I probably won’t get married or have kids…

16 Nov

I say probably because they say never say never.

Currently at this point in my life, being almost 23, I do not want kids, and I don’t foresee myself wanting kids any time in the future. When I tell my mother and my grandmother about this they get very upset, especially my grandmother. It’s really amusing to hear my grandmother try and convince me that I must have children, just because her view of family and gender roles is a blast from the past. (She was married in the 50’s)

I do not want to have kids for several reasons, chiefly among them is the fact that I honestly do not feel the strong need to make a copy of myself. There are billions of people on this planet, I don’t need to add to the strain by further burdening it with little versions of myself. The rest of my reasons are purely selfish, and there is nothing wrong with that.

My happiness is my number one goal. Having children would take the next twenty years of my life away from me. I would no longer be living my life for me, I’d be stuck changing diapers, rushing to keep doctor’s appointments and speeding off to band practice. I don’t want that. I have one shot at life and I want to experience and travel as much of the world as I can before I die. Giving up the prime of my life to drive a minivan full of children is not conducive to my happiness. Trying to have a raise a child and travel a lot at the same time would not be healthy for the child, so rather than try to do both or give up my dreams, I’m just not going to have children.

Furthermore, raising a child costs an incredible amount of money. Food, doctor bills, clothing, toys, school supplies, a car, birthday and xmas presents, $100,000 for a college education! Ignoring college and all the other bells and whistles, raising a kid on the bare minimum from 0-18 can cost anywhere between $126,000 and $250,000! And that’s just for one kid! I’m sorry, but that’s a quarter million dollars I don’t have. I think of how much my parents spent raising me and it blows my mind. Thousands and thousands of dollars on dental work, three surgeries, two cars, trips to Europe, and an expensive private college education. Not to mention everything else. I really do appreciate it and realize how lucky I am, but I often wonder what type of life they could have had if they didn’t have me or my sister. (To be completely honest (as sick as this might sound) during the roughest part of my life, this past summer, one of things that kept me from committing suicide was the thought of how much of a waste it would be of my parent’s money to kill myself after they spent so much money raising me)

As for getting married, the chances of finding a smart, funny, intelligent, attractive atheist woman who also does not want to have kids seems incredibly small. As much as I’d love to have a life companion like this, I doubt I’ll ever find one that isn’t already taken.

But in the very unlikely chance that I do find someone, I’m not sure if I’ll marry them. You see, my attitude on marriage has changed over the past year or two. I used to really want to get married because I wanted the recognition from other people that what I have is special. I realize now that it doesn’t matter what other people think of my relationship; they’re not in that relationship. The only opinions that matter are mine and my significant other’s. I don’t need a piece of paper from the government and an expensive party with lots of people to tell me what I feel is significant. If people want to get married, fine, but it’s not necessary or a prerequisite for being a family. In fact, I’m not sure I will get married just on the principle of the thing. Why should I get married to the person I love when other people are denied the right to marry the person they love?

If I did get married, we would have to redesign the ceremony to eliminate all the patriarchal elements. For example, I wouldn’t want my soon to be father-in-law to hand off my soon to be wife over to me. She is her own person and not his property to give to me. He can walk with her down the isle if she wants, but he doesn’t have the right to “give” her to me. I’m also not going to carry my wife over the threshold of our new place together. Again, she’s not some new property I’m bringing home from the store. She can walk over it of her own volition. In fact, I think that would mean a lot more than me carrying her since it would symbolize her knowingly and freely making the commitment as an equal person.

PS, Interesting video:

8 Responses to “I probably won’t get married or have kids…”

  1. thesecretatheist November 16, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    Well, there are some very good reasons to get married if you love someone–the reasons that people are fighting for gay marriage so hard: Insurance, visitation rights, and tax benefits. I’m sure there’s some others that I’m not thinking of, too. No one says that the wedding itself has to be anything traditional, or even that there has to be a ceremony.

    I just don’t talk to my family about my preference not to have kids or get married. For me not wanting kids isn’t even about not wanting to take care of them, I actually don’t mind that stuff, it’s just not something I’m very driven to right now. I couldn’t support anyone other than myself right now, anyway.

  2. teo November 17, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    I have only one remark: having children doesn’t mean making a copy of yourself, but creating a new magically unpredictable beautiful little creature, that can turn out to be everything, you never know…

    “one of things that kept me from committing suicide was the thought of how much of a waste it would be of my parent’s money to kill myself after they spent so much money raising me” – been there, good, that these reason is really an unbeatable good argument 😉

  3. godlesspaladin November 19, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Hey Teo, yeah, guess you’re right about that. Technically it’s half of a copy of myself genetically, but personality wise it’s a new being. Still doesn’t appeal to me though for the reasons above. :p I found an interesting video discussing how a research group here in the states found that a lot of Americans are starting to see marriage as obsolete. How do people view the importance of marriage in Germany or Bulgaria?

  4. teo November 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

    I can only tell you my personal impression:

    Germany – marriage is a good way to save some taxes, have some security for the children in case of separations;

    Bulgaria – marriage is what you’re supposed to do, is what your parents and grandparents want you to do, but more and more young people have families without marriage; marriage can be a good way to have financial security.

  5. ashleyfmiller November 24, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    I have sort of the opposite problem. Most guys who I click with intellectually and anti-religiously don’t want kids and I do. It’s sort of a weird position to be in to sort of want a vaguely traditional future and not have any interest in religion.

  6. godlesspaladin November 24, 2010 at 1:09 am #

    Ouch, yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the general trend among atheist guys. I might change my mind if I find the right person. For a while my goal was to be a stay at home dad and run an online sculpture shop out of my garage. I think I’d make a pretty good dad too, at least that’s what friends have told me.

  7. thesecretatheist November 24, 2010 at 1:17 am #

    I’ve got no problem with the marriage and kids thing. It’s just that right now I’m not financially stable nor do I have any prospects for such a relationship. But, if I did find someone to marry then I would eventually want kids, provided that I ever become financially stable enough to swing that.

  8. thesecretatheist November 24, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    As I said in my first comment, I’m not driven to do it. But I have no objection to it.

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