Friday, September 21, 2007
Who's Missing Out?
When you see people with kids, do you perceive them as living rich, fulfilling lives, or do you see them as missing out?
We're taught to believe that when we see a couple with children, we should think, "Wow! They have it all!" It's pounded into our heads from day one that in order to live a rich and fulfilling life, it is essential to have children. That's what makes life rich and fulfilling, right? And those who do not have children are missing out. Oh, but wait - back up a second. There are actually five steps to obtaining said rich and fulfilling life, according to the brainwashing we are under from the day we are born:
1. Find Mr./Ms. Right.
2. Get married.
3. Buy a house.
4. Have a child.
5. Have more children.
Voila - instant happiness and fulfilment!
What we are never taught, however, is that every choice we make in life (including having children) results in the sacrifice of other choices. No matter what we choose, we will be "missing out" on the things we didn't choose. Although the Five-Step Road to Happiness laid out for us from birth is promoted as the "have it all" lifestyle, the fact is that when we choose that path, we do so at the expense of other options that might have led us to a richer, happier and more fulfilling life.
You will never hear this out of the mouths of most people. Why? Because most people are part of the hookwinked community that buys into the Surefire-Five-Step-Road-to-Happiness conspiracy. Even when they are plodding through life, dragging their ball-and-chain children behind them, cursing and yelling, broke and exhausted, overwhelmed by responsibiliy and worry and having sacrificed all other pursuits in life, they will still laud the Five-Step-Road for the "blissfully happy" lives they lead, all the while crossing their fingers behind their backs, hoping you believe them.
Well, here's the real scoop and I am not going to bullshit you. People with children are missing out.
Don't believe me? Let's compare the lives of childfree people with childed people and see who is missing out on what.
THE CHILDFREE ARE MISSING OUT ON:
PEOPLE WITH KIDS ARE MISSING OUT ON:
Large amounts of quality time with hubby/wife/significant other
A marriage that isn't buckling under the strain of the responsibilities of children
A full night's sleep
A financially comfortable life
Adult friendships that don't revolve around children
Adult conversations that don't revolve around children
Meaningingful relationships with friends and family members (i.e. quality time for them)
Dedicated pursuit of hobbies, interests and higher education
Uninterrupted career path
Devotion of adequate time to exercise and fitness
Energy and romantic inclination for a satisfying sex life
Diet and meals tailored to adult tastes
An attention span
A sharp, focused mind
Being informed and present in the world
Spontaneous travel, any time of the year
The money to travel at all
Use of vacation days for vacations (instead of for caring for sick kids)
Volunteerism and community activism
Peace and quiet
A taut body, unmarred by the havocs of childbearing
A neat and clean home
Sleeping in late when desired
Taking a "down day" when desired
A life of few worries (compared to the lives of those with kids)
A comfortable retirement (no children's college educations, weddings, etc. to wipe you out financially)
So the next time somebody tries to pressure you into having children by telling you that you would be "missing something" if you don't, just remember all the things you will be missing if you do!
In other words, think before you choose. You might choose differently.