I was catching up with a close friend last night when he mentioned that he and his soon-to-be-fiancee probably won’t have kids. Why not?, I asked him. It wasn’t accusing or judging or snarky, I really just wanted to know how/why they had come to that conclusion. I was intrigued, because I personally can’t imagine the rest of my life without a house full of bouncing babies. And that got me thinking: why do I want to have kids?
Similarly, a few months before Benjamin and I got married, I started a new job. During my first week there, the CFO of the company and I were chatting while making coffee. I told him I was getting married soon, and he said, Why are you getting married? And at first I laughed and made a joke, thinking this was his idea of small-talk. But he wasn’t deterred. He asked again. And at that point I realized it was a very good question. I knew the answer, of course, but I guess I had just never put it into words.
Some people want to have kids to create a tiny little version of themselves — someone who will carry on their personal legacy. For others, kids are a tax exemption or a way to keep their spouse happy/entertained. Some want someone to love, or someone to love them back. To others, kids are a cultural expectation or obligation, something they should do.
And what about me? Why do I want to have kids? I want to create a family. A home. And to me, that means rowdy dinner table conversations and loud car rides and goofy inside jokes. I want to give my kids the opportunity to be loved by a warm and supportive family… one that shares silly traditions and makes each other laugh. I think that Benjamin and I have a lot of love to give, and I’m certain we’ll do a darn good job making a happy, healthy home.
What about you?