Fewer people voted on this question than the others. People like me can't choose among those limited choices. I am 65. I have friends who have lots of kids and now grandkids. Some love their offspring and are proud of them. For others their kids are still a source of grief, guilt, and pain. If I could have given my husband children, I would have. The world needs more people like him, and he is very good with kids. But I couldn't, and we never wanted to adopt someone else's child, and having no children is an uncomplicated life. There are other ways to be "fulfilled" -- that's an intellectual concept that doesn't even concern most people.
There ARE other issues. What about the fact that Earth will not support a significantly greater number of people -- only the nearly uninhabitable places are still open. Global climate change -- melting glaciers and ice caps, more and more severe storms, shifts in agricultural zones that will likely lead to widespread crop failure and famine -- is upon us. There is nowhere left in the world for sea-level populations and starving people to go, not to mention the refugees from war. Fracking is contaminating our underground water. The generation after mine may well find only grief in having kids who grow up on a despoiled and unstable planet. Unless our politics change to prepare for worse to come, we might better ask why anyone today would choose to HAVE children!
Kids would make me really unhappy....last thing I need is a spoiled little brat that does nothing but eat the food that I work my a*s off for, lies around like a selfish fat slob, is dumber then a ape, and screams his little behind off like it's Godzilla all over again.
F*ck all you pro-parenting fools....we have enough delinquents in this society to worry about.
I chose not to have kids. Very glad I made that choice. It seems that all kids make me unhappy. I am forced on occasion to spend time with nieces and nephews. I try to go into it with a sense of optimism, but soon my feelings change and it just seems children do not bring any happiness to my life. If anything, I find them exhausting, rude, and intrusive. I am usually very happy to see them leave. I never miss them and never look forward to seeing them anymore. I wish I could like them, but pretty sure that is not going to happen. How can you enjoy someone who has an overblown sense of entitlement, is manic one minute and crushed beyond belief the next over trivial matters. What is cute about someone who cannot control their emotions and will only eat chicken nuggets, Mac and cheese, and chocolate cake? I cannot in good conscious indulge little girls who think that they will grow up to be a princess and at the same time, they think money just magically appears from a machine. And little boys who only dream of war, guns and explosives is absolutely terrifying. It feels like society is moving backwards.
@ Eugene: The ultimate purpose in life is, ultimately, defined by the individual and the same for the happiness. We all find fulfillment in different things. If home and family defines that happiness for you, I don't think anyone would negate that. However, it's unfair to cast that blanket over everyone else. It's logical to conclude a childless home is best suited for those who find children unsavory and the contrary for those who do. It's all a matter of what is most important
The ultimate purpose in life is intertwined. It is to be happy and to create a family. You cannot separate them as this question does. Of course you can be happy w/o children, but happiness in life w/o children is incomparable to that with. Family is the place where happiness is defined. No amount of psychological water polo will ever change deep joy found in family.
@Anonymous: NO! That indicates that while SOME parents may lead fulfilling lives having children, that doesn't mean a you have to have children in order to lead a fulfilling, happy life.
@Lorna: you might want children and find out they bring you unhappiness once you have them. Plenty of people go through that.
I don't think having children is about 'happiness'. Having children is a life filled with extremes. There are spectacular peaks and desperate valleys, wonderful days and horrendous days, awe inspiring moments and moments so hard you can't believe you survived. Every adult experiences ups and downs, but there is an additional and overwhelming amount of turbulence that specifically comes with having kids. How you respond seems to drive whether having kids is a positive or negative experience.
I do think the question tries to capture the idea that weathering the exhaustion and frustration that can dominate each day feels like the long term investment that pays you back with those spectacular peaks that rarely come any other way than from having children.
It's a silly question really because it depends what your desire is. If you want kids the having them will hopefully bring you happiness (overall), if you don't want them then you'll be happier without them.
What about an answer stating that kids can bring some levels of happiness and unhappiness, that doesn't indicate that a childfree life is less fulfilling?