Unequivocally Ambiguous

Humorous Stories on Parenting, Culture and Life

The State of the World is No Excuse to not Have Kids

by | Apr 13, 2024 | Parenting | 0 comments

The extreme rollercoaster of procreation and parenting

When you decide to have kids, you need to accept it is going to be a shit show.

You can’t be one of those new-agey snubs who think it will coerce the universe into making their child-rearing experience different than every other person in the world.

It is going to be a shit show, and there is no way around it. You can’t go into it thinking it is going to be a cakewalk and walk away when it gets hard and act like no one told you it was going to be hard.

Some people like to say kids don’t change parents’ lives and that those parents are just using their kids as an excuse because they are lazy slackers.

People saying having kids doesn’t change things have never tried to stop an unsuspecting waterfall of pee and poo that your newborn has timed for the exact moment when you are changing her diaper at three in the morning.

If you have ever stated a crazy opinion like that, please complete the following fill-in sentence from the acclaimed reality TV show, “My name is (insert your name here), and I’m not smarter than a fifth-grader.”

On the other hand, I’m never surprised by the people who choose not to have kids.
I get it.
Having kids is hard.

It is a depleting permanent drain on your energy, money, and sanity. I can appreciate it when someone makes a conscious decision to say, ‘That’s a no for me, dawg.”

I understand when someone looks at the social expectation of procreation, lifts the steel food dome on it, and calmly states, “You’ve been chopped.”

What I roll my eyes at is when people say, “How can I bring kids into this world?”

Put aside the immediate moral judgment those people are casting on those procreating to explore the incongruence of such a position.

What are they talking about?

The world is falling apart, the highest glacier in Antarctica is going to collapse, populism is a ticking nuclear bomb under our hard-earned democracy, and there are many a man who still thinks the man bun is a sensible fashion statement.

But the state of the world is no reason not to have kids. Other species have offspring without knowing anything about the future.

Our ancestors had kids when things looked a lot bleaker for them. They just didn’t know it. Even if they understood it, they probably would’ve not cared. We can be appreciative of their existential ignorance, genetic apathy, and the irreverent and careless drive to procreate.

If that’s why you don’t want to have kids, then you really shouldn’t. We don’t need that kind of defeatist worldview in our gene pool. Or, in reality TV terms, you can understand, “I’m sorry you’ve been eliminated from the race,” “The tribe has spoken,” and “Please pack your knives and go.”

That reasoning would have caused our species to become extinct long ago.

Hipster cavewoman would look at her cavemom and ask, “How can you have kids at a time like these when almost all animals around us can kill us, we have yet to discover fire, we eat all of our food carpaccio-style, and this dirty leotard is a terrible fashion statement?”

It’s more than okay to choose not to have kids.

Just be honest. “It’s not for me,” “It’s too much work,” “I can’t stand the idea of changing diapers, then putting my baby down, then immediately getting up to change the diapers again,” “I am creeped out by their beautiful tiny hands.”

It is super gratifying, though.

There is no feeling like it. I’m sure all of it is due to our hardwiring for reproduction. We get to enjoy a cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters only available to us when our offspring looks into our eyes and holds our pinky finger.

It is super gratifying.

But it is a thankless job, and that’s why it is entirely understandable when people say, “It is not for me. That’s too much work.”

People complain about having thankless dead-end jobs. Being a parent is the OG, dead-end job.

There are no prospects or other opportunities. No recruiters are dropping a line on your LinkedIn inbox telling you about the openings to raise better-behaved kids.

It is a thankless job that you can’t quit.

For example, when Jovie was younger, she gave me a right cross one day when I tried to calm her down. I am proud of her because she has a good arm, she punches above her weight class, and she is lucky I don’t believe in spanking.

I’m conflicted because I choose not to spank her, but I know it would’ve felt so good to do so right after getting punched.

Psychologists say kids tend to act out with the people they feel the most comfortable and I’m wondering if there are safe practices to make my daughter feel less comfortable with me just so I don’t get punched.

So you might have some poor performance reviews, but you’ll never have a boss punch you in your face. And if you do, you might have a multimillion-dollar employment practice lawsuit in your hands.

There are books, classes, and workshops designed to help you escape the corporate rat race.

If you complain to anyone about getting punched in the face by your kid, all they say is, “Yeah, welcome to parenthood. We have been saying that having kids is great, so you would join us. But… Psych!”

Parental misery loves company.

Also, are you sad you didn’t get to the corner office? When you have kids, you lose all the personal storage space you used to have. It is worse for guys. Our closets are reduced to one drawer in our wife’s closet; if you have more than one pair of shoes (the decadence), you will have to store them in your car’s trunk, and your coats will have to be stored in the garage, and people will know you have kids when you approach them because your layers will smell like CK One and carbon monoxide.

No work-life balance?

Don’t worry. Having kids will wipe the idea of balance from your silly brain. When you have kids, there is no room for such grand burgeon concepts like balance.

But none of that matters because your kid will look at you and smile or even tell you she loves you when she can barely form sentences, and you know it in your heart that you do it all over again and, if given a chance, even start earlier and have more of them.

They are just that awesome. They are just that gratifying. Our biology has such a bias leaning towards life and survival.

I’m not suggesting you change your mind so you get to experience the high. After all, I wouldn’t advocate for heroin either, and likely, it is a similar high, and it will also cost you everything.

It is hard, but it is infinitely rewarding. But it is not for everyone unless the only reason you are not doing it is because of the state of the world, in which case just know that’s the more reason to do it.

Because while you are depriving yourself of hardwired happiness, Billy Lee Bob, somewhere in a double-wide trailer, is having ten kids. The world needs your kids to counteract Billy Lee Bob’s effect on the environment, and likely, your kids will solve some of our society’s most challenging problems, and your kids will be infinitely grateful that you gave them life because life is worth living.

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