Parenting is hard!
I just read an article on parenting research and had to respond. The article is about a study which found that parenting basically sucks and we are lying to ourselves if we say otherwise. This research paper was published in Psychological Science. Research proves parenting is costing us $193,000 and change per child to raise them, and this doesn’t take into account the emotional and social toil we are subjecting ourselves to. According to research, parents are “angrier and more depressed” then their unencumbered counter parts. This “new paper shows that parents fool themselves into believing that having kids is more rewarding than it actually is. It turns out parents are in the grip of a giant illusion.” Really???
The article continues: “All parents know that having kids is a blessing — except when it’s a nightmare of screaming fits, diapers, runny noses, wars over bedtimes and homework and clothes. To say nothing of bills too numerous to list. Some economists have argued that having kids is an economically silly investment; after all, it’s cheaper to hire end-of-life care than to raise a child. Now comes new research showing that having kids is not only financially foolish but that kids literally make parents delusional.”
The way they conducted the research may show that we lie to ourselves at times to get through rough spots but I strongly disagree that my children have been leaching away my soul and resources.
My children have been the best thing that happened to my life. I am the first to admit that I have started out with an emotional deficit from the way I was raised. So maybe that is why they were able to help me grow in so many ways. They were able to teach me about true unconditional love which, by the by, has helped my marriage and my relationships with close friends. They have taught me to give away my energy for a good cause and NOT expect anything back. Do it because you want to, not because you are hoping to have something given to you in return. True bliss. I had never been truly blissful; felt all was well with myself and the world, until I was ice skating with my children one day several years ago. They taught me how to be in the moment, let go of the small things, don’t be obsessive, guilt is a wasted emotion, worrying is an even bigger waste of time and emotion. Be peaceful. Be grateful for what you have. People before things. So many lessons to be learned. And like good teachers, my children unrelentingly kept at me with these lessons until I got them!
I don’t think I am delusional about how hard it is to have children. Having my children is also the hardest thing, by far, that I have ever done in my life. I stayed at home with them for years and was so BORED in the beginning. This forced me to get out in the world with them and over come my shyness and try all sorts of new things. Was it hard on us financially? You bet! We are still recovering for the years I was not earning money and they were helping us spend it.
Having a child should not be entered into lightly. They are not just another “step” on the ladder to human success. But if you are brave and ready to be challenged, get ready for the change of you life! I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The research article ends; “Of course parents should be commended for one little thing they do: maintain the existence of humanity. I praise them for that, but I think they’re both heroes and suckers.” Why is it that I just feel lucky?