This letter comes from Dear Prudence at Slate magazine. You can read the full post here.
My husband and I have been married for three years. I am about to turn 30, and we are discussing the possibility of having children, although we are both leaning no. I have never felt a maternal need for kids, though I would love to have a dog. I have friends with children and while I love playing the part of auntie, I am exhausted after spending a day with them. When I think about kids, I mostly think about the negatives: They are expensive, we won’t be able to travel, and I have a family history of mental illness and some other diseases I would hate to pass down. There is one thing that keeps me from saying “no,” and that is that I am afraid of being alone when I am old and can’t fend for myself. I see my grandmother and have no idea what she would do if it weren’t for my mother and her siblings. I recently visited my old nanny in a state-run nursing home and it left me with nightmares. Should we have a child to make sure someone is there to care for us? Should we look into the Hemlock Society? I should add that I am generally not a strong person and have told my husband many times I pray that I die before he does.
—Don’t Want to Die Alone
Dear Don’t Want to Die Alone:
That is a selfish reason to have a child. You have listed many different reasons you don’t want to have a child, and the only reason you DO want to have a child is because you want someone to take care of you. That’s not a good reason… at all. Kids needs a loving, nurturing environment, and I’m not confident that you could provide that at this time. Also, it is no guarantee that your kids will outlive you. My advice is to get the dog instead.
Readers, is it just me or are people becoming more selfish these days?
**Photo credit: authentic-woman.com