Recall the last time you took a biology class. Do you remember what Darwin recalled as the primary goal of life?
From an evolutionary perspective our bodies are programed to reproduce for genetic survival. In other words, we are biologically driven to have children.
Sex is fun, but it’s dangerous (when you’re not trying for a child). In his Metaphysics of Love the German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer states, “love determines nothing less than the establishment of the next generation.”
If our bodies are programmed to have children does that mean we actually want children?
The American Dream
I’m sure you’ve heard of this term before. Most people depict this concept as a happy married couple with children and a financially stable household. Society places an idea in our heads that the nuclear family generates happiness. Sometimes our loneliness creates thoughts like, “If only I had a spouse and children, then I’d be happy.”
There are people that have the american dream, but are deeply unhappy.
Those unhappy people may not have considered that family life does not come easy. Maintaining a romantic long-term relationship is not a walk in the park. Raising children is extremely difficult at times and an absolute financial burden.
Happily Ever After
Let’s think back to our favorite romantic fairy tale. The stories mainly center around obstacles the couple must face in order to be together. The tale concluded with the two lovers married with children. Happily Ever After
The western culture is exposed to the beginning of every beautiful relationship, but how do we maintain it?
Why Should we Have children?
After examining a few of the biases toward having children let’s go back to the main question: Are we having children for the right reasons?
We should recognize that there are some people in the world that abuse their power as a parent.
If your goal as a parent is to work hard to create a strong, caring, and motivated individual you are on the right path. If you just want children to fill a sadness in your life then reconsider your options. We cannot depend on our child to make us happy. They must only depend on us for the first few years of life.
We should also consider how financially burdening and time consuming children can be. Although our biological clock may be ticking, going into parenthood without a stable household and income is unproductive. This can also serve unbearable stress to you and your child. Raising someone in a demanding environment creates unimaginable risks to the child’s development.
Children are not a material item to add to a collection of nice things. Children are human beings that deserve to be cared for with love and patience. Parenting is not innate, social demands and culture change constantly. The previous generation’s child-rearing skills may not be as useful in our present day. We should think critically and expose ourselves to current findings on effective parenting.
We would be doing a great disservice to our children if we weren’t involved in their lives the way we need to be.