really think that having children would have been very bad for me, overall. There would have been times of great joy. But I'm now fairly sure that I would have been miserable a lot of the time.
When this subject comes up among friends, usually new friends, one of the first things I hear is some variation on, "You really shouldn't rule someone out that quickly. What if you meet a girl who's perfect for you and she wants kids?" I have to remind these people to think through the implications of what they just said.
Essentially, they're telling me that I should agree to have children in order to keep a relationship together. That strikes me as one of the worst reasons possible to have children.
An immediate comeback is that they're not telling me to have kids right away. But that I should give the relationship a chance before ruling the person out.
But that would be deceitful. Because I'm about as certain as I can be that I'm never going to develop the desire to have children. And I'm not willing to lead someone on by being vague and letting them think what they want.
If I meet a great woman and we have chemistry she wants to have something fun with no expectations, then great. I'm all for that. But most people feel that a dating relationship that has no prospect of leading to marraige is a waste of time. So she needs to know where I stand on this very important issue right up front so she can make an informed decision on whether or not that's what she really wants to do.
Using the stats I listed above as a base, I recently figured out that I'm right for only about 1 in 10,000 women. And that's an optimistic estimate. If I were willing to have kids then that would increase the pool by 15 times. But that just wouldn't be fair to my mate, nor the children. Nor to me.
For me, the perfect woman doesn't want children.
(An aside: I wonder if the name of this file will attract some interesting searches.)
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