You’ve either made a conscious decision to have a child. Or, you’ve just assumed that someday you’d have one. But before you have any children, it’s a good idea to dig deep and find out why you want one.
Unfortunately, the wish to have a child can be selfish. To help you become more aware, here are nine selfish reasons to have a child. Do any of them sound familiar?
You want to be a young mom
The younger you are, the better your chances are of having a child. And apart from your youthful fertility, it’s easier to raise a child when you’re young because you tend to have more energy – exactly what you need to match your growing baby.
But is youth the only motive for having a child now? You might beat the biological clock, but are you emotionally and psychologically prepared?
You want your child to love you
Of course, no one wants a child who will end up hating their parents. But your wish to have a child should stem, not from your desire to be loved by your child, but from a desire to love. Unconditionally – whether your child reciprocates this love or not. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the truth is, it’s selfish to have a child and expect to become best friends with them.
You want fulfillment
Being a parent can be a wonderfully fulfilling chapter in your life, but you shouldn’t depend on your child for fulfillment. In other words, don’t give up everything for your child. And don’t sacrifice your own happiness for the sake of your child.
This places a lot of unhealthy pressure on your child to always please you and make you happy. But that’s not their responsibility. That’s your responsibility.
You follow expectations
Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re all influenced by society, as well as by our family and friends. It’s been that way for our entire lives, so it’s only natural that this would be the case when it comes to starting your own family.
And it’s okay to make similar life decisions as other people as long as they align with what you really want. Your family (or friends or society) may want and expect you to have kids, but do you really want that, too?
You want to fit in
Your community, family or workplace may be brimming over with children. If so, you’re probably the odd one out. You simply can’t relate to their conversations about diapers, teething, sleepless nights, baby formula, breast feeding and other parenting concerns.
And feeling out of the loop isn’t any fun. So, you might think that having a child is a good way to fit in. And while it might give you similar experiences as the other parents in your circle, is that a good enough reason to have a child?
You want to establish your own legacy
The more children you have, the larger your dynasty will be. But try not to think of future children like pawns in a game of chess. Or, as cute additions to your family tree. Instead, look at children as future adults, independent and destined to live out their own meaningful life.
Your children will always be connected to you, and they will carry your lineage throughout the years, but try not to think about children as just a means to an end. They’re so much more.
You want a child to keep your relationship / marriage alive
When relationships start to crumble, some couples knowingly or unknowingly introduce a child to help smooth things over. But this is selfish in several ways.
First of all, it is not your child’s responsibility to fix your relationship. That work belongs to you and your partner alone. What’s more, if the addition of a child doesn’t fix your relationship, you will have a broken and dysfunctional family for your child to grow up in.
This isn’t fair and in the end, it can make things very stressful for everyone involved.
You want someone to take care of you when you’re elderly
Some parents have kids with the mindset that since they did so much for their children, their children owe them something in return. But your child didn’t decide to begin a life here on earth. That was your choice. And once they arrive, it’s time for them to find their own way and live out their best lives.
Your child doesn’t owe you. Of course, it’s a beautiful thing to cultivate unconditional and respectful relationships so that parents and children love and take care of each other. But this is different from demanding and expecting care just because you gave them life.
You want to live vicariously through your child
You may have some regrets in your life. There may be things you wish you’d done differently. Or, maybe you feel too young to try new things. So, you decide to have a child so that you can experience these things anew (or again) via your child.
And even though you look forward to reliving dance recitals or soccer games, that’s not the purpose of your child. He or she will have their own life to discover, and they will have their own passions, talents and interests.
It’s up to you to help your child develop and grow in a way that is suitable for them. And if you still want your child to live out certain dreams for you, why not reevaluate your dreams?
What importance do these dreams really hold for you? And are they a way to live a full life by expecting your child to do it for you?
If you can relate to any of these wishes, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or that you’ll be a bad mother. You can become a wonderful mother. And before you do, take some time to become more self-aware about your goals and wishes.