Many of us love to have a kid. Kids are fun, messy and can really reach us adults how to be patient. As half of a married couple with no plans to procreate, I somehow find myself explaining to relatives and neighbors — usually the ones with kids themselves, as it happens — all the factors that make breeding a dead option for us at this or any future point, thank you. Something’s backward here: shouldn’t those who presume to recombine their DNA to make potentially awful new people have to defend their choice? When you get right down to it, the only legitimate reason for having a kid is: “I want to rear a human and take complete responsibility for it, right up through the point where it assassinates the sitting president.” That’s just the risk you run! So do not conceive with any of these trifling motivations in the back, or — god forbid — front, of your head.
To Fit in With Everyone Else at This Stage of Life: Look, when you reach a certain age, some people are going to have kids. But this isn’t something you do just because it’s expected, like take out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans to attend your fifth-choice college. Raising a child means going into approximately a billion times more debt, and there’s no naked beer pong involved. Use that fancy liberal arts education to analyze the consequences here.
To Give Your Parents Grandchildren: I swear to god, your parents can shut the f*ck up and adopt a third-world orphan if they’re so desperate to interact with a prepubescent life form. But should you have trouble telling them off when they bring up the subject of “expanding your family,” try mentioning that you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal genetic disease. That’ll make them feel guilty for bringing you into this world, or at least buy you a few moments of quiet shock.
To Have Them Follow the Dream You Didn’t: I know, I know. You have some hobby, or fixation. Maybe even, once upon a time, a grand ambition. It’s difficult to attain such greatness, of course, so why not create a miniature version of yourself to carry on your noble interests and reach for the stars you gave up on? I’ll tell you why: because there’s little that makes the rest of us more uncomfortable than watching you force your crying son to go white-water kayaking. Knock it off.
To Keep the Relationship Together: You know how stupid this sounds, right? Here, say it out loud again. Say you are going to have a kid because maybe that’s exactly what your relationship needs. Say it and believe it. You goddamn lying bastard. I don’t know why I ever expected anything different from scum like you. (Okay, you hear how I just sounded there? That is what you and your spouse will sound like to the kid you had in order to keep the relationship together. Hope that makes sense.)
To See What They Would Look Like: Now this is really low. We’re talking entitled rich people on reality TV low. This could only be your rationale if you’re particularly unimaginative and have never heard of Photoshop. Suffice it to say that how your offspring registers to the human eye won’t be nearly as important as how well the person fits into the larger picture. I mean, we’re trying to have a species here? It’d be great if you didn’t treat it like a fourth-grade science project.