questionsdoes having children equal success?

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If having children means you're successful then consider this lady the Bill Gates of the parenting world.

Having children responsibly and raising them responsibly should only be a product of being successful in the first place. It in no way is a sure sign of being successful.

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Absolutely not! While children are of course sometimes the byproduct of a successful marriage, they are not a prerequisite to success. How many times have you seen someone who clearly is not succeeding in life, who has had children under less than ideal circumstances?

Kids aren't for everyone, and don't let anyone guilt-trip you into thinking you're a failure if you've chosen not to have them, or to delay trying to have them until you feel ready!

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Sounds like you need some new friends/social circle. It's never fun hanging out with judgmental creeps.

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Why do you care how they look at you?

I choose to be childless because I have yet to meet the mother of my children, and am certainly not going to let others change what I know to be the correct thing to do at this time in my life.

Children=success in life...sounds like a TERRIBLY overcrowded Earth soon.

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Reproduction seems to me to be a low bar for success, since almost every life form is able to do it. Raising well-adjusted kids to become productive adults is successful parenting, but having the kids in the first place isn't in itself a measure of success. We live in a very self-congratulatory society, where people seem anxious to pat themselves on the back for the least little thing. Unfortunately, for many this leads to comparative evaluation, where people pick some meaningless measure to determine themselves to be successful, then apply that same measure to determine others to be unsuccessful, making them feel even better about themselves. Don't buy into it.

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Having kids is not, by any means, a sign of being a success. I have a former friend ( long story ) that had 3 daughters the last I knew. 3 kids from 2 different women & he has never had anything other than a minimum wage, part time job ( and has actually been unemployed longer than he has been employed ). It has been 4 or 5 years since I've heard from him, so I'm guessing he probably has 2 or 3 more kids by now.

I'd say that being successful would be having the life you set out to have. Do you have a job that you enjoy, lets you pay the bills & have enough left over to do what you want? Do you have the number of kids you'd like? Success in life isn't "do I have X, Y or Z" it's "Do I like who I am and where I am in life"

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I don't need children to justify my existence. I have a great family as it is and if they have children I will gladly accept them into my life and treat them as best as I can. For me personally? No children for me.

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Children are the Jawas of our galaxy.
Filthy creatures...

On a serious note... No, you don't need a "family" to be successful. Don't bend to such silly social pressures.

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Definitely not. I think all you have to do is look at all the Jerry Springer/Morton Downey, Jr. type shows to realize that even if those stories are mostly made up, there's still a lot of truth in them.

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It's all perspective.
From a purely biological perspective, yes. Having children ensures the continuation of your genes, therefore success.
Otherwise, who cares. Measure success by your own metrics.
People should have kids because they want them, not because they are expected to have them.
Too much of the latter going around these days, IMO.

j5 j5
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"I was looked at as if I have failed at life" - did any1 actually say this, or did they just just look disappointed? even if they looked a little disappointed, disappointment could stem merely from the other person finding out they have less in common with you than expected, not that they have judged you at all.

really, the only objective measure of success is whether one has had a shirt design printed by shirt.woot.

(just kidding.)

no1 no1
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ABSOUTELY. Any other success pales in comparison to what raising a family means.

The problem is so many are failures in this area few even recoginize the benefits of having a family any more. I wouldn't trade anything for the family we have, despite the challenges we've faced over the years.

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No. And get some new friends.

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If so, I know some young teenagers who couldn't be bothered to sit through sex ed that are extraordinarily successful, well before graduating high school.

Reproducing is not a marker for a successful life. Not being a douche to people who live a different lifestyle than you do, is a marker for a successful life. It means you've matured beyond needing all of your friends and acquaintances to do and like all of the same things you do.

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Despite the hate, I still stand by my position. NOTHING means more in life than family.

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I have encountered quite a bit of this attitude myself. I recently met someone who, it seemed like we were off to a great start for a new friendship. Until she realized I didn't have kids. After some anxious questioning, I finally ended her haphazard stab at guessing what unfortunate event left me barren, by telling her I am childless by choice. You could have heard a pin drop. I was amazed at the sudden rush of hostility, and was really glad to see who this person really was before investing too much time

Successful parents are a wonderful thing, but it isn't the only measure of success. I am married to my husband for 26 years in May, and we made the decision together not to have kids, and do not regret it. I love him now, more than ever, and he lets me know every day he feels the same. I feel very successful about that.

Cont.

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On the other hand, these people might not be as judgemental as you think. It is normal for a lot of new parents to be consumed with thought of child rearing to exclusion of all else. So what you may be seeing is the awkward, nothing to talk about discomfort. For reasonable people this is a temporary affliction, but some will find their life's calling in it, developing into helicopter parents, and later, controlling in laws.

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breeding is a biological drive, nothing more. It doesn't indicate success or failure, or anything really, other than fertility.

I do find many parents, especially those who are new to it... have newly discovered the miracle of life.. get overly wrapped up in it. They lose perspective. The world goes on with or without their children, lol. don't ever feel self conscious about your situation or choices.

reminds me of a funny song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJRzBpFjJS8

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If your priorities do not include having children, you most certainly can be successful at life without kids. In the past, I have been envious of those who travel the world instead of settling down and having a kid, that's just not something easily done if you've decided instead to devote your time to rearing children. Different people have different priorities and you just have to find what works for you.

True story: I became a dad for the first time today with my wife who happens to be a fellow wooter. :) It sure does feel good, but without being delusional, I think I can only claim to be successful if/when we raise him right.

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@sykotek: All of the upvotes for you, sir. Congratulations and good luck!

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@sykotek: Well, said, and congrats!

