Friday, September 01, 2006

The cost of raising kids...

is immeasurable. And so varied.

I think we always assume the financial costs of having kids, and the ultimate responsibility of sending them to college with handsome billfold and plenty of quarters to call home. Does Hollywood give us this ideal so we can feel horrible when the actual college fund is in fact a missionary fund? Na, not me. But it is true. Kids cost money. Babies start out costing money. You have to buy that first pregnancy test, and of course, two or three more, just to be sure. And then they have all those darn appointments with Dr.'s or midwives, each one taking more and more spare change out of the coffers. And then the baby gets here, and you've got diapers and wipes, and clothes and underwear, and that is just for you! And it really doesn't get any better the older they get. Soon you've got preschool and kindergarten snacks. You've got the unexpected expense of replacing the front room carpet. Pretty soon you're paying for designer jeans and year books, and like, car insurance! It never ends.

And then you have the mental costs of raising children. The late nights, early mornings, the puke fests, the who-gave-my-child-this-deadly-sickness phone calls. The questionable play dates with friends you haven't met yet, and the dread when pulling into the driveway to find your child naked and running down the street. The pretend play that is so adult boring, and the never ending picture book reading. Followed shortly by the weird music and TV shows. The feeling of being out of touch with "cool" or whatever word it is now days.

But the cost that is hitting me most is the emotional heartbreak. The growing up factor. I watched big D and chilly playing in the pool the other day, and realized that chilly didn't want to or need to be with me. He isn't attatched to momma anymore, in fact he had spent the entire day without a hug or kiss from me. He was happy, and as I watched his face beam with admiration and adoration for his daddy who has suddenly become the coolest person on the earth, my heart ached a little bit. My little chilly who came into this world on my bed, who nursed just seconds after escaping from my defiant cervix. My sweet chilly who spent more time attatched to my hip, walking on my feet! His constant need for hugs and loves, has been silenced and he has grown up just a little bit more over the summer. I feel left behind. He got what he needed from me. He is happy, content with himself.

I know I should be enjoying this respite, for in a few short months it will begin all again, with the birth of yet another dependent. Another helpless newborn that will need my constant attention. But in some ways, just this short glimpse into the future of motherhood's hardest task, seems to have sobered me up to the fact that my children are not mine, that they are growing up, and it will be faster than anything I will experience. A few years ago, that thought would have cheered my postpartum soul! During the throngs of a newborn and a toddlerhood, but this new perspective has given me determination to enjoy all that I have right now.

like I said, the cost of raising kids is immeasurable. The joys are great, the sadness is real. But I guess that is the great circle of life, right?

6 comments:

Stacy said...

Great blog! It's so good to be reminded of how special these little ones are and the joys they bring to us. Someday we will actually miss the "Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy."'s. The loud excitement as they play imagination dramatic scenes out in your kitchen while you trip over them while trying to cook them a nutricious meal they will actually eat. *sigh*

I heard a quote recently (and can't remember who said it or exactly what the quote was) that reminds us that these children are God's and we need to take our responsibility seriously as we raise HIS children... talk about sobering!

But anyway - yeah ffor Big-D who gets to be admired. Chris always beams a little brighter when he gets chosen over me...

scraphappymama said...

Loved this post. I don't have anything awe inspiring to say, but it definitely made me stop and think about how rich a blessing it is to be a mother.

Also, made me think, "Wow, she writes so eloquently." Doesn't quite compare to my constant sentence starter of "So . . ."

APRIL said...

I almost wish that I didn't like shopping for the girls so much. They are what I spend all dh's $$$ on, not me!!!

big d said...

"i used to be with 'it'. then they changed what 'it' is. now, what i'm with, isn't 'it', and what's 'it' seems wierd and scary to me."

it has been fun having him accept me, and be happy with me lately! (sorry...)

The Constant Gardener said...

I love when the kids want daddy over me, lol! Gives me a much needed break! "Go find daddy" is something I say quite often!

Amy said...

what a great post. I took that to heart so much. Childhood is a fleeting moment. I know my dh loves it when the kids start thinking he's the cool one but it breaks my heart not to be needed as much. Of course it really struck a cord b/c I'm due soon with #4 and that will bring out all these emotions again.