100+ Reasons to Have Children

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

  1. Have a happier marriage.
  2. Pay less income taxes.
  3. Learn to share, and like it.
  4. The ultimate diet plan: morning sickness and breastfeeding.
  5. Enjoy snuggles on demand, around the clock.
  6. Cuteness abounds.
  7. Disposable diapers.  There.  I said it.
  8. Receive preferential treatment in grocery lines.
  9. Be seated first (or last, if you prefer) on planes.
  10. Park in the “stork” space at grocery stores.
  11. Have an excuse to buy cool toys and cute little outfits.
  12. Children will love you on your worst day, and…
  13. they think you’re beautiful, even on bad hair days,
  14. or when you’re not wearing makeup.
  15. Free entertainment: kids are hilarious.
  16. Laughter is good for your health.  See above.
  17. Have family still living when you’re old.
  18. Have someone to help you when you’re old.
  19. Grandkids!
  20. Have someone to help care for your pets.
  21. But who needs pets?  Kids are way cuter, and they last longer.
  22. Unlike pets, kids eventually learn to take care of their own poop.
  23. Get a lollipop every time you go to the bank, along with your children.
  24. Tone your arms the old-fashioned way: tote a toddler.
  25. Kids eat free at many restaurants.
  26. Have an excuse to buy junk food.
  27. Sharing your junk food means less stays on your own hips.
  28. Children will eat and appreciate your failed cooking experiments.
  29. Embarrass your kids.  You won’t believe how fun it is.  Displays of affection with your spouse work well for this.
  30. Be better able to encourage other parents during rough times with their children because you’ve been-there-done-that.
  31. Blow bubbles.
  32. Give your friends somewhere to send their kids’ hand-me-downs.
  33. Burn calories: play with your kids.
  34. Kids will help hone your reactions with obstacle courses on the stairs.
  35. Save money by not buying birth control.
  36. Have sex without worrying about pregnancy.  It’s fun.
  37. Ask anyone who has given birth: the pains of labor are worth it.
  38. Pregnancy reduces menstrual cramps in subsequent periods.
  39. Pregnancy lowers your risk of ovarian cancer.
  40. Breastfeeding lowers your risk of breast cancer,
  41. and uterine cancer,
  42. and osteoporosis.
  43. Not using birth control lowers your risk of ectopic pregnancy.
  44. 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?
    Mom and 14 children
  45. Pregnancy requires you to eat more.  I can appreciate that.
  46. Be motivated to be a better person.  Little eyes are watching.
  47. Help raise the languishing birth rate.
  48. Learn alongside your children.
  49. Read books you never would have discovered on your own.
  50. Reread your childhood favorites with and to a new generation.
  51. See the world through new, unjaded eyes.
  52. See yourself through your baby’s eyes.  It’s amazing.
  53. See yourself through your children’s eyes.  You’ll never be the same again.
  54. See your flaws reflected in your children.  It’s enlightening and humbling.
  55. Kids will make you proud and keep you humble.
  56. If you make a mess while eating, everyone will assume the kids did it.
  57. Kid will say what you wish you could say, but can’t.
  58. Strengthen your relationship with your own parents by becoming a parent yourself.
  59. Stay physically active.  It’s much harder to be lazy when little ones depend on you.
  60. Improved immune system.  It’s a law of nature: Moms never get sick.
  61. If you do get sick, you have someone to take care of you without your spouse taking time off work.
  62. Baby smiles.
  63. Carrying a baby?  Strangers will smile at you.
  64. Babies are also a great conversation starter.
  65. Learn to delight in everyday occurrences.
  66. Translate toddler gibberish with ease for puzzled onlookers.
  67. Your own love for your child gives you a small taste of how much God loves His children.
  68. 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.
  69. Relive your childhood: remember the toy you did get as a child?  Let your kids try it out.
  70. Rediscover the joy of crayons.
  71. Job security: moms have it.
  72. Learn and believe that happiness really doesn’t come from material wealth…
  73. …yet be amazed at how much joy you can buy your child with a quarter.
  74. Kids are cheap.
  75. Marvel that 2 people can produce children that are better-looking than either parent.  Heredity is a strange and wonderful thing.
  76. Be welcomed home like a returning war hero every time you go grocery shopping or to the post office.
  77. Be looked at like this:
  78. Soft little fingers and toes.  They’re cute on other people’s children, but utterly priceless on your own children.
  79. The unbearable cuteness of newborn-size diapers. (credit: Deanna)
  80. Discover your super powers: make milk, and heal mortal wounds with a kiss.
  81. Ask any parent you know if they regret having kids.
  82. Learn to appreciate simple pleasures: ice cream cones, a single M&M, homemade cookies.
  83. Do you love your spouse?  Experience a miracle: a new person who looks like both of you.
  84. After 10 years of children, washing dishes becomes optional.  (credit: Deanna)
  85. Get special treatment on Mother’s Day.
  86. Breakfast in bed is fun, even when it’s cheerios and multi vitamins.  (credit: Becca)
  87. Experience the triumph of potty training.
  88. Have the advantage of a youthful memory again: have your kids remind you about important things.  (credit: Megan)
  89. Expand your wardrobe: share clothes with your teens.
  90. Gather candy from the piñata without getting funny looks.
  91. Have help cooking.
  92. Be a safer driver,
  93. In a safer vehicle.
  94. Free or cheap manicures and pedicures.  I pay a dollar.
  95. Ditto for back/shoulder rubs.
  96. Perpetually late?  You don’t even have to blame it on the kids.  People will assume.
  97. Vanity?  You’ll look at your baby in the mirror instead of yourself.
  98. Paint your kids’ nails in a color you like but could never wear yourself.
  99. 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.
  100. If you’ve never had a baby fall asleep on your chest, you just don’t know what you’re missing.
  101. Homemade friends.  My children are some of my favorite companions.
  102. Kids with money ROCK!  They buy their own clothes, treat you to Starbucks, and buy you unbelievable birthday/Christmas gifts.
  103. World domination through militant fecundity! [maniacal laughter]
  104. 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.


