In the article, True or False: Having kids makes you happy the author; Lorraine Ali examines critically the theme of parenthood. Children are part of family but couples have a choice on whether to raise children or not. Through analysis of the theme of parentage, Lorraine outlines the pros and cons of having children in a family. Although the society believes children are a source of joy in a family, having children does not make someone happy.
In her article, Lorraine compares the lifestyle of her childhood neighbors, the Sloan’s, who opted to have no child and her family, which had children. The Sloan’s not only lived a comfortable life, but they also had no regrets (Ali, 2008, p.63). On the contrary, her parents seemed to have a hectic life yet they had children.
Research on the impact of child on a marriage reveals that although children are part of a family, their presence leads to marital dissatisfaction, unhappiness, and financial constrains. Furthermore, parents experience hardships in juggling between job and parental responsibilities. Interestingly, many families have children and parents are quick to defend the position of their children in the family.
If having a kid is both expensive and hectic, why do most couples opt to have children? A family is never complete without a child or children in the contemporary world; the major advantage of children is that they are a source of security and joy or so many think. At old age every parent, needs a caretaker and company therefore, most people have children to secure their future in terms of company.
Children provide the basic needs to their parents and love. Therefore, couples have children to ensure continuity of their lineage, bond their love and for security reasons. Most couples overlook the pains and troubles of raising a child for identification reasons or ensure they fit into the society.
Regrettably, the process of raising a child is not a smooth road. Raising children is hectic and expensive. A toddler will require your attention, food, diapers, and medical check up. With the current tough economy, parents have to work extremely hard to earn an extra penny to look after their young ones. Moreover, education is a necessity in a child’s life and the current education providers are too expensive.
When the children hit the adolescence age, they need attention and constant guidance to ensure they do not develop unbecoming manners. Consequently, couples shift the attention to the children, which is time consuming forgetting all about their marriage or careers while some develop stress incase of stubborn children. Therefore, children are expensive to maintain, time demanding, and in some cases kill the love couples hitherto had for each other.
On the other hand, what is the impact of opting to remain childless? A couple without a child may only experience loneliness, which becomes an issue incase of sickness or at old age. The couple without a child lives in a quite serene life with nobody to bother or shift their attention. Children do not bring happiness. The fears allied to lack of children like lack of security at old age are now obsolete with the introduction of homes for the aged.
Although the author concludes that having children does not make you happy, the change from traditions seems to be the major cause of unhappiness. Historically, children belonged to the community and every adult had the right to guide, discipline, and feed a child whether he/she is the parent or not. Currently, parents forbid non-relatives from disciplining their children or accepting food from the neighbors. Therefore, the author should actually have described the role of the modern society on parentage.
In summary, most couples tolerate children only to fit in the society because the maintenance and education of a child is too expensive in the modern world. When compared to childless couples, parents might develop emotional stress while some might even quit their careers to look after their children. Therefore, even though having children in the contemporary society seems inevitable; children do not make one happy.
Ali, L. (2008, July 14). True of False? Having Kids Makes You Happy. Newsweek, 152 (1/2), 62-63.