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“Why I don’t recommend having kids”

That’s right, I wouldn’t recommend having kids at all. Before you scratch your head and wonder how I could say such a thing, hear me out. Having kids is a rewarding experience like no other. You will learn things about yourself, continually, that you otherwise might never have known. You will find yourself exploring emotions that you didn’t know we’re possible and you will be stretched every which way and rarely have time to recuperate. That’s just in the first six months. Then you move on to stress, heartbreaks, and emotional roller coasters, not to mention time and money, both of which you will learn you never have enough. So if you aren’t the type of person that doesn’t like to put themselves second, or third or fourth down the list, I’m talking to you.

Having children is a huge decision and all jokes aside, I really wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. The responsibility is too great, the risk is too high and so much is at stake. You are putting yourself into a position of constant service, that you will have to do with a smile, no matter how forced and no matter how many curses you mumble beneath your breath.

Here are the top five reasons that I don’t recommend having kids.

1. They are selfish. Kids have no regard for your schedule. They want everything right now. It doesn’t matter if you are cooking dinner, talking on the phone and vacuuming at the same time, they need you to stop all of that to help them reach the Lego they dropped, that a foot away from them, on the floor that they could have easily reached themselves. They are hungry now, thirsty now, bored now, and that’s a problem they are looking for you to solve, right now.

2. They are smarter than you are. If Mom said no to a cookie, they know to ask Dad. If Dad said no to the cookie, they will ask Mom. If both parents said no to the cookie, they will ask Grandma, in front of you and make you look like a jerk for saying no until the get the cookie. They will twist your words and talk you into circles for hours just to get out of cleaning off the table, they will create scenarios that might not have happened, but now you aren’t sure, just to question if they really have to fold their clothes or not. They will make a face that you can’t tell if they are going to cry or defecate, only to have you allow them an extra 30 minutes of TV as they laugh and walk off. You can’t win an argument with them, ever, because they are smarter than you and most arguments will have to end with “because I said so!”, and now you just turned into your parents. Great.

3. They can’t do anything themselves. For the first, oh well, 18 years, they are incapable of most everything. As an infant they need to you change their diaper, feed them, burp them and entertain them. As teens they need you to feed them, entertain them and pay for everything all the while enduring sarcasm, eye rolls and door slamming, and that’s just if you’re lucky. I don’t know which is worse. Kids are terrible.

4. They always come first. If you wanted to go out tonight, forget it. You come home from work and want to relax? Too bad, you’re wife hasn’t showered yet and has been waiting all this time to pass you the baby as soon as you walk through the door. You wanted to watch the big game? Not gonna happen, the “kids choice awards” are on and they’ve been waiting all month to see it. You want to buy yourself a new set of tires? Well your baby needs diapers, your toddler needs new shoes, your teen needs car insurance and your adult daughter just can’t seem to pay off those student loans. You’re always second, third and fourth down the line, and always broke.

5. You will forever be broken hearted. You’ll never love harder than this. Having kids force you to wear your heart on your sleeve whether you want to or not. You will love them so much it’s exhausting. You will always question your abilities and how you are doing as a parent. You will be their biggest advocate, you will fight for them, you will laugh with them, cry with them and they will break your heart over and over again. From their first words, to scraped knees, to their first love and their breakups, you will feel your heart break over and over again for them, about them, and with them. Then they leave the nest and you will wish you still were dealing with the first four reasons not to have them on this list. They will always love you, but one day they leave and you will miss all of it. You will remember every night up with them, every tear wiped away, every diaper changed, every day you dropped them off to school, and it goes on, and now they are all grown up and all you can do is remember how great it was to hug them every day.

Don’t get me wrong, having kids was the best thing that ever happened to me. Nothing has been more rewarding, nothing has taught me so much about myself, the world and love than children. Raising my kids has allowed me to learn me so much, showed me how to experience so many amazing things, and for that reason I don’t recommend it to just anyone. At least not anyone that isn’t willing to wear their heart on their sleeve, love harder than ever before, and risk the heartbreak of eventually letting go. If you aren’t prepared to make them number one, to put them above everything else, to work hard at a sometimes thankless job, than kids really aren’t for you. For everyone else, it’s a wild ride but the reward is worth the risk.

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