Should You Have Kids? My Thoughts On Having Children

As of June this year I’ll be 36 or 4 years away from 40.

At this point in my life, the idea of having a family is something I’ve put a lot of thought into.

Unfortunately, I don’t have too many people to model here, most of my buddies don’t have kids. and of the couples I’ve seen with kids, I haven’t met anyone I want to model.

Instead I have to look to guys who are older than me and  have been there and done it.

Guys like Grant Cardone and Caleb Jones.

Grant has some great stuff on having kids and committing to marriage, but getting legally married, especially in the west is not an option for me. I love his stuff on success, but he’s also worth 100 M’s, so his reality in terms of parenting is in a different universe of what you and I would be experiencing. He also admits his mission is more important and more fulfilling than his family.

In terms of guys who have had kids, and have a different perspective, the best stuff I’ve found is from Caleb Jones.

If you’re thinking of having kids you need to read these articles from Caleb Jones:

Caleb makes 6 major points on why kids make you less happy.

1. Parenting makes you less happy: From studies and his own experience (even if you love them)
2. Kids are expensive as hell: No argument there, $500k to raise to kids to 18
3. Child support gun to your head: Even you’re not legally married, garnished wages and jail
4. Your kid could have health or behavioral problems: God forbid, but this is a reality
5. Relationship suffers: Stress, money fights, fights about parenting, lack of free time, exhaustion…
6. You’re the 2nd priority behind your kids: Kids will come first in her eyes

All the above are excellent points, and points I find myself agreeing on all of them.

Caleb makes some exceptions for guys who are rich and can afford potential child support, as well as a huge place, nanny, maid, cook etc. (Grant Cardone fits this profile). But for guys who are just comfortable it’s a different ball game altogether. And for guys who are poor, it’s a disaster.

I agree with Caleb that finances is the # 1 consideration. If I were to have kids, it would only be in a scenario where I’ve murdered the financial game, which is 5 to 10 years from now. I’m comfortable now but I wouldn’t want to have kids unless I’m top 0.1% (BTW I live in Asia so that’s a lot cheaper than top 0.1% in the west)

Overall Caleb makes a strong case, and I respect his honesty, his main point is he loves his children more than anything… but raising the kids to 18 made him significantly less happy.

Outside of Caleb, I’ve met 1 guy on a Visa run to Laos who said he regrets having kids. Same story as Caleb. Guy is the same age as me, was very happy and making good money while living in Thailand with his girl. And even though he loves his kids to death, he told me the lifestyle of being a parent made both him and his wife much less happy.

Unfortunately most people don’t have the balls to admit this. I’m sure there are plenty of people who are happy to be parents, but there are also plenty of guys who are less happy, but you won’t hear from them because it’s such a social taboo, so the evidence you get is skewed…

The men in your family would be loath to admit that even though they love their kids, they don’t love the lifestyle of being a parent. And you’re going to find a lot of social pressure from your family, especially if you’re over 30, on having kids.

You also have to take into account the divorce laws, especially in Western countries. You need to avoid divorce like the plague, and there is a 50% chance if you settle into a marriage that it will end in divorce. The reality is that your marriage today is not the marriage of your grandfather.

And even if you choose co-parent while not legally married, if that goes wrong like so many partnerships do, you’re in an absolute dumpster fire of a situation. You can lose visitation rights and be charged exorbitant sums for kids that you get to see only sporadically. And if you can’t pay, because you lost income, wage garnishing and jail are potential realities for you.

I see legal marriage as a mistake, and that if you are going to have kids, you should do it through strong co-habitation, co-parenting, and asset dissolution agreements. And you want those agreements in place before she even moves in with you.

As for me, I love little kids, and I love the idea of having two adorable, half-Thai girls. And my reptilian brain has been telling me to get someone pregnant for the last 4 years…

But my logical brain is screaming at me not to do it.

For me to consider kids I would need to:

  • Become more patient
  • Murder the financial game and put myself in the top 0.01% in SEA
  • Fulfill at least 3 major goals in my mission as well as 3 other personal projects
  • Find the right woman who I love deeply and who is honest, accountable and loyal
  • Get agreement with that woman that she will be handling 80% of the childcare while I make $
  • Get a big house with lots of space plus a maid, nanny, driver and possibly personal chef
  • Continue to live in South East Asia and never move back to North America
  • Never get legally married
  • Get ironclad contracts in place (even though the laws are much more favorable here)

If I have kids ,all the above criteria need to be met. I grew up without a lot of money and without a father and I promised myself that if I did have kids I would do it at the highest standard I could. I also promised myself that I will protect my money and my lifestyle at all costs.

