Please Don’t Take the Decision to Become a Dad Lightly
Photo: Yana Iskayeva/Getty Images

Please Don’t Take the Decision to Become a Dad Lightly

An illuminating Reddit thread weighs the pros and cons of having kids

Fatherhood ain’t for the faint of heart. It’s a huge responsibility, a lifelong commitment, yet it’s also a role that can feel like a societal norm. A decision that’s made for us. Yet over on the subreddit r/blackmen, users are discussing what life is like for those who decide to remain childless—and the discourse is illuminating.

Reddit user u/monsieur_beau19 kicked things off: “Hey fellas, have any of you ever had thoughts of having children and then as you got older, decided you either don’t want them or are ambivalent about having them at all?” The general sentiment from current dads insisted that those who are on the fence about becoming dads are probably better off not doing so.

The most upvoted comment, created by user u/InAnimateAlpha, reads, “As someone who has a kid and loves them to death I implore you to not take the decision to have kids lightly. If there is any doubt, DO NOT DO IT. Protect yourself at all costs and enjoy all of the free time and theoretical extra money.”

Related: J. Cole's Approach to Fatherhood Is Inspiring

Some proud dads also offered some words of encouragement. User u/md8716, who writes that he is a father of three, offered the following: “I couldn't imagine my life without this zany cast of characters in it. It'd be kinda sad and depressing without them imo.” In contrast, user u/scottie2haute wrote that not having kids was “one of the best decisions I’ve ever made” and user u/ISeydouDat revealed that he got a vasectomy in his mid ’20s, adding “No regrets!”

For some people, though, the idea of being childfree is more nuanced. User u/NapoleonTak explained that he wanted a Black family, but feels the older he gets, the more that idea seems like a fantasy due to a fear of not procreating with the right person and potentially divorcing. Redditor u/franchisemvp expressed different reservations to bringing a new life into the world. The 39-year-old user cited his fear of raising a Black child into a racist society. “With the way the world is (specifically Amerikkka) and dating in the US, as well as other factors like the economy, political climate, racism, etc. I think I'm good,” he wrote.

Related: My Estranged Father Just Died and My Feelings Are Complicated

For all of the apprehensive posts in this thread, user u/TauregPrince, who identified himself as a 33-year-old divorced man, wrote passionately about his desire to have children. “I'm not ok with being childless. It deeply bothers me but, more important is finding someone I absolutely trust and want to have children with,” he wrote. “I’ve always wanted to be a father… My extended family wants me to have kids, I'm everyone's favorite uncle. The accomplished, soft spoken one, who loves kids… I'm told I'd make a good father. Got to find a good wife and be a great husband first though, that's the complicated part.”

Overall, the thread is informative in terms of how men from various walks of life consider parenting. It’s not meant to be a divisive conversion, rather it adds some worthwhile perspective to differing opinions on the matter. The idea of having children is extremely layered. Here, some of those layers get unpeeled. Dig into the thread for yourself here.