The title of our book is Enough of Us: Why we should think twice before making children. How does one “think twice?” Many wouldn’t know where to start, so we’ve made a list of things worth considering to help prospective parents ponder this critical decision. Those with children trying to decide whether to have more children, as well as couples struggling with infertility, might find this helpful.
Sitting quietly with pen and paper in hand is a good way to begin taking stock of your thoughts and feelings about procreation.
The following are some questions worth asking yourself to begin this introspective process and to practice being as honest as possible:
- Am I considering having a baby because it will please my parents?
- Am I yearning for a child to cement our strained marriage?
- Do I see having a baby as traditional; in other words, it’s simply what people from my culture/background do?
- In my view, are people who choose to be childfree selfish? If no, why not? If yes, why so?
- Will having a child make me a less selfish and more giving person?
- Does my religion dictate that I should procreate? Deep in my heart, do I agree with this aspect of my religion? If not, why?
- Do I want a child because many of my friends already have children and I want to be included in this lifestyle?
- I have one child. Do I want another because I believe my firstborn won’t be spoiled like so many “only” children are?
- Do I believe my progeny will take care of me if I should become ill and/or feeble
- Do certain illnesses run in my family, i.e. depression, autism, schizophrenia, and/or a physical illness – like cancer, heart disease, and birth defects – that might be genetic?
What does it mean to me that there are seven-plus billion people inhabiting Earth and that our planet cannot healthily sustain this population much longer?
- Why must I have a child that has my and/or my partner’s genes?
- Do I feel emotionally stable and mature enough to bear a child?
- Do I (we) foresee stable enough finances to have a baby?
- Would I consider adopting a child in place of having my own? If not, why not. If yes, how come?
This list is far from complete, so feel free to add your own questions, and by all means, share them with us on our blog. Some questions lend themselves to being researched, like studies with respect to only children and how they fare in life. Question 10, related to mental and physical illness, is an important one to investigate, especially if you’re aware of a particular illness that might run in your family of origin.
Other questions involve going deep within your heart and soul. Number 2, for example, asks that you look at something that might be painful for you, as do numbers 6 and 13.
Thinking twice about making children is the most important thing prospective parents can do for themselves, for the yet-unborn and for Mother Earth who tells us every day, in so many ways, that there are Enough of Us.