At this point in the game I’m undecided. I’m more open to having kids than I was at 25 when I was a hard no, but I’m still not sold. And I’ve got a lot of work to do before I can get myself to where I would consider it.

I’m also quite happy with how my life is going. I’ve made a lot of progress on my mission, I’ve liberated myself from working for someone, and I’ve done a lot of work at creating my ideal lifestyle. I’m really enjoying the freedom I have right now as well as the time to devote to my mission and to making RLD as great as it can be.

So in summary, I think it’s super important for you to check out Caleb’s articles as well as my video and audio where I go more in depth on both Caleb’s ideas and my own thoughts on having kids.

I’m open to having kids under the right conditions, but I’m not there yet. And even if I was 100% where I wanted to be I’m still not sold on the idea that having kids is the right move for me. I’m never going to say never, but I will leave the option open, and only if I’m able to do it at the highest standard, which will take me the next 5 to 10 years.

With that said, this is a broad topic, and what’s right for me may not be right for you. I suggest you do as much research as you can and hopefully you’ve found my thoughts useful.

Also feel free to leave any questions or comments you might have in the comments section below or on my YouTube channel, especially if you’ve already had kids and can provide a perspective on what the reality of being a parent is like.

  1. I’ve read a lot of Caleb’s (BlackDragon’s) work, as well as yours. We all agree that men should focus on their mission(s) in life. We have goals. Accomplishing those goals makes us complete as men. There is no greater goal than becoming a father, and no greater accomplishment than leading your children to adulthood.

    I have two kids 17(girl) and 15(boy). They are becoming adults and my pride in them grows every day. My brother’s kids are the same age and he feels as I do.

    Last week, we had a family dinner and I sat next to my Dad. He simply sat there and enjoyed the lively conversation between his four grand-kids. He mentioned how fortunate he felt to have four grand-kids that he could be proud of. He said that he knows people who don’t have grand-kids and that they have an unspoken emptiness in them. The same can be said about men who miss their window to become fathers.

    Neither you nor Caleb seem to make an effort to assess fatherhood from the perspective of someone like my father, an 82 year old man. You cite the difficulties and sacrifices, but make no effort to look at the long-term rewards. For example Caleb always cites “happiness” as a metric, but he doesn’t cite any studies on parenting (grand-parenting) effects on “old-age happiness”. Watching my Dad, it seems a though “old-age happiness” is at least partially a function of looking back and assessing your accomplishments in life.

    Finally for me as a 52 year old guy, I can say unequivocally that becoming a Dad is the best thing that I’ve ever done. Sure, I have money, a good career, and women whenever I want to put-up with them. That’s all really just a bonus. Being a Dad is what really counts in the game of life.

  2. Thanks Stan, love hearing from guys who have actual experience on the subject. So has having kids made you consistently happier? Also I notice you said having women, how did the situation with their mom work out?

  3. Regarding “consistently happier”, you simply need to frame your life correctly to be happy with kids. Raising kids is really a lot of smaller missions/goals. Of course to accomplish any mission/goal requires some sacrifice. For example, a simple mission/goal is getting them to school in the morning. Something bigger is finishing a school year and feeling the excitement of the last day with your kids. When you successfully complete a mission/goal, you feel good about yourself. It gives life meaning.

    So you sacrifice time, money, or whatever for the greater mission/goal of raising your kids. It’s a simple concept, but we live in an entitlement society that socially programs us into thinking that we shouldn’t have to make sacrifices to reach our goal of being a good Dad.

    With regards to my ex-wife (an attorney), she decided that she wanted to be with a guy that she works with when my kids were 6 and 4 years old. She has her own money, so I moved 5 miles away and we split custody of our kids. I kept my money, never paid alimony, and there was never any child support. Divorce has been fine for me, since I’m not being controlled by my ex-wife (they all try to control you) and I get to be with my kids on my terms (yes, we’ve had some great times playing video games and watching movies).

  4. Thanks for your input brother really appreciate it, good to hear from guys who have been through it and it’s been positive, because I’m still open to the idea at some point. And good to hear you didn’t lose your shirt in the divorce, although it’s crazy to me that people can make choices like your ex wife when you have young children together and have made a vow. But sounds like you’re better off now so it’s probably a blessing in disguise. And I believe you on the control aspect.

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