Erin Stewart: Would you be happier without kids?

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  • Flipphone , 00
    Jan. 17, 2019 10:02 a.m.

    You bring home that new little bundle of joy and then it all begins, the nightmare of raising children. Yes some are wonderful and easy, but most are not. and they are costly. Thank goodness for the Child tax credit.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 17, 2019 8:41 a.m.

    @Tyler D
    Not every person is born with 100% top-notch maternal/paternal skills and instincts. Some of us have to learn them and develop them. And the only way to practice and perfect them is... to have children and figure it out. They don't come with an instruction book (which I found very disappointing).

    If you don't like children or don't want children... then of course... don't have them. But just because you're not a skilled parent right out of the box... doesn't mean you are disqualified.

    Parenting is something you learn, not something you're born with. But if you don't like the job... of course don't take it on. That would be foolish.

    Children can't force us to become good parents, no matter how hard they wish we were good parents. That's something we have to WANT to do. But if you even WANT to be a good parent, that's all you need to start to learn to be a good parent.

    If your drugs, or your booze, or womanizing, or your play time, or whatever, is more important than your kids... then you're probably not going to be a great parent.

    It's something most humans are capable of doing, but something you have to learn.

  • Tyler D Prescott, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2019 3:56 p.m.

    @Mona – “I really don't think most of us are mature enough in our younger years to do this type of intense examination of our inner selves.”

    Yes, I alluded to that in my first comment. But far too many people do not do any examination at all. They just start having kids because it’s what’s expected.

    My concern is for those who, for whatever reason, really don’t want kids but feel the pressure from family/society to have them. Even today this happens all the time, especially in communities where having kids is the norm.

    Since we no longer have the need to “be fruitful and multiply” (the world is plenty populated) people should make as informed a choice as possible free of external pressures.

  • Mona Portland, OR
    Jan. 16, 2019 3:06 p.m.

    Tyler D: "But if you know deep down that you lack these traits and don’t have a strong maternal/paternal instinct, by all means don’t take the plunge."

    I really really don't think most of us are mature enough in our younger years to do this type of intense examination of our inner selves. We love someone, get married, have children, and figure out a parenting style that works for us. Perhaps those who have deeper parental instincts are the ones who never seem to need a break. But just because we need a break doesn't mean we can't be good parents.

    I've raised 5 children and still can't say if I have natural maternal instincts. Once you have children there's no turning back, and you figure it out as best you can. And it usually works. I wasn't the world's best parent, but I enjoyed my kids and now, grandchildren.

  • gatsby Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2019 1:41 p.m.

    wow--for me, in my mid fifties, I can say that parenting, hands down, is by far, the most fulfilling thing I've ever done (and am still doing, with 2 teenagers at home). I've traveled, had a couple of careers and have years of higher education, and NONE of them even come close to the sense of purpose and mission I have as a parent. It IS a calling for me...and I wouldn't have missed if for the world.

    ButI think your conclusion is correct...you're asking the wrong question i.e. does parenting make you happy? parenting, by it's very nature...isn't about you as the parent. It's about bringing someone else into the world and helping them navigate life. I'm sure glad my parents decided it was "worth doing," or I wouldn't be here:-)

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 16, 2019 1:27 p.m.

    RE: "Would you be happier without kids?"...
    ---
    I guess if you see your children as a "Liability" then yes, you would be happier without your children.

    But if you see your children as the very purpose of your life... then no, I would not be happier without them.

    Nobody's saying it's easy. Just saying it's worth it.

    Does something have to be "Easy" to be "Worth it"? No. Often the most difficult things are the most worthwhile things in life.

    If you believe God... It's kinda our way of working with him to help him achieve his goal (the immorality and eternal life of us, his children). It's the reason we exist. So knowing that, why would I not do it?

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 16, 2019 10:41 a.m.

    The headline seems to equate children with something dreadful, like cancer. (Would you be 'happier without cancer'?) That's a very unfortunate position but I guess it's designed to grab readers.

    There is NOTHING like a child...absolutely nothing whatever!! Nothing else to say.....

  • Tyler D Prescott, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2019 10:27 a.m.

    Is there really any doubt that far more people have kids than should?

    It requires selfless love, patience, perseverance, guidance, discipline (you can’t just be their friend) and the maturity to put your own desires on the back shelf. Most of us are not fully prepared for all this, but thankfully we grow into it usually at the same rate our kids grow.

    But if you know deep down that you lack these traits and don’t have a strong maternal/paternal instinct, by all means don’t take the plunge. Your non-existent children will thank you.

  • Llew40 Sandy, UT
    Jan. 16, 2019 9:45 a.m.

    Let's go back even further. Forget the kids. Would being married or in a current relationship make you happy? Childless singles hear it all the time-not married or in relationship makes us the most miserable people on planet. Adoption anyone?

  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    Jan. 16, 2019 9:21 a.m.

    My wife and I have a large family. We both come from large families. Some of our siblings have large families, as do many of our friends. So I feel I can speak from some experience.

    Children are tough! They are challenging, a huge responsibility, a major time and effort commitment, and a lot of the things you deal with as a parent stink (some quite literally!). Diapers, vomit, diarrhea, bloody noses, stitches, the never-ending quest to find clothes that fit for more than a week without wearing out or being outgrown, the constant calls for rides, lunch money, parent-teacher conferences, help with homework, etc. I could go on for hours (but I'm running out of characters).

    Then I look at my kids. No, they're not perfect. They have struggles, weaknesses, and issues. And as college students, two of them are truly showing me the financial cost of parenting! But they are wonderful, and bring me love and joy like nothing else could. They are accomplishing things I didn't and couldn't. And they still love me.

    Parenting isn't a non-stop treadmill of fun. It can be taxing, exhausting, heart wrenching. I wouldn't trade a moment of it. Not for anything.

  • screenname Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2019 9:16 a.m.

    Eh, it's just like the rest of life. Does being alive make you happy? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    When my three year old is throwing a fit at the store, not so much. When I hear him playing house and putting his toys to "bed," very much yes.

    It probably also depends a lot on your outlook. Think about yourself and whether you're happy less often, and counter intuitively, you'll be a lot happier. Easier in theory than practice of course.