@vgr do you happen to know of any takes on the mental refactors that result in wanting vs not wanting children?

The housewife role seems to rely on having children, otherwise it’s basically a maid/assistant role. I think the source of burnout is the shift to not wanting children without a corresponding increase in meaning/imagination sources.

Some of S.Perry’s work feels relevant but focus more on suicide than children.

@aRandomCat @vgr The common argument is career pressure.

On the one hand, in some workplaces there's intentional pressure for women to not have kids, and punishment when they do. On the other, even when there's no intentional pressure, it's time you lose in accumulating credentials and networking, in comparison to the childless careerists.

Together with whatever other competitive pressures the job might have, it starts looking like a heavy trade-off.

@machado @vgr i feel like the career pressure emerges from deciding not to have children though. The pressure is an emergent aspect of all the peers squeezing for the meaningful jobs rather than top down villainy.

A common pattern i see for the american-born-chinese for example is resentment towards parents disconnecting then from the social norms that pressure them to have children and kick the can of meaning questioning down the road. (they burn out eventually)

@aRandomCat @vgr My sample of millenials with kids tends to fit into three groups:

- Stereotypical poor people drama: absent or jailed fathers, alcoholic mothers, etc.
- Rural mediocre: working parents, still together, lots of extended family participation, lots of very discreet cheating
- Urban middle class: can't afford the "urban" + child care, so back to the small town. No social life, no career, separated before the kid is 10yo.

@aRandomCat @vgr I do know a couple of happy millenial parents, but they are upper-middle/lower-upper class, and it was a borderline arranged marriage.

@vgr @aRandomCat The two forces that seem to be in play:

- Millenials want to live in interesting places full of options, but the cost of living there is too high.

- The less interesting places keep getting worse, because the best and brightest all leave.

Thus creating the small town demographic structure known as "newlywed and nearly dead".

@machado @aRandomCat @vgr The only consistently successful millennial children rearing I've seen is stay-at-home mom/dad who's got a side gig. They tend to incorporate their children as part of the household and treat them as functioning little human beings. Usually homeschooled.

This format is rare in northeast (USA), but seems to operate effectively regardless of income/class bracket.

At a fundamental level, it looks like a rejection of tropes and norms stemming out of industrialization era.

@machado @aRandomCat @vgr allow me to volunteer myself... urban upper class, globe trotting lottery winner. currently on our first 1 year old

@aRandomCat dunno. I never wanted any, out of the box :) I think some people just don't have the parental instinct/itch. I don't dislike children. I find them cute enough for like 15 minutes. Then they bore me to tears.

I don't think anything can really flip this switch. At best you let peer pressure obscure your self-awareness of your innate preference for a few years if you're in a misaligned group.

@aRandomCat @vgr I always thought it more naturally went the other way -- you have stuff you find more exciting than children, so you decide to do that instead of expending the energy on raising kids.

@riga @vgr I think childhood experiences split people into 2 camps. Those who had early social success flow into the “humanity as an infinite game” stream and support it with all their heart.

Those who had more non-socially based success like academic success often get sucked into large finite games that seem infinite. The “System” so to speak.

The latter camp’s crisis event is at the edge of a system while the former’s is realizing “the” infinite game (Truth) doesn’t need help from humans.

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