From economist Bryan Caplan, this may be part of why I want to have kids so much:
..normal people can expect to be like their kids. But that’s not saying much, because normal people can expect to be like any random person they meet! The story’s very different for weirdos. By definition, weirdos never have much in common with random strangers. With a zero parent-child correlation, weirdos will feel equally alienated from their children. As the parent-child correlation rises, however, weirdos’ incompatibility with strangers stays the same, but their expected compatibility with their children gets stronger and stronger.
There are two ways to surround yourself with people like you. One is to meet them; the other is to make them. If you’re average, meeting people like yourself is easy; people like you are everywhere. If you’re weird, though, meeting people like yourself is hard; people like you are few and far between. But fortunately, as the parent-child correlation rises, weirdos’ odds of making people like themselves get better and better.
The lesson: As your weirdness increases, so does your incentive to have kids. If you like football and American Idol, you’re never really alone. You don’t need to build a Xanadu for yourself. But if you’re a lonely misfit, oddball, freak, or weirdo, then find a like-minded spouse and make new life together. Let the normals laugh at you. You’ll have each other.
Caplan, incidentally, has given issues of parenting some study – he’s in the news now for a new book (which I haven’t read) arguing that “being a great parent is less work and more fun than you think.”