Here is the top ten criteria before having kids:
- Make sure you are happy in your line of work and the people you work with. Often times frustrations from the workplace get taken out on families instead.
- Make sure your job or career give you the balance of time you need to give time to your children. A demanding job, a long commute, or trying to build something on the side means you'll have less time for your kids.
- Make sure you are living well within your financial means and that you have a nest egg built up for tough times.
- Make sure you can start to build investments and alternate sources of income so you become less reliant on your job.
- Make sure you have the ability to say no to your kids. It's okay to not give them everything they want and ask for. In fact, it could be good for them. I now sure wish my dad had bought stock in Microsoft or Nike instead of buying us an Xbox or the latest Air Jordan's.
- Make sure you can say no to social pressures of what it says your kids need. Expensive youth club sports is a perfect example of this.
- Make sure you have a solid life partner or support network. I truly admire single moms and can't imagine how they are able to balance it all. I do know that having a partner or support network (like reliable grandparents) is absolutely key.
- Make sure you are able to live a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise and can teach that lifestyle to your kids.
- Make sure you can share love and joy and that you can be patient and control your anger and rage.
- Make sure you are happy and content with your life and have a positive outlook and view of the future that you can instill in your children.
Once both you and your life partner can commit to all of this, then that is a good time to start to consider having children. Too often, the social and familial pressures result in couples having kids too early and it creates very difficult situations down the road. Kids are incredibly expensive, time consuming, and challenging. In addition, overpopulation is the leading cause of excess carbon emissions and environmental degradation. The decision to have children should be one of the most important decisions of your life and not taken lightly.
This post will likely be viewed as controversial, but nonetheless it is important when other people's lives are on the line (especially innocent children) that adults make sure they are in the right mental, health, and financial position before jumping into having children.
I for one would know having grown up in a Christian house with 5 children. My parents were absolutely not in the right financial and health position to raise all of us. My mom had her first child at age 31, her last at age 41, and then got breast cancer at age 42. My dad had a hit and miss career as a commercial real estate agent but grew up wealthy and liked to spend on all of us as if we were wealthy sinking the family deeper into debt and financial strain. He wasn't doing what he wanted to do with his time (he was a chef at heart), and he was morbidly obese. I'm sure he felt trapped and burdened by all of us, and he'd take it out on us with anger. Eventually his obesity got to him and he ended up passing away at 50. My mom then passed away at 55. So with the exception of raising 5 amazing kids, their lives were cut short having been filled with anxiety, anger, resentment, regret, and financial frustrations.
I personally never got to the right head space in my 20s and 30s to have kids and it is likely too late now to have my own. But I'm hopeful that one day I will still be in the right mental, health, and financial spot to be able to adopt or even become a foster parent to kids who need the help.