We as a society are catching on: we don’t have to have kids. Any inkling to do so is either just evolution manipulating our hormones into making more people or outdated cultural norms that say that’s just what you do. We’re individuals. We can overcome our biological instincts. We are more than just centuries of genetic programming. If we don’t want kids, we aren’t going to let some hormones get the best of us. And we certainly don’t care if older generations call us selfish for not having children. We have more admirable pursuits in mind than just making babies. Hey, I get it. I’m not going to have kids. But, what does concern me is how many people decide not to have children because they had rough childhoods. I don’t think that should have anything to do with the choice. If you do decide not to have kids, it should be with a clear mind, free of baggage from the past. Here is why you shouldn’t let a rough childhood stop you from having kids.
Most people had a tough childhood
First and foremost, if you were to ask everyone how their childhood was, I can almost promise you that most would say it was rough. And then, you probably personally know plenty of people who you believe are wonderful parents. Some of them may have had rough childhoods, and it isn’t impacting their ability to be great parents. Of all the great parents you see out there, I bet quite a few had rough childhoods.
If you know it was tough, you’re ahead of the game
The very fact that you understand there were elements of your childhood that were tough, and the fact that you analyze and reflect on how your childhood affected you, already puts you ahead of the game. It means that you won’t let subconscious patterns and trauma dictate your parenting style. You’re awake. You’re aware.
Shouldn’t you create a better generation?
If you are psychologically sharp and emotionally well-adjusted because you A) know your childhood was tough and B) did the personal work to get over those traumas, then you’re exactly the type of person who should be having children. You’re intelligent enough to know how your behaviors will affect your child.
And pass on great parenting skills?
And if you’re a great parent, then you’ll pass on great parenting skills to your children, furthering generations to come of good parents. You could stop the cycle of bad parenting in your bloodline.
We need more great people making kids
If you haven’t seen the movie “Idiocracy,” do—it’s a look into our future. The idea behind it is that intelligent people are no longer having kids because they’re smart enough to know what a scary world it is out there. But what does that leave us with? A lot of unintelligent people, because they’re the only ones procreating. Don’t let that become a reality.
You’ll be more loving
Maybe your parents were withholding. So, you’ll be loving. You remember every time you wished your parents were affectionate, warm, and supportive, but they weren’t. And you’ll make sure your child doesn’t experience that same trauma.
You’ll be more involved
Perhaps your parents were checked out. Maybe they weren’t ready to have kids when they did, and were still quite self-involved, not really paying much attention to you. You won’t do that. You’ll wait to have kids until you’ve tended to your own garden, and are in a place where you can dedicate your full attention to your family.
Don’t let your parents screw you twice
If you do actually want kids, but won’t have them all because of your childhood, then aren’t you letting your parents screw you…twice? They ruined your childhood and now they’re ruining your chance of enjoying parenthood.
And maybe don’t punish them
If you have made amends with your parents, and you do want children, then by not having kids, you’re just punishing your parents and yourself. If they’re good people who would make loving grandparents, maybe this is a great opportunity to give them a second chance. They may be better grandparents than they were parents.
It’s unfair to your partner
What about your partner? Is he wonderful? Is he the type of person you wish there were more of? Well, I’ve got news for you: it’s entirely in your hands to make that happen.
Nature and nurture are at play
Don’t forget that it’s not like your parent’s behaviors will funnel directly into your children. Sure, there’s nature, but nurture is also very strong.
You can control the nurture
You have full control of the nurture element here, and that can be very powerful. In fact, most of what you didn’t like about your parents probably involved their nurturing and not their nature, which shows you just how powerful it is.
And you’re aware of the nature
Since you are aware of what traits run in your family’s genes, you can get ahead of that. You can use nurture to combat your family’s natural tendencies and flaws. If you think your childhood was tough, you’re probably acutely aware of the genetic downfalls of your brood, and will control those.
Do you like your partner’s family?
Don’t forget that it takes two to make a baby. Do you love your partner’s family? Do you love their nature? Do you think they have great genes? Well, your baby will get those, too!
Haven’t you forgiven your parents?
Have you forgiven your parents? Have you learned that they did the best they could considering their own emotional shortcomings and personal issues? Do you know they didn’t mean to hurt you? Maybe since moving away you’ve gained perspective. Well, if you’ve learned all that, then guess what? Your child will understand that about you one day, should you happen to make a few parenting mistakes yourself.