Friday, August 16, 2013

Having it all ... with or without kids?

Recently, TIME Magazine's cover featured a couple enjoying their childless life at the beach, with the headline, "The Childfree Life: When having it all means not having kids." I haven't read the article, but I can imagine what it says. Still, I can't directly comment on the article until I read it.

So, I was grateful to come across John-Mark Miravalle's take on the article, along with his own calculation system to determine whether children fit into own one's personal goal of "having it all."

I think the first thing to notice about this system of measurement is that nobody applies it once kids are actually in the picture. No one would say to a mother, “Suppose I offered you some great opportunities in exchange for little Timmy?” Somebody who went around making those kinds of offers would be reported to the authorities. Why? Probably because we know Timmy’s not the sort of thing that can be exchanged for goods, services, luxuries or career choices. Timmy’s not like other resources or consumer options, and it’s sick and wrong to pretend otherwise. But if suggesting we trade a KID for COMPETING GOODS is sick and wrong after the kid is born, why is it not sick and wrong before the kid is born?

Of course, the folks at TIME aren’t actually making that offer. They’re simply reporting that couples without kids seem to have a richer experience of life than couples with kids. Apparently (“And we’re just neutral observers,” they say) kids are cost-inefficient when it comes to happiness.

Well, I think we need a little more rigor in our analysis. I think we need some sort of scientific, absolutely reliable system of measurement that can accurately predict whether or not a kid will be an overall contribution or diminution of your own personal happiness as a couple (assuming, of course, that you’re capable of bearing and caring for a kid). And the good news is that I have invented such a calculus, and am hereby sharing it with the world. It will infallibly determine whether kids will make you happier or less happy. It consists in the following question:

Find out the question by reading it here. It's really a great article.

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