WHY did you have your first child?

douki

Member
I've reached that stage in my life, married with a house, where I'm finding myself under serious pressure to start reproducing. It's amazing how these things just creep up on you. Anyway I'm really struggling to understand the reasons why people do this. I should warn you that I have a habit of over anaylsing things and I spend a lot of time thinking hard about stuff, sometimes in weird ways. What it seems to boil down to is - 'I want one because I want one'. There's not really any logic to it is there? It seems a bit selfish to me.

Once you've got one in your hands then no doubt you devote yourself completely to their well being, you feed and water them and you make sure you don't lose them anywhere. What I'm struggling with is the actual decision of choosing to have that first child. The moment when you say 'yeah lets have one'.

Why?

The child doesn't get a say in the matter which I think is the main issue I'm having. I feel like I want to sit down with the preconcieved life form and have a chat with them to check if they really want to be created. First I'd explain exactly who I am to see if they want me as their dad, then I'd do the same for my wife, then I'd give a quick overview of the world and explain that this is where they'll be spending their time. Ideally I'd get 3 thumbs up, if I only got 2 thumbs up then perhaps it could go into some sort of negotiation stage whereby myself and my wifes needs are also taken into consideration.

I'm trying to think of the reasons why people choose to start making babies. Women have this weird uncontrollable need to nurture which is programmed into them, they want one because they want one, it's a mystery to me. Maybe they are just lonely and they want a friend to play with. Men, I don't really know which is the main reason why I'm posting here. I am a man and all I can come up with at the moment are 2 reasons why a man would want children, 1/ you want your wife to be happy, 2/ you're building a kingdom and you need some kids to rule over and worship you. The first reason is what I'm staring at right now. The 2nd reason isn't me at all as I usually just like to be left alone.

I need to know if they're are any other reasons that I've overlooked here?

Also, as a side note... what the hell am I going to do with a kid!!? Is there any way of preventing them from growing up and becoming like me?
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Is there any way of preventing them from growing up and becoming like me?
That's where the challenge and the rewards are :thumbsup: Are you up for it? :D

As for why and when, one day my wife asked me if I thought it was a good time to start a family and it just seemed completely natural and right to say yes.

(If only I'd known then what I know now :devil:) Just kidding.
 

Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
I had my first kid because I was happy with my then partner, felt mature enough (at 21) and most importantly, just felt it was right.

You seem to forget humans are just the same as any other animal in that part of our programming is to reproduce, including men too.

So I agree with your own assessment that you're over-analysing things.

As for producing a copy of you, nah.
Every person experiences different things whilst growing up.
That alone will make them different.
And you have experience that you will pass on about things to go for or avoid, so they'll be different again, imo.

Trust me, the best experience I've had is the one where you know you've produced well balanced offspring, even if you might sometimes disagree with them.

That's the only real job that matters in life, to my mind :smashin:

And why are you concerned about your kids having your traits?
You seem well balanced, are obviously literate, have concerns etc, so I'm not sure I see the problem :confused:

But then, you seem to harbour doubts, which ideally should be addressed between you and your missus.

As for what would you do with a kid?

Wait until you have one.
They become the focus of your life for a long time, to the extent that they're more important than anything.
The question soon becomes "what could I be doing if I never had a kid?" :laugh:
Which goes back to why it's such a fulfilling job, when it's over.

All of my kids are gone and now have kids of their own.
Hence the job has started again, in that we now advise our kids on how to bring up their kids, as well as advising the grandkids (very satisfying, having a slightly more distant relationship, btw).

Long rattle there, but basically, if you feel ready, just go for it, imo.
 

Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
I forgot to address your reasons.

Reason 1, is a good one. I agree that the parental instinct might indeed be stronger in women.
If the missus wants a child, why not?
It would only be a toy for an immature mother, imo.

As for reason 2, rule over and adore you?
I've never thought like that.
"Rule over" as in be respected, as someone has to be in charge of course, but even that's a two way thing. You teach your kids the wrong stuff and they won't listen to you.
As for adoring you, that will be instinctive to a kid anyway. You don't bite the hand that feeds you, after all.

It's a good point though, where "ruling" over your kids and hoping they genuinely like you is the tricky part.

As IG says, are you up for it? :devil:

I strongly suspect you are, because you're asking the right questions.

But are basically worrying too much :)
 

Exemplar

Banned
We had kids because my wife and I had sex....

Actually we were both very happy in our relationship, things were going well. So we decided it was a good time to stop sleeping, burden ourselves financially for the rest of our lives and worry about them constantly.

But we wouldn't change it.

Good luck.

Alex
 

Queens Pawn

Active Member
Rule over and adore you???!

More like putting constant demands on you while zapping all of your energy and attention and (quite rightly) taking it all for granted.

