Full. Human. Experience.
That’s how one dad, in a post on Humans of New York, described his reason for having kids.
The father of one recalled how he and his wife decided over dinner at a rib joint that they would start a family.
“We actually took out a piece of paper and made a pros and cons list,” he said. At the top of the “pro” list: Full Human Experience.
“After our daughter was born, that became an inside joke with us,” he recalled. “Every time she was screaming at bath time, my wife and I would look at each other and say: ‘Full Human Experience.’”
Those words will mean something different to each of us. And no doubt we all have our own reasons for having kids. But chances are, we had no idea how we’d feel until after our baby was born.
Take, for example, the moment they put your baby in your arms. Speak of a full human experience. Nothing compares. And seeing the world through your child’s eyes? It’s magic.
Sure, it’s exhausting, too. And if you worried about the cost—in dollars, sanity and hours of sleep—you likely would’ve stopped at “Should we?” But if you didn’t stop there, you’ll know that the highs shadow the lows and the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
“Honestly we wondered if we’d made a mistake—it was like a bomb dropped and eviscerated everything in our lives,” the dad recalled. “But then our daughter started growing up, and learning to do things on her own, and we kept taking small steps back and getting more of our own time back.”
And that was bittersweet.
“It’s like getting laid off slowly from an equally grueling but joyful job.”
Here’s to finding the joy in raising children, to laughing as often as they do—300 times a day for a toddler, and only 4 for a 40-year-old!—and to believing in the magic.