Visit other posts about being a homemaker at the Homemaking Link-Up

 

Comments

  1. I’m on the fence about having children and not, leaning towards the no way in hell… And I see most of this list seems to be vain. You get special treatment in grocery lines and people look at you fondly when you have a bundle of joy on the way? C’mon, seriously? I mean hey, if you’re into wearing a golden crown for reproducing, good for you… But I didn’t really find any of these reasons applicable to reality for having babies.

    Actually, I think after seeing this mommy mush, I’ll decide by the time I’m seventeen – within the next 5 months – to live a child free lifestyle. Thanks for trying to be convincing though :)

    • Monique,
      Keep in mind most of this list was tongue-in-cheek. I’m not here to convince you to have children, and chances are your goals in life are very different from my own. However, don’t let your own feelings mislead you. At your age, I was the oldest of 9 children and had no desire for children of my own. I thought I was entirely lacking in maternal instinct and wondered if God meant for me to stay childless. 3 years later I was a mother and just couldn’t get enough of those little toes and eyes, and spent hours just watching my precious daughter sleep. I still watch in awe as my 10th child sleeps. It’s amazing how a few hormones can change your outlook. ;)

  2. I love this list too! I’m a first time reader and poster. I was looking for a grocery list, found yours and then i saw the list.
    I’ve been married 4 years now. We were both in grad school when we first got married so we decided not to have children on a limited income. now, we’ve both graduated and we got jobs so its been on my mind all the time. One day, i want to have a baby RIGHT NOW but another day, i’m apprehensive. i’ve heard people say kids (or raising them) can be a great source of fighting between couples. i know this is selfish but its the greatest reason for me feeling like not having kids.
    I’ve been searching the scriptures for why to have children. I’m tired of hearing “it’s because its the next thing to do after getting married”. I come from a very family centered culture in Africa (in the old times, not being able to have children was the most valid reason for divorce in my tribe -more valid than infidelity).
    I’m glad the first thing on your list was that it strengthens marriage. can you give a bit more detail about that point? my dream is to have kids (and adopt a few too) that will grow strong and love the Lord with zeal.
    So thanks for your list.

    P.S. I’m voting for the lady on the left with the white shirt. If not, i’m going with the bottom middle. Will you ever tell? It’s been a year since you post this article. Come on!!!

  3. Hi, I am happily childfree and the reasons given to have children did not change my mind. I believe that the majority of the people commenting already have children. Of course, they do not regret having them because they love them.

  4. who made this article? im trying to use this page for a project…great reasons btw:)

  5. I just came from a very sad blog titled “100 reasons not to have children” of course the author came across as bitter and cynical because her reasoning was sooo shallow, but this list is so much deeper! Your list is very inspiring. I have been married for three years and hope to start a family very soon. I am one of five and wouldn’t have it any other way!

  6. Forgot about how AMAZING holidays become. Its worth the extra money to have all of the wonderful traditions you enjoyed as a child light up your little one’s eyes!

  7. What fun! I am mother of 3, grandmother of 6. ( Wish there were many more. ) You don’t ever quit when you are a Mom. The joys, the difficulties, the learning, the depending on the Lord, etc. are lifetime. Thank you for such an inspiring thoughts. Love the comments, too.

  8. I love this! I have 6 kids now and I hope for more to come! I hope it is ok, I am posting a link on my facebook page. I have some friends that will enjoy this also. LOVE IT!!!!

  9. #22…I have said this all along and still wonder at my friends who want a dog first. Why?

    I love this list! I hope it’s okay if I share it on my blog!

