Why do people have kids?
Sure, it’s fun making them. And you feel all warm and gushy looking at their little faces, especially when they’re having fun or cuddling up next to you on the couch. But let’s get real: parenting ain’t easy because kids can be a drag. Much of the time they’re like, “me, me, me!”—so needy and self-centered! And of course there’s the diaper-changing, sleep-depriving, and romance-dulling grind of childrearing. That stuff takes years off your life. So why does humanity do it?
Beyond the genetic imperative, kids can contribute to their family’s life and wellbeing. Nowadays we think of childhood as a time for play and education, but it used to be all about work. I’m not talking about little Victorian kids running into the gears of industrial machines for repair jobs. No, I mean even further back in time, kids helped with the hunting, farming, cleaning, and general work of survival. The more hands involved meant that big chores could be broken into easy little tasks, freeing mom and dad to take the supervisory, white-collar managerial kind of positions.
The same can hold true today! Which means there are many reasons to have kids. When I’m having a bad day on dad duty, I like to think of all the time-saving, work-reducing, positive ways my four-year-old son Felix makes my life just a little bit easier. These are the reasons people really have children, the reasons that make it all worthwhile.
The top 10 reasons people really have children. 1 of 11
Click through to see them all.
Vacuuming in Small Spaces 2 of 11
Who wants to vacuum in the cracks, corners, nooks, and crannies around the house? Not I. Give Felix the "magic vacuum wand" though, and suddenly it's a game. Suck up the dust! He'll take a damp rag and crawl around the floor cleaning the molding too. What's boring to us is a game to the little ones.
Washing Dishes 3 of 11
Fill up a bucket with suds, give the kid a sponge, and watch him go to town! This is one of Felix's favorite activities before dinner. With half-an-eye on the stovetop and half on my smartphone, I enjoy a glass of wine while Felix knocks some dishes out. It's a win-win!
Watering the Garden 4 of 11
Spilling water on the floor is a no-no, so if you allow your children to spill water on the plants it feels like they're getting away with something! Felix waters the plants best in the morning, when I'm able to put my feet up, sip my coffee, and direct him to the flowers that feel the most thirsty. To him, it's a scavenger hunt. To me, it's a perfectly relaxed way to start the day.
Keeping You Trim 5 of 11
Who needs chips, cookies, candy, or cheddar-flavored carbohydrates around? And ice cream? Fahgettaboudit. Simply unleash your toddler in the kitchen and say goodbye to snacking temptation!
Making Drinks 6 of 11
This one requires a little supervision, because I find Felix makes my Manhattans with too much Rye—the kid's got a heavy hand! Given a little advice, though, even a three-year-old can mix a mean martini, and they'll shake that thing till it's ice cold. Might as well have them make one for themselves while they're at it. I'm kidding. No drinking allowed at least until they're thirteen.
Helping with Groceries 7 of 11
"Bet you can't go into the freezer and pick out a bag of peas? You can, great! Now go to the baking aisle and grab a sack of flour." Really, the only limitation to this game is your child's height. Bonus points go to industrious kids who climb the shelves!
Fetching Beers from the Fridge 8 of 11
Gone are the days of snagging two beers in one trip, so as to avoid having to get up again fifteen minutes later. Now, I just ask Felix to run 'em back to me. Think of all the skills he's building: opening the fridge, locating a cold can or bottle, and carrying it back carefully so as not to agitate the precious brew. He'll be college-ready in no time!
Baking 9 of 11
"I've never had a pie crust this thin and flakey before! What's your secret?" Toddler power.
Helping You Exercise 10 of 11
Need motivation to get you out for a run? Let your tot be the mechanical rabbit you chase around the track. Build arm muscles from carrying your child around. Improve your lung capacity by yelling and screaming. You've never been in better shape.
Making You Laugh 11 of 11
Hopefully, this list has brought at least a smirk to your face, but if not, have a kid! Because you better believe your child will make you smile.