Does FOMO Motivate the Decision To Have Kids?
A recent study conducted by Rutgers University has found that fear of missing out, or FOMO, may be a significant motivator for individuals to become parents. The study discovered that approximately 7 percent of parents in the United States express regret about having children and would not choose to have them again if given the opportunity. Rates of parental regret are even higher in certain European countries, such as Germany and Poland. The researchers suggest that FOMO, or the fear of missing out on the experience of parenthood, may be one of the main reasons why regretful parents decide to have children in the first place.
The Motivations Behind Parenthood
The study conducted by Rutgers University aimed to understand the motivations behind regretful parents’ decision to have children. The researchers collected narratives from an online community of child-free individuals who expressed regret about becoming parents. By analyzing these narratives, the researchers identified three distinct discourses: parenting as heaven, parenting as hell, and parenting as the only choice. However, they also discovered a new and previously unconsidered driver: FOMO. The fear of missing out on the experience of parenthood emerged as a significant motivation for individuals to start a family.
Implications for Family Planning
The findings of this study have significant implications for family planning and reproductive counseling services. By understanding the potential motivations behind the decision to have children, individuals may be more inclined to make autonomous and value-concordant reproductive decisions. The researchers emphasize the importance of including the potential for parental regret in reproductive counseling, especially in countries where access to abortion is increasingly restricted. They also highlight the need to challenge social norms that stigmatize individuals who do not conform to dominant views on parenting.
In closing, this study sheds light on the complex motivations behind the decision to have children and highlights the role of FOMO in driving individuals towards parenthood. By considering these factors, individuals can make more informed and autonomous decisions about their reproductive choices.