There are many reasons why people have children: because children represent the future and they are a source of pride; because parents want to pass on their genes and have heirs; because of the desire to experience parenthood or to feel like a family, not just like a couple. Sometimes children are seen as a source of future financial support for their retired parents, sort of an old-age security. Some mothers feel their biological clocks ticking. There are religious reasons as well. No matter how many personal reasons, or no reasons at all exist, people will still look for the answer to this question.
Even those who already have children still wonder why people have children. In this case they do not look for reasons. They look for the meaning. What is the meaning of having children? At first glance it may seem that reason and meaning are the same. Reasons listed above are more tangible, practical, and even selfish. The meaning of having children is philosophical, intangible, and spiritual. Reasons push. Meaning draws.
Why do people have children? Because children bring joy, that is why!
In the beginning it may appear as selfish joy, which is okay, when we want a baby: to hold, to touch, to smell the baby’s milky soft skin, to look at a miracle of life. Then the sleepless nights and endless care-giving chores put the idealistic picture of having a baby into the realm of dedication to a child, and require the work of soul. For those parents who are able to experience the excitement of overcoming selfishness and are able to reach mutual connectedness with the soul of their child, this experience is unforgettable and worth all the efforts. In an online forum a father, who didn’t think he even liked children, made a comment, that the moment he saw his sons he couldn’t “get enough of them.” Having kids for him was a “transformative, amazing, incredible” experience, where “all your worst qualities (and your best) being played out in front of you.” He wrote, “I love them, and I love the father that I am with them. Having kids makes me a better man.”
People have children because children make them better men. Here is the joy and meaning of parenting.
Ideas are taken from Parenting For Everyone by Simon Soloveychik, Book Part1 chapter6.