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Mandy

Children

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This is something I've been pondering on for a while now and I am curious to see what you all think.

I made up my mind as a teenager that I would never have kids (as you do :P). My 31st birthday is approaching and of course the old biological clock is starting to panic and my emotional take on the issue is clouding my thinking.

So far I have come up with cons vs pros (lol, here goes):

Cons:

  • they cost a lot
  • they take up all your time and energy, money, etc.
  • they can affect your marriage relationship
  • its possible our kids could inherit a few nasty traits from my husband and I
  • this world is populated enough
  • I don't think I'd be a very good mother
  • I wouldn't be able to run after my kid if it ran into the street (lol - I really worry about this one)
  • you can no longer relate to your childless friends

Pros:

  • you get a lot of joy from them (so I'm told!)
  • someone to support you in your old age (yeah, right!)
  • they can strengthen your marriage
  • my husband would be a great Dad
  • the in-laws would be over the moon
  • you gain new friends

OK, some of them are in jest but the issue is quite serious for me. Have any of you had these concerns? How do those of you who are parents cope with small children?

Thoughts appreciated.

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Cost vs. Benefits of Children

I have seen repeatedly the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way.

The US government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition.

But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into $8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.24 a day! Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice says don't have children if you want to be "rich." It is just the opposite. What do your get for your $160,140?

Naming rights. First, middle, and last!

Glimpses of God every day.

Giggles under the covers every night.

More love than your heart can hold.

Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.

Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.

A hand to hold, usually covered with jam.

A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sandcastles, and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain.

Someone to laugh yourself silly with no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up.

You get to finger paint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch lightning bugs, and never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watching Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney movies, and wishing on stars.

You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck.

You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off the bike, removing a splinter, filling a wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat to history to witness the first step, first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal.

You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren.

You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there with God.

You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

ENJOY YOUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS.

We can't change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust our sails to get where we want to go.

Daddy and Shannon On top of The Empire State Building

post-7-1083268348.jpg

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Hi,

I've got 2 boys now aged 9 and 7. Both were planned and I was in a stable married relationship. It was hard work to start 1st with one and then 2 small children. Plus I worked full time also 9 - 5. Hubby worked shifts. My 2nd child did not sleep well at night either (sounds a nightmare!!) It was hard - but it was also tremendously rewarding, giving love to, and receiving love back, from my children. They have a great knack of cheering you up when you feel low too. 5 years ago when mine were still very small - I became a single parent and at first struggled - I had great help from family and friends - but I was still coping alone with 2 small boys. I managed - and still do. I cut my hours to be there after school to collect them and spent more time with them also. For me, my children are the most important things in my life - I still have my friends and family and go out with the girls etc - but my boys come first. When I had my accident and then my amputation I did worry how I would cope with the boys and how they would cope also - but we are all doing well.

I think any decision to have children should not be made lightly - it is a HUGE responsibility, no pay, lack of sleep, getting up in the night when they are ill, having to sort out school holiday cover, having little time to yourself, having to ensure values etc, etc................BUT when you see their faces light up, smiling, sleeping all tucked up at night - well - thats what makes parenting worthwhile - for me at least. To feel unconditional love from your child is something so special. :P

Sorry for going on - but as you can see - I love my children and would not be without them. I have a sister who is 2 years younger than me at 33 and she says she doesn't want children - and I respect her for that - shee has a career and enjoys having no ties...I think its down to the individual's choice.

I'm waffling again..

Sue - Cardiff - UK :blink:

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Having kids makes you less selfish. You suddenly forget about the stuff you want and you focus in on their needs. Very powerful. There is a lot of learning curves to navigate but I wouldn't trade my girls for the world. Seeing how they learn, what they observe, how they pick up on my sayings, really fun stuff.

Hey Johnny and Sue, your posts gave me goosebumps, so sweet.

Don't kids just hug your heart?

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If we defined having children by what it costs in cash there would be an end to the human race, you will always find a way to manage and believe me where this is a will there is always a way.

My son is 14yrs and has been going through the hormonal stage for at least the past 2 years, he is very mature for his age, looks more like 16 than 14 and i do tend to forget he is still a child. There are times when my husband and i lose our rag with him because he is acting like a child, then we have to remember he is a child and is allowed to make mistakes and be a bolshy teenager, as long as he learns from these mistakes. Then there`s the times when we go clothes shopping and everything i pick off the rail he hates, he wants the named gear that costs a fortune, the trainers that cost the earth. Then there`s the compromise and the cheeky smile because he got what he really wanted in the first place, he just new how to work me round.

I look around my living room and see the photo`s of him from when he was born to now, blonde curls you would die for, front teeth missing ( the notes he left for the tooth fairy really embarrass him now ) then as he gets older the curls have disappeared and he has started to grow a moustache. He started to ask about shaving at the tender age of 12. The other kids at school had noticed the tache and he didn`t want the attention, my husband tried his best to persuade him not to shave but one day i realised he had shaved, apparrently 2 weeks previously.He is now shaving 2-3 times a week.

He came back from a school holiday trip to Spain like a love sick puppy, he had got to know a young girl form the year below him in school, it didn`t last long.

We have the pc in the living room, cramped though it maybe, i like to keep an eye on who he is chatting to, i know his passwords etc, even though i have the parental controls, i think teenagers can find ways around these, he is certainly more pc savvy than i am.

I could go on forever, it doesn`t matter, he is my son, i worry about him all the time, why? COS I LOVE HIM. He is worth more to me than any riches.

I don`t think any the less of someone who decides they don`t want children, each to their own.

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Hi Mandy

'I don't think I'd be a very good mother'

IMO, the fact you are giving concious thought to the pro's and con's tell's me that you would make a good mother.

