The Department of Agriculture released a number in recent years that sent us reeling: According to their research, it costs $241,080 to raise a child from birth to age 18. What? That makes us want to wave our financial white flags and give up now. But we take issue with this number. For instance, they attribute housing costs to the child. But would you be living on the street if you didn’t have a kid? Of course not. Sure, some families choose to buy a bigger home when the third or fourth child comes along—but that’s a choice. In our parents’ day, they would’ve just bought bunk beds. (Have these people ever watched The Brady Bunch?)
That said, we know there are some child-rearing expenses that are unavoidable and rising every day. But, when it comes to having a child, there are countless reasons to relish being a mom. But these 10 perks of motherhood are our favorites.
1. Watching your child sleep.
2. Crayon-scribbled I love you on crafts and cards.
3.Watching the light in their eyes when they finally get something that’s been tough to learn.
4. Hugs and kisses that smell like PB & J.
5. Getting to play like a kid again yourself.
6. Saturday mornings in PJs with pancakes (and extra time to snuggle).
7. That first conversation where you can see that your teen has adopted your values as his own.
8. Getting to be one of Santa’s elves, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. (Use our Christmas Eve Checklist.)
9. Having a built-in excuse to go to Disney World…again.
10. Watching your child grow to understand the vast love of God.
Tell us! What is one thing that makes your experience as a mom priceless?
Dana Hall McCain writes about marriage, parenting, faith and wellness. She is a mom of two, and has been married to a wonderful guy for over 18 years.