Many stories have been written about the challenges of parenting in the 21st century, and how expensive kids are to raise, but what people really need to hear is how much we can learn from our children, how much they help us grow, and how much they provide to us. In teaching them, we learn a lot about ourselves, our values and what really matters in life. In raising them, we too expand our understanding of the world and what it takes to build healthy, enduring relationships. And in loving them, they expand our ability to love more than we ever thought humanly possible.
The choice of whether to delay parenthood is a very personal one, and I commend companies like Facebook and Apple willing to financially support this option, and we should all respect each person’s right to make the decision best suited to his/her situation, but I will say this: (1) You will always worry about money (no matter how much you think you have or don’t have) so don’t get too hung up on this fact and (2) Parenting is hard work, and I mean literally– it takes a physical toll on you that is just easier to bear in your late 20’s or 30’s than in your 40’s. Your energy level is not likely to increase with age, meanwhile there are greater health risks the longer you delay having a child.
Personally, 31 was the perfect age for me to become a mother. Physically, I was able to recover quickly, and professionally I was able to work out a flexible schedule that met my needs for work/life balance. Now, I may not have hit it big financially over the past decade, but I was able to provide a decent life for us, and in the process I got to enjoy a whole second childhood full of rewards that far exceeded all my dreams.
Life is full of choices, and I love that– just make sure you make an informed decision and don’t delay too long one of the greatest joys that life has to offer. If you still need a little more convincing, here’s a list of my top 5 reasons kids make us better people, which was published today in KidzEdge: