Worst Reasons to Have Kids, Ranked
Starting a family is one of the most life-affirming experiences a person can choose. One common oversight, however, is that you don't actually need to have kids to start one. There are many types of families, after all, and having kids is a way bigger decision than people let on.
If you or someone you know is on the fence about having kids, make sure your reasons for doing so make sense. These 13 are among the worst reasons to have kids. If your main motive is on this list, maybe take up a hobby instead. Pickleball is trending. Try that.
13. Because You're Worried What Will Happen When You Get Old
Think this one is outdated? Nope. It's still pretty common for U.S. parents to expect their kids to take care of them during old age. Imagine you were just born yesterday. Welcome to life! You didn't really have a say in the matter, but here you are, with your very own life. That's pretty cool, right?
Oh, wait. We forgot to mention your obligations. In about 40 years, you better make enough money and have enough time to take care of your aging parents, or you're an ungrateful jerk. Seems fair.
If you raise your kids well and have a healthy, fulfilling relationship with them, the odds are good that they'll want to help you later in life. To have kids only for them to be indebted to you until you die, however, is a recipe for kids that resent you.
12. Because Your First Child Needs a Friend
BRB while we clean up the water we spit out from laughing so hard. Have you ever seen siblings? Like, ever? Some of them are best friends. Some of them send each other to the E.R. over a toy. Most sibling relationships fall somewhere in between.
Siblings can share a special, lifelong bond, but if providing companionship is your only reason for signing up for an additional 18-year commitment, sign them up for a playgroup instead.
11. Because Your Biological Clock Is Ticking
For women, the opportunity to have their own biological children does have an expiration date. So does yogurt, though. If you didn't want to eat it to begin with, what makes you think you'll enjoy it more the day before it goes bad?
If you always wanted kids and just haven't had the opportunity, that's one thing. If you were never sure in the first place, running out of time is not a good enough reason to sign up for literally the biggest commitment you could ever make.
10. Because Not Everyone Can
You know what else not everyone can do?
- Run a 10K
- Climb Everest
- Do a backflip
- Sneeze with their eyes open
- Lick their elbow
- Play the tuba
- Eat a ghost pepper
Need we go on? There are plenty of things not everyone can do. That doesn't mean you're obligated to do them. If you still think that logic holds up, what are you doing reading this? Amputees exist. Appreciate the existence of your perfectly good legs, and go train for a half marathon, you ungrateful potato.
9. Because They're Cute
Kids on Instagram? Adorable.
Kids in real life? If you can still see the cuteness of a precious little girl after she and her friend spontaneously learn to make slime in the living room, get food dye on the couch and try to clean up the mess with the new towels you just bought, then congratulations. You're ready for parenthood.
8. Because Your Mom Wants a Grandbaby
We don't usually condone telling your mother to go shove a sock in it and mind her own business, but this is where we'll make an exception. A typical mother-daughter duo having this conversation should look like this:
Mom: When are you going to give me grandchildren?
Daughter: Whenever you agree to provide 18 years of child support and a college fund. You want 'em, you pay for 'em. It's only fair.
7. Because You Need a Sense of Purpose
If wiping butts will bring your life meaning, having kids is an excellent choice. Don't get us wrong, raising children can absolutely deepen your sense of gratitude and connection. Helping to raise the next generation by instilling strong values like empathy and respect can be extremely fulfilling.
If finding fulfillment is your only motive for having kids, however, there are much cheaper, less stressful ways to find it. A therapist's couch might be a good place to start.
6. Because You Want to Leave a Legacy
Quick question. Does Oprah have a meaningful legacy? What about Dolly Parton? Leonardo da Vinci? Jane Austen? Louis Armstrong? The first President of the United States?
None of them had kids, so they obviously aren't worth remembering.
5. Because It'll Bring You and Your Partner Together
Some couples can't assemble a tent without fighting. But maybe if we also ask them to take shifts caring for a newborn, choose a preschool, start saving for college and agree on a parenting style, they'll get along better.
Adding to your family can foster a deeper sense of connection but only if there's already a connection to expand upon. If you and your partner already fight like cats and dogs, adding cat-dog hybrids is highly unlikely to fix things. Couple's counseling is a much safer bet.
4. Because Having Kids Will Make You a Better Person
We'll give it to you straight: If you're a bad person now, having kids won't reform you. You'll just be a bad person glaring at a smaller version of yourself screaming in the grocery store.
Your job as a parent is, quite literally, to raise a good human being. If you can't even figure out how to be one yourself, what makes you think you're qualified for the position? Go work on your resume and consider reapplying for the parenting position in a few years.
3. Because You Want to Be Loved
Longing for love is part of human nature. That's why we make friends and brave the nightmare of online dating. That's why we have moms, if we're lucky, who signed up to love us unconditionally from the minute we were born.
When you become a parent, that's what you're signing up for: to love someone, no matter how they behave and who they become. If you're doing it right, your kids will always love you, but they definitely won't always act like it. There might be an entire decade that they don't even like you. If you want someone to be totally, unconditionally obsessed with you, get a golden retriever, not a baby.
2. Because You're Bored
Ahem. How shall we say this? It is entirely possible to practice putting a bun in the oven without actually doing so. Alternatively, you and your partner can learn how to actually bake, take up a sport or literally anything else to entertain yourselves. There are like 10 different streaming services at this point, and we're betting you have at least four of them.
If you're still bored, has it ever occurred to you that, perhaps, you're the boring one? If that's the case, you'll still be bored when you have kids on a park bench with a pile of sand toys and less money.
1. Because Everyone Else Is Doing It
If you're considering having kids of your own, it's about time you start listening to your own mom's advice. Remember when she asked you, "If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do that, too?"
The question is still valid. Just because lots of people are doing something doesn't mean you should.
It was hard to pick which reason to have kids was the worst because these are all pretty ridiculous. Picking the best reason is much easier: because you love children, fully comprehend the gravity of having them and still can't wait to start. And in that case, get on it, pun intended.