Obviously, if you read this column, you are already a parent. Yet, have you ever asked yourself what was your real drive to have children?
Is it like one day a potential mother thinks, “Hmmm it would be great to have someone burb on my new shirt, or draw on a newly painted wall with my newly purchased lipstick, or drive me hysterical with sleepless nights.” Or is it like, “Oh, children bring so much joy and happiness.”
I went through some parenting forums to find information. These are the main four themes I found:
Selfish Urges. Some people tend to believe that having children is a purely selfish act. We bring them into the world for us, not them, in quest for happiness, or to have someone to take care of us when we get old.
People do not feel complete. Therefore, they have a child to have a real family to feel wholesome. They still do not feel complete, so they have another child…then a dog…etc. Some people want to have some sort of extension of themselves. Or allow their children to get to the stuff they could not – obtain a degree, become a prima ballerina.
Pediatrician and author Alto Nouri is quite radical in his opinion. He uses the metaphor of a hot potato. One has a hot potato in his hands (a burning problem), so the person makes a child to pass this potato to someone else. The more hot potatoes (issues) one has – the more children one makes.
Nouri states that if we were balanced and happy individuals we would not have kids like that.
Instinctive Urges. The drive to have children is primarily instinctive. We do it for survival of the species. Swedish scientist, Hans Rosling, states that the poorer the country is, the higher the number of children per woman.
And the risk of childhood death is high. Therefore, having children play a role in sustaining the population by making sure at least some of them survive into adulthood.
Traditions. Everyone does it, so will do I.
There are also Altruistic Drives. We need to give, to provide for someone. Some people believe parenting to be a fundamental part of life, they want to contribute to raising the next generation and, ultimately, the only thing they want to leave behind in the world. Sounds like the selfish category to me.
Taking into consideration the price one has to pay for having a child.
For example, being constantly available, putting aside your own needs and not to mention the actual material cost – I believe being a parent today is a tough but a rewarding job.