It is Mother’s Day.
I am a mother and I have a lovely mother.
Today people resort to participating in that slew of Hallmark wishes, flowers and chocolates to show our mothers that we care (don’t worry mom, I will call you soon!)
But today, I am just trying to GET the mother thing.
It seems like a nice thing to celebrate, Mother’s Day, to show appreciation to our mothers for bringing us into the world. But truthfully, as a loving and caring mother who is also a rational being (depending whom you ask) I myself can’t help but say: what the hell were we thinking having kids?
It is a totally irrational act to have kids.
Kids are not an investment. Believe me, each little bundle of joy costs more than the maintenance and operation of my 13 year old Mazda.
Chances are that our kids will not look after us in our old age. There is a plethora of retirement homes that are full to overflowing with waiting lists up to your Ying Yang who are charging an arm and a leg just to keep good ol’ Ma and Dad contained and quiet.
Having kids generates a myriad of health problems and alters our otherwise youthful bodies completely. Mothers suffer from back problems, gestational onset diabetes, fatigue, weight gain, digestive issues, and sagging boobs, stretched out stomachs, pelvic pain and so on and so forth.
Kids create uncertainty in our futures. We don’t know when they will become independent (if ever) or what they will rely on us for. Who will their friends be? Where they will study? How they will feel every day? What their daily costs will be. Etc.
And don’t think that by having kids our overwhelming efforts in this world will pay off in tangible rewards. You might get a thank you from time to time, maybe a little hug or kiss accompanied by a little acknowledgement that in no waymirrors the investment and energy you put into making things happen.
So why do we do it?
It is not rational.
Thank God I figured that one out. I was worried that I hadn’t received the parenting memo.
Having kids is an emotional, irrational, spiritual and self-sacrificing journey that we slowly trudge along to ensure that the sound of little kids continues to resonate all around us (not at 3 AM, please God, not at 3 AM). We become parents so that we can continue to be surrounded by the happy innocence that little boys and girls are made of: snips & snails and puppy dog tails, sugar & spice and everything nice. You know the drill.
By taking upon ourselves the burden of parenthood we are also creating sustainable futures for our societies, our families and for ourselves. It is no wonder that Israel is a thriving society, considering that family is such an important asset to both religious and non-religious alike and that the average age is somewhere close to 29-30 years younger than in most of the countries around the world.
When it comes to children I am so glad to see that most of us continue to remain as irrational as we need to be in order to overlook the logical argument against becoming parents as we ride the wave of adventure, love and non-stop kiddie fun.
I love my mom and I love being a mom. And that ain’t hey.