8 votes

Having kids

22 comments

  1. [21]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    I never understood what people meant when they said having kids changed their lives, how something "clicked" inside their brains and suddenly their entire worldview adapted to this new...

    I never understood what people meant when they said having kids changed their lives, how something "clicked" inside their brains and suddenly their entire worldview adapted to this new information. It seemed, to be quite frank, kinda like a cult. No one was ever able to persuade me that such a change could be a positive one for me. I'm still quite afraid that my tiny lizard brain is "unclickable", but this article came a bit closer to nudge me in that direction.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      Autoxidation
      Link Parent
      We had our first (and likely only) kid last year. It definitely changed our lives, but mostly for mundane, predictable reasons. We obviously have less personal time now that there is a tiny human...

      We had our first (and likely only) kid last year. It definitely changed our lives, but mostly for mundane, predictable reasons. We obviously have less personal time now that there is a tiny human to take care of. A good night's sleep is a rare commodity.

      Seeing them figure things out for the first time is pretty special. Watching them develop and grow is also really neat, just from an scientific standpoint. Trying out lots of different things to see what works and sticks is both fun and frustrating at the same time.

      At first it's pretty boring. They just eat, sleep, and cry. When they actively start exploring the world around them, it really shifts gears. It provides a different lens in which to view the world.

      Personally, I'm excited to introduce the things I love to them, when the time is right, and I very much am looking forward to teaching them about the world and helping them learn and discover on their own.

      Having a kid is lifechanging in a similar way to moving in with a significant other is lifechanging. It forces change on your habits, compromises, and time management.

      16 votes
      1. ras
        Link Parent
        Amen to that. I have two older step-children that I love dearly, but there has been something very special about watching my only biological child grow and explore the world. He's just on the cusp...

        Amen to that. I have two older step-children that I love dearly, but there has been something very special about watching my only biological child grow and explore the world. He's just on the cusp of really talking right now, and watching him learn how to do that has been extremely special to me and my wife.

        2 votes
    2. [15]
      AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      Do you want to be nudged into the direction of having children? And if so, why?

      No one was ever able to persuade me that such a change could be a positive one for me. I'm still quite afraid that my tiny lizard brain is "unclickable", but this article came a bit closer to nudge me in that direction.

      Do you want to be nudged into the direction of having children? And if so, why?

      5 votes
      1. [14]
        mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I kinda am, actually. My girlfriend tells me she wants kids, but at the same time she understands that I do not share this desire and is willing to be with me for the long haul even if this means...

        I kinda am, actually. My girlfriend tells me she wants kids, but at the same time she understands that I do not share this desire and is willing to be with me for the long haul even if this means never having kids of her own. She has an extremely flexible outlook on life, about everything, not only that. So I believe her. But I do wanna make her happy.

        I like kids but I have complicated reasons to think I will not be a good father, and I'm also unsure I would be happy fulfilling that role. This is not a certainty either, so there is a possibility that I'll eventually change my mind.

        3 votes
        1. zonk
          Link Parent
          I don't know you, so I can't talk to you specifically and only address it in general, but: I highly doubt that many people go out there and just before their first kid is born, go: "I'm going to...

          I like kids but I have complicated reasons to think I will not be a good father

          I don't know you, so I can't talk to you specifically and only address it in general, but: I highly doubt that many people go out there and just before their first kid is born, go: "I'm going to be a great parent!". It's full of uncertainty. Suddenly, you're not sure anymore if you did the most simple things in life like cooking tea correctly and if your baby can really have it :) My child is about to turn one in about four weeks and there doesn't go a day by where I'm not lost about something that I was sure I knew. Or I do something and think: I'm not even sure that's the right thing to do. Or: I could've done that way better. But I'm also reading a book in parallel by the popular and famous danish family therapist Jesper Juul and I always think of a quote in there: "All parents make mistakes. Everyone. I assist a lot of different families, and the best of them only make about 99 a day."

          And that brings me to two points: There's a lot to read about parenthood out there. Yes, there's much trash, but there's also really useful stuff out there. There are support Discords for parents who become parents in the same month so you can stay connected and talk about your experiences, or exchange what your doctors said about various things. With barely any effort. And secondly, you still have the mother (barring exceptions) who loves her child more than anything else. You're in this as a team and that helps a lot. Tackling a newborn with a partner and not alone makes a world of a difference.

          The only thing that I really underestimated was something the linked article also mentions: the child is your schedule now. I always have been a night owl, staying up till 4-5am on the weekends was no rarity. But now the baby wakes up at 7am and there's nothing you can do about it, the baby needs food and new diapers. Not gonna lie, I still miss my night time in front of my PC, discovering new music or new video games, going down some weird rabbit hole on YouTube and Wiki. But it won't be like this forever and all those things don't replace the smile on your baby's face when it wakes up at 7am :)

          13 votes
        2. [12]
          teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          My main hangup has been about what's right for the world. A lot of what I do is governed by a desire to minimize my negative impact on the world. I feel guilty participating in a society that can...

