Forums - General Discussion - What's the point in having children?

OT - I would say the reasons and rewards for having kids is not logical, but emotional. And as such, it can be really hard to justify it with words. I would liken it a bit to explaining how cool a VR game is in plain text to someone who hasn't tried VR before because of the high price associated with it.

VAMatt - I'm eight month in to this kid thing, and it is something of a rollercoaster. There is so much to learn, and nobody can fully prepare you for it. Every time you think you've "figured this out," something will change (often the very next day) and you'll be back to square one. From what I hear, this trend continues on at least for the first year. You'll have to give up on playing any of the modern-day 40+ hour open world epics, maybe stick to playing quick and simple titles where possible. I even started playing some mobile trash out of sheer desperation - I almost want to say you're better off just not playing video games than messing with that crap.

- Initially the newborn will eat at what I considered an inhuman rate, a little bit every 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Their stomach grows out of this quickly, but your sleep will be super ****ed.
- Babies don't smile until about 6 weeks, and the only way they communicate is crying. May not sound like much, but they can come off as like the most needy and ungrateful boss. When that first smile comes in though, you won't forget it.
- Trimming the baby's finger nails is a bitch, but if you don't they'll scratch their face. Early on your best bet is to use a nail file rather than clippers.
- Sleep is the hardest thing to get for both parent and baby, for many reasons. Baby sleep is interrupted easily by design - hunger will wake them up so they don't go malnourished. Babies practice physical skills at all times, even in their sleep, meaning they can and will roll into the crib sides. Just setting them down to sleep is difficult - instinct says predators can get us if an adult isn't holding them while asleep - so you gotta learn how to put them down in the crib just right so they don't wake up. Oh yeah, the hospital will drill into your head that sleeping on the back is the only safe way for infants to sleep, but if your wife sleeps on her side, the kid probably will too initially, and that's totally fine. Once the kid starts rolling onto his/her stomach, you can ignore the back sleep thing entirely.

This parenting thing is no joke, but seeing your child develop and experience new things is satisfying.



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arcaneguyver said:
OT - I would say the reasons and rewards for having kids is not logical, but emotional. And as such, it can be really hard to justify it with words. I would liken it a bit to explaining how cool a VR game is in plain text to someone who hasn't tried VR before because of the high price associated with it.

VAMatt - I'm eight month in to this kid thing, and it is something of a rollercoaster. There is so much to learn, and nobody can fully prepare you for it. Every time you think you've "figured this out," something will change (often the very next day) and you'll be back to square one. From what I hear, this trend continues on at least for the first year. You'll have to give up on playing any of the modern-day 40+ hour open world epics, maybe stick to playing quick and simple titles where possible. I even started playing some mobile trash out of sheer desperation - I almost want to say you're better off just not playing video games than messing with that crap.

- Initially the newborn will eat at what I considered an inhuman rate, a little bit every 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Their stomach grows out of this quickly, but your sleep will be super ****ed.
- Babies don't smile until about 6 weeks, and the only way they communicate is crying. May not sound like much, but they can come off as like the most needy and ungrateful boss. When that first smile comes in though, you won't forget it.
- Trimming the baby's finger nails is a bitch, but if you don't they'll scratch their face. Early on your best bet is to use a nail file rather than clippers.
- Sleep is the hardest thing to get for both parent and baby, for many reasons. Baby sleep is interrupted easily by design - hunger will wake them up so they don't go malnourished. Babies practice physical skills at all times, even in their sleep, meaning they can and will roll into the crib sides. Just setting them down to sleep is difficult - instinct says predators can get us if an adult isn't holding them while asleep - so you gotta learn how to put them down in the crib just right so they don't wake up. Oh yeah, the hospital will drill into your head that sleeping on the back is the only safe way for infants to sleep, but if your wife sleeps on her side, the kid probably will too initially, and that's totally fine. Once the kid starts rolling onto his/her stomach, you can ignore the back sleep thing entirely.

This parenting thing is no joke, but seeing your child develop and experience new things is satisfying.

Oh man, you're describing my life right now.  I'm 2 months into a boy/girl twin situation.  First time parents.  We named them William and Olivia.  The smile thing, though.  Mine smiled right from the get go, but this is almost always because they have gas, or are passing gas.  You've perfectly described night time feedings.  Baby cries, we wake up, and then we change their diapers and then feed and burp them.  And then comes the complicated dance of trying to get them to sleep and to stay asleep. It's easily the most difficult part of this for me. My wife has caved a couple times and has had one of them sleep in her arms for a while.  This is not a habit we want to continue though.  But I'll be damned if it doesn't work every single time.

And ditto on the video game thing.  I haven't got that part figured out, to be honest. My reading and video game time have taken a serious hit just because I never go more than 3 hours without having to interact or care for at least one of them.



