As with all things you want, there is a cost, right? For example: I want to keep living in my house. The cost is having a job that I don’t love and that takes a lot of my time and energy away from me, my husband and my lil dandyLion biz. That is the cost I have to pay right now for various reasons — the benefit is living in a home I love with my husband.
Anyway, I’m not trying to get into that. I’m trying to determine in advance so as not to injure, harm or leave anyone unloved in my life, is the cost of having a child worth the benefit? Because to me, right now, it’s not. But I’m also aware that I cannot possibly determine costs or benefits fully in advance. For my whole life, I’ve been on the fence about kids… so I think about this a lot.
Costs to consider:
- Financial: my husband just recently got a job after being unemployed for 2 years and 3 months. We have no savings and I am trying to launch a business. Is supporting another human a good idea? Doctor bills, clothing, food, medicine, gear, diapers and many other financial responsibilities will be large. Not to mention the child’s future, whatever that may bring. I’m assuming that my child is healthy and whole, but what if they’re not? More doctors, treatments, pain? Or personal health issues for myself or my spouse, like PCOS or other difficulty in conceiving that may require drugs, treatment, surgery, etc.?
- Emotional: I rarely see my husband and my dogs as it is. I am happy to get six hours of sleep at night. I cannot work 24/7, I cannot be awake 24/7 and I cannot afford a night nurse/nanny at this time. Can I really be the best mom I can be under these circumstances? Post partum depression, craziness and other unhappiness to make me resentful, bitter? Tied down, too much responsibility and not enough fun? I realize I am not the most emotionally mature person, too. Another way to damage potential offspring.
- Time: Like I said above, I have two full time jobs, three part time gigs, a husband who needs love and snuggles, dogs that need the same, a house that needs cleaning and laundry that needs doing. I struggle balancing all of this right now, much less a creature who needs my attention 24/7. It’s nothing personal, potential offspring. I’m trying to be realistic here.
- Self: What if I lost all sense of myself? What if I lose my business? I’m not as worried about my body as I was before but what about all my dreams and plans? Will they even matter? What if I lost my spouse? Relationships are so hard and complicated. I am happy with my life as it is now, most of the time, and that has been a process. I am selfish and generally not sorry. I do whatever makes me fucking happy because it’s my life. And that’s all.
- Endless love: The thought and concept of creating is overwhelming, powerful, very captivating and could be addictive. It could outweigh everything mentioned above. But it also could not work out that way.
- Lots of fun: I grew up in a large rowdy household and my siblings are still some of my closest friends, as are my parents. We had an amazing time growing up and had lots of people to play with, imagine with, grow with, and learn with. Imagine being able to impart and share all of that with something so special!
- Happy husband: My charming, smart hubby has wanted to be a dad his whole life. I have the ability to give him that, to bring him to that level of happiness and wholeness, completeness. Who wouldn’t do that for someone they love? (Again though: at what cost? Cost of all self?) This is a big issue right now — and one I don’t know if we’ll resolve.
- Fuller, more complete life?: I’m on the fence about this as I know parents who wouldn’t be complete without their kids and parents that are the opposite. I don’t know which one I am, but I don’t want to find out I’m the resentful type after they’re here.
What factors did you consider before deciding whether or not to have a kid? Did the costs outweigh the benefits — or vice-versa?