I came across an article the other day that listed all the reasons you should never have kids. After a quick search I was shocked to see how many similar articles exist out there. I guess I just always thought that the majority of the population saw kids as a very good thing. You know, almost like " the purpose of life or something.

After some thought, I came up with a list of my own. If you're going to read an article about all the reasons you shouldn't have kids, I have a few I'd like to add to the list. And since I'm a parent, it's only fair you hear me out:

  • There are risks involved with having children. Like " you risk being happier. You also risk they'll have your heart from the get-go. And I'm talkin' HIGH RISK. Like a 99.9999999% chance.

  • Children will break your things, lessening your attachment to materialistic things, and lead you to find value in other things. Other things like laughter, memories and service to others.

  • Holidays will be more exciting by like a billion percent. This is crucial to consider, especially if you have intentions on hating holidays for the rest of your life. You never knew how exciting it was to watch a kid open their dream Christmas present until it's your own kid. And it's not just the expensive things either. I bought battery operated candles from the dollar store. Each night my toddler gets excited over the Christmas book (ones we already own) that she gets to unwrap and read under the candle light. If you haven't seen the video "Lily's Disneyland Surprise," it is a classic example of how fun it is to surprise children.

  • Kids will make you emotional. Some days they will have you screaming for alone time, or even just a potty break all to yourself. But with the first chance of time away you will find yourself missing them like crazy.

  • Kids might get you to do silly things. And here's the worst part: You might actually like it.

  • On your grumpiest days, even if you have managed to make all of the "adult world" hate you, kids will still love you. They are the most forgiving people on the planet. If you don't like people loving you, this could be a problem you might want to consider before having kids.

  • You might get infected. Children's laughter is one of the most infectious things I know of. If you're not that big on laughter, parenthood isn't for you.

  • You will never have to Trick-or-Treat again. You will also never get away with snatching a smartie or sucker on your way out of the bank/grocery store. Most people just assume they are there for the kids " but really they are for parents.

  • You will be accepting responsibility for your own farts. It's good to be accountable though, so it's probably better that there are no children around to blame it on. Also, if you spill mustard down your shirt " you have to be responsible for that too. And if you realize half-way through the day that your outfit looks ridiculous or just makes you appear fatter than you originally intended, you will just have to deal with it. Parents can change their outfit at any given time on any given day. The excuse? "My kid spilled on me." No one even questions. This is a dishonest way to live, so again " you are better off.

  • Kids will show you where you are weak. Do you have some weaknesses you'd rather not be confronted about? It's best not to have kids. They will teach you more about yourself than you've ever learned anywhere else. On the bright side, it might cause some initial pain to realize that you're not perfect, but kids will help kick selfishness right out the window and put you on the road to a better, kinder and more patient human being. Are you ready for that?

  • You will be partially responsible for keeping our population stable and even reducing poverty. Overpopulation is a big fat giant myth. Know the facts!

  • You will feel like a hero every time you come home from work, the grocery store, or even from getting the mail. "MOMMY!!!" "DADDY!" There's no greater welcoming in the world. But maybe you don't want that kind of attention "

  • You will learn more about LOVE (and many other things) than you will any other way. Only through having children have I had the greatest glimpse of what God's love is really like. I've also grown to love my spouse in ways that I never could have without kids. There's just something about watching each other give so selflessly to other human beings that brings you together in the most powerful way.

Okay, okay"you've probably caught my bluff. My children (and family) are an absolute joy to me. I cannot imagine a life plan that doesn't involve them in it. Being a parent is challenging, and sure there are times that I am so sleep-deprived that I don't even recognize myself anymore " but there are also many more magical moments to being a parent than I ever imagined. There is love stronger than I've ever felt, and happiness never so real. The purpose of this post is not to try to change the minds of those intent on never having children. Your mind is probably made up. This post is also not intended to make others feel bad who want children and can't have them. I have too many friends in this position and I pray so desperately for their wishes to be fulfilled.

This post is for all the parents out there. All the parents who are fighting against a world that tells them they are crazy. A world that asks them what they were thinking to bring such "chaos" to their lives. A world that tells them their life must be horrible.

Truth is, we parents have some bad days. Some days we are so tired we want to cry, and other days we want to mimic childish behavior and just chuck a toy across the room because our frustration has peaked. But as hard as it can be, we know the truth. We parents share a little secret: We have it good. So very, very good.

Sometimes we just need to be reminded.

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