In return though giving a meaning to life in a way that nothing else can.
 

douki

Member
As for why and when, one day my wife asked me if I thought it was a good time to start a family and it just seemed completely natural and right to say yes.
I had my first kid because I was happy with my then partner, felt mature enough (at 21) and most importantly, just felt it was right.
So the reason why you made the decision is because it felt right. Is there any way you can be more specific and describe exactly what this feeling is? Then I might be able to work out whether I feel the same way. At the moment the only feeling I can really identity is guilt. You see I don't exactly have a very postitive outlook on life, I think the world would be better off without humans, but here I am in a position where I have no choice but to drag another life into the world and infect the planet with more of my dna. It seems unnecessary to me and in a way it's more like a form of self punisment. The first year I imagine would be OK, baby doesn't do much, my wife would be happy at home in a blissful state of nurturing, feeling natural. But then she would have to go back to work and so we'd basically have to give it to someone else to look after. Then I'd have to pick it up on the way home after I've filled the car up with petrol and been to sainsburys. Feed it. Put it to bed. At the weekends I probably wouldn't be able to play golf, even though I don't currently play golf (thinking of starting). Then there's all the other things that I was thinking I might do which would now definitely go onto the won't do list. Why does it take about 10 years for a human baby to start fending for itself? Every other animal just falls out onto the grass and starts walking around with a couple of minutes.

In return though giving a meaning to life in a way that nothing else can.
Are you saying that a good reason to have a kid is to give more meaning and purpose to your own life?
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Personally I always knew there would be children at some point (all being well). It was just a matter of getting a house etc then getting cracking. Now here we are with three, considering rounding it off to an even number :eek:

Great stuff.

To quote battlestar galactica, it's the closest you can get to immortality.

I think the world would be better off without humans, but here I am in a position where I have no choice but to drag another life into the world and infect the planet with more of my dna
:eek:
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
At the weekends I probably wouldn't be able to play golf, even though I don't currently play golf (thinking of starting).
Why not? You think no Dad's play golf? It's the preseve of the young-child-less? How long does it take for a game? I think it's pretty healthy to have some time just for you at the weekend - the mother would probably be pleased to have some time just for her to - dad takes baby to the park, mum does some things that don't involve babies.
 

douki

Member
imightbewrong said:
To quote battlestar galactica, it's the closest you can get to immortality.
You had a kid so you could be close to immortality... You mean like being famous! In the same sort of way that a singer or movie star is immortalised by their work... or like a scientist who comes up with a ground breaking theory that people ponder over for long after they've died?

So I should be worried about everyone forgetting about me when I die... and the way I can prevent or minimise this is by having kids, and I will survive in my kids, and then when they have kids I'll still be there but in extremely diluted form.

imightbewrong said:
Why not? You think no Dad's play golf? It's the preseve of the young-child-less? How long does it take for a game? I think it's pretty healthy to have some time just for you at the weekend - the mother would probably be pleased to have some time just for her to - dad takes baby to the park, mum does some things that don't involve babies.
I'm not sure but I think a round of golf can take 4-6 hours. Then there's drinking to be done afterwards apparently.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
No I don't really mean for fame - I mean there has been an unbroken line of genetic descent over the last few billion years that have lead from some great ancestor to me, and I don't plan on breaking that if I don't have to - I want someone who is a bit like me to see the distant future I would so badly like to see myself.

> I'm not sure but I think a round of golf can take 4-6 hours. Then there's drinking to be done afterwards apparently.

This sort of adventure will be fine on occasion. Heck, I went to Florida for a week to see the penultimate shuttle launch (pics) and go on rollercoasters while leaving a pregnant wife and two small children at home. Truth was, they were probably pleased to be shot of me for a week :)

Anything is possible - but playing six hours of golf and going drinking *every* weekend probably doesn't fall under that umbrella :)
 

an3r0id

Active Member
Me and my wife was happy together and decided we would love to have children, so a year later she finally fell pregnant! Best thing we ever did imho and have since had two more. We now have 3 under the age of 3......yes that was rather silly but love it at the same time.
I think our decision to have them.was the fact we love each other and knew we was right for each other. Last thing we both wanted is an unhappy family life for them.
 

douki

Member
No I don't really mean for fame - I mean there has been an unbroken line of genetic descent over the last few billion years that have lead from some great ancestor to me, and I don't plan on breaking that if I don't have to - I want someone who is a bit like me to see the distant future I would so badly like to see myself.
So I'm in some sort of debt to my ancestors... it's my duty to ensure that I pass on my genes? I haven't really looked at in that way before. That would be a selfless reason to have kids I suppose, IF there were some negative repercussions otherwise. But there aren't. My ancestors aren't going to come back and haunt me. I'm never going to know if my genes will be of some benefit to the world in the future. I'll never be able to see the future through my great great great grandchilds eyes. I'll be dead. Your reason makes no sense.

