Human Parenthood

On the tree of life humans are on the branch that participate in the beautifully complicated and marvelous act of sexual reproduction. We and several other life froms owe our success, resilience to diseases, and overall fitness to this fantastic way of procreation. There was never a shred of doubt in my mind, that given the right circumstances, I would partake in what some people might describe as “the oldest tradition”, we have on our planet.

Being able to pass on your genes to the next generation has always been a privilage for every life form, given how difficult and harsh it is in the wild. Billions of years later, for one particular species, us, it still remains a privilage. However for a subset of people living in the so called “developed & developing world”, the reason is completely unique to all life on earth. It becomes a privilage to have a baby due to "lack of time & resources"; no other life form faces this challenge. Our jobs, lifestyle, life choices, hobbies, financial situation,etc. are a proven hinderance to child-bearing. Although, our headcount is way north of 7 billion but it paints an interesting picture of our psyche, we would rather have our “free time and resources” than invest those in our next generation.

I understand that there are groups of people with cogent reasons for not bringing new life into this world, but for me one reason trumped all, and that was the chance to be a link in the long chain of ancestors connecting the first primordial life form, to our offspring. After a lot of deliberation, my wife and I decided to have a baby, and we brought our son into this world in the spring of 2020; Yes right before COVID-19 took the whole world down with it.

In short, my experience went so that, no matter how much I read about parenthood, or tried to prepare myself; the real deal was nothing like it. It was more beautiful, horrendous, ecstatic, agonizing, and emotional than anything I had ever experienced in my life, all rolled-up into a tiny little bundle of joy emotions.

Now I’m sat next to my sleeping baby on an autumn afternoon, writing my thoughts while being on parental leave (courtesy of the Finnish Social Security system [and my personal contributions to their funds over the years]). It really shines a light on what a journey it has been so far. I might share more of my thoughts and experiences along the way, but so far this is all what I can say:

Having our baby was the most easy, difficult, calm, restless, giggle-inducing, deafning, joyous experience of my life.

It is a very hard job being a parent, this experience made me realize what my parents went through in raising me and my brother. But given everything we have experienced so far, I would not do it any other way.

On our afternoon stroll. You’ve Got To! check in on them periodically.

On our afternoon stroll. You’ve Got To! check in on them periodically.