          My main hangup has been about what's right for the world.

          A lot of what I do is governed by a desire to minimize my negative impact on the world. I feel guilty participating in a society that can only operate in a self-destructive way. The life I live contributes to the impending climate disaster in everything I do. But most decisions that can be made are shades of gray. Eating meat vs. plant-based protein for example. Plant-based should have 10x lower CO2 emissions, but those plants are still shipped with gasoline. The people that picked the plants drove to the farm in gas powered trucks. The electricity that kept the plants fresh wasn't sourced from renewable energy. Everything takes energy to do and the way we create and store energy always involves CO2 emission to some degree.

          So within this mental framework where I minimize my impact, not having kids feels like the biggest decision I can make. I'm eliminating not just my children's CO2 emissions, but also an entire tree of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. But recently I've come to see things less naively. The way things are currently going we will have a climate disaster that will kill billions of people in the long term. The only improvements will come from political decisions. Having children that will push for those decisions along with me is thus more impactful than the carbon footprint of those children. So it may actually be a moral imperative to have (environmentalist) children.

          Anyway, I've gone off on a long tangent here. Hopefully someone reading it will find it interesting.

          8 votes
          1. [3]
            Tardigrade
            Link Parent
            Would the counterpoint to the second paragraph not be that having your own is adding extra carbon footprint where adopting and rasing a child with enviromentalist views would bring the same...

            Would the counterpoint to the second paragraph not be that having your own is adding extra carbon footprint where adopting and rasing a child with enviromentalist views would bring the same benifit with none of the extra footprint since they're already alive?

            3 votes
            1. [2]
              teaearlgraycold
              Link Parent
              Yeah, that seems like a good option. No guarantee that I can get a future spouse on board with only having adopted children, though.

              Yeah, that seems like a good option. No guarantee that I can get a future spouse on board with only having adopted children, though.

              3 votes
              1. Gaywallet
                Link Parent
                If you think it's a good option, there are guaranteed to be others who feel similarly in the world, you just need to find them.

                If you think it's a good option, there are guaranteed to be others who feel similarly in the world, you just need to find them.

                2 votes
          2. [6]
            Contentus
            Link Parent
            This is a long video but I think its worthwhile: https://youtu.be/vDNSnMTem98 Basically our top experts believe that climate change will have an impact but it likely won't be catastrophic. So not...

            This is a long video but I think its worthwhile: https://youtu.be/vDNSnMTem98

            Basically our top experts believe that climate change will have an impact but it likely won't be catastrophic. So not having kids to help the environment can be good, but there are other problems in the world that are overlooked. For example pension systems are crumbling in many developed countries because of low fertility rates. Obviously, i would also not advise people having kids because it helps the pension system.

            Think carefully about what having kids entails (your kid could be handicapped and/or chronically dependent for example) and then decide if you are ready to take the risk. Adoption seems like the best choice if you want to bring ethics into your decision to have kids or not.

            2 votes
            1. [3]
              TemulentTeatotaler
              Link Parent
              Lombourg and Peterson are not spokesmen for top experts or the scientific consensus. Peterson particularly has promoted some hot garbage on the topic. Here's a review of Lombourg's latest book...

              Basically our top experts believe that climate change will have an impact but it likely won't be catastrophic.

              Lombourg and Peterson are not spokesmen for top experts or the scientific consensus. Peterson particularly has promoted some hot garbage on the topic.

              Here's a review of Lombourg's latest book from an economics Nobel laureate involved with the IPCC since 1993.

              Not to say there aren't doomsayers/people focusing on the extreme harmful but less likely scenarios. The behavior of the climate and humans are both incredibly messy and hard to predict, and people have different levels of acceptable risk and outcomes. It's a testament to what a high bar five-sigma confidence in anthropogenic global warming was to hit.

              5 votes
              1. [2]
                Contentus
                Link Parent
                Well I was trusting Lombourg's account of what the IPCC concludes. The review you provided is behind a paywall unfortunately. Ignore Jordan Peterson. It just happens to be that the conversation is...

                Well I was trusting Lombourg's account of what the IPCC concludes. The review you provided is behind a paywall unfortunately.

                Ignore Jordan Peterson. It just happens to be that the conversation is on his podcast. The one supplying information is Lombourg. Also, no one is denying climate change here, just the certainty of the catastrophic assumptions.

                1 vote
                1. TemulentTeatotaler
                  Link Parent
                  You can read Lomborg's wiki page to see he's been a very controversial figure for two decades. A quote I've seen that roughly sums up my feelings is from IPCC lead author Brian O'Neill on Cool It...

                  You can read Lomborg's wiki page to see he's been a very controversial figure for two decades.

