Is it really? What about traveling, going out at night and working on your career? Don’t kids put a damper on relationships? As with anything that is really worth it, having children is difficult. Yet, as with anything that is really worth it, the benefits outweigh the sacrifices.
I’ve heard Professor Janet Smith say in her conferences that being a parent makes you a better person. Suddenly you are worried about the safety of playgrounds and the future of education. You have a heightened sense of responsibility and also of selflessness. And what better way to become a better spouse than to become a better person?
A newborn baby really helps you reevaluate daily and life priorities. More time at home and taking care of baby means more time to think about what you’re doing with your life and if it’s worthwhile. Also, priorities that you put off before being a parent suddenly seem extremely urgent.
Investing in a close-knit community of family and friends seems all the more urgent when you consider the kind of childhood you are creating for your child. Some people start going to church, not having gone before, in order to give their kids a religious education. If you set your priorities straight, you will see that the best thing you can give your children is a happy marriage. So date nights and working on your marriage should take top priority.
When you have a child, your life continues in theirs in a way. Having children gives new meaning to life. You co-create an eternal soul with God and with your spouse.
“Parenthood is something more than the external fact of bringing a child into the world and possessing it. More particularly it implies an internal attitude, which should characterize the love of a man and a woman living a conjugal life. Parenthood, considered on the personal and not merely the biological level, is so to say a new crystallization of the love between persons, the result of their perfect union.” (Love and Responsibility, John Paul II, p. 259)
Finally, children simply bring joy to life and joy to a family. It might be messier, less organized and financially tighter, but it will surely be richer in relationships, spontaneity and joy. More people makes for a fuller, more abundant life.
Pope Francis recently spoke about lowering birth rates and couples being influenced by a culture of “well-being” (source). He recommended not to do what is most comfortable, which could be having a dog or cat, but in the end leads only to loneliness and bitterness. Being open to life entails risk and challenge, but it is the path to happiness and the culmination of true love.