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6 Terrible Reasons to Have a Baby

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6 Terrible Reasons to Have a Baby

By Gwendolen Fairfax, DivineCaroline

You know you’re an adult when your friends start acting like stereotypes. A friend confides that she’s only getting married because she’s afraid her sub-optimal fiancé is her last chance. Or your married pal moves away from your hip, fun city to live in the suburbs, where they can have a yard and a laundry room. Or your college roommate, who always swore she’d be a relaxed, stress-free mom, starts obsessing about tutoring her two-year-old for the SATs. Welcome to adulthood, which is more complicated, painful, and confusing than you thought it would be.

Nowhere is the complexity of adulthood more pronounced than in the decision to have a baby, where formerly sane, smart women start saying things that sound like lines from a Lifetime original movie. Whether or not to be parents is a decision that people make in different ways and for different reasons, but let’s be honest—for every good reason to have a baby, there are some spectacularly bad reasons for doing it.

1. “It’s Time”
Perhaps your friends are starting to have kids, or you just got married and you’re beginning to wonder what’s next. If you’re surrounded by people more or less like you who are happily breeding, you may understandably start to suspect that it’s what you should be doing, too, but—this should go without saying—there is no right time to have a baby. Look around: from fourteen-year-olds on MTV to post-menopausal miracle moms, obviously there’s a pretty wide range of what people find acceptable in terms of the right time to reproduce. It’s time to start a 401(k). It’s time to start wearing sunscreen. There is no such universal “time” to start having babies.

2. “I Love Babies”
I hate to break it to you, but babies do not stay babies forever. They’re only babies for a hot, messy, screaming minute; eventually they become toddlers, and before you know it, they’re teenagers. No one has children because they love teenagers. If you have children because you love babies, you stand a very real chance of turning into Octomom.

3. “It’s What People Do”
Generations of feminists fought for today’s women to have the right to control their reproductive destinies. Your life isn’t scripted, and there’s no need to have a family just because of some vague, undefined feeling that you need to check this milestone off a list. Popping out 2.5 kids and living in a four-bedroom house with a dog isn’t a foregone conclusion anymore, and plenty of people are perfectly happy without them.

Related: Myths about Childfree Women

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Read more: Babies, Children, Family, Guidance, Love, Relationships, Sex

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DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

210 comments

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7:05PM PDT on Sep 27, 2011

people should be ready and prepared before they have babies

5:03PM PDT on Sep 25, 2011

Only people who really want children should have them!

10:18AM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

I noticed that mothers felt insulted or looked over the shoulder: If you don't have your babies for any of these reasons, it shouldn't bother that someone openly said the truth. All these are terrible reasons, don't matter the way someone want to masqueraded it. Sure, ones the music starts playing, you have to dance.
But for example: my sister-in-law, when my hiperactive nephew was yelling and bothering to have our attention, while she was breast-feeding my baby niece (toys throwed all over the living room, my brother asking if there was anything to eat with his coffee and complaining about work) in a moment of awful truth told me in a very soft voice so nobody else could hear her: "I feel I'm a disgusting person saying this but some days I just HATE him (looking at my nephew). -when I open my eyes a bit surprised, not much really I arrived just 15 minutes before and I wanted to throw my nephew through the window- I love him but sometimes... (my brother showed up and our moment ended there. He kissed her and my niece, and my nephew was almost like Spiderman: climbing the walls to have our attention by ANY possible WAY. She told my nephew to calm down -which fall in deaf hears- and my brother look at him shrinking his eyes. I bet he was thinking the same she told me. And she said) Remember when he was like her... calm?!". Both sighed and my brother added "She will be different, a lady"
With 4 y.o., the girl is an unbearable brat who looks, her own parents, over the shoulder

2:59AM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

Very true, it wouldnt be wise to choose to have one when you are not ready. But when you are, babies are so magical.

2:00PM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

thank you Tracie A. I enjoyed your comment more than the article.

10:03AM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

I love the diversity of people and their diff. opinions. It take all types :) And yet I do not understand why so many have to act all high and mighty beacuse they are not having children? You are not single handedly going to save the world, lol. Throwing around this attitude of how dare you have babies is not going to change the increddible blessing that they are in my opinion. I chose to have children for many reasons one being I want to help change the future by raising good people and encoraging them to do good things. The world has many ways to control poputaion, i.e. sickenss, natural disasters, survival of the fittest to name a few.

7:19AM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

Agreed! Too many unwanted children in the world!

12:18AM PDT on Aug 25, 2011

It all comes down to personal decisions. No one path is right for every woman. I chose not to have kids, I was simply never interested. I don't consider kids any kind of "gift" but rather a biological process shared by most all species, one in which I chose not to participate.

Humans are not in danger of extinction any time soon with baby number 7B to be born in the near future, so reproducing for the sake of "saving humanity" is beyond silly. Perhaps women who choose to forego reproducing are nature's way of controlling the population somewhat when others blindly deny the impact and have several.

Fortunately, my husband of 46 years never wanted children either, so that was never even a consideration. It has been a wonderful life, childfree.

9:36AM PDT on Aug 24, 2011

LOL, I agree, these are terrible reasons. ;)

10:26PM PDT on Aug 23, 2011

Thanks! I plan on having a kid hopefully one day, but definitely not until I am ready. I won't be pressured into it or do it for the wrong reasons.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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