I do not know anyone who has babies of their own out of selflessness. People have children for a variety of reasons and pretty much always to enhance their own happiness or fulfillment.
I have heard people say things like, "I know I will regret it if I don't have children of my own." Selfish.
Some people procreate to carry on the family line or name. Selfish.
Raising children requires a selflessness. Children are time and money consuming, to say the least, but the reasons for having them are rarely selfless.
Why did I have children?
I had the first one because I was too lazy to take precautions. I kept her because it would be too hard for me to give her up. Lazy, then selfish.
I had the second one because I may as well, when I already had one. I had the third one because I could not bear the thought of never having any more babies. Totally selfish.
The truly selfless act would be to put the needs of others before our own desires and perhaps even consider the overpopulation of the earth.
I know couples who have decided to not have children. These people I admire. The problem is that there are many others who try to convince them they should have babies or condescend to these people by saying things like, "You'll change your mind."
Why should they?
If they don't want children, for goodness sake, leave them alone to their decision. The world is full of people who don't plan their family, just let the babies come as they may, whether provided for or not. The responsible, decision-making, family planning adults should be applauded. Why do you have to tell them they will change their mind? Why does everyone have to want babies?
I loved having my babies. Knowing there was a life growing inside me made me feel I had an important job to do. Giving birth was the hardest work I have ever done and left me feeling exhausted and accomplished. I loved every tiny little finger and toe and facial expression of my little growing humans. Kissing their soft cheeks and cuddling with the little munchkins is a memory I will always treasure. I also remember feeling the energy drain from my body as I nursed and growing drowsy along with the feeding infant. This was wonderful when I had the luxury of sleeping after nursing, which was rarely the case.
The fact is having and raising babies zapped all my energy, leaving me in a haze for many years, so much so that I didn't recognize how tired I had been until I saw it in hindsight. If someone else wants to forego this state of exhaustion, I do not blame them one bit. Raising teenagers does not make the whole experience any more rewarding, believe me. Sure I love my teenagers, but parenting is hard work and there are other endeavors to spend that time on.
Basically, I am asking readers to respect the decision of those who choose to not have children and support them in their choice. They might change their minds, and they might not. Do you really have to be the one to say, "I told you so"? I think they are smart and responsible.