To Breed Or Not To Breed

I have been subjected to pressure by various people throughout my life to have a baby. Not by anyone who was interested in sharing the baby, but certain relatives over the years and the occasional pregnant friend.

I have never been interested in parenting and don’t care to be in the company of children. There are exceptions, but it’s really down to the individual child’s personality rather than a general child.

When I am feeling mischievous, I use the line from the late 80’s Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell movie, Overboard.

If you have a baby, you can’t be the baby.

Many people will characterize not wanting to have children as selfish, because without kids, your time and money is all for you.

But having a house without crayon drawings on the wall, tiny toys underfoot, traumatized cats or dogs with tufts of fur missing isn’t really why. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a major plus, but it’s not the motivation.

For me, it’s really more a lack of motivation to be a parent. I can be great with kids, getting down on the floor to play and do a variety of kid activities for a few hours. Knowing I can give the kid back after it’s tired and stuffed full of food is what lets me relax and enjoy the child-time.

I had a vague thought in my late 30’s that I should be concerned with my biological clock, but it was the numbers are what quashed that.

Many people have children to have a kind of immortality, to pass their genes down, to be remembered.

If you have a child, that child is 50% your genes. Your grandchild is 25%, great-grandchild 12.5%, great-great-grandchild is 6.25% and it diminishes from there.

How many people even met or remember their great-grandparent, never mind a great-great one?

Okay, I met one great-great grandmother, two of my great-grandparents. But none of the peers I had growing up had known even the names of their great-great.

When you factor in that there’s less than 1% difference between you and any other person on the planet, even that 50% is pretty insignificant.

Isn’t it better to leave behind something you created or accomplished that is linked to you specifically, rather than be a one of many contributors to a group effort of a sequence of child/grandchild?

Isn’t it better to recognize a lack of motivation and interest to be a parent and then not be one? Aren’t there enough kids being raised by bitter, resentful or reluctant parents to intentionally be one?

More than that, with the global population rising geometrically and a finite amount of resources’ if we keep breeding worse than rabbits the future for humans isn’t merely dim and war ravaged, but shorter.

Like many aspects of religion, the go forth and multiply doesn’t work in the modern area.

Having large families made sense when infant and child mortality rates where high – then, you needed to have six so that two would make it to adulthood.

But, the number of babies who love beyond their first year is increased and many of the diseases that used to kill people en mass are largely a thing of the past. That’s why cancer rates seem so high, more people are living long enough to get cancer, rather than die younger from germ spread diseases.

Not having a child may well be the most important environmental protection a person can do to reduce their footprint.

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