Now, stop playing around on Woot and tend to your wife and newborn!! :-)

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@sykotek: Congrats! I bet you are both exhausted! Get some sleep and share some pictures of the new Wooter!

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@sykotek: Congratulations! I became a father myself 6 months ago. It's been a wild 6 months, but my wife and I have never been happier. Good luck and go take care of your family!

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I think that success is all in the way we personally define it. If you're genuinely happy with your daily life, keep at it, if you're not, change it. That applies whether you have 20 kids or no kids, whether you're a billionaire or a bum.

That said, I have noticed that from admittedly informal and completely unscientific observations of my own friends and Facebook people I've kept up with, misery and bitterness seem directly proportional to the number of kids one has. There may indeed be deep metaphysical rewards to parenting that can't be appreciated in this mortal plane or something, but to hear them actually complain about it on a regular basis it sounds like a long stint in a Siberian gulag.

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@bsmith1: sorry you had such a rotten life that you feel that way.

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@mtm2: Wow. So, your path is the ONLY path that could mean success? Sanctimommy strikes again.

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I don't think it equals success, but for people who get to have kids, it's probably a blessing, maybe they were just hoping you could have that joy too and were sad you didn't.

On the other hand, I do know my share of people who think that having a kid some how has elevated their own intelligence and maturity level, and that part of people who have kids annoys me.

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successfully ruining your life? ya

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not necessarily. Too many people raise their kids to be asshats. Then again many people I've met who don't want kids seem to be self-obsessed or selfish. Seems to be that for people who choose to have kids, life ends up being more fulfilling, secure in the knowledge that long after you're gone, you'll still have a positive impact on the world you left behind.

Seems to be that today's world offers so many entertainment options that some people say "why bother having kids when I've got all these choices of travel, dining, entertainment...?".

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I meant to add that for people who don't have kids, it's hard to understand what it's like to have kids. Almost all the other parents I speak to agree that it's NOTHING like what they expected before they actually had kids of their own.

As to your recent experience, it speaks to what I've seen firsthand; Couples with children and couples who have chosen to NOT have children (and singles) often just don't mix well. Couples without kids who intend to have kids or are trying to have kids DO seem to get along well with the people who already have kids.

There may even be some subconscious or genetic reason for this, after all, the species depends on people passing on their genes... there is probably a good reason for our species to put pressure on people without kids to start making babies.

When you've had a crappy day, nothing beats your little kids running up to you with giant smiles on their faces saying "I love you" and wanting to give you a hug.

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Sure it is. Check any trailer park for proof.

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First off, they probably weren't consciously thinking that. If they don't know you well they don't know how to react. They have kids and probably can't imagine not having them so someone not wanting kids is a little foreign to them. I doubt they ment to offend.
Success, in relation to your whole life, is all subjective and relative. To some simply having a job, any job, feels like success. To others you might not be viewed as successful until you're a millionaire, or have 3 kids, or have traveled the world. The minute you start measuring your success and happiness against the standards of others is the moment you began being successful.

You may not realize it but you more than likely feel that you're more successful than these people you mention because they do have kids and you're probably doing better career-wise, and most likely financially, than they are.

Stop measuring yourself by other peoples sticks, and worrying that they're measuring you too, or you never will be successful.

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It could also be that in a private moment that YOU would admit to feeling that having kids makes you successful if it bothered you so much. Maybe not, but a little hard hitting, truthful introspection might be in order regardless.

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@hot72chev: I was reflecting the other persons verbiage. Thank you for providing those links, those sites can be helpful for someone still struggling with this. :-)

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@pickypickypicky: Sorry, I didn't mean to seem snarky with you...I enjoyed reading your responses. It's refreshing to see so many like minded folks posting here. I know exactly what OP has experienced. It goes right along with the way people look at you when the find out you have never been married.

And I really enjoyed @goatcrapp 's song!

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@apocello42: I do not feel that having kids would make me successful. I know that I am way too selfish to have to be responsible for another life 24/7. I feel that working in education and volunteering my time for children with developmental disabilities is my way of giving back and that is what makes me successful. I really do enjoy hearing everyone's response to this question, I think that there have been some very valid points made.

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@hot72chev: I didn't take it that way, I upvoted your response. I really am glad you put those links too, I was too sleepy last night , but thought about doing it.
I also enjoyed the "Hitler or Kanye ", on the page @goatcrapp: linked.

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@sykotek: Congratulations! I travel the world quite a lot and my sister-in-law frequently asks why I am able to do all this and she isn't. Every time I point out to her that she chose to have kids. It is a choice, some people don't feel like their life is complete without kids, some like me have never felt the desire to have them. I explain my choice by saying that I changed diapers for four younger siblings throughout my childhood and used up my maternal desires. But the truth is I never had any, never, ever pictured myself raising kids, that just wasn't part of the life I imagined for myself. I am happy for people who want to be parents and are good at it, but it isn't the only right path.

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@pickypickypicky, @thumperchick, @djp519, @conanthelibrarian, @tctk1044, @moondrake: Thank you for the kind offerings of congratulations and also thanks to anyone else who has read my message and taken it to heart. Success is a process, not a destination.

This has truly been the longest couple of days in my entire adult life. Don't worry though, I'm not simply lollygagging about online at home while my wife and baby are in the hospital, I only quickly popped onto woot when I got home to feed my cat and couldn't help log in to answer an oddly, yet appropriately timed question. Gotta remember to feed and give some time and love to my first born kitty in all this excitement too.

I have tons of pictures sure, but they're not necessarily appropriate to just post here on the internet or rather woot, maybe I can convince grandma to help sew an old woot shirt into a onesie or find a reasonably priced flying monkey costume for my boy from Babies R Us or something when I have time. ;D