Wednesday, May 28, 2008

No KIds Allowed

I don't have children. I think it's great to have children if you want them, but you shouldn't take on parenting if it is going to make you miserable. And I know that I don't find children particularly entertaining and would probably not enjoy having them around all the time. Being an uncle is all I am up to, believe me, and I don't want to have to function as an uncle all that much. A little bit of uncling goes a long way, and I can't say enough how glad I am that Mrs Vache Folle's nephews are back spending weekends with their father instead of with us.

Parents talk a lot about how rewarding it is to have children, and I believe that they felt that the amusement and satisfaction that they would derive from their offspring would more than compensate for the cost and inconvenience and lifestyle changes. Otherwise, they would not have reproduced. I am pretty sure that a lot of parents figure out after it's too late that they miscalculated the costs and benefits, but they can't say so. They have to maintain the appearance that they are not suffering from remorse over their decision, and this is so even with the parents of Jeffrey Dahmer. There are parents where the satisfactions and the costs are a wash. Then there are parents who find way more satisfaction than they expected, like the parents of the Olson twins for example.

It is possible that I may have miscalculated the costs and benefits and that I would have been happy as a father, but I'm pretty sure of my own subjective preferences and reckon that I made the right decision for me. It wasn't even a close call, so a lot would have had to change to tip the scales in favor of reproduction. For example, a loosening of child labor restrictions coupled with free nanny services for everyone might have made a difference.

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