“It doesn’t seem like a smart thing for me to do, and I’m pretty adamant about that, I don’t have anything in me that says rush out and have kids. It’s the ultimate responsibility.” ~ George Clooney
While being interrogated, and I mean interrogated, by a relatively new colleague as to why I don’t intend to have children, it occurred to me that as a society we have this completely the wrong way round.
When you make a baby you create an entirely new person. An entirely new person who you’ll be responsible for for the next eighteen years. An entirely new person who’s going to be totally dependent on you for every single thing it needs.
And you can’t take it back if you don’t like it.
With that in mind, rather than it being the standard for people to judge others who say they don’t want kids, I think it’s the parental wannabes who should be bombarded with questions.
Why do you want a baby? What qualifications do you think you can bring to parenthood? How do you plan to deal with any challenges you come up against? What makes you the best person to be a parent? What previous experience do you have in caring for children? How are you at organisation? Time management? Negotiation? Diplomacy?
After all, similar questions were asked of my postman before he was allowed to be the guy who delivers my mail.
Unfortunately, as many tweenage parents could tell you, it’s all too easy to make a baby without even being sure if you’re doing it right.
There are too many children going uncared for in our society, or who’s needs are going unmet because their parents are ill-equipped to answer them. Not everyone is capable of being a good parent, and becoming a parent shouldn’t be the norm.
It being the default family option allows people to make the choice of having children without thinking about it properly first. We should redraw the standard so that those who are trying to conceive expect to explain that they’ve thought it through when they talk about starting a family.