Some people say staying child-free is one way to make sure you stay happy. Young married couples tend to have the happiest relationships, but happiness and freedom dives when children come into the equation.
So there's no good reason to embrace fatherhood, then? Actually there is. Here are 10 good reasons, just for starters.
It's what we're here for
Xbox 360 and Angelina Jolie are, granted, pretty good reasons to be alive on this glorious green earth, but there is another. In a nutshell, your selfish genes didn't evolve so they could perish when you do. The whole point of life is to beget life, and the fundamental purpose of manhood is to contribute genetic material to that process. All that muscle pumping and hair preening are just strategies to put you in the position to fulfil your biological destiny.
They love you for who you are
Before you take out a sick bucket, I'll put it like this. They don't care if your career stalled on the second rung of the ladder, or that you have wonky teeth and a bald patch, or that you can't kick a ball to save your life. As long as you play with them they think you're very special! And when you have the love of a little person, it's amazing how trivial the things that used to really bug you quickly become.
You get a lifelong friend
Do the fatherhood thing right and you've got a friend for life. That's nice in itself, but it also means you know someone who is contractually obliged to offer you a spare room or a spare kidney if things get rough a few decades down the line.
Seriously though, what's the point of accumulating knowledge and experience if the only people you can pass it on to are the soaks at the pub, and let's face it, they're not that interested. By contrast, sharing everything you know with your child can be one of the most fulfilling things you do with your life.
They make you concerned
Have a kid and you'll magically become concerned about all sorts of things that used to pass you by, from local schools and the dog mess on the pavement to the state of the economy and the future of the planet. You become engaged, interested, maybe a bit more thoughtful. That's a good thing.
They save your liver
Before your child arrived you probably pickled your liver in alcohol, ate rich and fatty food at every opportunity and aged your skin on tan-tastic foreign holidays. Well, raising a child isn't cheap, so there'll be no more of that!
But seriously, they do make you slow down a bit, and if you've lived pretty hard up to now, that might be a very good thing indeed.
They'll play with you
Yep, you may think you play with them, but it's as true to say that they let you play. Having a kid means running around in the park, climbing climbing frames, pushing roundabouts, swinging on swings and just being silly. You get to go in fantastic soft play areas where the walls are made of cushions and you can tumble around without fear of injury.
Later it might mean you get to build toy railways or race Scalextrics again, or buy the latest games machine "for the kids", or get really competitive about kids' things. Play is good for men and it's good for a man's soul. You'd look pretty silly doing a lot of that without an offspring in tow, and possibly face arrest.
They make you value small things
Sleep, mostly. But also peace and quiet, time off and the company of friends. You don't just have a night down at the pub because that's what you always do. You have it because it's a joyful release from routine. Blokes in particular still crave time away from the family but it becomes precious and you learn to use it wisely. Having done so, you're always really pleased to be going home to that little person who can't wait to see you.
Really, they're hilarious. You'll laugh more in the company of a happy, well-rested three-year-old than at the best comedy club in town, right up until he tips a bowl of cereal over your lap.
They make every day exciting
Will she take her first faltering step today, or say her first 'daddy'? Will he write his name or finally conquer the climbing frame? What will they be when they grow up?
Sometimes a day of being daddy is full of hassle and strife, sometimes it's magical, and often it's a mix of both. But no two days are the same. Fatherhood can be enchanting, exhausting, stressful and amazing, sometimes in the same afternoon. But it always feels like living.
They give you a future
It's a sad but certain fact that unless that whole cyborg thing comes off we'll all shuffle off this mortal coil some day. Maybe we'll go to a better place, maybe we'll spend eternity in the fiery halls of hell, or maybe our atoms will scatter and float across the universe forever. Whatever you believe, if you have children you can be sure of one thing. Your genetic legacy will survive in them.
So will your good bits. If you're a good dad your kids will carry you around in their memories and their affections, and pass on some of the stuff you taught them to their own kids. Until they invent the magic live-forever pill, it's the nearest thing to immortality we have.