On children

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of kids. They’re necessary for the continuation of the human species. But at this point in time, they’re just not for me. I have gone back and forth over the last five or so years about whether I’ll ever have them–at this point in time, the answer is maybe, which will be fairly well reflected in my list. Some of the reasons I don’t see changing with time–others are simply a matter of the point I’m at in my life at this very moment. Reasons are only in the order I think of them, and not in order of importance.

  1. I’m not financially stable enough.  I have an income at this point in time which is not technically enough to support me completely, much less anyone else.  And that’s going to change for the worse in the next week, as I will be going back to school and my state of joblessness.  My spending habits are not stable enough to be able to predict where I will be financially in five years.
  2. I don’t have a stable enough support system.  I believe that it takes a village to raise a child well (not just two parents) and I simply do not have a network available to do that at this point in time.  This is pretty much a necessity for me to even think about having kids.
  3. I’m a little vain.  I like the way my body looks/is now–high firm breasts, intact piercings, and overweight but not terribly so.  Pregnancy would change those.  Looking at my female family members I know these would change; my mother gained most of the weight she has now after my sister’s birth–she lost most of what she gained when she was pregnant with me.  I know very many women say this: I love my mother, but I do not want to look like her (well, at least any more than pure genetics dictated at my conception).   Now, this is just if I were to be a biological mother; none of this would really matter with adoption, if my partner was to be the biological mother, or with step-children.
  4. Tied into number three is the fact that I do not have good enough exercise habits to be able to maintain my figure (so cliched, I hate that phrase) through a pregnancy.  Will this change?  I hope so.  But at this point that is simply the case.
  5. I’m not patient enough to be a good mother.  I’m getting better at this, I’ve noticed.  Screaming children don’t bother me as much as they used to and I’m learning to be more patient with myself and my abilities.
  6. I have a very distinct opinion of people having more children than the replacement rate–two kids per every two people.  With every additional child they are decreasing available resources–if they work to counteract that by using less resources overall or contribute to efforts to fairly distribute resources around the globe then it is forgivable.  Overpopulation is a big enough problem already and I see no need to contribute to it, really.
  7. However, in spite of all of this, I find myself talking and thinking as if I will have children–how I would educate them, what I would do in certain circumstances, where I would like for them to grow up (more of an environment thing, rather than a specific geographic location), and how I would raise them differently than I’ve been raised.  I don’t know if this is just because I’m getting older or whether I am simply being exposed to people who want/have children, but it is not something I am resisting.

Ideally I would like to adopt–I see no reason to add my genes to the world gene pool and just increase overpopulation and decrease available resources.  I do not know whether I’d be okay with just having an only child–if I had one, I would probably have another–not for the reason that the first will have someone to play with growing up but because it teaches kids to share and important socialization skills.  I would like to someday have the opportunity to be an influence on kids’ lives–I think I have some very valuable experiences and skills to share.

But these are just my theories on child-raising as a childless person.