Parenting is one of those topics that occasionally crosses my mind. In recent years, I’ve known several friends who have made the leap and while everyone dresses it up in very beautiful language, I personally believe a more unpopular theory on why some couples become parents. It’s unromantic but I also think it’s true. Of course, certainly not true for everyone. But I do think this is true far more often than not; even if people aren’t ready to admit it: They get bored.
When people first get married, it’s romantic and sexy– the so-called “honeymoon period.” Nowadays, most couples (at least in the western world) cohabitate and live together for a good stretch of time before ever tying the knot. Thus, marriage itself, doesn’t actually change anything. You get to jointly file your taxes and get some tax breaks that way (single people are truly punished in this country, tax-wise, IMHO) and also your insurance premiums also unfortunately go way up if you’re getting coverage under a main provider. But other than those logistical, clerical changes, not much else happens. Oh, I guess: In society, for whatever reason, saying “you’re married” confers a kinda seriousness/maturity/gravity. That’s definitely a thing. Never mind that half of all marriages end in divorce in America; married people occupy at least a slightly different valence in societal dynamics when it comes to perceived maturity/respectability.
But my take is that after several years, after the initial heat and frisson dissipates, and then many couples kinda look at each other and realize that they’re bit bored. If they’re both working, they’ve likely saved a good amount of money at this point and they’re not quite sure what to do next. (I have heard –again, this is totally anecdotal– that many women feel a biological instinct/urge around the 30-year mark so that may be part of it too? I’m honestly unsure if this can be generalized.) But I postulate that many married couples look at each other at a certain point in their marriages and just kinda say, “Eh, why not?” And then try to make babies. They desire a new project to work on that’ll keep life interesting and keep them together. It’s like starting a new RPG quest that’ll knock 18 years (or more, if you make multiple babies) off the clock.