The happiest couples I know are he ones who decided not to have kids, I have kids and adore them but if I could do it all again.......

You'll never know until you do, but you can't undo it.
Thanks for the reassurance :laugh:

Which reminds me of another issue I have. I like my wife, but when we have kids she will change, her personality will be different. There's a real risk that I won't like the new version. Generally speaking from experience I don't like mums. They terrify me. Very aggressive and protective and they run you over with their prams. People also seem to become slightly stupid when they have kids. I hope I'm not offending anyone when I say that, but I'm just speaking in a very general way here. From experience I find it harder to engage couples with kids in any sort of interesting conversation.

Me and my wife was happy together and decided we would love to have children, so a year later she finally fell pregnant! Best thing we ever did imho and have since had two more. We now have 3 under the age of 3......yes that was rather silly but love it at the same time.
I think our decision to have them.was the fact we love each other and knew we was right for each other. Last thing we both wanted is an unhappy family life for them.
You had kids becasue you were happy together. Is that an actual reason though? If you're already happy then why do you need kids... to be extra super happy!

You should know that happiness is just a temporary illusion. It's a cruel trick that nature plays on us all. Don't trust happiness. :devil:
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
I'll never be able to see the future through my great great great grandchilds eyes. I'll be dead. Your reason makes no sense.
Different things matter to different people I guess. I'm amazed your genes have got this far :devil:
 

douki

Member
I'm amazed your genes have got this far :devil:
Yeah, maybe you're not wrong this time :D

Anyway here's what I've got.

  • My wife wants one, it will make her happy.
  • I want to be respected and adored.
  • Dunno... it just feels right.
  • I'm programmed to reproduce! Woohoo!
  • What else am I going to do with myself?
  • I want to be as close to immortality as I can.
  • It will give my life some meaning and purpose.
  • It will be fun and rewarding.
  • I owe it to my ancestors who got me here.
  • My genes will make the world a better place.
  • I want someone who is a bit like me to see the distance future.
  • My wife and I love each other and we want to be extra super happy.
  • I might regret it if I don't have one
  • I want to be 'a proper man'
  • I want to experience the joy of being a dad
  • It would be selfish of me NOT to have a child
Thanks for helping me make sense of all this.
 
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SBT

Banned
By accident,so she says :rolleyes:

I wasn't keen to have kids then two came along at once.Wouldn't be without them now though(they've moved out now) :D
 

GloopyJon

Distinguished Member
David, how old are you? I'd guess that you're relatively young (no offence intended btw!).

Women's urge to reproduce is not weird if you consider that, from a biological point of view, reproduction is the main purpose of all living beings. If you're like most men, you also have the urge to have sex quite frequently, which is for exactly the same reason. Again, biologically speaking, you probably married your wife because you like her and find her sexually attractive; she probably married you because she likes you and thinks you would be a suitable partner for reproduction. Subconsciously, I mean, of course.

Did you not discuss the future and whether you would be having children together with your wife before you got married? You seem like an intelligent person (possibly over-intelligent from your propensity to over-analyse things!), so I'd be surprised if you hadn't. What was the outcome of those discussions? How could you have seriously considered binding yourself to this other person if you hadn't sorted this out? Given that you would like to talk to your unborn child, it would be surprising if you hadn't first talked with your wife!

Is the real issue that you are not sure whether your relationship is strong enough to withstand the impact of a baby? You say that you "like" your wife, not that you love her. Is this a hidden concern here?

In all likelihood, you will not be converted to an ardent supporter of the idea of having kids before it happens. Most likely, you will accede to your wife's wishes and be taken along for the ride. You will have misgivings about it for along time - probably throughout the pregnancy and probably also during the first few years of the child's life (or lives, if you have more than one). In time, though, you will gradually become more and more attached to your children, also as they grow up they are less work (at least, less drudgery and yukky stuff) and more interesting when they can talk and discuss things intelligently, and you can do fun things with them that you enjoy too.

You will probably still feel guilty or bad about it, and feel that you have to fake some enthusiasm for the process and support for your wife, and then you will feel bad about that too. However, you shouldn't feel bad about it because it's all perfectly natural and common. It's better to accept the situation, maybe discuss frankly with your wife and let her know that you have doubts but (if you so decide) that you are willing to do it and support her if that's what she wants, but then be as positive as you can.

I know that all of this may sound very cynical but I think it's quite realistic, based on what you have said so far. If you're not willing to go through this process then you should either (a) talk seriously to your wife and decide what you both do about it (stay together without kids or split up so that she can find someone who will), or (b) shut up about it and wait until you're a bit older, when perhaps your perspective will have changed (i.e. tell your wife that you're not ready yet).

