An insight: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids by Meghan Daum

http://www.amazon.com/Selfish-Shallow-Self-Absorbed-Sixteen-Decision/dp/1250052939

Usually, I do not read any books which can be sensitive to any group of people (or today’s society). But for this summer reading list I have included a book (actually, it is a¬†collection of essays) which somehow relates to my thinking about the world. In the same way as the author writes I also believe that not everybody deserves giving a birth to a child, nota bene many children. Not only it is risk for the mother (basically same as gambling) but also not every parent will become a Real Parent to His Child (and we all know people who have failed, horribly).

In this blog post, I am not going to argue for either decision or write stylistically nice review of the book. Rather I will try give an insight into what these people are.

The essays are not about people who cannot have children, it is about those who voluntary decided (well, after reading, the reader will change his mind about that) not have any, from what ever reasoning. After reading 90% of the book, I have been able to identify several reasons why both men (!) and women do not want to have kids. Many of these have to do with their family, youth, age and current social perception of having kids.

  1. Let’s begin with family and youth. Having bad parents did (and it still does) influence many women who wrote essays on why not. Drinking mother, drug addicted siblings and so on. Once you are born with the premise that your parents didn’t want you, nobody can expect that you will have the same need of having children too.
  2. Today’s world. What is really stunning about today’s democracy, is that child-bearing is (and one may argue it should not) not really supported by the government or companies. Given that only women can have children, it is still their job of changing diapers, educating them and showing them their love. Companies always expect that parents are working full-time, even when you have 1-year-old toddler. However, exactly at this age the kid learns most and when his mother is travelling abroad, somebody else must take care of him. The men are – sadly – reluctant of doing so, and thus parents of parents or babysitters come on stage. But everybody knows that they are not the right ones of doing such a job. At the end of the day, who are they to educate new a child ?
    Then, the government is also not really supporting it. Instead of giving huge tax breaks, preschools and proving cheap high-quality, public schooling it does not understand its role, and thus is continuously failing at that. As a result of these failings from both sides, we have crime, drug addicted people …. On the contrary, it should seek a bigger role in taking care of them. Just look on example of East-Asian and Scandinavian countries.
  3. Then there is a third interesting point why not to have any children. Besides the fact that they are very costly, it has something to do with the society. Sadly enough, again, when you are not having some kids you are missing on socializing with your friends who have kids. Thus, many people decide to be aunts etc. and they fight such a social perception of not having children, at will. Because they really believe they may not have kids. Yes, maybe you are missing something but in a longer term brings you freedom of doing what ever, however, and not constantly caring about that little asshole who just needs some food, clothes or just fall in love with a 10-year-old girl.

 

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