That headline got your attention, didn’t it?
A billion dollars is a lot of money.
In fact I can’t even fathom how much money a billion dollars is. The truth is, I can’t really even fathom a million dollars, let alone one million times one thousand…
If you’re a dad (or mom) and you or your spouse is pregnant, you’ve likely heard all manner of unrequested comment, opinion and advice concerning pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and even marriage. And, if you’re like me (which I think you are more than you’re not since you’re paying attention to this blog) most of it was not helpful, uplifting or encouraging.
One of the most common themes I came across before my wife was even pregnant, before we were even married or together, but that I have heard my entire life from TV shows, movies and society in general, is what a headache kids are.
Children are loud, demanding, high-demand, expensive, they don’t let you sleep, and the list goes on and on. My generation (millennials) in particular has bought in to this message so fully that they’re waiting until they’re around 35 to start marriage and family. They think kids are so expensive and so difficult that they want to “enjoy themselves” before they settle down.
They want to make their money, enjoy their single life, live for as long as possible with minimal obligations until they’re tied down by a wife and kids, forced into a life of semi-slavery, relinquishing all their freedoms and joys.
There is definitely some truth to their belief. The biggest and most important part of being married and having a family is sacrifice, being willing to lay down yourself for your family in any number of ways.
But this view of marriage and family is also deeply, profoundly misguided.
I guess in many ways this conversation hinges on deeper, more profound things than I’ll get in to in this post, but the truth is I’ve always believed that my life would be enriched, that I’d have more joy and even become a better, stronger version of myself, when I had a wife and family.
That belief has set me a part from most of my generation.
If you’re reading this and you find yourself identifying more with them than me then I’d like to encourage you with something. You’re probably very apprehensive about all this childbirth/parenting talk. You might already be mourning the loss of this or that freedom.
But I’m sitting here with a one year old daughter, hoping for two or three more children, feeling like a billionaire.
Of course I’m not actually a billionaire. But when people ask me what it’s like to have a daughter I struggle to find a better response.
Just think- what if you were offered a deal. In this deal you’d lose all those pleasures of single life (do what you want when you want with who you want, etc.), gained the responsibilities of a parent and spouse, but instead of receiving a wife and child you received a billion dollars?
I wager most would very willingly take the deal. Sure, it would be a bummer to lost some freedoms, to wake up to tend to your billions in the middle of every night, to be obligated to keep constant tabs on your billions. But come on, we’re talking a billion dollars! And yes you can enjoy it and spend it and use it!
Well that’s how I feel having a daughter. I love her, I care for her so much, I take so much joy and delight in her that the idea of spending all the same energy caring for a stash of one billion dollars actually falls short.
Everyday she grows, changes, becomes more and more beautiful. Every laugh, every new word, is a new source of joy and it never ends.
You may or may not believe me. But my hope is that you will soon understand me when I say you couldn’t offer me anything in the universe to trade for my daughter. There simply isn’t anything that compares to my love for her and what it has done to me.
I hope you’ll soon share this love as well. And I understand your fear and apprehension towards childbirth and parenthood because, truly, you don’t have anything to compare it to. I now know that even being a child doesn’t prepare you at all for the love you’ll feel as a parent toward your son or daughter.
In the meantime while you wrestle with worry, lies and the unknown, know that my belief is that you will be deeply and truly be blown away by what grows in your heart once you first meet your child.
Don’t buy into the lies of our society that really do wish to strip you of this joy, to distort your view of your little billion dollar bundle. Block out the noise and let your little baby speak for itself. Let her blow you away just like mine has.
I’d like to take this moment to take one of our sponsors, Plumber Costa Mesa. These guys do what they do because they understand the value of a functioning, healthy home. Thank you guys!