Now if you'll excuse me :D

Johnny, sounds a good deal, I'll save up and order another two children :D

Seriously, I always thought the amount my children have cost us was an investment. Both my son (29 years old) and my daughter (26) have caused us pain and heartache, those situations I can count on my fingers. But I cannot count on my fingers the times they have made us happy, supported us and made us laugh; and they still do.

Our secret's of child rearing was to give them love, grow and learn with them and do our best for them. We hoped they would do these things for us, but didn't expect it of them. We have and are rewarded every minute of every day of their lives.

They even laugh at my jokes :D

IMO, again; go for it! And enjoy your children.

Best regards

Steve

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My gut reaction is very similar to Johnnys....my four kids are the world to me. But then again, I have known I wanted them since I was a toddler myself. (and having spina bifida, it wasnt a given!)

I used to tell people that the selflessness and intense love would follow the birth of your child...it was a given, because that is what *I* experienced. But since then I have had a sister who has two boys and I am not sure she should have had kids. She loves them, I have no doubt. But she is still self absorbed, to the point of neglecting the boys sometimes, I feel. Luckily for my precious nephews they have an aunt nearby (my other sister) who is VERY nurturing, and terrific grandparents nearby, not to mention a great dad. All this to say I now feel like you have to GO INTO parenthood knowing that you will come second now. Every child deserves to be planned and wanted, and that includes setting up your life so that he can be provided for well, for the first 18 years. Not necessarily even financially, although that is important....but we barely scraped by when our first two were babies, and I think they didnt even notice, being surrounded by two loving parents who met their emotional needs. (heck, babies prefer to play with pots and pans over new toys anyway!)

So if you feel like you understand that this little person will come second to your desires...then go for it....and you WILL be rewarded with more love and intense passion for this little person than you ever knew was even possible. And if you do decide in favor...you'd better post pictures...everyone loves a picture of a newborn!

Judy

LBK

Utah

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Thank you all for your posts, they've all given me a lump in my throat. Yours was really special Johnny - good sales job there! :P

I can't say I'm one of those career girls who doesn't want kids getting in the way, but I will be the first to admit I'm a selfish person. Giving yourself up entirely for children is pretty scary for me.

My husband and I talk about this a lot and he has helped me get over worries about inherited disorders so that's not much of a factor anymore. I have 2 friends who have suffered post-natal depression and that is also something that scares me. They both love their children dearly but went through very rough times after their births. One of them has decided not to have any more children as a result.

So where am I going with this....? Probably that I am leaning towards 'yes' but there are still a lot of things that worry me about the whole pregnancy thing.

Oh, and of course I'd post photos if the happy event ever happened. :D

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Mandy,

if and when you do decide to go for it don`t let the post-natal thing worry you, you can sub-consciously make it happen if you are not careful, it is only a very small minority that suffer, most woman get a bit of baby blues and have a few hormonal issues, thats normal. Concentrate on the good stuff, but be prepared for the downs, just like losing a limb really. :)

The baby can pick up on depressions etc.

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Hi,

First I've got to say Johnny....what a softee! You summed up what it's like to be a parent .I swear you made my eggs swell with pride & begging for fertilization! :lol:

Personally, I'm not sure that my heart ever beat before I held myfirst son. I have two boys 11 & 8 & they are my heart. There is nothing in my life that is or will ever be more important to me. I never questioned whether or not I could care for them & I will say that some parts were physically challenging, but you make adjustments.

You can't decide by wondering what will or won't be. There are no quarantees in life. We all know that first hand. As for money, no matter how much you have, it's never enough, you make due. They do change your life. Your life won't be your own & there will be sacrifices.

I won't lie & say that it's all been a bed of roses. My boys have a few thorns. (I'm sure those are only in prepartion for the ones to come in adolesence). :o I won't say don't worry, cause once you have kids you'll worry twice as much. What I am saying is....if you're blessed with a child you won't remember what life was like before & you'll never be able to imagine your life without them.

Good luck,

Linda

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Cons:
  • they cost a lot
  • they take up all your time and energy, money, etc.
  • they can affect your marriage relationship
  • its possible our kids could inherit a few nasty traits from my husband and I
  • this world is populated enough
  • I don't think I'd be a very good mother
  • I wouldn't be able to run after my kid if it ran into the street (lol - I really worry about this one)
  • you can no longer relate to your childless friends

Pros:

  • you get a lot of joy from them (so I'm told!)
  • someone to support you in your old age (yeah, right!)
  • they can strengthen your marriage
  • my husband would be a great Dad
  • the in-laws would be over the moon
  • you gain new friends

OK, some of them are in jest but the issue is quite serious for me. Have any of you had these concerns? How do those of you who are parents cope with small children?

You forgot, on the cons side

they smell funny

poopy diapers

crying in the middle of the night

streatch marks

on the pros side:

Somebody to smile and scream and jump into your arms with an "Daddys/Mommie's Home!!!" After a long, hard day at work

I love you's no matter how bad you feel

Childish glee filled laughter

getting to watch kids movies

Somebody to cause mortal embarrasment with questions like "Hey mister where's your foot!"

Somebody to embarress when they have thier first boy/girl friend over with stories about what they did when they wee little.

Eric

Have the kids

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Hey I did it. I made a quote work!! :rolleyes:

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Mandy,

I'm sorry I couldn't post this sooner but my last few days have been a whirl..

I did want to give you my 2 cents though.

My oldest daughter is now 14 (gosh I can't believe it). I remember the day she was born just like it was yesterday.. She has brought me a lot of joy and has also tried my patience on occasion but it has been worth it. My youngest daughter is 10 and has done pretty much the same. I am so blessed to have children!! They make me laugh, they make me scream, they make me cry, but above all they bring me lots of joy!! I would do it all again given the chance!!

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