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Honestly: whichever way you go, chances are you'll find you enjoy it. There are pros and cons to both.
Just make the right choice for you. No one should fault someone else for choosing to have a kid or not have a kid. (It's people who go one step further and actively hate children that need to be punched in the face, repeatedly, by me.)
"Anyone who hates children and animals can't be all bad. "
— W.C. Fields
Anyone's choice to have or not have kids is fine by me, but there's no question that people who have kids have experienced something that people don't haven't. The fault is in assuming that experience is crucial to having a "full" life.
PDXwahine, you are very fair. Even though I had 30 years of my life before children, the nature of kids is such that you are completely in the present---I barely remember my life without them. 9 years later, I am a different person than I was before children, (mostly largely because of having said children). I can not imagine who I would be without them. I don't regret them, but I wouldn't push this experience on anyone who feels lukewarm about child raising. It's too hard to do half-assed.
Sex ed reform needs to happen, and part of that reform should include making educated, constructive decisions about having children. Family Planning, they call it.
Good topic Mirk...nice to know the Merc isn't always about being hip.
Expectations of future, financial management, etc
If you plan to have children then the pre-parent phase is often lived in preparation for that moment, be it working/saving towards the parenting goal or doing all those things you know you may never get to do once you are a parent.
Living a childfree life such considerations do not exist, future planning and so on have an entirely different focus.