Just the two of us: Childless by choice

Of course, parents would say there are plenty of great arguments FOR having children, and the No Kidding folks have heard them all.

"Have you had people try to convince you that you're wrong?" asked Smith.

"Oh, yes, absolutely," said Laura Ciaccio. "You're going to be so alone when you're older. Who's going to take care of you? -- thinking that somehow children are just future indentured slaves or something like that? It's really not a great reason to have kids."

She added, "Since I don't know what I'm missing, I can't possibly know that I'm making the right choice."

"What do you say to people who say that to you, 'You'll never know this joy'?" asked Smith.

"Nobody who's known me really well has ever said that to me," said Ciaccio. "So, I think they have a difficulty understanding that different people want different things in life, and that what makes them happy is not necessarily going to make me happy."

So who's really happier -- family folk, or child-free?

We asked people in both groups, and a majority (67 percent) said people have an equal shot at happiness, with or without kids.

For the record, Jessica Valenti, who wrote "Why Have Kids?," has a two-year-old daughter. "I knew that it was always something that I wanted," she said.

"It's a raw deal," said Jonathan Last. "It's an enormous amount of work. A lot of the work, you know, is not a lot of fun. We're not going to sentimentalize it."

He should know: he's also a parent.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, already the parents of 19, are praying for more. "We haven't given up trying yet," they said.

And Laura and Vinny Ciaccio are thinking about expanding their own family someday . . . by getting a dog.


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