  10. I love the list!

  11. Love the list!

    Some of my favorite reasons for loving being a mom include: the depth, change, newness and desire I have for the Lord and His word.

    I Timothy 2:15 stopped being a dreaded and hated scripture and became a living reality in my life. (In that I have begun more and more living like a Christian by the revelations of Jesus I have received and by growing more in the faith and more in my walk.)

    I have overcome things I never would have attempted to overcome in my own personality “traits” if I had not had children that I wanted to see the right thing rather than the wrong thing.

    I have more peace since I have had children because I live a more faithful life to Christ.

    Those are my serious reasons, and I want to add a lighter one. I loved my husband before kids. But I love him in a new way with each additional child. I see new aspects of his life and he shines in new ways as we grow as parents, instead of just as a married couple.

  12. Great list!

    One of my favorites: I can justify the cost of a really big purchase by dividing its price by the number of current (or future) children. For example, one of those enormous wooden outdoor playground sets might cost $2000 (or something equally ridiculous). With one or two children, you might get ten years of use out of it, which would work out to $100/year/child.

    BUT, divide that by, say, ten kiddoes, that’s only $20/year/child. Furthermore, the swings, slides, fort, sandbox, etc. will see constant use for 30+ years (assuming they can last that long) because grandkids will start showing up before the youngest kids have outgrown the play set.

    I’m trying to justify an ERGO baby carrier on this basis, but since we just had our tenth, and I’m 44, I’m not really sure how many more babies to project. Plus, I have a lot more willing hands to hold both present and future babies, so my need for a cloth carrier is greatly decreased.

    • Stephanie, keep working on rationalizing that Ergo – you won’t regret it!
      My kids love to use the Ergo to carry babies and toddlers for me. I could also use use it for grandchildren in a few years, or at least give it to one of my daughters so she can use it on them.

  13. Great list! And I too can’t decide which one is your mom. You have to tell us!!!

  14. I laughed at #81 but thought you could have worded it a wee bit differently (excuse me and my wayward thoughts):

    81. Ask any parent you know if they regret having s*x.

  15. kelli patterson says:

    This is truly one of the most beautiful, touching, funny, heartwarming, true pieces of fine writing I’ve seen in a very long time. God’s peace to you and yours…all of yours ;)

  16. Kim, my girls and I had four guesses as to which one is your mom. And no, even I could not tell which one was your mom. Here are our guesses:

    Left, white shirt
    Middle, brown shirt
    Front center
    Right front

    I’m JUST DYING to know which one is your mom……you’ve gotta tell!!!!

    I really appreciate your sense of humor.

    I loved this post. Some of the reasons reminded me, and I definitely need to be reminded of why I’m doing this, why God gave me this ministry. Thanks for the fresh look!

    Now……TELL!!!!!

  17. I love your list!!!

  18. Love it. Our first is only 7 wks old but we are already excited about having more kids. Am I exhausted? Yes. Am I currenly unshowered and wearing a shirt covered in spit-up? Yes. Am I currently writing this comment with one hand while a baby is sleeping on my chest? Yes. Do I love it ? Yes!

    But honestly, I can’t imagine a better way to spend my time. Just two weeks after our Lucy was born, my mom found out she has a brain tumor and has a limited time left. It really forced me to examine my priorities because I realize that if that were to happen to me, I would want to be right where she is. She didn’t have a fancy career or even a job. We were her job, supporting her husband, raising and homeschooling her three kids, teaching us to love the Lord. And now, what matters to her? Her family, spending time with her kids and her new granddaughter, continueing to rely on her relationship with God. She truly did store her treasures in heaven and while I hope and pray that she doesn’t get them too soon, I know that she will be getting lots of them.

  19. im one of 14 too!!! we grew up in michigan….:)

    my mom is now with the Lord..nothing like having so many brothers and sisters…..we love each other and really enjoy seeing each other…my mom was a great woman of faith and because of the way we were raised and the Word of God …i am alive today…Praise the Lord that she obeyed Him in the call that He had on her life!!! my dad is still living and he lives in sc.

  20. I love this post! Children are amazing.

  21. Kendra H. says:

    #100+….
    Have fan club, will travel! This May I rode in a 48 mile bike ride. On each of the three stops my family drove ahead and waited for me. I had the biggest cheering section of any of them (7 kids, 1 mom and 1 proud husband). Even though most folks had more expensive bikes and gear, I was envied by most of them:)

    I am voting front center too :)

  22. LOVE LOVE LOVE this… would you mind if I linked up to you to share this????

  23. I.LOVE.this.

    You know what else I love? When my preschooler asks me for something (juice, a banana, get the crayons out, etc.) I sometimes have her pay me with kisses. ;)

  24. Great list! You inspired me to write my own.

  25. i SO love this! my hubby and i were embarrassing our oldest last night in a last-ditch effort to send her up to bed at a reasonable hour–by singing and dancing to a Barney song she loved when she was a toddler. we were gasping for breath laughing at her response, and i thought, “people with marriage problems need to stop and look at their CHILDREN, and then think of all the joyous moments they’ve shared because of those kids. those moments would NOT be possible without that husband/wife. . . what a thing to be thankful for!”
    thankfulness cures the-grass-is-greener syndrome, hands-down, every time!
    your brainstorm is quite admirable! thanks for sharing!

