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Why Oh Why Have a Baby!?

By Anonymous June 5, 2009 - 1:42pm
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This is a BIG question but I have to ask it. I just can't understand why MOST people want to have children. I just don't feel the urge atall!
Why do most people in this day and age, who have the choice, still want to procreate?
The world is SO overpopulated and there is so much poverty, environmental damage and evil everywhere.
Knowing this, why do people still want to give birth? Is the biological urge so strong, are people SO enamoured with their own genes?

Are babies even very attractive? I can't say that I want to upturn my lovely life, full of love and adventure, to have a smelly,demanding creature hanging on my breast! Am I a bad person to feel this way?
I love my brother's children but I certainly wouldn't want to bring them home!
I am happy to see nicely brought up children, who are kind and considerate, but in this day and age, even that is a rarity. So many kids run the household.They are the alphas. They scream and demand and make a fool of their parents.
Maybe I am out of line, but I just would love to hear a simple explanation from some women out there of why they choose to have children and especially why have more than one in this crumbling, ruined world of ours? And why give up a happy, free existance to be chained to your house for a year or more? What does a child truly give back? A dog is little trouble, loves you unconditionally and when trained, a joy to behold. Many kids are not even grateful for all that is done for them!
Don't get me wrong, I love people. I love to be part of a big family and have wonderful parents and siblings but can't see recreating that for myself.
I am in my twenties and sice I was about four have felt this way. I have a wonderful relatonship, full of passion and joy and adventure and neither I nor my man want that to change.

Add a Comment7 Comments

I agree with what Alison has posted and also wanted to add that your future does not need to be put on hold because you have a child. I think this is the biggest misconception. It may take you longer, you may have to ask for help watching your child but it is definitely possible. I went to nursing school with many women who had children, some of them were even pregnant during the process-- and they are all very successful women, not housewives. It takes a little more effort on your part but in the end it's rewarding to realize you were successful in not only being a mother but also in getting a degree.

I definitely think you should seek some sort of counseling or therapy about your strong negative feelings towards your pregnancy. Not only are the next few months going to be filled with a whirlwind of hormones, but the postpartum period can be very difficult to deal with for some as well.

October 14, 2009 - 5:12am
EmpowHER Guest

I just feel disgusted with myself for being pregnant. I have never been a person who wanted my own children. I do like other people's kids enough, but it's nice that they are not mine. I am 29 and am 9 weeks prego. the thought of being pregnant sounded okay before it actually happened , and know that i am I want nothing more than to not be. I think that having children is an absolutely selfish thing to do. I don't understand what pocesses people to think they need to have kids. Perhaps its a fear of being alone, bordem, they feel they don't "grow up" until they have kids. I know it seems to be that way in my family, esspically my grandmother. Even though I am almost 30 she treats me as a juvinelle, mainly cause I haven't squeezed a person out my vagina.- go figure. So now what do I do? Have an abortion for something that I could have prevented? Does that make me a murder? I will tell you what, I wish my mother would have had an abortion with me , so I wouldn't have to endure the daily bullshit grind of the mundane lives we zombie thru. So quess , from my perspective, I'm would only be doing this kid a favor. --Or perhaps, i'm still a little bitter at the fact that if I do have this kid that i will be forgoing anything that i want to do for myself and becoming a homebound slave/waitress for 18 + years. I just don't feel that I have the energy, mind, or spirit to give to this person. I am utterly disgusted with myself. I think it might be better to live with regret, by having an abortion, than having a kid that i don't want. And no adoption is not an option I am willing to consider. I my case it is all or nothing.

October 13, 2009 - 8:05pm
(reply to Anonymous)


I'm sorry that this is such a struggle for you. I can imagine how upset you are right now because this also happened to a good friend of mine. She did not plan to become pregnant and didn't want children. They used birth control, but at one point she did get pregnant anyway. Her pregnancy was pretty miserable, and she, like you, was very conflicted early on about what to do.

I won't tell you what she did, because it really doesn't matter. What matters is that you make the right choice for you -- and that means it needs to be a choice that you can live with not only at 29, but also later in your life. No matter what you decide right now -- whether to have the baby, have an abortion, or go the adoption route (I know what you said, but I do want to write more about that in a sec) -- it's going to be hard. So faced with three difficult options, you want to make the best one -- for you.

Does the father factor into this picture? Are you married or in a committed relationship with him, and does he know about your pregnancy? Would he or does he want children? Do you think he would be a good father?

If you have an abortion, will you be okay with it later? Some women are, others aren't. At this point, you have already figured out about when the baby would come. If you have an abortion, there will be times when you wonder who that baby would have been, you might figure out how old it would be. You may think it was the best decision, or you might later change your mind. These are the things to think about now. It doesn't matter what your grandmother or the rest of your family thinks. It only matters what you think, and the father, if he is in this picture.

If you have the baby, your life will change. Absolutely. But as Rosa and Alison said, it can also change in the ways YOU want it to. You do not have to define yourself as a housebound slave. You can work. You can find good child care. You will still be interested in the things you're interested in now. In many ways, you can redefine motherhood the way you would like to see it. At first, yes, it's all about caretaking. But babies are mobile. You can be active, educated, and on a path that you want to be on.

If you are hesitant about abortion and feel that you would regret parenthood, I am wondering why you are set against adoption? There are many people -- single, married, straight, gay, younger, older, working or stay-at-home -- who would give energy and love to a child. You would choose. I know you wrote that you are "all or nothing." But sometimes the world just isn't that black and white. You have to be willing to consider shades of gray.

