I saw a photo on Facebook recently that annoyed the bejeezus out of me. The photo had two vehicles in it. One was a minivan with one of those family stickers on the back window depicting several children and a couple of pets. The other car was a sports car with a sticker of a man and a woman with several large bags of cash. The caption said, “Life Choices”. The photo has several potential messages, but for purposes of this rant let’s go with this: “Have a ton of kids and drive a minivan, or forget the kids and enjoy your loads of cash and freedom”. This suggests that if you choose a life with kids you’ll have no choice but to give up your freedoms and be forced to live a lame life. This message suggests that you can’t have fun if you’re tied down by your brood of children, and that the couple who chose to not have kids are enjoying a better life. Allow me to dissect this nonsense.
First, let me say that not all couples without kids do so by choice. I know couples who would love to have children but are unable for various reasons. I am talking about couples who believe that having children is a burden that prevents you from living the life you really want for yourself. I call B.S. on that. My wife and I have a fantastic life, despite having a minivan. We take fun trips with our kids, eat delicious food, and have money in the bank. God has blessed us more than we could have ever imagined. If we took kids out of the picture, we’d still have all of those things! Sure, we’d be able to travel the world more if we didn’t have kids. We would have an additional income if I was working, allowing us to do more and see more. But, that’s it. I really believe my wife and I would feel like we were missing something from our lives if we didn’t have kids. No, pets do not replace children. I’m going to offend some of you here, but “fur babies” are not the same as having real human children. Pets are great companions and should be considered part of the family, but please stop calling them your fur babies. I hate that term. #sorrynotsorry.
But I digress. I love my life and I would not change it for anything. I do not think our life is lame and boring. In fact, it is the exact opposite! Sure, there is chaos and stress, but never have I thought “Man, I wish we didn’t have kids”. What I do think is, “Man, I wish we weren’t out of coffee”, followed by, “God, give me the grace to be the father you want me to be”. My life isn’t perfect but it’s exactly what I want it to be.
I am sure there are couples out there without kids who have awesome lives, and I am not saying they are wrong for choosing so. I am just standing up to say that couples like myself and my wife are happy and blessed beyond measure. Am I envious of my friends who can pick up and travel whenever they want? No. Will my wife and I ever get the chance to do that? Absolutely! But that would mean our kids are grown and out on their own. I don’t want that to happen too fast. Besides, we want to take our kids to Europe anyway! Who else is going to haul the luggage around for us?