  26. Margaret says:

    Nice. Glad to see a response to some of the nasty anti-child lists that have been going around!

  27. Jennifer says:

    Kim, I think she is the one bottom center, next to you. But I’m not absolutely certain of it. :)

    Quinn, now that right there would be the best convincing ever.

  28. Lois Groat says:

    I seriously can’t figure out which one is your mom. Are you going to tell us?

    • Wow. I knew Mom was young for her age, but I thought I was a little biased. You all really can’t tell which one she is? I’m loving it. Maybe I won’t tell. :)

  29. Or for #38 eliminates them entirely. I’ve had one in 5 years. :D That’s skipping 59 so far & I’ve got at least 6 more to go!

  30. ok, so…which one is your mom?

    in all seriousness though (uh, acutally, that’s the wrong phrase, because I’m seriously wondering which one is your mom) I have a question for you. I’m a long time reader and first time poster. I would really love more children (I have 2) but my husband is adamantly against it. Nothing I say works. do you have any advice for me? (otherwise our marriage is great, he’s a wonderful husband and dad, etc. But he rejects any and all arguments that we need more than 2 children.) thanks a bunch. love your blog. :)

  31. I loved this post.

    In Estonia, many people think that having a dishwasher is a pointless luxury for lazy people. Unless you have more that two children.
    So I would add to this list:
    Having a dishwasher is accepted by other people.

  32. Roberta says:

    Great list! I love 83 and 87.
    Absolutely to 100 and 101…and friends with each other too.
    Gonna have to do 99.

    Also we have movie night and slumber parties with just us.
    And the difficult but so very worth it “sanctification through parenting”. The Lord has really worked deeply in my heart (and still is) as a parent…stirring up and shaping my character.
    Like a rubber stamp I have says: “Herbs give off their finest fragrance when pressed.”

  33. I loved the list! I also love that your own kids could make the list. one I would add to the list is

    #100,076,544 your own personal answering service. If I am in the bathroom, or shower, or cooking, my daughter politely answers the phone and takes a message. FOR FREE. and she is only 8. I wonder what the older years will bring…..?

  34. Sally S. says:

    This is so great! Thanks so much for posting…I laughed out loud at # 86 and #90, and #67 is very true and profound.

  35. Thank you! As a 23 year old with three children already (hopefully just the beginning!) this is very encouraging. Boy is it hard work, but is it ever worth it!

  36. The family income can be augmented quite nicely with lots of hands willing to participate.

    Lots of little patriots are added to the melting pot!

    There is bound to be someone who wouldn’t mind doing something that you would rather NOT do. ie. my daughter loves to organize the family photos.

  37. You did a great job on this babe.

    Thanks

  38. Love this!! From the time I was a little girl, I always wanted children (lots of them!). For reasons I don’t understand, God has had different plans. My husband and I didn’t meet until we were 30 (we are each other’s first and only!), and in our years of trying for children, all of our pregnancies have ended in miscarriage.

    We are praying that God will give us at least ONE living child… a far cry from the quiver-full we both always wanted… but while we are still heart-breakingly childless, it does my heart good to see how much you appreciate your children and realize what a great blessing they are.

  39. Use the carpool lane wherever you drive.

  40. Oh. My. I LOVED this! I think I may have to read this to my husband later on!!! :-)

  41. You don’t need a math curriculum for a while: counting (is everyone in the car), sorting (how many girls do we have; have many boys; how many have brown hair) adding (now add mom and dad, that makes our family a family of…), subtracting (I’ve washed 4 loads of clothes today, how many more loads do I have left), multiplying (people X socks equals a basket full of unmatched socks!), dividing (if we have 12 cookies and 6 children how many cookies does each child get), fractions/percentages (if we have one boy and 5 girls what is that percentage). See, they really do start coming cheaper by the dozen!!!!!

  42. For me, one thing I’ve noticed (and you touched on this) is just how much stronger my own relationship with God has grown since becoming a parent. I feel more drawn to Him because well…I need to lean on Him daily!

    And I’m trying to learn more through His Word so that I can better teach my own children.

    I bet there’s at least 100 more reasons out there!

    Oh, and found out on Saturday that we’re having a girl. Wow!

  43. You have enough people for game night without wondering who can come over!

  44. I love it! Esp. #s 50, 79, 84 & 101 (secret favorite # 102).

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