I was thinking about a friend of mine that asked me ¨Should I have kids?¨
Should I have kids? I would never try to make that very personal decision for you. However, if you don’t have children you don´t have a certain perspective. There are some good benefits – let´s look at how they can help your marriage, make you more responsible, how they cause you to re-live your childhood and how you understand your parents. I encourage you to read Cute Stories to Stop Your Fear of Becoming a Parent.
Often, having a child can be very difficult. But let´s dive into the far more positive aspects. As someone who was absolutely terrified of having a child, I tried to force myself to look on the bright side of the issue. I wasn’t one of those ¨I hope it never comes out¨ people, but I was pretty scared. I´m hoping that if you’re as terrified as I was before, during or after the pregnancy, this post may put your mind at ease a little. If you’re not scared and just need a reminder because you have been hiding in the bathroom for 15 minutes just to get a moment of quiet, this will hopefully calm you down and make you want to go give the little monsters a hug.
The moment I knew I was ready to try for a baby was a moment while watching Scrubs, season 5, episode 1. I know it sounds crazy, and you´re right. It was such a weird trigger to make such a giant life decision. But if TV is not what we should mirror our lives off of, what should we? A blog post maybe? In the show, Turk was terrified to try to get pregnant with Carla and she tells him ¨It´s like having a dog that slowly learns how to talk.¨ I knew that wasn’t true for the most part, but it was kind of cool. I told my spouse the next day and committed to it. However, the fear instantly came back the day after that. But the ball was in motion and 13 months later, we had an adorable baby boy. Fortunately, as I furiously binged watched season five and six of Scrubs, things got even better.
There really are a lot of great aspects to children. As terrified as I was, I couldn’t imagine life without the little guy anymore. I have met a ton of people who were scared of having a baby or just plain didn’t want a child. But I have yet to find anyone who regretted having one. That´s fairly anecdotal, I know; still, I don’t think there are a ton of parents out there, overall, who regret the sacrifices that they have made to raise children. Now, before we get started, let me give the obligatory ¨this is for the overall population. There are obviously some people who have different or opposite experiences.” Everyone understand? Good! Here are some awesome reasons, both anecdotal and statistical reasons why those little monsters are great:
1) They Make a Good Marriage Better
I can honestly say that the moment we knew we were pregnant, our love grew. Our marriage was no longer just about us, and we both knew it. We always had mutual goals in our relationship: get a house, have a solid marriage, get a bulldog, etc. But something changed big time when we knew that there was a baby coming. Our relationship grew a lot in the first month of the pregnancy and continues to grow every day. But make sure to be always working on your relationship. Sometimes people make the mistake of letting children get in the way of their marriage and it takes a conscious effort to make sure it doesn’t happen. But if you do it correctly, you and your spouse will grow closer and add to that intense bond through shared DNA, common goals and responsibility.
Now, DO NOT think that a child will fix a bad relationship. It, in fact, has the opposite effect. A child is not a Band-Aid to help fix something that is broken. We all know a couple that it has happened to and it is a very sad thing to watch. All a kid does in that situation is bring a little, innocent third party into the train wreck. But if things are good, they get better as long as you make an effort to focus on your spouse and don’t let them get in the way of your marriage.
2) You Become Far More Responsible
I am not going to admit how late I woke up to take more responsibility before I had a son, just take my word for it. I am self-employed and didn’t have a schedule. I will not admit how messy I was, it would terrify the average reader. Nor will I tell you the food that I ate, the amount of inappropriate words that would fly out of my mouth or the frivolous spending habits that I had.
As soon as my son was born, that all changed big time! My spouse is kind enough to allow me to sleep in on the weekends because they are awesome. And for a year and a half I dealt with the late-night crying so that she didn’t have to. But for the most part nowadays, I am up at 7:00. I thought that I was going to hate that part, because I knew it was going to happen. It turns out that you can get a lot more done in the day with a few extra hours.
I will admit, I am still a nightmare to deal with for the first hour of the day. And I am such a heavy sleeper that it is nearly impossible to wake me up. My paramour wouldn’t bother waking me up because it was nearly impossible and I am such a [Expletive Deleted] when I am woken up. But, I have a bit more grace for my two-year-old and he wouldn’t really care if there was no grace toward him, he is waking me up! Yesterday, I was woken up by a shaking feeling and a terrible song in the background. As I came to a bit and opened my eyes, I saw my son jumping REALLY close to my head to the song Hop Little Bunnies, coming from my Echo Dot.
I became a much better, more responsible person when I got married; I became even more so when I became a parent. My spouse has become way happier with my spending habits. I´m not sure I knew what compound interest was before we knew we were going to have a baby. The only time I thought about stocks was when I would watch a movie about Wallstreet. I rarely buy a scratch-off ticket and my savings account has more than a two-digit number – responsibility for the win.
3) Re-Living Your Childhood
You really do get to re-live your childhood in many ways. I can’t remember how many times I have said to myself ¨I remember doing that and how much I loved it.¨ I´m constantly showing and doing things with my son that I used to like to do. When I see his reaction, I remember exactly how I used to feel. I remember the bad too.
I remember how long an hour felt when I was waiting on something or how frustrated I would get that my dad, mom and older brother would have the skills to accomplish something and I wouldn’t. I have had more childhood memories that fly into my head since I had a kid than I ever remembered before. He hit his climbing faze a few months ago and I remembered how awesome it felt when I would get ¨so high¨ (eight feet, maybe). I also remember thinking that my dad was worried about something silly when I would be 8 feet off of the ground.
4) You Understand Why Your Parents Did What They Did
Do you remember how you thought it was silly that your dad was worried about you when you were eight feet off the ground? It wasn’t silly, it was very logical. Honestly, I understand my parents so much more now. The one I understand a lot is how much stress a bunch of noise can produce. I see a lot of what my parents did and say to myself ¨wow, they really loved me.¨ Honestly, I have gotten even closer with them since my son was born.
Please check out part two to see our stunning conclusion. Check it out here: Should I Have kids? Part II.