Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
A new report states that children are expensive. Thank goodness for experts, right? Who would've known it without them? The Associated Press called it "sticker shock." Seriously. Sticker shock for a human being. Nice, huh?
In particular, the report states that a child born to a middle class family will cost their parents almost a quarter million dollars. And that's just up until they're 18. So that doesn't even include college. When adjusting for projected inflation, a child born in 2013 could cost a family over $300,000.
I'm not sure how they figured all that out because I've got five children and I don't have that much money and none of them seem to be starving. But let's take what the report states as financial fact. I'm concerned about some of the costs that the report didn't include.
Sleepless nights. From the time they're babies they will keep you up at night with worry. They will take years from your lives. You won't have time to stay in contact with your friends. They will use your t-shirts as smocks for art projects. They will clog the toilet. They will leave hair on the shower wall. They'll make your hair gray. They will leave lights on. All of them. They will disappoint you. Over and over. They will get sick. They will fake sick. They will forget to do their homework. They'll be embarrassed of you. They will eat the last cookie. They'll stay out too late. They'll sleep too late. They will break your heart like it's their job.
But take all of that and a few hundred thousand dollars and I'm telling you now, they're worth it. They're the best investment you'll ever make. You get paid back. And then some.
You can't put a price tag on a smile. You can't calculate a cost/benefit analysis on a kind act. You can't run the numbers on a soul.