BY BETSY ABRAHAM AND JENNIFER FAUCI
While there has been a trend in women choosing not to have kids, many men have expressed a desire to become fathers. According to a 2011 national survey of singles, more men than women said they wanted kids. A separate 2013 poll said that more than 80 percent of men said they’ve always wanted to be a father or always expected to have children one day.
Daniel Kim, 27, of Valley Stream said that growing up, he never wanted kids. But that all changed when he was deployed to Iraq with the Marine Corps.
“Faced with my own mortality and being constantly surrounded by death made me reconsider what I really wanted out of life,” Kim said. “As much as I wanted to ‘do my own thing,’ I felt that if I were to die, there would be no one to take to heart the morals, values and experiences that I had learned. I wanted a legacy.”
As he saw the joy and heartbreak his friends experienced while raising their kids, he said he understood that kids were a huge investment. Despite knowing how hard it is, Kim said he still wants to have that experience.
“Not just for the legacy, but because I feel that in order for me to really experience life to the fullest, I have to invest part of my life into my hypothetical kids,” he said.
A newlywed, Kim said he thinks about being a father constantly.
“Mostly, I use it as motivation to improve myself now, so that when I have kids, they can get the best parts of me,” Kim said. “Kids are incredibly impressionable and pick up on surroundings and actions. You have to act the way you want your kids to act, which means breaking a lot of bad habits. Hopefully by the time I am a father, I have disciplined myself enough that I can constantly act without effort like the person I want my children to be.”
For 26-year-old Justin Hawkins, his faith has shaped his decision to want kids in the future.
“As a Christian, I believe that children are a blessing from God,” the Levittown resident said. “My goal is to marry a Christian woman and build a family.”
With that goal in mind, Hawkins said he wouldn’t consider dating or marrying someone who didn’t share the same views on family. While he is still in the early stages of career decisions, he said his future family plays a big part in his job selection.
“Whatever I do must be able to provide for my spouse and children,” he said. “I would like to stay in New York because there are a lot of friends who have become like family to me, and I feel like it would be nice to raise a family with my friends who are raising their families too.”
Nicholas LaRousse of Garden City said that while he likes the idea of being a dad and raising a family, a driving force behind his decision is knowing that he could share that experience with someone he loved.
“Knowing how much it means to my girlfriend to be a mother and raise a family only makes it that much more compelling to want to be part of something like that,” LaRousse said.
The 27-year-old said although he wants kids, it’s unfair to expect everyone to share the decision.
He believes that people shouldn’t do anything they don’t want to do.
“Raising kids is an enormous undertaking and if you are not willing or able to take on the responsibility for any reason then you probably shouldn’t and there’s nothing wrong with that,” he said. (To get the female perspective, click here.)