I'm a parent. I have two kids. I know stuff. Lots of stuff. Parenting is hard.
Should You Have Children?
I wanted to be fair as both a writer and a parent. Thus, there's a companion piece to this article titled "10 Reasons Not to Have Children". I'm not sure why I wrote that one first. I love both my kids and I enjoy being a dad.
However, if you're a parent, you do spend a lot of time thinking about how your life changed. There is a big difference between your pre-child life and post-child life. Particularly. if you're an older parent like me (I was almost 42 when we had my first son). You've lived so much of your life in a certain way that having a child is such a game-changer. It's like moving to another planet. Thus, I feel as though I have a very good handle on the many reasons not to have children.
That said. having kids has been a very fulfilling experience. All the reasons I can think to have kids is because of my two boys and my wife. I just always happen to look at the funny side of something first. And actually, some of the reasons for having kids can be pretty funny.
Note: I first wrote this article in 2011. At the time, Tyler was 2 and Mason was an infant. Now, they're 11 and 9. Things change. You attitude toward your children changes. As they grow older, they need you less. They annoy you more. I will try to address some of those issues in this update.
You Can Teach Them Funny Stuff
I didn't have kids so I could be one of those humorless parents who teach their kids to say the right thing all the time. I'm not teaching them to be rude or anything. However, teaching your kids to be funny and make people laugh is a reward unto itself. As soon as my son could talk, I started teaching him movie quotes. He put the quote "come over to the dark side of the force" to particularly good use. I taught him "I'll have what she's having". However, not only did I teach him the quotes, I also taught him how and when to say them.
For a two-year-old, his timing wasn't bad. And I was incredibly proud whenever he used one of the quotes. When he started to potty train, I taught him that peeing was "draining the weasel". Pooping was "dropping the kids off at the pool." He's put those to good use as well. It's fun watching a three-year-old go to daycare and tell one of his teachers that he has to drop the kids off at the pool.
They Make You Laugh Every Day
Raising kids and being a parent is insanely hard most of the time. However, one of the great things about kids is that they make you laugh every day. They do and say the funniest things. As a single man, I could go an entire day without laughing. Having kids, I laugh with them and at them every single day multiple times a day. Sure, I also feel like I'm losing my mind half the time. Still, laughing is good for the soul. Some of the stuff kids do you never thought you'd see or hear. As much as they can be frustrating, they're also tons of fun.
They Make You Proud
Recall back when you purchased your first car or your first new car. Remember that pride driving it home for the first time? Lots of hard work paid off and now you were driving the result of that hard work. Or maybe it was a new bike or new skis. Whatever that thing was, you had a feeling of pride. That's because you owned something you had always wanted and could show it off to people. Kids are awesome in this way. They're like puppies. It's particularly fun when relatives come over and fawn all over them and make comments about how cute they are. Or comment on how smart they are or how well behaved. As a parent, you just kind of sit back, smile, and think to yourself: "I did that." It's pretty cool.
You Get to Relive Your Own Childhood
I really like this part because I want to watch all the movies I loved as a kid over again. Unfortunately, I just don't have the time. But now I get to do that because I have my boys. I get to show them Star Wars and watch them experience it for the first time. I get to teach them how to ski. Being an adult, I don't get to play video games as much as I'd like. But pretty soon we'll all be playing video games together. We get to have snowball fights. I get to show them the ocean for the first time and take them to Disneyland. I get to watch as they open presents for birthdays and holidays and get toys that I used to love. Then I get to play with those toys again.
You're Never Bored
Prior to having kids I remember some long days. I'd just sit in front of the television and lament the fact that I couldn't think of anything to do. Even being a fairly active person, I'd have times where my friends were all busy. I didn't feel like doing anything. Well, once you have kids, boredom is a thing of the past. Your calendar is full from morning to night. The word "boring" is no longer in your vocabulary. You are never, ever lacking for something to do.
