Whether you already have three children, or are considering your very first, having kids is a huge step in any adult’s life. The consideration of whether or not to have start or expand your family should not be taken lightly.
There are hundreds of arguments for and against having a baby, and most of them depend on the situation of the parents. However, there are a few constants to be found amongst parents from all necks of the world and all social situations.
We have listed some of the greatest benefits and changes a child will bring to your life. Some of them are subtler than others, and some of them may sound a little odd at first, but their effect on the life of a new parent is undeniable.
- To start a new social life
Once you have kids, your priorities will change – that doesn’t necessarily mean that the same goes for your friends, though.
If you find yourself in the situation that you are the only one out of your friends to have a child, you may find yourself drifting away from them. With less time to spend on going out, and the difficulties of organizing a sitter, you’ll struggle to stay close to them.
In return, however, you’ll probably make new friends. Whether it is via your child’s school, the playground, or even just a book-club, you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people that have similar priorities to yours. They’ll be able to understand your problems and concerns better, and with a little luck, your children may also become friends.
As time progresses, you’ll find that spending time with your child, and the sheer pleasure of watching them grow up, by far eclipses the frequent nights you’ve spent out drinking, and that the friendships you forge with other parents will truly last for life. Parties are for college – children are for life.
- To beat the odds
Having children is more and more common nowadays, and with medical advancements, is becoming safer and easier than ever before. However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that having a child is an incredible process, and not one to be taken for granted.
Unfortunately, not everyone can have the kids they desire for a variety of reasons – infertility or the lack of a partner are just a few examples. There is, of course, nothing wrong with that. However, thanks to medical advancements like IVF treatments, many can now achieve the life-long dream of starting a family with their own children.
Those who choose or consider adoption leave their mark and give back in a different way. They give an opportunity to a less privileged child and help them achieve more in life than they otherwise may have been able to. Some parents of adoptive kids are concerned whether their child will love them as much – the answer is yes. The love bond between a parent and their child is independent of their blood; it is based upon the nurturing and giving relationship.
- To enjoy endless laughter
Despite the considerable difficulties that raising a child brings with it, there is one thing children undeniably bring to your life: copious amounts of laughter. Babies smile from several months after their birth – it is one of their first methods of communication.
Over the course of a few months, your baby goes from smiling as a reflex, to smiling in social situations. As your child grows, you’ll find that smiles and laughs (and yes, the occasional tear) fill everyday things and make them more exciting. From doing the laundry and having your baby ‘help’, to cooking dinner with your kids constantly trying to taste the sauce, you’ll never find everyday tasks dull again.
You’ll also get a plethora of funny stories that you can tell them and eventually their kids later in life. From a refusal to put on pants for a wedding to your toddler trying to talk like grown-ups, you’ll always have a reason to laugh – and something to talk about at the next family get-together.
- To meet someone who loves you
This one may seem like an odd reason, but it is a popular one amongst young mothers. ‘I’m in love with a child I haven’t met yet’. The love between a parent and their child is unconditional and pure, and shapes both of them significantly.
Raising a child takes great care and effort, and the love given and received is the greatest gift and exchange possible. It can be intimidating for parents who are worried that they may not be mature enough or experienced enough; they may even feel undeserving of such feelings.
This is surprisingly common, and always unfounded. The very fact that you are considering this step proves that you are emotionally mature enough. Even if it wasn’t necessarily a choice you decided, you’ll find yourself naturally becoming selfless for your baby.
One of the most important aspects of raising a child is learning to put another’s needs before your own. But don’t worry – all parents make mistakes.
- To gain a new outlook on life
Whatever you think is important to you in life now will change when you have children. Your priorities will shift, as will most aspects of your life. You’ll realize that some things are more important than the season finale of your favourite show, and you’ll start finding enjoyment in the small things.
You’ll learn to appreciate quiet moments, a day outside, the laugh of a baby – and yes, even the horrible mess your child made of their food. This may seem strange if you are not a parent yet, but it is true nonetheless.
Parenthood is one of the greatest things that can happen to a person, so if you are lucky enough to experience it, your child will (unknowingly) show you what true and pure happiness really is. And when they are old enough, you can repay the favour.
For those struggling to find what’s really important in their life (Wealth? Happiness? Travel?), they usually find that deep down they knew all along. Often, having a child is what helps them realize it.
- To have the biggest adventure of your life
Going on holiday is great. It’s definitely an adventure, and it’s definitely exciting…but it has an end-date stamped on it. You may be gone for a few weeks – maybe even a month or two – but eventually the adventure ends and normalcy resumes. When it does, the adventure is over. This doesn’t happen with children.
Instead, as one period of your child’s life concludes, a new one begins. You get to experience everything from their first year on their own two feet to their last year in college. Each step is a separate and new adventure that never gets boring.
Additionally, you get to watch and influence a new human being develop into the person they will be when they’re grown – a holiday in Thailand can hardly compare. After all, your child is going to be contributing to and even shaping the society you now live in, and they are going to continue to do so after you have passed on. This is both a great responsibility and an incredible opportunity to pass on your values and what’s important to you.
Despite the fact that every parent makes mistakes, they needn’t be the same ones that have been made before. Being given the opportunity to influence the coming generation and society is certainly not something to be scoffed at.
Maybe you have already made the decision to have your first – or second or third – child, or maybe you have just started to consider it, but one thing’s for sure: it will be a profound and life-changing experience, and one that will help influence you and your life in an incredibly unique and special way. Get ready for the greatest adventure of your life.