I’ve been thinking about children a lot lately. Probably because I have a 4 month old and she requires lots and lots of time and attention. 🙂 My life has changed very drastically since she was born, so obviously, I think about kids a lot. Erica over at Newlyweds on a Budget recently posted about babies. The discussion that ensued in the comments was very fascinating to me. Also, HS over at Our Debt Blog posted a somewhat humorous view of staying home with a baby. Although HS is notorious for writing from a tongue-in-cheek perspective (many of his readers call him selfish), his observations of being home with an infant were fairly accurate.
More Modern Couples Question Whether they Even Want to be Parents
My parents’ generation did not really question whether they would or would not have children. If you got married, you had kids. Unless you couldn’t and then you wanted to have kids. It is rare to meet a married person in their 50’s or 60’s who did not produce one or more offspring. However, this line of thinking has changed drastically. Maybe it goes hand-in-hand with people getting married at older ages so they are smarter about their procreation choices.
I do not feel that there is a right or a wrong view on whether or not a person/couple should have children. For me and my husband, it was right. However, 5 years ago, I would have told you I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to have kids. As a teenager, I would have emphatically said “no way” to kids. But then, as a teenager, I never wanted to get married and I certainly did not stay single.
Having kids is both a sacrifice and a gift. It’s hard to describe. There are many days I want to just go home and crash, veg out, do nothing. With a kid, that’s impossible. There is always SOMETHING to do. Yet, I love Baby Girl with all my heart and it makes me horribly sad when I have to be away for longer than expected. I love making her smile and I love spending time with her. However, I realize the sacrifices of having children. It is still very fresh on my mind what life was like before children. I had so much more free time. I don’t think I fully appreciated how much free time I had. To all of you out there who are planning to have children, enjoy that free time. If you want to go to a local park and read a book–do it! If you want to go to a local museum that just opened up–do it! It’s not as much fun with an infant, trust me. 🙂
Do We Celebrate our Offspring More Today?
Another aspect that amuses me about modern couples and their kids is that they (we?) tend to celebrate our kids a great deal. There are are endless expenses that our parents certainly did not indulge in. For instance, my daughter had her first photo shoot at 9 days old. Yep, a photo shoot. Changes of outfits, different poses, different props. Then again at 3 months, she had another. I will tell you, she has more photo sessions scheduled for 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months. When I visit my parents’ house, I am lucky to find a few, faded snapshots of myself as a baby. I think my first professional photo was taken around 9 months, and it included my 2 older brothers.
If you want to see celebrations of kids taken to the extreme, you have to look no further than celebrities. Jay-Z and Beyonce’s baby Blue comes to mind. I can remember a time when Hollywood’s couples didn’t have children or waited until they were 40+ because having children wasn’t looked upon as a blessing. Now, one of the hottest couples alive (in my personal opinion) has SIX children!
There’s really no point to this article, it’s just an observation of mine. It seems like having kids has just changed in some hard-to-desribe way. Maybe the change is really in my perspective. What do you think?