There have been a whole series of pieces in Slate and The New York Times about why people choose not to have kids and why they shouldn’t be judged. I didn’t know people judged other people for not having kids. I find it confusing when people think their choices are the only choices. I am happy with my choices, but also appreciate that other people do other things. If everyone got a Ph.D. in literature and had one daughter, the world would stop. People would be able to discuss Joyce but unable to eat; it wouldn’t be pretty. Pressuring people to feel like they should decide one way or the other about very personal things just seems generally odd. Among the reasons people have given for not having kids is, they ruin your career, body, relationship, ability to have fun and a whole bunch of other stuff. Oh, and statistically, according to some, they make people more miserable.* As much joy as they bring into one’s life, a primary argument seems to be that they make everything harder. Okay. The counterarguments for why people have kids usually isn’t “they make life easier,” but a whole slew of other things (again this argument in general seems weird, I cannot imagine life without my daughter, but this doesn’t mean that I think everyone has to have a child).
I’ve got one counterexample to the “kids make life harder” argument (and there are more). You arrive at a hotel for a brief vacation or wedding, look out your window and see a huge construction site. Thoughts without kids: “ARG! Now we will be woken up at 7 a.m. by jackhammers, it will be noisy in here all day, and I will not sleep. I should complain. This is supposed to be a vacation, what the . . .” Thought with kids: “YES, it looks like a Richard Scarry book out there! This will keep my child entertained for hours! I am so excited they gave us this room!” (AND THEN you get a discount on top of that for the awesome construction, life could not be better.) So obviously all people should have kids in case they go on vacation and end up in a room with a construction site outside their windows.
*I also do not think people who do not want kids should criticize people who do have kids. It’s like the mommy wars escalated to the people wars or something. Is this mostly media fabricated or are there really people running around out there thinking “Wow, that woman should have kids” or “Wow, that woman should not have had kids”?