Why Kids...?

in life •  10 months ago 

This is a rather humbling inquiry & share, but fuck it...

I never wanted kids.

That was so crystal clear, that I eventually committed to it with a vasectomy at age 26.

Though, life went on, taking its own turns. Eventually, I ended up following through on a calling to move to Bali, and a few weeks later met the woman who’d become my wife.

The kids piece was always a point of conflict. So much, that we ended up breaking up. Though go figure, an ayahuasca journey shook things up strong - showing me the crossroads between a life lived in fear and one lived in love, and the precise action step to step into the life of love. A week later - after seeing my ex only once in 8 months - I showed up at her work unannounced and proposed.

I did see in that trip that having kids could potentially be one of the highest realizations of a life of love. Though as time has carried on, it’s been hella tough living that highest vibration. And while the kids issue was gladly been delayed and avoided, the closer I get to the point where it can’t be anymore, the more intimately I’ve become with just how strong my resistance towards the idea of kids still is. (Like, really strong. Like, I went into what felt like an actual panic attack when my wife brought up the topic seriously last night).

So...

I am aware that my resistance is largely fear-based. And likely, trauma-based as well.

Fear of surrendering complete control of my life. Fear of the loss of freedom to do what I want when I want. Fear of the kids being unhealthy. Fear of being pushed over the edge of insanity at having committed to something I actually didn’t want that could potentially turn out as a hell. Fear of the absolute worst of rage, hatred, resentment, and evil in myself coming out. Fear of being entrapped in a situation I can’t walk away from without compromising integrity. Etc, etc.

And, I acknowledge that those aren’t probably the best motivations to make major life decisions from.

(Back to the crossroads between a life based in fear versus a life lived in love...)



Now, there have been moments where I have seen/felt the potential of kids being something that might actually deliver degrees of soul fulfillment otherwise inaccessible. Where I’ve acknowledged the worthy reasons it could be worth surrendering to my fears and plunging into the unknown.

Irregardless, the close I come to facing the inevitable decision point, the more paralyzing it feels.

So, I hereby humble myself to request some different perspectives and opinions on the subject - from people who actually have kids themselves.

What makes it/them worth all the sacrifices?

What are the rewards that make it worth dying to the fears?

For all the aspects of parenting that may be incredibly difficult and frustrating, what are the reasons that make it all worthwhile?

How would you articulate the ways children fulfill you and nourish your soul, in spite of the challenges and freedom they required giving up?

For all the times you might be pushed to your limits and wished you hadn’t had kids, what about them / the parenting experience makes it worthwhile such that there are still no regrets?

Or, if you did have kids and ended up regretting it, why?

Etc, etc, etc.

Curious about different perspectives on the whole matter to help see beyond the boundaries of my stubborn resistance and fear, and what positive potentials there may be to the whole experience that are still in my blind spots.

All opinions welcome and appreciated... 🙏

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My son's turning fourteen. I cannot tell you a precise reason why I decided to have a child. It felt appropriate and right at that time. I had no idea what to expect. I can tell you that not knowing about the difficulties you can have as a parent is basically quite good because you grow with things and all the problems with your own parenting make you make decisions. You can't plan family and parenthood like a project and you can't weigh the pros and cons because a lot of unknowns are waiting for you once you're a parent.

The most important question in this context would be: Are you prepared to deal with uncertainty in life?

When you become a father, you would face a lot of difficulties. But if the motive is to reach maturity or to want anything specific through the role of parenting, I wouldn't recommend it.

The problem that we modern humans have is that the need for offspring does not seem to exist. Although this seems to contradict my statement above, I would think that purposefulness for reasons of self-preservation, security in old age, inclusion in a social group is a significant aspect of parenthood. For many people who suffer feelings of senselessness and loneliness as singles, starting a family is the right way to integrate into a new form of community building. You will have a lot to do (offline) when you become a father.

Do you want to get involved with other people from your child's kindergarten days, with teachers at school, with sports club memberships, with doctors, vaccinations, counsellors, your parents or those of your wife who then become grandparents, the family of origin and possibly existing siblings, friends who also have children?

Are you ready to put your ego aside and settle into your fatherhood in a leisurely and reconciled way with your decision? Are you ready to get up at night and get by with only three to six hours of sleep?

No one can take away your fears and you will make terrible mistakes and feel like a failure time and time again.

I mean, you can't really want something like this and we all know that there are no reasonable and rational explanations for becoming parents unless you're crazy and want to take a risk whose outcome is more than uncertain.

All the talk about how children enrich your life and make you happy, even euphoric, and all the love that naturally reigns between you and your child: all right. But I would say that once you're a parent, you're always a parent and that's something you really have to want, whether consciously or unconsciously chosen.

If the egos of both parents are too big, which is often the case in the first three years, many couples separate. You get to know each other really well when you become a mother and father. The fate of many children today is to grow up with separated parents. All this is not a drama if you behave sensibly and do not have to compensate the child for the pain suffered between the divorcing parents. Of course, no one is really protected from harm, it is always a constant companion in the life of all of us.

If you still feel like becoming a father after this speech, I think you are ready for it.

Great speech.

I’m definitely not ready for it. Lol.

Kids are your direct access to consciousness and the easiest way to realize your programming. My journey to being aware (and in the moment) was not completely understood until I realize kids are one of the biggest keys to find higher frequencies. As parents, we think we know so much more than them, and we can show them the best possible ways to do things and to feel. But the truth is we are only trying to instill in them the same programming we received when we were little. Realizing kids are not "yours" is one part, then comes the commitment to be honest and to treat them with the same levels of respect you will show another human. It completely changes the dynamics and the experience as a whole.

I love my kids, and I love helping then find their purpose in this universe. And every time I want to strangle them, I remember that I am probably just projecting some bullshit on them, I sit with the feeling and then truly try to understand why do I want to strangle them.

I don't think kids are a choice, but instead they choose you. If you are ever chosen to be a dad, I am most certain you are exactly what that kid needs. Soooo, stop resisting, stop freaking out... no parent is ready for kids, but helping someone you love so much find a way to survive, be happy and embrace challenges is just amazing.

That is beautifully said.
So true about respect.

🏆

This comment wins of them all. Lol.

Wonderfully-stated. Quite the type of feedback/insight/perspective I was hoping for when putting out the inquiry.

🙏💓

As much as your writing helps my perspective, I'm glad I was able to help a little ☺

This is a wonderful piece. Reminds me of my own fear of responsibility. I do not want to be in some of the tough situations I saw my late father go through. Being in a situation where you can't cater to the people you love the most. Somehow faith has brought my greatest fear to my doorstep. Every time I look at my sibling this numbing fear creeps inside of me. How would I manage this situation? I've assumed a responsibility that is not initially mine. It's scary.

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I was a fence-sitter in regards to having children. I have a healthy, brilliant daughter I can be proud of and whom I love dearly. It hasn't been easy in the sense that I've had to stomach things for my child's sake that I would otherwise never have had to face at all or would have responded to differently - and it could've easily turned out much, much worse. Would I do it again? Well, I haven't and will not. But the alternative of never having had my daughter is difficult to imagine. Of course, I remember my life as a single young man but I've never experienced life as a childless bachelor in my mid-forties. What would I be thinking and experiencing? What insights would I lack, if any? To what extent would I be different from the person I'm now?

You will have to assess the validity of your fears yourself. We all have our own unique personalities and circumstances.

🙏

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Yes I remember that post where you first mentioned your stand with kids, I was going to ask you after that last ayahuasca trip if your opinion about kids had changed, I can't remember why I didn't. Well, glad its answered now, and I can see the opinion hasn't changed much.
I was interested in knowing how long it would last for, especially seeing that you're now married and all,..I'm glad I'm learning along now.