Again, the MOST important thing here is that YOU get to do the work of this decision. You need to fully think about each option and what it would mean for you, and then decide, for you.

Not for family, you know? Not because of what other people say or think.

Please don't be disgusted with yourself. That doesn't help you, it only hurts you. You didn't know you would feel this way. (That also means that you may change again, too. It happens.) Stop beating up on yourself, OK? You have a little time to sit with this decision.

Please write back again if you would like to. I know this is really hard.

October 15, 2009 - 10:08am
(reply to Anonymous)

Thank you for sharing your raw feelings with us, and I hope others reading your story can sympathize with you on some level---even if they are in a place of being ecstatic to be pregnant and are on the other end of the spectrum---these are still feelings that many of us have shared at some brief time in our life.

Many women, whether they planned the pregnancy or not, have moments were they feel exactly what you are feeling: disgusting, disgusted with themselves, disappointment, regret, fear for future, fear of loss of independence and "loss of their life as they know it".

Since this was an unplanned pregnancy, do you have family and friends who are supporting you? Have you talked with your medical doctor yet about your options?

Most importantly, have you spoken with a counselor about your feelings, as I am wondering if you are not experiencing depression. Your feelings toward an unwanted pregnancy are perfectly understandable (albeit difficult for other's to read, I'm sure), but what I'm concerned about are your other feelings---those that "I wish my mother would have had an abortion with me" and that you feel you are "enduring daily bullshit grind of a mundane live that we zombie through". Please know that many people have these cynical and negative feelings at some brief points in their life, but if you are truly feeling this way most days on an on-going basis, and truly believe that you wish you were never born...please call a good therapist immediately. These are not feelings that you should be having alone; they are feelings that need to be shared with a professional psychologist who can help you work through them. As I mentioned, I am reading your words and wondering if you are not experiencing depression, especially with the SURGE of hormones that are going through your body right now...your next 4 weeks are going to be even more riddled with hormone surges, stress, fatigue and other pregnancy symptoms.

Please let us know when you talk with a counselor and/or a medical doctor about your options, hopefully this happens TODAY. How can we help you?

October 13, 2009 - 8:16pm


There was a somewhat similar conversation about why couples choose to have children that you can read on EmpowHer: Advice from women with children?.

I have a 2 year old son, and shared some of your similar feelings and thoughts that you describe before I had a child. I was not a "kid person", and typically did not like other people's kids. I did not have the biological "urge" either, but someday I thought (down the road) I wanted a family, mainly because I had a great childhood, a sister I adore, and wanted that family atmosphere with my husband.

It's difficult to describe "life with kids", as we have friends who chose not to have children, and they are happy, content and have more money and time to travel and do more things than if they did not have children. I would like to say: I have enjoyed traveling more with my son; it is amazing to "see" things through his eyes--I notice so much more about the world around me that I "skip over". Everything is new to him, and he is introducing me to it. It's wonderful!

You asked, "what do they [kids] give back?". When it is your child (and you want that child), the love they "give back" is indescribable. I have always had love and laughter in my life, but I have never laughed on a daily basis until I had my son. He is hilarious! I also love my husband now even more; he is the father of my child and the bond we have raising our child together is insurmountable. It is difficult to describe "love", but you just don't know the love of a child until it is your own.

My life with a child is also richer, more meaningful, than it was before. I have perspective that I didn't previously; the world is not all about me. I am more mature, and I "get it" now. I have more friends than I ever did before (and I had plenty!). I get outside more---go to parks and museums and community events that did not interest me previously. I have a better understanding of my parents, and love seeing them as grandparents. Holidays are a blast!

I also think I would be a better supervisor than I was before; I've got some more tricks up my sleeve! :-)

I agree that there are some very poorly behaved children; some have bad days in the store that you witness, while others have poor behavior that is not controlled. There are many well-behaved children, who are not spoiled, not "alpha", are polite, sweet, intelligent and goofy! :-) Those children aren't as noticeable, but they "blend in" and do not attract our attention.

Sounds like you have a great future ahead of you with traveling, passion and joy! Enjoy it!

June 6, 2009 - 6:04am

Western women are obsessed with this question. But in many societies having children is part of the cultural rules. Your questions may have many answers depending on who reads your posting. If you struggle with the thought of being a mother, then you have the freedom to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. I think than with today's influences, not everyone should have children. There is no book out there that will make someone a "good parent" or a "good child" but they can help understand the many stages of a child's development to bring up emotionally stable children. In an era where "I" "SELF" guides behavior, I suggest to stay away from "YOU" or "THEY" (as in kid(s))if you cannot think on those terms. Bringing a human life into this world is a serious undertaken, one that comes with a commitment to love and nurture in addition to taking accountability and responsibility for the child's healthy development (physical, emotional and spiritual).

I appreciate your posting because at least you are honest admitting that you are not ready to produce a human being who will not be welcomed, nurtured and loved in this turbulent time.

June 5, 2009 - 10:12pm
EmpowHER Guest


"15 months as a parent and I still keep asking every person that I meet.. why do people have kids? A burning desire to have that question answered became my new mission. This nagging question was creating havoc in my life "mom, why do people have kids?"

My mother dropped what she was doing and stared at me. I am sure she was trying to check my breath to see if I had been drinking. She smiled and then realized I was serious. I could see her thinking.

"I don't know baby."

"why did you have kids?" Without thinking the answer came ..."I was young and I didn't know anything else, you know I had just completed high school".

June 5, 2009 - 2:21pm
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