A week from today, we’ll be celebrating Tiny Love’s very first birthday. As we prepare to celebrate her life, I cannot help but lament over the selfishness of pieces like this one from indy100 (published by The Independent).

https://www.indy100.com/article/worst-decision-you-can-ever-make-have-a-child-science-research-parent-sleep-sex-money-video-7960906

The article begins:

“This may spell bad news for new parents, but research has shown that having a kid is not paticularly beneficial to you.

If you’ve noticed that your friends are starting to raise little families of their own, and you fancy a slice of parental bliss, you may want to hear what the experts have to say about parenthood first.

Scientific studies have shown that having a child can severely effect numerous things in your life ranging from money to sleep and even sex.”

And includes a video outlining the many impositions children bring with them:

It gets worse:

Sleep is also something that parents can kiss goodbye to. In the first two years of a baby’s life a parent will lose six months of sleep, amounting to only 2.5 hours of sleep a night on average.

There is also a huge financial deficiency that is associated with children.

NBC News have reported that in America, having a kid can cost as much as $13,000 a year, which by the time they reach 17, will mean parents have forked out a total of $233,000.

Furthermore, mother’s make roughly 3 percent less money than those that don’t have children.

Finally there is the threat of overpopulation. Scientists predict that the world’s population will exceed 10.5 billion by 2050.

If your entire life is to revolve around yourself then I suppose there is some validity to these arguments. Throwing “science” in front of shallow validation-seeking lists doesn’t give them an experiential pass though.

Every single reason given in opposition to having children assumes happiness can only be achieved if you remain untethered and put more stock in career goals and possessions than you do in love and family. And what a miserable life that would be.

Selfishness and love cannot coexist. There is room only for one.

Do you sleep less when you have a baby? Duh.
Can the lack of sleep put strain on your marriage? If you allow it, sure.
Does post-child intimacy suffer? Only if you choose not to invest in your marriage.
But kids are SO expensive! They are if you buy them tons of junk they don’t need.

Life, they say, can come at you fast. I got married, became a step-mom, and a momma within the course of a year and a half. Going from the single, globe-trotting life to wife, step-mom, and new mom was and remains a transition.

I may not be able to hop on a plane to visit friends because I have nothing better to do for the weekend, and sure, we have less money to spend on steak dinners and the really good wine. I don’t have time to read as much (though in what I consider the best parenting hack yet, I recently decided to read aloud to Baby K whatever I would read for fun or work or what have you), nor can I traipse off to get a pedicure without a substantial amount of planning.

None of these “inconveniences” are the least bit burdensome. I can’t say what our marriage would be like if we didn’t have children, but our girls enable us to be a team, to work together, and to learn things about one another that I’m certain we would not have opportunity to were we without kiddos.

Children require the best in you. They enable you to see the brightest parts of this cold world through new, excited, untainted eyes. They insist on patience when you have none, on creativity when you feel empty, and on time when you’re exhausted and spent. In every way, our girls push us both to be better people. We strive to rise to the challenge knowing they deserve nothing but the absolute best we have to offer. They humble us, amaze us, teach us, and have an unfailing ability to make life a better place.

I pity the life that revolves around money, open schedules, and career ladders, none of which create a lasting impact or leaves our little chunk of space better than we found it. The best life centers itself around relationships and the love fostered in each of those. Those relationships do not have to be with children we bear or parent in some capacity, but being able to pour into the lives of others is fulfilling in a way no amount of money or job title can ever satisfy.

Happiness is watching your daughter grow from a tiny newborn to the happiest little toddler:

In teaching her there are better things to snack on than wipes:

Deep conversations over breakfast:

In watching her run around the house, shoe-in-mouth, like her puppy:

Learning how to share:

Waking with the wildest hair:

Discovering all kinds of exciting things like dishwashers, windows, favorite books, and the great outdoors:

Snuggle time with old, fluffy dogs:

And favorite foods (black beans, they’re delicious):

In snuggling while you watch Sesame Street together through her first cold:

Contrary to what the Indy100 article suggests, happiness is sacrifice; in watching your children grow and love and discover, in connecting with your spouse and working as a team, in spending less time worrying about where to have brunch and more time learning how to love with reckless abandon.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye