Why do people have kids?
Sure, it’s fun making them. And you feel all warm and gushy looking at their little faces, especially when they’re having fun or cuddling up next to you on the couch. But let’s get real: parenting ain’t easy because kids can be a drag. Much of the time they’re like, “me, me, me!”—so needy and self-centered! And of course there’s the diaper-changing, sleep-depriving, and romance-dulling grind of childrearing. That stuff takes years off your life. So why does humanity do it?
Beyond the genetic imperative, kids can contribute to their family’s life and wellbeing. Nowadays we think of childhood as a time for play and education, but it used to be all about work. I’m not talking about little Victorian kids running into the gears of industrial machines for repair jobs. No, I mean even further back in time, kids helped with the hunting, farming, cleaning, and general work of survival. The more hands involved meant that big chores could be broken into easy little tasks, freeing mom and dad to take the supervisory, white-collar managerial kind of positions.
The same can hold true today! Which means there are many reasons to have kids. When I’m having a bad day on dad duty, I like to think of all the time-saving, work-reducing, positive ways my four-year-old son Felix makes my life just a little bit easier. These are the reasons people really have children, the reasons that make it all worthwhile.