Children. They’re the gift that keeps on giving. They have the ability to bring happiness and joy to a family, but there are certain questions you need to ask yourself before taking such a big step to becoming a father. There are many repercussions and responsibilities that come along with parenthood, some of which don’t directly affect the family; others have a more obvious impact. These 5 reasons should be taken into consideration when asking yourself whether you should take on the role of a parent.
1. They’re Killing the Planet
It might sound a bit dramatic, but there’s truth behind this. As the human population increases, people consume more resources. Whether it’s food, energy, or water, more people results in more consumption. The 7 billion people already on the planet are using a vast amount of resources while reserves of essential energy deposits are depleting. Why is this a bad thing? Well, overpopulation can lead to water, food and resource shortages, damage to the environment (think ozone depletion and global warming), overharvesting of animals (which leads to species extinction), and higher possibilities of disease outbreaks. While it’s difficult to see the immediate risks of having children, considering the negative consequences of population growth and the effects that it could have on younger generations might make you second guess your decision.
2. They’re Expensive
You’ve heard this one before. Between diapers, formula, clothes, food, furniture, and hospital costs, children can be very expensive. And then there are college funds, cars, and more food to worry about as children grow into teenagers. A recent report by the USDA (apparently child expenses fall under the same scope as agriculture) states that it costs average-earning Americans $234,000 to raise a child for 17 years, with housing, education, and food being the highest expenses. This number varies by state, of course, with the most expensive states being in the urban northeast. As noted, this number is the average cost, but the price can vary greatly depending on income level with the report stating:
“A family earning less than $59,410 per year can expect to spend a total of $169,080 (in 2011 dollars) on a child from birth through high school. Similarly, middle-income parents with