Parenthood Is An Investment…but is it worth it?


What does it mean?

Or more importantly, what does it mean to YOU?

Well, according to the many antiseptic definitions I have encountered, it goes a little something like this:

Noun 2. A thing that that is worth buying because it may be profitable or useful in the future.

Verb  1. The action or process of investing money for profit   or material result.

BUY! SELL! BUY!  These people look nuts to me.

Now, call me naive, disconnected, fuck it, call me late for dinner if you want, but I have to DISAGREE with definitive definition…. I am, after all, a PARENT.  

When I became pregnant, I may not have understood the propensity of the commitment I was making, but even in all my inexperience (and all the shitty diapers I was yet to change) I STILL KNEW I was on the forefront of a major investment.

It wasn’t something I bought.
It wasn’t something I “anticipated on bringing me financial gain”.
It was something I felt
It was something of which I had made an agreement with MYSELF that I wanted to accomplish…to experience…to achieve.
It was something, that in my mind, “rounded out” all things bigger than ME.

Today’s definition of “investment” entails a gratification that albeit requires a fair amount of patience, will in the long run, pay off in some monetary way.

What the fuck am I missing here?  Or could it be, is it possible, that the definition ITSELF somehow got lost?

Maybe we need to rethink this…

Some of you are close to your own parents, but there are many who are not.

Some of you take care of your parents now that they are too aged to care for themselves… but do all of us? 
I think not.

For those of you who do not, I get it, and I also know there are countless reasons as to WHY.

Valid Reasons.

Reasons due to money, time, availability, location… reasons due to the faults of our parents, as well as the faults of our own.

What I wonder is, do those parents whose relationship with their own children is lacking (or ANY parents for that matter) anticipate this possible outcome when they decide to move forward with a pregnancy?  I say, for the most part, no.

Does this image make you feel sad? Angry? Happy? Guilty…?

I don’t think that having your child be unconditionally devoted to you, or even be a “best friend” is necessarily the motivating force here, and yet, the decision to raise a child requires an unequivocal sacrifice physically, emotionally, and mentally greater than any dollar sign.

So WHY do we make this unique investment?

Well, I can’t answer for YOU, but I can tell you what the fuck I was expecting before (and after) I was “expecting”.

To me, the opportunity to bring a life into this world turned out to be quite the investment, but one that was indeed the opposite of any definition I had read before.

I don’t want “financial gain” from my child and I certainly don’t expect it.  On the contrary, I want my children to to achieve for themselves, separate from me.

I want THEM to gain.
I want THEM to benefit from the fruits of MY labor.

Would I like
my children to feel close to me?  To appreciate the sacrifices I have made to raise their asses?  

Of course I would.

But more than anything,  I want my children to invest in THEMSELVES.

THAT is parenthood to me.

A selfless investment.  A contradiction of terms…. a gamble, if you will, that cannot be defined by any dictionary, yet who’s meaning is deeper than any written word, and who’s “payoff” cannot be bought.

Will my children reach this point?  Can this moment be bought?

2 thoughts on “Parenthood Is An Investment…but is it worth it?

  1. Awesome as usual! You’re pretty wise for someone who still has young children šŸ˜‰ yes definitely worth it, just frustrating as usual since grown children don’t do what you want them to either! Thankfully I’m close to all my kids, and my oldest recently came back to me, she is even living back home to get on her feet. They don’t always show it, but they are grateful for our sacrifices. šŸ™‚

  2. Big agreement from me on everything you wrote. Great topic – giving me pause. No way is parenting a financial investment. I’m not sure I believe it’s an investment at all – ideally, it’s a moment to moment proposition of giving and receiving love and joy. For me parenting has provided a window to myself that no other endeavor could have. I’d like to think my kids are benefiting from me, and I do, yet I think I receive the bigger rewards – insight, growth, an expanded capacity for joy, humor, playfulness, challenge. Those are my top of mind thoughts – I completely agree with wanting my kids to live and make decisions for themselves without feeling obligation to me, but rather connection with me. Thanks for opportunity to think about this and share! Great job!

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