Lately I’ve come across several lists of reasons not to have children. I find it very sad and telling that nearly all of the authors’ reasons are based in immaturity, materialism, myths, and misconceptions. Yes, children require work, money and personal sacrifice, but these are all things we do willingly because we love them. These are joyful sacrifices for a worthwhile cause.
I couldn’t help but work on my own version. Here are a few of the perks of having children, in no particular order. Some are tongue-in-cheek, while others are dead serious. I’ll let you try to guess which is which.
Please understand that I am not criticizing those who do not have children, particularly those who struggle with infertility. I am also not suggesting that you or I should have children just so that we can save some bucks when it’s time to file taxes, or use the stork space in the grocery store parking lot. My point is that children are a blessing and a delight, not a burden to be avoided at all costs.
What would you add to the list below?
100+ Reasons to Have Children
- Have a happier marriage.
- Pay less income taxes.
- Learn to share, and like it.
- The ultimate diet plan: morning sickness and breastfeeding.
- Enjoy snuggles on demand, around the clock.
- Cuteness abounds.
- Disposable diapers. There. I said it.
- Receive preferential treatment in grocery lines.
- Be seated first (or last, if you prefer) on planes.
- Park in the “stork” space at grocery stores.
- Have an excuse to buy cool toys and cute little outfits.
- Children will love you on your worst day, and…
- they think you’re beautiful, even on bad hair days,
- or when you’re not wearing makeup.
- Free entertainment: kids are hilarious.
- Laughter is good for your health. See above.
- Have family still living when you’re old.
- Have someone to help you when you’re old.
- Have someone to help care for your pets.
- But who needs pets? Kids are way cuter, and they last longer.
- Unlike pets, kids eventually learn to take care of their own poop.
- Get a lollipop every time you go to the bank, along with your children.
- Tone your arms the old-fashioned way: tote a toddler.
- Kids eat free at many restaurants.
- Have an excuse to buy junk food.
- Sharing your junk food means less stays on your own hips.
- Children will eat and appreciate your failed cooking experiments.
- Embarrass your kids. You won’t believe how fun it is. Displays of affection with your spouse work well for this.
- Be better able to encourage other parents during rough times with their children because you’ve been-there-done-that.
- Blow bubbles.
- Give your friends somewhere to send their kids’ hand-me-downs.
- Burn calories: play with your kids.
- Kids will help hone your reactions with obstacle courses on the stairs.
- Save money by not buying birth control.
- Have sex without worrying about pregnancy. It’s fun.
- Ask anyone who has given birth: the pains of labor are worth it.
- Pregnancy reduces menstrual cramps in subsequent periods.
- Pregnancy lowers your risk of ovarian cancer.
- Breastfeeding lowers your risk of breast cancer,
- and uterine cancer,
- and osteoporosis.
- Not using birth control lowers your risk of ectopic pregnancy.
- Think pregnancy dooms you to getting fat? Take a look at my mom with her 14 kids. Can you even tell which one she is?
- Pregnancy requires you to eat more. I can appreciate that.
- Be motivated to be a better person. Little eyes are watching.
- Help raise the languishing birth rate.
- Learn alongside your children.
- Read books you never would have discovered on your own.
- Reread your childhood favorites with and to a new generation.
- See the world through new, unjaded eyes.
- See yourself through your baby’s eyes. It’s amazing.
- See yourself through your children’s eyes. You’ll never be the same again.
- See your flaws reflected in your children. It’s enlightening and humbling.
- Kids will make you proud and keep you humble.
- If you make a mess while eating, everyone will assume the kids did it.
- Kid will say what you wish you could say, but can’t.
- Strengthen your relationship with your own parents by becoming a parent yourself.
- Stay physically active. It’s much harder to be lazy when little ones depend on you.
- Improved immune system. It’s a law of nature: Moms never get sick.
- If you do get sick, you have someone to take care of you without your spouse taking time off work.
- Baby smiles.
- Carrying a baby? Strangers will smile at you.
- Babies are also a great conversation starter.
- Learn to delight in everyday occurrences.
- Translate toddler gibberish with ease for puzzled onlookers.
- Your own love for your child gives you a small taste of how much God loves His children.
- Live vicariously: remember that toy you never got as a child, but you’re too old to want it now? Let your kids try it out.
- Relive your childhood: remember the toy you did get as a child? Let your kids try it out.
- Rediscover the joy of crayons.
- Job security: moms have it.
- Learn and believe that happiness really doesn’t come from material wealth…
- …yet be amazed at how much joy you can buy your child with a quarter.
- Kids are cheap.
- Marvel that 2 people can produce children that are better-looking than either parent. Heredity is a strange and wonderful thing.
- Be welcomed home like a returning war hero every time you go grocery shopping or to the post office.
- Be looked at like this:
- Soft little fingers and toes. They’re cute on other people’s children, but utterly priceless on your own children.
- The unbearable cuteness of newborn-size diapers. (credit: Deanna)
- Discover your super powers: make milk, and heal mortal wounds with a kiss.
- Ask any parent you know if they regret having kids.
- Learn to appreciate simple pleasures: ice cream cones, a single M&M, homemade cookies.
- Do you love your spouse? Experience a miracle: a new person who looks like both of you.
- After 10 years of children, washing dishes becomes optional. (credit: Deanna)
- Get special treatment on Mother’s Day.
- Breakfast in bed is fun, even when it’s cheerios and multi vitamins. (credit: Becca)
- Experience the triumph of potty training.
- Have the advantage of a youthful memory again: have your kids remind you about important things. (credit: Megan)
- Expand your wardrobe: share clothes with your teens.
- Gather candy from the piñata without getting funny looks.
- Have help cooking.
- Be a safer driver,
- In a safer vehicle.
- Free or cheap manicures and pedicures. I pay a dollar.
- Ditto for back/shoulder rubs.
- Perpetually late? You don’t even have to blame it on the kids. People will assume.
- Vanity? You’ll look at your baby in the mirror instead of yourself.
- Paint your kids’ nails in a color you like but could never wear yourself.
- Have your bed made for $.25/day. Maid service has never been so cheap or cheerful, and there’s no need to report payments to the IRS.
- If you’ve never had a baby fall asleep on your chest, you just don’t know what you’re missing.
- Homemade friends. My children are some of my favorite companions.
- Kids with money ROCK! They buy their own clothes, treat you to Starbucks, and buy you unbelievable birthday/Christmas gifts.
- World domination through militant fecundity! [maniacal laughter]
- Children are part of God’s purpose for creating marriage:But did He not make them one,
Having a remnant of the Spirit?
And why one?
He seeks godly offspring. Malachi 2:15
Want to see another list, more thoughtful and eloquent than mine? 40 Reasons to Have Kids
If, on the other hand, you like ‘em funny, try this: Reasons to Have Children.
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