FWIW I have three children, the first of which was born when I was 21 and came because my wife (we married when I was 19) wanted it. I've been through more or less the process described above - I have never felt the "miracle of birth" or been especially keen on having children, but I do love my kids and don't regret having them, even though things have been hard at times (not least because we divorced 12 years ago).

I'd also quite like to play golf but have never had the time to do it regularly.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
If you have kids, you won't regret it. If you don't have kids, you just might.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Did you discuss 'kids' before marriage? pretty important conversation to have IMO. People can/will still change their minds of course :)
 
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IronGiant

Moderator
If you have kids, you won't regret it. If you don't have kids, you just might.
edit said:
If you have kids, you might regret it. If you don't have kids, you just won't know.
;)

I don't regret it BTW :thumbsup:
 

Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
David, how old are you? I'd guess that you're relatively young (no offence intended btw!).

Women's urge to reproduce is not weird if you consider that, from a biological point of view, reproduction is the main purpose of all living beings. If you're like most men, you also have the urge to have sex quite frequently, which is for exactly the same reason. Again, biologically speaking, you probably married your wife because you like her and find her sexually attractive; she probably married you because she likes you and thinks you would be a suitable partner for reproduction. Subconsciously, I mean, of course.

Did you not discuss the future and whether you would be having children together with your wife before you got married? You seem like an intelligent person (possibly over-intelligent from your propensity to over-analyse things!), so I'd be surprised if you hadn't. What was the outcome of those discussions? How could you have seriously considered binding yourself to this other person if you hadn't sorted this out? Given that you would like to talk to your unborn child, it would be surprising if you hadn't first talked with your wife!

Is the real issue that you are not sure whether your relationship is strong enough to withstand the impact of a baby? You say that you "like" your wife, not that you love her. Is this a hidden concern here?

In all likelihood, you will not be converted to an ardent supporter of the idea of having kids before it happens. Most likely, you will accede to your wife's wishes and be taken along for the ride. You will have misgivings about it for along time - probably throughout the pregnancy and probably also during the first few years of the child's life (or lives, if you have more than one). In time, though, you will gradually become more and more attached to your children, also as they grow up they are less work (at least, less drudgery and yukky stuff) and more interesting when they can talk and discuss things intelligently, and you can do fun things with them that you enjoy too.

You will probably still feel guilty or bad about it, and feel that you have to fake some enthusiasm for the process and support for your wife, and then you will feel bad about that too. However, you shouldn't feel bad about it because it's all perfectly natural and common. It's better to accept the situation, maybe discuss frankly with your wife and let her know that you have doubts but (if you so decide) that you are willing to do it and support her if that's what she wants, but then be as positive as you can.

I know that all of this may sound very cynical but I think it's quite realistic, based on what you have said so far. If you're not willing to go through this process then you should either (a) talk seriously to your wife and decide what you both do about it (stay together without kids or split up so that she can find someone who will), or (b) shut up about it and wait until you're a bit older, when perhaps your perspective will have changed (i.e. tell your wife that you're not ready yet).

FWIW I have three children, the first of which was born when I was 21 and came because my wife (we married when I was 19) wanted it. I've been through more or less the process described above - I have never felt the "miracle of birth" or been especially keen on having children, but I do love my kids and don't regret having them, even though things have been hard at times (not least because we divorced 12 years ago).

I'd also quite like to play golf but have never had the time to do it regularly.
Yes, good post this, imo.

The only part I'd disagree with is the "miracle of birth" bit.
A total life changer that was, for me :eek:
I'd always looked at myself as a normal "jack the lad" 21 YO until I held the first child in my arms.
Hard as nails, so I thought.
And then proceeded to cry my eyes out, when the real responsibility dawned on me :D

Being a dad certainly makes a proper man out of you, imo.
I had another two and took over another three, so it can't be that bad, can it?
 
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icehockeylege

Standard Member
For me it was because I loved my wife and wanted to make her happy. I had a lot of the same concerns as you (I overthink stuff) and it definitely wasn't something I felt I had to do. I couldn't understand why everyone was doing it all of a sudden. But I think that is the same for a lot of men. In the end, I knew I loved my wife and I wanted to make her happy. So we did it. And I have no regrets - its the best thing I've done. I still do things just for me - like playing football a couple of times a week. Ive actually started my own business since having my daughter - it was something I thought I might do one day but never did it, and actually have a kid was the thing that gave me the push I needed to do it. Something to do with wanting to provide I think :) And I don't think my wife has changed either. Yeah we have other stuff to think about now - but she's the same person, and if anything having a child brings you closer together.

For women it is instinct, as you say. They can't explain WHY they want them - they just do. For men the urge to have sex is instinct. We are all prewired to procreate one way of another.

Why not just enjoy the trying to conceive bit with your wife, and try not to over-think - trust that you'll love the experience of being a dad - it was definitely the case for me. Alternatively - you need to take the plunge and tell her you're not up for it - sooner rather than later.
 

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