                  A quote I've seen that roughly sums up my feelings is from IPCC lead author Brian O'Neill on Cool It (2007):

                  [...] Bjorn Lomborg is like the Oliver Stone of climate change. He has written a book that sets out to support a certain point of view, and, unless you are an expert, you will never know which facts are correct and appropriately used and which are not. You might not be aware that large (and crucial) chunks of the story are skipped altogether. But like a Stone movie, it is a well-told tale and raises some questions that are worth thinking about. So if you are going to read only one book on climate, don’t read this one. But if you are going to read ten, reading Lomborg may be worthwhile.

                  He may have some valid points, but I'd certainly advise taking him with a grain of salt and not using him as a go-to for trying to convince other people.

                  The review you provided is behind a paywall unfortunately.

                  I'll send you the text, in case you're interested.

            2. [2]
              teaearlgraycold
              Link Parent
              Sorry, I only watched half of the video. Do they ever talk about what they expect the real consequences of climate change to be? At the start it’s mentioned that climate change will not make...

              Sorry, I only watched half of the video. Do they ever talk about what they expect the real consequences of climate change to be? At the start it’s mentioned that climate change will not make humans go extinct. That’s obvious. If we’re talking about putting humans on Mars then how could humans not live on a +3 degree Earth? What I foresee is more of a halving of the population. The tropical band that currently has the highest population density will become uninhabitable. Everywhere else will get less habitable, but at least you won’t die just from being outside in the summer.

              The alternative efforts mentioned are good in the short term. We can save so many lives right now by funneling money into disease eradication, ending starvation, and bringing global medical standards up to a new minimum. In the long term those efforts will be somewhat moot as the most uplifted areas will become uninhabitable.

              It seems like if we can fix climate change then we can also fix the issues that Bjorn mentioned. Ending death by starvation or death by tuberculosis or death by childbirth is cheap compared to ending climate change. So I think it must be possible to do both. They talk about how there are limited resources to do things, but I’m curious if fixing all of these problems would be outside of our global budget. We could forgo global wealth hoarding and the coddling of the rich to pay for it all. We can borrow against our future economy.

              1 vote
              1. Contentus
                Link Parent
                It has been a few weeks since I've watched the video but from what I remember they mention the consequences of global warming in terms of estimated cost as a % of GDP. I think the argument for...

                It has been a few weeks since I've watched the video but from what I remember they mention the consequences of global warming in terms of estimated cost as a % of GDP. I think the argument for doing this is because humans tend to adapt and change behavior.

                1 vote
          3. [2]
            mrbig
            Link Parent
            What if you educate your kid to perpetuate an environmentally responsible way to live life, which in turns transmit this message and associated behaviors to their own children as well as society...

            What if you educate your kid to perpetuate an environmentally responsible way to live life, which in turns transmit this message and associated behaviors to their own children as well as society as a whole?

            1 vote
            1. Octofox
              Link Parent
              What if you buy a lottery ticket and win and use it to quit your job so you don't have to drive. Or what if your kids do the opposite of what you try to teach them and start dumping diesel in to...

              What if you buy a lottery ticket and win and use it to quit your job so you don't have to drive. Or what if your kids do the opposite of what you try to teach them and start dumping diesel in to the river.

              3 votes
    3. [3]
      vegai
      Link Parent
      Perhaps they mean "click" in the same way as people with serious psychosis might feel a "click" when they finally break? And I say this as a parent of 16 years now. It's easily the...

      Perhaps they mean "click" in the same way as people with serious psychosis might feel a "click" when they finally break? And I say this as a parent of 16 years now. It's easily the soul-breakingest thing I've experienced.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Maybe not psychosis, but Stockholm syndrome. I mean, you know right there that there is no legal or moral escape from that situation. You're a parent, and you'll likely remain a parent for the...

        Maybe not psychosis, but Stockholm syndrome. I mean, you know right there that there is no legal or moral escape from that situation. You're a parent, and you'll likely remain a parent for the rest of your life. The only possible response is to surrender yourself to it. And it is easier to surrender to someone for whom you feel a love that seems insurmountable and oceanic.

        3 votes
        1. vegai
          Link Parent
          Well, fortunately and unfortunately not. One can easily just be a lousy parent without breaking any laws.

          Well, fortunately and unfortunately not. One can easily just be a lousy parent without breaking any laws.

          1 vote
  2. Grendel
    Link
    It is so interesting how this works. My experience as a parent has been very different since we adopted instead of having biological kids. They were 4 and 5 when they came to live with us, so...

    It is so interesting how this works. My experience as a parent has been very different since we adopted instead of having biological kids. They were 4 and 5 when they came to live with us, so definitely not babies.

    There wasn't really a single moment I can point out where a switch flipped and I suddenly felt like a dad to these kids. It was more of a slow process over time. Like, one day I took a step back and realized that I am their dad. It had slowly built up over time.

    If anyone else here has adopted I'd love to hear about your experience with this.

    3 votes