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Think Twice: 14 Not-so-Great Reasons to Start a Family

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Bringing a child into the world should never be reduced to a mere ritual or task. Regrettably, some individuals approach parenthood for reasons that fail to honor its true essence and significance.

Online forum users discussed varied terrible reasons they have seen people give for having a baby.

1. As Competition

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Some people have babies to compete with the Joneses.

A user comments, “This was my ex. “We need to have babies; other couples are beating us and are already on 3! Don’t worry, didn’t do it.”

Smart girl. Having a child to compete with another person must be related to the height of insecurity.

2. To Be the Center of Attention

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In many cultures, being pregnant or having a child places you on the favor pedestal. Some people then have a baby to ensure no one dethrones them from that seat of honor.

An online forum commenter says, “My grandmother had a friend who got pregnant and thus received attention. My grandmother then decided to get pregnant herself because she did not like not being the center of attention.”

3. To Prove a Point

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What do you do if someone dares you that you can’t get pregnant because of one reason or the other? The smart thing would be to not go ahead and get pregnant. We aren’t all smart, now, are we?

A not-so-happy-now mother of two got pregnant with the second baby “Because someone told her you can’t get pregnant if you are breastfeeding.”

Her first baby was conceived out of a competition for hand-me-down baby stuff. (Can’t make this stuff up.)

4. As Click Bait

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Social media is awesome, but it can also be the root of all evil. Some people appear to have babies to satisfy their hunger for more likes and followers.

“I genuinely know someone who did this. Her goal was to be a mommy vlogger, so it was also important that her kids would be “attractive” (mixed race).” Someone says.

This is a perfect situation for an eye roll.

5. To Heal Past Trauma

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Kids are not therapists; you’ll need to heal with all your trauma and mental health issues and not get a baby as a service animal.

A user shared her experience with her dad saying, “My dad had an incredibly f***d up and traumatizing childhood. Instead of dealing with his subsequent mental illnesses, a person at his church told him to “have lots of kids, it will heal your trauma.” So he had six, and we ended up homeless at certain points and traumatized ourselves. Idiot.”

She said it, not us.

6. To Satisfy Wannabe Grandparents

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Parents of older kids seem hard-wired to demand grandkids from their children. Most people can’t tell them to hold their horses, so they have a baby to stop the demands. It’s even worse if the couple is unsuccessfully trying for a baby.

An online platform user says, “This conversation with my parents is exhausting. Better make a human and care for it for 18 years.”

Another one adds, “Dad has already started asking. I got married on Friday.”

Grandpa Hopeful is wasting no time.

7. To Salvage a Dying Relationship

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If a relationship is dying, some people seek a living and breathing reason to resuscitate it. One user says this strategy rarely works, and an innocent baby is dragged into a messy situation.

“If anything, having a kid can END an otherwise healthy relationship. It’s a major stressor, and people have gotten divorced over differences in parenting.” Someone says.

Babytrapping may work for a little while, but it mostly backfires.

8. To ‘Feel’ Complete

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Being a mom has become synonymous with a woman’s completeness in society today, which is why some people have babies.

A user says, “It’s a vicious biological competition of a society that taught women they are not complete if they do not become mothers.”

Someone corrects that this is true for all humans (aka men, too), not just women.

Spot on.

9. As an Organ Donor for A Family Member

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In what seems like something straight out of a movie script, some people have babies so that older, sickly siblings can get organs from them.

Online commenters were split on whether it’s selfish or brilliant to get a baby and save their cord blood for another sibling.

One says, “My brother has one kidney (so do I, it doesn’t change our lives at all), and he had his first baby last week and made the note that she has two healthy kidneys. I instantly said, “Good thinking to grow a donor as backup”. His wife didn’t laugh.”

Would you find that funny?

10. Chasing a Specific Gender

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All children are equal, but some parents are dissatisfied until they get a specific gender.

“My parents had boys and kept trying for a girl. They eventually quit. After 5 boys.” A contributor says.

Another adds, “I have a cousin with four girls because they kept trying for a boy. Like ok, you still have no boys, but now you have to raise and take care of FOUR children.”

11. Because they’re Oh-so-cute

shocked cute baby girl
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Some people get broody just seeing photos of adorable little babies. They don’t know the tornado they raised before the cute onesie was thrown on them and the photo was taken.

As someone noted, babies aren’t pets. Also, you get a cute baby for a couple of years, and then they turn into moody teenagers and adults who don’t call you back.

12. As a Pension Scheme

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Old age can be scary when you’re alone and lonely. To mitigate against this, some people create the ‘perfect’ pension scheme: plan-a baby.

One user says one of the terrible reasons for getting a baby is “To have extensions of yourself/someone to take care of you when you’re old.”

13. To Secure Child Welfare Support

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Imagine being broke and discovering that a child may earn more from a spouse or the government. That’s enough reason for some people to have a kid (or another).

A user shares, “This is exactly what my ex did, I fought her in court and got 50/50 custody, but kids ended up staying with me 100% of the time.”

“I may or may not be a kid that was had for the child tax credit.” Someone adds.

Whatever the reason for having a child, give your best when they get here- please.

14. Out of Boredom

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Using a baby as a means to alleviate feelings of loneliness or boredom is unfair to both the child and yourself. It’s important to address these issues in healthy and appropriate ways.


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