I started a new contract gig this week and one of my new co-workers was very candid in letting me know that having children ruins your life and implying that I in fact had ruined my life in doing so. To be quite honest, I was very taken back by this as the individual had only known me for a few hours in person before giving me his very selfish view on our time in this realm. Sadly, in retrospect, I felt the same way in my youth, but this person is well past their youth and have fallen into becoming one of those, what I call, “weird old people that never had kids”.
This description doesn’t apply to all people that opt to not have children during their lives, but it seems in the tech space, we have a lot of people that not only opt to not have children (very common in higher paying careers) but are very vocal about how having children ruins your life.
The simple truth is, having a child does change things, your life will never be the same. This doesn’t mean an end to happiness and that seems to be what those type of people seem to think. I find it to be a very selfish mindset where the individual feels they wouldn’t be able to do the things they enjoy doing. In my opinion, their lives seem more like they have given up on the adventures that we can create for ourselves and have settled for a quiet life surrounded by their possessions (and often times a ton of animals, mostly cats, and nobody likes cats ;).
On top of that, it seems like those individuals fall into what I would consider “Peter Pan” syndrome, a perpetual state of being a child. They have the responsibilities of normal, productive members of society, but they end up spending much of their disposible income on toys they get to talk about / show off to the younger people in their field. They talk about their possessions like I talk about my child, it’s highly materialistic and sickening in my eyes. To quote Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Fight Club, “Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you”.
I understand that children aren’t for everyone, I really do get that, but to say that someone has ruined their life is one hell of an assumption to make, especially in a “first impression” type scenario. At the end of the day, I love that I have a child and am very content in knowing that I am able to be one of the most influential people in that little person’s life. I get to watch them grow, learn and [hopefully] succeed in life. Tell me more about your grandiose gaming rig, I’m sure it’s quite fulfulling ;)