Poor guy. Someone named Lonely Dolphin wants to be lonely all through life.

Kids are hard work, but bring far more joy than anything else I've experienced in life.



"We'll toss the dice however they fall,
And snuggle the girls be they short or tall,
Then follow young Mat whenever he calls,
To dance with Jak o' the Shadows."

Check out MyAnimeList and my Game Collection. Owner of the 5 millionth post.

Ka-pi96 said:

Any idea how you'll come to a final decision?

Nope



CladInShadows said:
arcaneguyver said:
OT - I would say the reasons and rewards for having kids is not logical, but emotional. And as such, it can be really hard to justify it with words. I would liken it a bit to explaining how cool a VR game is in plain text to someone who hasn't tried VR before because of the high price associated with it.

VAMatt - I'm eight month in to this kid thing, and it is something of a rollercoaster. There is so much to learn, and nobody can fully prepare you for it. Every time you think you've "figured this out," something will change (often the very next day) and you'll be back to square one. From what I hear, this trend continues on at least for the first year. You'll have to give up on playing any of the modern-day 40+ hour open world epics, maybe stick to playing quick and simple titles where possible. I even started playing some mobile trash out of sheer desperation - I almost want to say you're better off just not playing video games than messing with that crap.

- Initially the newborn will eat at what I considered an inhuman rate, a little bit every 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Their stomach grows out of this quickly, but your sleep will be super ****ed.
- Babies don't smile until about 6 weeks, and the only way they communicate is crying. May not sound like much, but they can come off as like the most needy and ungrateful boss. When that first smile comes in though, you won't forget it.
- Trimming the baby's finger nails is a bitch, but if you don't they'll scratch their face. Early on your best bet is to use a nail file rather than clippers.
- Sleep is the hardest thing to get for both parent and baby, for many reasons. Baby sleep is interrupted easily by design - hunger will wake them up so they don't go malnourished. Babies practice physical skills at all times, even in their sleep, meaning they can and will roll into the crib sides. Just setting them down to sleep is difficult - instinct says predators can get us if an adult isn't holding them while asleep - so you gotta learn how to put them down in the crib just right so they don't wake up. Oh yeah, the hospital will drill into your head that sleeping on the back is the only safe way for infants to sleep, but if your wife sleeps on her side, the kid probably will too initially, and that's totally fine. Once the kid starts rolling onto his/her stomach, you can ignore the back sleep thing entirely.

This parenting thing is no joke, but seeing your child develop and experience new things is satisfying.

Oh man, you're describing my life right now.  I'm 2 months into a boy/girl twin situation.  First time parents.  We named them William and Olivia.  The smile thing, though.  Mine smiled right from the get go, but this is almost always because they have gas, or are passing gas.  You've perfectly described night time feedings.  Baby cries, we wake up, and then we change their diapers and then feed and burp them.  And then comes the complicated dance of trying to get them to sleep and to stay asleep. It's easily the most difficult part of this for me. My wife has caved a couple times and has had one of them sleep in her arms for a while.  This is not a habit we want to continue though.  But I'll be damned if it doesn't work every single time.

And ditto on the video game thing.  I haven't got that part figured out, to be honest. My reading and video game time have taken a serious hit just because I never go more than 3 hours without having to interact or care for at least one of them.

If you don't mind suggestion from someone who's been through that all (though it's been quite a while), see if you can take shifts - if your wife is breastfeeding, use bottle with her milk on your shifts, warm it up and then wake the baby for feeding...don't wait for them to wake up - once you get them accustomed to regular cycles (IIRC it was 3 hours) you all sleep much better. But that's just my experience, mileage can vary.

Oh, and never sleep with small babies beside you...chances of unintentionally suffocating them is real and seriouis risk.



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CladInShadows said:

Oh man, you're describing my life right now.  I'm 2 months into a boy/girl twin situation.  First time parents.  We named them William and Olivia.  The smile thing, though.  Mine smiled right from the get go, but this is almost always because they have gas, or are passing gas.  You've perfectly described night time feedings.  Baby cries, we wake up, and then we change their diapers and then feed and burp them.  And then comes the complicated dance of trying to get them to sleep and to stay asleep. It's easily the most difficult part of this for me. My wife has caved a couple times and has had one of them sleep in her arms for a while.  This is not a habit we want to continue though.  But I'll be damned if it doesn't work every single time.

And ditto on the video game thing.  I haven't got that part figured out, to be honest. My reading and video game time have taken a serious hit just because I never go more than 3 hours without having to interact or care for at least one of them.

Our youngest had acid reflux for the first 5 years and couldn't sleep well on his back (or rather not flat at all) in the first couple of years. We came up with the solution that I would stay up until 4 or 5 in the morning with him sleeping on my lap in a semi upright position. Then my wife got up and I got some sleep. I've finished many video games with him sleeping on my lap. It was so peaceful I miss it now. Slower games were perfect for that, for example Valkyria Chronicles.