You Can Be Pretty Sure Somebody Will Be Around When You Die
Dying alone is scary. We all kind of die alone no matter what. However, it's nice to know that somebody will care about you. It's nice to know that you'll leave some kind of legacy. And it helps to know kids will remember you when you're gone. Unless you do an incredibly bad job as a parent, your kids are likely to be concerned about you as you age and maybe even be there by your bedside when you die. It's a comfort to know that.
There's Nothing Like Love For a Child
This might be the best thing about having a child. When I decided to have kids, I did so because I thought I would regret not having kids once I got too old. While the experience has ups and downs, the most overwhelming part involves the love you feel for your child. There really is no other comparable feeling. Perhaps a comparable feeling is the one some people have with cherished pets. However, I've had lots of pets in my life. There's definitely something more complex and deep with a child. The love you feel for them is incredibly profound and satisfying. You created the child. There's something pretty amazing about it.
It Makes You a Better Person
Being a parent and raising a child makes you do things differently. It makes you more patient (even though you're often less patient). It makes you try harder all the time to be better. That's because you always have this little pair of eyes looking to you to make the right decision. Being a bad example for your child just doesn't feel good.
You also think about everything you say to them. Sure, you'll lose your temper. You'll regret things you say. However, you'll always be thinking about ways to be better.
You Can Deduct Them Off Your Taxes
Really, a nice financial perk. It's kind of nice to know that all that extra money you spend on your kids is recognized by the federal government. They consider it non-taxable income or lost income. Life is a lot more expensive with kids. If you're a couple who makes 100k and have no kids, life is good. If you're a couple who makes 100k and you have three kids, you feel poor. It's nice the government recognizes this. You get a rebate check at the end of the year for making humans.
You Feel Kind of Like a Superhero
No matter how frustrating your kids may be, when you come home at the end of a long day and your little one runs up to you and yells "Daddy! Daddy!" or "Mommy! Mommy!" your heart melts. They run up and hug your leg and seem genuinely happy that you're there. It might not last forever, but it's pretty cool. It's also pretty cool that they look to you for all the answers. Your kids think you're the best. You're the smartest person they know. They brag about you to their friends and their teachers. Most kids grow up for some time thinking of their parents as their heroes. It's a pretty great job.
Up to $100,00 Each on the Black Market
If parenting isn't for you and you made the mistake of having a kid, you can sell them. A healthy, infant child can fetch as much as 100k on the black market. That's a lot of cash for procreating. It's good to know there's an out if you make a mistake.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 crankalicious
crankalicious (author) from Colorado on October 08, 2012:
Having kids is a very selfless act, so the reasons you have better be about you because you will forget you exist for awhile.
Rham Dhel from India on October 07, 2012:
I can really see that all those reasons lead to YOU, about YOU-nothing about the kids...like having them for their own sake.
Roberta Kyle from Central New Jersey on December 06, 2011:
Delightful hub-- now that my kids are grown, I've gone all misty about the experience of motherhood and absolutely know that it is the most miraculous and profound experience of loving and being love that I have ever known. My kids taught me humility, deepened me and motivated me although at the time I just felt tired and could have killed for an extra hour's sleep-- I would not change it for the world. Voted up up up
Barry Wah Lee from Auckland on December 03, 2011:
TheNewCinders on November 28, 2011:
I love this! And I love my children! :) I get what you mean - the romanticised bits and the reality bites!
helmutbiscut from Ohio on November 22, 2011:
This is great. I am a mother of four kids...never a dull moment here!
Sheila Varga Szabo from Southern California on November 20, 2011:
Awesome! Especially the last two, right? I love that! My kids are bigger, and it gets "easier" to deal with the everyday lack of boredom. The cool part is when you can talk to your kids like girlfriends-- sharing your love life and stuff. It trips me out when my 16 year old gives ME tips on attracting men! Ha! I love being a parent. Thanks for the great Hub.
instantlyfamily on November 19, 2011:
I love this Hub. As an adopted parent I can add one more; COMPLETION. My life is finally complete. I am so grateful.
Alissa Roberts from Normandy, TN on November 19, 2011:
Love this! I will second all your reasons to have children. Especially the laughing part. I have two little boys as well and I am pretty sure I don't go an hour without laughing at something they are doing or saying. Great job - voted up!