How many of you reading this deliberately chose parenthood? I’m not talking about that biological thing that makes you want a baby; I mean, how many of you clearly understood what parenting is, and said, “Hey, I want to be a parent!”. I’ve been pondering this question lately, and trying to be honest with myself. Why do we breed? Seriously, think about it. They deprive us of sleep, independence, spontaneity; they strain our marriages, cost an inconceivable amount of money, and there’s really not much return on the investment. Let’s face it, parenting is pretty much a one-way street. Full-time preschool in NYC starts at about $20K per child, per year; a nanny starts in the $40K range – and these are pre-tax figures. Yet most couples (my family included), still choose parenthood – twice! Why? Is the biological pull really that strong? Now that I have two kids, I honestly can’t even remember why I wanted them so badly. Fifty years ago, Americans had kids because that’s just what was expected, or they needed extra farm hands. Today, (most) educated, urban couples have the freedom to choose whether they want a family, or live childless lives. But how many couples do you know who actually decided (infertility excluded) to NOT have children? Perhaps we still choose parenting for religious reasons, family expectations, or maybe we subconsciously worry about not having kids an extended family when we’re old.
For me, it was a very primal urge to make babies with the man I love, but not a truly conscious decision that I thought out in the same way we think about career paths or other major life events. Now I’m a mom of two beautiful kids whom I love more than I ever dreamed possible, but if I’m truly honest with myself, I didn’t consciously, deliberately, decide I wanted to become a parent. So I’m curious, if you chose parenthood, why? All comments are welcome!