One thing that made things easier in a way is that breast feeding didn't work very well so he was on formula a lot earlier than we wanted to. Which meant I could feed him during the night. I've given up on reading though, can't read while tired.



My biggest concern is my own sleep. I'm a very light sleeper, so shifts won't do much to help me I'm afraid. I'll be awake every time any noise happens, unless I go sleep in the basement (which I'll likely have to do from time to time). Once I'm awake, I can't get back to sleep if I've had more than a few hours sleep, and I need complete silence at that.

We've been told repeatedly to try to avoid bottle feeding for as long as possible, so that the baby will not come to prefer bottle to breast. (That's different than what I remember my sister being told just a decade ago with my nieces, but whatevs.) So, if we follow that (it seems that we will try), I think I'll be useless to the baby quite often, but I'll be awake anyway.

On the plus side, I'm used to going multiple consecutive nights with just a few hours sleep. So, that part *may* not be so big of an adjustment for me.



As a father, and stepfather, I'll try to explain it the best that I can:

I have wanted to be a father since I was twenty-three, or so (I'm thirty-seven now). I hated that I was this self-absorbed person, and I desperately needed to find something that I loved more than I loved myself. I married young, to an older woman who already had two sons. We found out that she couldn't have any more children, and it tore me up. Years later, we went our separate ways, which is when I met the woman who would become the mother of my daughter.

When she was born, it was like this weight was lifted, and all of these inconsequential things that I spent years worrying about--the opinions of others, my opinion of myself--no longer mattered. As corny as it may sound, when she was born it was like she added an extra chamber to my heart. It was the greatest day of my life, and I was the first person who got to share space with her, one-on-one. It was in the nursery, and I just sat there and watched her sleep. I remember thinking that "this is the beginning of our journey through life." From that day on, I knew that if I played my cards right, I would never be alone again. The photo albums would be filled, memories would be made, I'd have this little girl to walk down the aisle, and eventually grandkids.

One thing that I hate is when parents--or anybody, really--gets this notion in their heads that parenthood should be a universal fact of life. No, absolutely not. Some people simply do not want children, or understand the point of it, and that is perfectly okay. Nothing is harder on a child than having a parent who will treat him/her like they were an unwanted mistake, a detour that they didn't want to take. For myself, the science of survival does not matter. I just felt like I was put here to be a father, and that it would be the only thing that I was truly great at.

Anyway, I hope that clears things up a bit.



melbye said:
I think you need to become a parent to be able to answer that question

Bingo. 

 

Anyway my answer is to keep our species going. My country is under populated and if the English didn't ravage us for 800 years our population today would probably be 40m+. Instead it's 4.5m so there's lots of room to grow. Our public services in the country would greatly improve if the population did so for that reason alone I hope everyone has lots of kids. 



HoloDust said:
CladInShadows said:

Oh man, you're describing my life right now.  I'm 2 months into a boy/girl twin situation.  First time parents.  We named them William and Olivia.  The smile thing, though.  Mine smiled right from the get go, but this is almost always because they have gas, or are passing gas.  You've perfectly described night time feedings.  Baby cries, we wake up, and then we change their diapers and then feed and burp them.  And then comes the complicated dance of trying to get them to sleep and to stay asleep. It's easily the most difficult part of this for me. My wife has caved a couple times and has had one of them sleep in her arms for a while.  This is not a habit we want to continue though.  But I'll be damned if it doesn't work every single time.

And ditto on the video game thing.  I haven't got that part figured out, to be honest. My reading and video game time have taken a serious hit just because I never go more than 3 hours without having to interact or care for at least one of them.

If you don't mind suggestion from someone who's been through that all (though it's been quite a while), see if you can take shifts - if your wife is breastfeeding, use bottle with her milk on your shifts, warm it up and then wake the baby for feeding...don't wait for them to wake up - once you get them accustomed to regular cycles (IIRC it was 3 hours) you all sleep much better. But that's just my experience, mileage can vary.

Oh, and never sleep with small babies beside you...chances of unintentionally suffocating them is real and seriouis risk.

Yeah, we're constantly trying out new methods. And shifts is one method we have in the tool box.  So far, we haven't done much of it though. And the big test comes in the new year when the wife is all alone with me at work.  I had a bunch of vacation I was able to use, and we've had people helping out, or my wife has stayed at her parents while I was working, so I haven't actually had to deal with both night time feedings and having to go to work.  That all changes starting January 3. 

My wife doesn't produce milk, so it's been formula from day 1.  Therefore, I've generally been the one to go get the bottles ready and warmed, while she has been the one to change them before sleeping.

My wife doesn't actually sleep with him in her arms.  She just lays there with him and he calms right down.  Once he's been there for a while, she attempts to make the transition from arms to crib. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.