“No Kids”?! No way!

Corinne Maier thinks life can be so nice, so fulfilling, for people if they’d just stop having children.

Say what?!

Yes, Ms. Maier is doing a round of TV appearances to promote her book, “No Kids — 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children,” recently published. Maier seems to see no irony in the fact that she has two children of her own. Apparently they’re why she decided to write this book, advising couples what’s causing all their problems. Wouldn’t you like to be one of her children, going through life knowing you had had a part in convincing your mom that she would have been so much better off if you had never been born? Walk proud, kids!

Corinne Maier appeared on Fox News this morning, probably causing many jaws to drop with her views. My fellow Democrats around here find it dismaying that I watch Fox News, but it’s lively, thought provoking, and in first place among the news channels — including NBC, CBS and ABC.

Anyway, Ms. Maier spent a few minutes on the program expounding her views, that children are expensive, demanding, time consuming — just a plain long pain in the patoot. Just think how much time you and your significant other would have to travel, have pleasant evenings on the town, write, do art work — all kinds of just really neato things, if you didn’t have to be the adults in the house and take care of all these little crumb snatchers.

Hmmm. Kind of makes her sound like a child herself, to my ears. I don’t wanna eat my spinach! I don’t wanna clean up my room! I don’t wanna go to school! I wanna eat dessert and play video games all day!

Yes, Ms. Maier, life is supposed to be just one big round of pleasure and self-indulgence, isn’t it? Oh, including plenty of sex with no inconvenient consequences like babies, of course. Wouldn’t want our trendy, upper-middle class couple to have to change dirty diapers, deal with school problems, or finance an ungrateful little monster’s college education, now would we?

People who know me know that I have no children of my own. So the ones who do, may say, “What do you know about it, Old Corporal? You never fathered any kids. Why should you tell others that THEY should?”

Fair question! But here’s the thing: This is about the health of societies, about one of the reasons we’re here on this earth, about keeping the human race going. It’s not about me.

Corinne Maier seems to be missing the fact that, if her parents had followed her advice, she wouldn’t be here. Of course, her accent indicated to me that she was born and raised in France. The French haven’t been much on big families since their birth rate started falling, as early as the year 1760, long before the same thing started to happen in other European countries.

Children a nuisance, a distraction, an unneeded expense? Ask the Mormons, or the Amish, or the Orthodox Jews. They seem to have no problem with raising large families, even in this self-indulgent, lazy day and age. Or, rather, they see the expense, work and responsibility of raising the next generation as being well worth the effort. Keeping the race alive. Being fruitful and multiplying, as the Bible says. Countries that have taken extreme measures to lower their birth rate — China is the one that comes to mind for me — have found they’re causing themselves untold problems that will become glaringly apparent when many of today’s children can’t find a partner when they grow up.

Ms. Maier can think what she wants. But I suspect that even today, with our smaller families than our parents and grandparents raised, most of us would disagree with her. A number of my friends have told me that their children and grandchildren are the best thing that ever happened to them.

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