Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
Every year or so you see some version of this story. It costs one gazillion dollars to raise a child. The implication, it’s just not worth it. Example.
New research suggests that people may exaggerate the perks of being parents to rationalize the financial costs of raising children.
Two studies, featured in the journal Psychological Science, measured more than 140 parents’ feelings after being presented with information regarding the hefty bill of raising a child. In the Northeast, raising one child to the age of 18 costs nearly $193,000, according to the research.
Wow. $193,000 buckaroos? How do I put this politely? Horse hockey!
All you moms and dads out there of five or more children have an extra million bucks hanging around?
I have five children, and I can tell you it does not cost anywhere near that, ‘cause I don’t have it. Now my children are not 18, but on average we are halfway there, and if it cost as much as they say, I would be nowhere near as fat as I am.
Up above I said that the implication is that it’s not worth it. That’s not true. Not about the kids being worth it, about it being implied I mean ...
The University of Waterloo researchers also provide support that parenthood isn’t as dreamy as most make it out to be, citing a lower “emotional well-being” from other research. In addition, they add, parents weren’t always as involved with their kids. In fact, doctors once told parents to reduce contact with their babies in order to avoid spoiling the infants.
So raising children will cost you a mint and make you miserable in the process. I think they might be confusing children with wives. (Just kidding—so back away from your email) Anyway, while I admit that some days I feel this way, it is not true. Not even close. Moreover, I cite a lower “emotional well-being” every time my wife asks me to take out the garbage. So what?
Anyway, I think I have some hard evidence that my five children don’t cost more than I make since I have a roof over my head, new underwear every Christmas, and a new set of radials on my car. Heck I even super-size my fries some days when I’m feeling a bit irresponsible.
Leaving all that aside. I don’t think that parents exaggerate the joys of parenting, I think that many parents just miss the joys of parenting.
For instance, just a few years ago when my littlest one was teething and crying in her crib, my youngest boy knocked on our bedroom door in the middle of the night. I opened the door and asked him what was wrong. He said, “The baby is crying, I need ear mumps.”
That’s worth $193,000 right there, don’t ya think?