Becoming a parent is a beautiful thing. But it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly.
Ten percent of American adults say they wish they had fewer children. So before you make a life-changing decision you might regret, you should consider the pros and cons of having kids.
In this guide, we’ll share the good, the bad, and the ugly truths about becoming a parent. We’ll help you decide if starting a family is the right choice.
Pros and Cons of Having Kids
Becoming a parent is a huge shock to the system. Up until now, you’ve likely only had to look after yourself, or a pet. But feeding and walking a pet is not the same thing.
Having a child is a life-long responsibility. Forget everything you know about your life-it’s about to change forever. Being a parent is a gift, but it also comes with its challenges.
Here are some of the pros and cons of becoming a parent.
Pro: Raising Children Is a Rewarding Experience
Children are a gift.
You’re sure to feel a rush of emotions the moment you hold your newborn. Sure, babies are cute. But watching your child learn and grow is magical.
You will be there for every milestone-their first steps, their first day of school, their graduation. You will experience their highest highs and lowest lows, and share a truly unbreakable bond.
Being a parent is likely the most important job you will ever have. It will challenge you every day and make you grow in ways you never thought possible.
Con: It’s Really Hard
Having children is no cakewalk.
They don’t come with a manual. You are raising an independent human being, and they will come with their own opinions and personality traits. Spoiler alert, they won’t always agree with you.
You’ll spend the early days changing dirty diapers, cleaning up vomit, and listening to nursery rhymes on repeat. And you can say goodbye to a good night’s sleep.
Much of the toddler stage will be spent negotiating when your child doesn’t want to eat their lunch. And the teenage years will add years to your life.
Having children is hard. It’s hard on the body and mind. So if you’re thinking about getting pregnant, make sure you understand how challenging it will be.
Pro: You Will Gain a Snuggle Buddy
Everyone loves baby snuggles! Having children means you’re in for lots of cuddle time.
There are few things as precious as having your little one curl up beside you. It’s also beneficial to their health.
Science proves that babies long to be close to their parents, and skin-to-skin contact increases a parent’s bond with their children. But cuddling doesn’t need to stop as your child ages.
Older children may not cling to their parents the way babies and toddlers do, but they will still require hugs from their parents. It’s one of the perks of having children.
Con: You Will Lose Your Independence
You will never be alone again.
Whether your children are climbing into bed with you, or following you into the bathroom, it will feel impossible to get a moment to yourself.
You can say goodbye to your social life, at least for now. There will be days when you struggle to find time to perform simple tasks like showering or going to the grocery store.
Con: It May Impact Your Career
As if parents don’t make enough sacrifices, they often need to make sacrifices in their careers too.
It’s tough to balance work with your family life, and often that means work gets the short end of the stick. That can make it difficult to advance when you’re a parent.
Furthermore, the rising cost of daycare has made thousands of parents choose between their full-time job, and caring for their kids.
Unfortunately, this means your career may suffer from having children.
Pro: It May Also Strengthen Your Relationships
Starting a family can bring you closer to your partner. After all, you’re in this together.
Becoming a parent can make you see things from another perspective. It can give you a new appreciation for your parents and the sacrifices they made for you.
It can also strengthen your relationships with friends. Those who have children may find comfort in the shared experience. And watching your children dote on your children, even if they don’t have children of their own, is incredibly moving.
Pro: You Will Be Entitled to Tax Breaks
Having children means you’re entitled to monetary benefits such as tax breaks.
This extra income often provides an incentive to grow your family. You may receive as much as $250 per child every month.
Con: Kids are Expensive
From the minute children are born, they come with bills. First, it’s the hospital bill. Then it’s diapers, formula, food, toys, extra-curricular activities, braces-and eventually college tuition.
Having children is expensive. One of the best parenting tips you can receive is to do financial planning.
That means thinking of every outcome, from the cost of daycare to any possible medical bills. You can begin planning before getting pregnant, whether it means opening a college savings account or taking a family planning DNA test to screen for any genetic conditions.
Con: You Will Never Stop Worrying
You will never stop worrying again.
You’re responsible for a human being. It’s impossible to eliminate every risk in your child’s life. And you will constantly ask yourself if you are doing enough, overstepping, or making mistakes.
Be kind to yourself. Even the best parents worry constantly.
Pro: It’s a Love Unlike Any Other
You’ve probably heard parents say they didn’t know they could love someone the way they love their kids. Well, they’re not lying.
Having children means experiencing a kind of unconditional love you never imagined possible.
Having Children Will Change Your Life
Becoming a parent is a big decision. It is a huge responsibility.
Before you start planning a family, consider how your life will change. This list of pros and cons of having kids will help you determine if you’re ready.
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