Why should I go through all this trouble? A friend of mine asked me this question, referring to having children.
Anybody can come up with boring reasons not to have children (especially here in Germany). They are ego-monsters, constantly mess up your house, turn you into sleep-deprived zombies, keep you at the verge of a nervous breakdown and stand in the way of success and fun. Bla, bla, bla, tell me something I don’t know.
I thought that my friend’s question was way more interesting: Why should you say yes to children?
Despite the fact that I’ve always been 100% sure that children are for me (and I am still happy with my decision now that I have two little monkeys in diapers who seem to have a sleeping disorder), I had to give her question some thought.
That being said, I’m not trying to talk anybody into having children (I absolutely don’t have an issue with people who choose to be childless and I don’t ask them to justify this decision) - but here are my top five reasons.
1. Children chase the cynicism from your life
Cynicism hits most of us sooner or later. Been there, done that, nothing impresses or excites us anymore. Kids are a potent antidote here. Only yesterday my daughter spent a good part of the afternoon starring at a candy wrapper, holding it up repeatedly, shouting: „Mama, look, a photo. Beauuuuuuuutiful.“
2. Children are positive forces
Most of the time they are these little balls charged with positive energy, bouncing around happily. No matter how annoying and stressful your life gets - they will make you laugh, guaranteed. My favorite antidepressant.
3. Children open up new perspectives
You speak to people, you would have never spoken to. You start seeing your parents with new eyes. You can all of a sudden relate to the person in a wheel chair next to you on the curb - because you and your baby carriage also can’t fit through the construction site.
You sing songs you would have never sung. You read books you would have never read (again). It takes you an hour to walk a distance you would have rushed through in 15 minutes.
You laugh and laugh and laugh - about things you would have never thought funny. Things that would not even have happened in the first place.
4. Children release the hidden energy in you
On this one, I just have to quote my favorite TV-character Schotty from the German show „Tatortreiniger“. In one episode, he complains about how damn exhausting happiness is. Especially the thing with the ladies.
The guy he is talking to wants to know if Schotty is not at all prepared to fight for his happiness.
His answer: „It’s a well-know fact that dealing with children is even more exhausting than dealing with women. But if I image having a child, I don’t know, I feel it could be worth it. In other words: There is this container of energy inside of me, reserved just for children. And that container is infinite in size.“
Many of us have such a container. Sad, if it stays closed.
5. Children bring out the best in you
They drive you to be the person you want to be. Children imitate everything, this starts way earlier than you think. When your kid start repeating certain words of yours that don’t sound that cute out of his or her mouth, you will question your manners. And it doesn’t stop there. You might also start asking yourself questions about your relationships, your ability to deal with conflict, your lifestyle, your goals in life. That might sound terrifying. It’s not though. On the contrary.