The Joys of Having Children
You don’t have to have played house or with dolls to want to add a child or children to your family when you’re an adult. It may even have taken until now for you to feel that you are ready for the responsibility to have children or to find a suitable partner.
With all the negative articles about having children out there, we thought that it would be a good time to look at the numerous ways that children can bring joy to your life.
They make you look at the world around you with new eyes
Whether it’s a ladybug or a rainbow, seeing a child react with absolute amazement and glee makes you look at your environment in a whole different light. So often we forget to stop what we’re doing and really take in what’s happening around us.
Maybe you’re swamped at work and feel like you don’t have time to even breathe. Or perhaps you’re engrossed in the messages and feeds on your smartphone. Whatever the reason, being forced to stop what you’re doing and pay attention to a child’s new discovery or page of scribbles (that’s actually a portrait of you and how beautiful you are) can brighten your day and even make you feel more relaxed.
The world is no longer just a dangerous and scary place once you have children – it has in a way become renewed by being seen through a child’s innocent eyes.
You get to indulge your imagination
Playing and building with Legos and clay, getting dressed up for a tea party with teddy bears, or fighting an evil alien overlord in space are all considered very normal for an otherwise “serious adult” to do when they have children. Indeed, it’s basically part of the job description. As is being excited by toy stores and children’s museums.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy every moment of using your imagination and playing along. The fun of playing with your children, helping them build a blanket fort or camping with them in the living room more than makes up for having to watch the same animated show episode for the hundredth time…
Watching them grow into their own person
Most often you’ll hear how your baby is the spitting image of their parents, but for the first while – even if you can see your partner’s smile in them – it is difficult, if not impossible, to tell what personality they will have.
As they grow up (much too fast!), however, you’ll see their personality forming and becoming more complex day after day. From their mannerisms, learning to use idioms, and coming across their favorite words, to being introverted or extroverted, all will come together to form a whole new person that you get to know and love unconditionally.
You get to learn with them
Did anyone say “dinosaurs”? Almost all kids seem to go through a dinosaur-phase – and we can’t blame them. If you went through one yourself, you’ll probably still have the basics filed away in your memory somewhere and remember what your favorite dinosaur was (or is).
But with all the new findings on these creatures that so capture the imagination, you’ll be surprised at the questions that you’ll get asked. So, not only do you get to indulge in a fascination you have, but you will be able to do so along with your children.
Of course, not all parents and their children have the same interests, but that doesn’t mean that learning will be less fun. Seeing your child’s face light up at the news of a new dinosaur that’s been discovered or a new song by their favorite band even makes learning about things outside your interests a lot of fun!
You learn a lot about yourself and become a better person
Children mimic the behavior that they see in their parents, so know that you are being watched by your little ones. Seeing how they act around others or even how they play-act in their imaginary worlds with their toys can be a huge eye-opener.
So, if you have a quick temper that leads to dramatic ranting over the phone, your language includes some f-bombs or you never use the “magic words”, you can be sure that your child will do the same. And they’ll usually do it at the most inopportune time to leave you feeling as small as can be.
The same goes for social evils that you see in the world. If you want to see a world without the myriad forms of hate and filled with loving, empathetic people, the change really does start with you. Showing compassion and empathy to others will lead to you being a positive role model for your children.
Children will often mimic their parents’ choices in food and whether they choose healthy or unhealthy foods. Being able to show your children what healthy eating looks like, instead of simply telling them to eat their veggies, is a good reason to change your eating habits. The impact that you will have on your children will, in turn, benefit their health and habits in the future.
Having children, therefore, lets you have a good look at yourself and make the changes in your own behavior that you want to see in your children. Do as I do and not as I say, indeed!
You can connect more with others
Between playgroups, mommy and me classes, pre-school, play dates, and visiting family, a whole world of future friends will open for you. You may even spend more time with your parents and siblings than you have in years.
Once you become a parent, you will also understand how much your parents love you and how unconditional the love for a child is. You will also start to realize just how difficult it is to raise children – not to mention the great responsibility that rests on your shoulders. This may lead you to connect with your parents on another, deeper level than you would have been able to before.
You get a whole new outlook on life and what really matters
As you grow up, you start to realize that some of the things that you thought were incredibly important are, in fact, not that meaningful. Once you have children, however, you’ll find that your whole perspective about what is important and really matters in life, changes.
Spending time worrying about whether your favorite celebrity has cellulite or following your social feeds for hours every day fall by the wayside as this new little person takes over your heart.
Although you may now, as a parent, see the world as a more dangerous place, you also think a lot more about the future and how you can leave the world a better place for your children and grandchildren.
Having children can have significant health benefits
There’s often such a focus on the hormonal roller-coaster of pregnancy, that the health benefits that can come with it aren’t considered:
- Easier periods – many who suffer from painful menstrual cramps find that their cramps are less painful – or even gone – after giving birth.
- Protection against breast cancer – both pregnancy and breastfeeding may help to reduce the chances of a woman getting breast cancer.
- Protection against other types of cancer – the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy can help to protect against various types of cancers.
- A healthier heart - A study found that postmenopausal women who breastfed their babies were less likely to have a stroke later in life.
Those small moments that turn into your favorite memories
Being asked for a hug or kiss out of nowhere when you’re feeling a bit down, seeing your child at their first school play or the moment that you held them in your arms for the first time become the memories that you treasure even when you baby is all grown up and ready to have children of their own.
As one Andrew Smith* said: “Despite all of the utter chaos, there’s nada more than the joy of a child at the end of it all hugging you tightly and saying night”.
While having kids certainly comes with some sacrifices, once you have experienced the joys they can bring to your life,it’s easy to decide that you do want to grow your family.
If you want to start trying for a baby, timing is crucial. Figuring out when exactly you are at your most fertile during the month can be tricky, though. Luckily, there are smart tools like Eveline that do (almost) all the work for you.
The Eveline Digital Ovulation Test learns your unique cycle and notifies you on your smartphone once you reach the peak time of your fertile window. Eveline ensures that you never miss your perfect conception time and thereby hopes to make family building a little bit easier.
*Name changed on request.