It seems like I’ve been hearing a lot lately about people choosing not to have children. The trend to live childfree was a recent TIME magazine cover article profiling couples who say “having it all means not having children.”
I’m not going to waste my breath extolling the virtues or joys of having children. Instead, I’ve made a list of nine completely practical and legit reasons to have kids that these childless couples may have overlooked.
- What’s that Smell? – If you have a child, you have or will at some point check his diaper in public knowing full well the smell is coming from you and is a direct result of the Café Rio you had for lunch. We’ve all done it. No shame.
- The Blame Game – Children are just about the best, most foolproof way to get out of work, social or family obligations. Think: “Oh, I’d love to work late but my daughter has a recital” or “Gee, we’d love to spend another night playing Apples to Apples with you and your ultra-boring husband, but our daughter has a fever.” No one argues with sick kids or parent duties.
- Get out of Church Free – Speaking of the blame game, my husband loves toddlers because they have sprung him from some of the most boring church meetings. He swears he never intentionally pinches our children to make them cry in the middle of long meetings, but I have my doubts. Kids are also great to have in church because they come equipped with a diaper bag that you can stuff full of snacks. Nobody needs to know that all I have in my diaper bag sometimes is a 5-pound bag of Cadbury MiniEggs.
- CooCoo for Cocoa Puffs – Remember Gushers? Fruit by the Foot? Yea, it’s just not seemly to have things like Cap’n Crunch in the house without kids. But once you have children, you can eat all the childhood junk foods you’ve been craving since you had to sneak them at mom’s house.
- Release Your Inner Child – Kids are also a great way to do all the stupid things that you wish you could but can’t as a responsible, childless adult. I can’t tell you how many dads I see desperately trying to beat the Whac-a-Mole high score at Chuck-E-Cheese. Of course, by “dads,” I mean my husband and I.
- Family Perks – Kids also get a lot of VIP treatment. Family boarding on airlines. Parent with child parking at the grocery store. These are priceless perks, people.
- My Buddy – You can also forget about feeling like a loser eating alone at a restaurant. I can eat that brownie sundae in the middle of a Tuesday and not feel silly at all. I just roll my eyes, point to the kid and say, “I can’t say no to her.” Then I eat the sundae quickly so my daughter doesn’t get too much. I’m a really good mom and don’t want them to eat too much sugar. This is what I tell myself.
- Kids are So Messy, Right? – Kids are also great after the meal to blame for spills and stains. I have blamed my child for food on my shirt on multiple occasions when I knew for a fact it was yogurt I had dribbled on myself earlier while eating my breakfast at a stop light.
- Three Words: High Occupancy Vehicle. That’s right baby. Having kids opens up a whole new world of speed and elitism. Of course, there’s generally not a lot of traffic at 11 a.m. on the way to the playground, but that’s beside the point. The point, my friends, is that I have two carseats in the back, Raffi on the stereo and I’m cruising down that HOV lane like I own it. Talk about having it all.