Having children is not a matter to be taken lightly. In fact, I have friends who have decided for one reason or another not to bring children into the world. I am thankful that Rita and I chose to have children. Of course, this has resulted in grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and each one is an additional gift. For me, having children is an affirmation of life, a belief that the world can be a better place and that the parent is willing to put that faith into action by bringing new life into the world.
Having children carries the implication of raising them and that carries with it both challenge and growth. As we raise children, we learn a lot not just about them but about ourselves as well. We are forced to evaluate our priorities, our goals, and our investment of time and energy. There are many estimates of the financial investment involved in raising a child to maturity, but how does one count the investment of nurturing, loving, and caring for a child to maturity?
The personal growth to the parent from raising children has many facets. As a person raises a child, he or she learns a lot about themselves. A parent gains new insights about the world as he or she sees the world through the eyes of a child. Growth involves pain and every parent learns and grows from the pain involved in walking with a child through rebellion, loss, and disappointment. A parent is also energized by the achievements and triumphs of the child as he or she faces life challenges.
Having children is both a privilege and a responsibility. Is the investment worth it? Yes. On this Mother’s Day, we can be grateful for parents who made that investment in each of us.