Every time I ever thought about marriage, I always imagine myself having kids and having a family. Being that I am a kid myself, or I guess you could say adult (legally at least), I guess I always sort of assumed I would carry on the legacy and procreate (eventually, obviously).
Never had it crossed my mind to be married and never have children. However I came upon an AOL article that talked about some various statistical studies and such that compared couples with kids and those without. Simply put, a childless life allows a husband and wife to enjoy each other to the fullest. Once a kid enters the picture... everything changes. Statistics show that married couples with kids are a great deal less happy than those without. They argue more, and feud, and sometimes even get divorced. Not to mention having a kid is expensive -- and as prices of everything (especially college) continue to inflate at an absurd rate, the question becomes clear: is it all worth it?
Any parent will tell you 100% yes. But the thing is they don't know what it would be like to not have those kids. It's a really tough decision -- and a really big step for any couple. A lot of times I feel like parents are so bent on helping their kids grow and succeed... that they forget to leave time for each other. It's as if once you agree to have a baby together, you pretty much sign your life, time, and money away. What happens if you lose the incredible romance you once had together? What happens if the only reason you are still together is because you both love that kid so much?
Some people have pets as their 'kids.' But even with them, there are obligations and responsibilities -- and again, a whole pile of money invested. What would life be like, with just you and the love of your life? There would be no distractions, no one else, no attention seekers... you could enjoy each others' time and company and just spend life being together. Isn't that what marriage is all about? I suppose people come to a fork in the road once they are married for awhile. Some take the path of children, and decide to sacrifice it all. Others don't. It's that simple.
I've often heard my mom talk about things she has wished she did with Dad. She's never been outside the country other than on our trip to Canada. And I'm wondering now as I write this if she regrets all of the things that kids bring, and how it may have hindered various dreams. She's admitted that she's afraid of how much older my dad is than her... that he will most likely pass before her, and she will be left alone. Afraid that since they started so late on marriage and consequently kids, that they won't have that enjoyable retirement. That all their work will be for naught, and she will pass still stressed from all of the not-so-much-joys of her daily life. That she may pass not happy with what she has done in life, and not happy with how she looks or where she has gone.
In all honesty, I don't know what the case is. I rarely talk to my mother, unless I have to. If I do, it's small talk. Very small talk. Fine by me though...
There's a lot of time yet before marriage is upon us. Not as much as we may think, though. I think seeing friends in college getting married has really helped that to hit home for me. I'm not ready now, and after all this, who knows if I ever will be. I'll be honest, if it doesn't fall into place I'm not really going to fight that... there are advantages to the kind of lifestyle I want to lead if I am alone.
And after all... that's what dogs are for right?