I was in a discussion with a patient recently about having kids. Their argument was well thought out and logical. It made me over-analyze the situation because that’s what I do. Children are very much a part of life for many people but why do we have them?
The concept of “why” has always interested me regardless of the subject matter. It is one of the first questions all children learn to repeatedly ask. It is also one of their most annoying ones, right behind “are we there yet.” I set out to really discover “why” my wife and I decided to have kids.
The Origin Story
I have always enjoyed the origin stories of superhero’s and the villain counterparts. I have always viewed the family dynamic in a similar fashion. Parents and their children battle it out over the course of several years and sometimes never truly find out who is the hero and who is the villain. Parents often seem like the villain to children and children are obviously a parents arch enemy when it comes to things like bedtime, vegetables, or cleanliness.
The ongoing struggle between good and evil has always been decided by history. I would equate parenting to being more like Batman than any other. The job of parenting is to be whatever your kids “need” you to be. This is rarely the good guy. It is our job to ensure our children do the things they don’t want to do, like homework, saying thank you, and sharing.
Why Have Kids?
My gut tells me the overwhelmingly obvious answer to this is “I don’t know” but after speaking with hundreds of other people in the world I have learned “why”. It is not a secret. It is not some selfish desire to feel needed by someone. Nor is it some giant emotional hole I am trying to fill with their love.
The real reason we chose to have kids is because we are terrible people. We have done a million stupid things over the years and not all of them have been good. The goal of having children is to give something back to the world. The hope that our knowledge will help us teach our children to become better people than we will ever be. We all want to teach our children to give back to the world in ways we couldn’t.
It’s Not Altruistic
It sounds like a noble goal but realistically I just don’t want to be remembered for who I was. I know what I have done in a past life. I just want my kids to be better than I was and impact the world in a positive light. I’m not saying my wife and I are the worst people out there, but we all know growing up in the 80’s and 90’s was not all rainbows and unicorns. However, the lessons we have learned can be helpful to perpetuate the cycle of good in the world. I would rather be remembered for the good contributions than my not so politically correct ones I made growing up.
The best way to do so is to have kids and download our proverbial manifesto into their tiny human brains and hope they can be better than we ever were. So in a round about way to answer the original question, we had kids in hopes of making a positive influence in the world. I hope all parents feel that goal.
Call To Action
If you would like to contribute to this goal – I have asked my children to create designs for t-shirts. 100% of the profit will be directed to their education and sports activities (current markup is $5 per shirt on the kids designs and $2 on everything else). If you like what you see or would just like to support us, please check out our swag on CafePress and consider buying some items to support the development of a better tomorrow.
The current designs from Lily are below. Let us know which one you like the most. The blue one is available on our store at CafePress. I will upload new images depending on demand and commitment from the kids –