I’ve been worrying a lot lately about finances, and how expensive things are now compared to our DINK (Double Income No Kids) days. We have a bigger mortgage now because we had to add on to the house, we now have 2 cars, there are daycare fees, buying food/clothes/etc for 2 kids … it all adds up.
I read this today, and it was a poignant reminder of how precious my kids are to me. They mean the world to me, despite how much it costs to have them in my life.
The Price of Children
I have repeatedly seen the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way. It’s very sweet!
The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $US160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about shock! That doesn’t even touch tertiary education.
But $160,140 isn’t so bad if you break it down. It translates into: $8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month or $171.08 a week. That’s a mere $24.24 a day, and just over a dollar an hour every 24 hours.
Still, you might think the best financial advice is to not have children if you want to be “rich”. Actually, it is just the opposite. What do you get for your $160,140?
* Naming rights. First, middle and last!
* Glimpses of God every day.
* Giggles under the covers every night.
* More love than your heart can hold.
* Butterfly kisses and velcro hugs.
* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, & warm cookies.
* A hand to hold, usually covered with dirt or chocolate.
* A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sand castles, and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain.
* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.
For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to:
* Carve pumpkins
* Play hide-and-seek
* Catch bugs
* Never stop believing in Santa Claus
You have an excuse to:
* Keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh
* Watch Saturday morning cartoons
* Go to Disney movies
* Wish on stars
You get to frame:
* Rainbows, hearts and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodles
* Wreaths for Christmas, handprints set in clay for Mother’s Day, and cards with backward letters for Father’s Day.
For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:
* Retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof
* Taking the training wheels off a bike
* Removing a splinter
* Filling a paddling pool
* Coaxing a wad of gum out of hair
* Coaching a sports team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless
You get a front row seat to history by witnessing the:
* First step
* First word
* First date
*First time behind the wheel!
You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you’re lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no university can match.
In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.
That is quite a deal for the price!
Love & enjoy your children! They’re really priceless.