Fear of surrendering complete control of my life. Fear of the loss of freedom to do what I want when I want. Fear of the kids being unhealthy. Fear of being pushed over the edge of insanity at having committed to something I actually didn’t want that could potentially turn out as a hell. Fear of the absolute worst of rage, hatred, resentment, and evil in myself coming out. Fear of being entrapped in a situation I can’t walk away from without compromising integrity. Etc, etc.

Do you know I have such same fears concerning marriage now...

there's something to learn here...

Not much came up in the last round of ceremonies regarding kids. I suppose my “opinions” have shifted a bit over the last four years, with my heart cracking open more incrementally to the idea. Though the issue doesn’t seem so much one of “opinion,” as emotional charge.

At this point, I’m feeling pretty sure that I’ll need like a month in Peru diving deep into this, before being fully clear and confident to make a committed decision. Far too much charge at this point, which would end up highly explosive without doing the deepest soul work to clear out the roots of that resistance...

The major reason I want to get married is to have kids. This comes from the overpowering belief and stubbornness to prove to myself, my surrounding and of course my dad that life doesn't have to be so shitty as/for kids.

I already practice this on my younger brother.

Take for instance, I was told as a child that pleasure can not be combined with study/school. When my brother visited me a while ago, I gave him the freedom to play video games every night. He also finished 3 seasons of Legends of Tommorow and 10 seasons of The Big Bang Theory all in the space of 6 weeks. Yet he aced his science papers in ways he had never done before. All 90+.

How?

Because although he played everyday, I made sure he completed one chapter of a math text before he did any other thing, everyday. As long as he did that, he was free and the faster he did, the more time he had for other things.

I just want to see kids blossom, to live, to laugh and to love and to experience everything I never got the chance to experience as a kid.

  ·  10 months ago (edited)

With having children there are too many life changing moments of both frustrating challenges and mind bendingly beautiful revelations full of pure love, to list.
As much as you feel you're giving away your freedom, think of it as bringing them along for the ride.

However, do please remember that they don't stay babies and children for long.
They grow up very quickly. It's not tantrums and nappy changing forever :)

You are raising the adult they are going to be, and that's a beautiful journey to be on.

Sometimes we find ourselves through the act of giving, you mentioned a lack of freedom several times.

I have two kids and married a man with 3, it was crazy, messy and brilliant. Those kids are now young adults, several of them with children of their own.

There were good times and bad, but I guess some of my best and worst moments in life are directly related to those kids.

Nobody can describe it, along with those moments of giving and frustration is an overpowering love, protection and pride.

True, it is hard to describe. Even in people who have let their children down I see this love and pride, and it triples their guilt. It is a hard thing to describe because it is so fundamental.

What a pleasure it is to read you again @rok-sivante! I missed your texts and your sincere way of writing. I don't have children. I am a woman without children. On one side of the road, I also decided not to have them. Maybe it was selfish of me to make that decision, but I don't regret it. Perhaps among the things that made me decide not to be a mother were also fears. In much the same way as yours: fear of not being good enough to educate them, of seeing them sick, of losing an important part of my freedom because I would stop being one person and become two. But especially because I didn't see in me that genuine feeling that parents must feel when they imagine giving life to another being. I don't deny that many times, due to the social pressures that still exist, I felt tempted to be a mother, but I immediately rejected the idea when I realized that everything was responsible for the environment, not for what was inside me. I respect and value being a mom very much and I know it's a job that requires 24-hour attention, which is a role that after you've acquired, you can't give up; and that as someone's parent, every step you take must be a function of the future you want for the other person. Maybe I am missing one of the best things in life, but just as to be a doctor or a teacher you need a vocation, to be a father too. And I don't have that vocation. Thank you always for giving me the opportunity to express myself. I embrace you.

Have you ever had regrets over that decision, or are perfectly content with the path you chose not to...?

I've never regretted it.

I never really doubted that I would have children some day - I was quite aware of this even as a teenager. My wife was much more in doubt. The thing is that I am a big brother, looked after the youngest of my siblings, and have had responsibility for... well, practically every person I ever met. My wife didn't have many children in the family and to her it was a very big leap.

I think children in general are more rewarding acquaintances than grown ups, they actually give something back to you: trust, love. Their lack of experience is funny, it is fascinating to see them learn - and I like to tell them about things... they are curious and actually take your advice... sometimes at least.

Most grown ups lacks all this but are still mentally immature - some of them like five years olds when it comes to taking responsibility. They want me to help them, but they wouldn't even consider helping me.

It is hard work the first couple of years, but most of the hardship I see others have is self-inflicted. Not taking yourself as a parent serious helps a lot. I do suffer from anxiety that something will happen to them, but I have forced myself to let them first walk and then bike around Copenhagen on their own. This is the thing that weighs most on me and the hardest thing about being a father. The thing about freedom has never really been an issue to me. I feel just as free now as I did when I was younger.

That is my thoughts about children.

🙏💓

Because as you grow older and you think about your own mortality, you look at your kids and smile.

A part of you will live on.

That's one of the reasons.

With all due respect, that reason shouldn't factor in at all. Why? If you look at the chain of generations up or down by more than about three generations it will be made up of people who have or who will never meet you and to whom you will be but an abstraction. Also, your degree of genetic relatedness to your descendants will be halved with each passing generation. Ten generations down the line your direct descendants might as well be perfect strangers.

I don't think anyone has plans on how to keep kids, when the kids come naturally, then the plan comes naturally.

How come we will understand this. If lifted from spiritual power all will bind to our level of trust. How then can we judge it as something good. Because I think when we begin to meet with a woman and then establish a marriage relationship with him.

Then the next effort from that is to continue the generation, continue our descendants. There are many people who have change when they have children. You know? most people really want to have children. Children become something that can give us passion. There are new colors that come from our lives. And that's all how we judge this in a clearer way.

It's fabulous not just delightful!

Fabulous how?

In what ways?

Are you worried about if reversing the vasectomy will work out or not?
That's what I would be worried about if I was in your situation.

No. I’m pretty sure the success rate of a reversal is 100%. No concern there.

Ah, ok. I guess I was misinformed then. Good to hear!

Errr... did some research... you were informed correctly. Effectiveness does vary, especially with time since the original operation.

Damn, sorry to hear. Now that you know, this is something that you need to think about though right?

Yep. Put a different spin on things.

Though, there’d still be an option of extraction + IVF...

In the first place it is not clear for me why you fear having a child or children? My life is so proven experience that could benefit those standing on crossroad, for having children. But my question is why u fear? I need Short and precise answer……. then I will say own

Fear of surrendering complete control of my life. Fear of the loss of freedom to do what I want when I want. Fear of the kids being unhealthy. Fear of being pushed over the edge of insanity at having committed to something I actually didn’t want that could potentially turn out as a hell. Fear of the absolute worst of rage, hatred, resentment, and evil in myself coming out. Fear of being entrapped in a situation I can’t walk away from without compromising integrity. Etc, etc.

This seems to be coming from something more deep, way beneath the surface. A not so shiny childhood?

Oddly, there’s alot of my childhood I don’t remember. Bits and pieces, sure. But quite a bit of emotional detachment and lots of memory I haven’t had access to.

Yet, nothing in particular that stands out as being all that bad. Parents weren’t perfect - mom depressed, dad easily irritable and kind of emotionally-abusive/hard on my mom, but nothing extreme. We’re both fairly loving parents as far as I recall.

Dug up an incident in my last ayahuasca ceremony - not 100% sure if actually happened or pieced together fragments of memory - of some “metoo” shit that happened when 8 and would have fragmented my psyche if did happen. Though I dunno if that alone would account for the totality of all the fears listed above...