Parents Reveal The Underrated Advantages Of Having Kids
There are many wonderful aspects to having children, but besides the obvious—unconditional love, hugs, and happiness—there are several underrated advantages to having kids of your own. Sure, raising smart, responsible human beings who will contribute to the world and being able to experience every stage of a child’s growth is great, but what’s better is having someone to play video games and talk about dinosaurs with. They’re also a great excuse to leave social gatherings early. If you’re undecided about having kids in the future, keep reading—you’ll want kids by the end of the article.
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#1 Board Games
I now have someone who constantly wants to play board games with me.
Teenagers are great (pending you’ve actually parented and socialized them when they were young that is). Want to stay out late? You can. You don’t need a sitter, you HAVE a sitter. Friend needs a pet sitter? I’ve got two (they get paid of course). Don’t feel like cooking dinner? They can handle feeding themselves. Don’t want to take the package that was delivered to our house by accident? Send the teen. If the house gets quiet that’s no longer a cause for panic. They can and do entertain themselves, I don’t have to take them to kid movies anymore. Heck, if we went to the theater for some reason they didn’t want to watch the same movie as me I’m totally fine sending them into their own movie. Most of the stuff they watch is stuff I watch though so that’s a plus.
#3 Potty Training
Getting told by your potty training toddler, “You’re peeing on the potty? Good job, Mama!” When was the last time someone praised you for peeing?
#4 They’re Excited to See You
My favorite part is having a little human that’s excited to see me. My dogs do it, too, but there’s something special about another person loving you that much. Picking my kid up from daycare was the highlight of my day. He would see or hear me come in, drop whatever he was playing with, and crawl (then later run) over to me and kick his legs in the air as I picked him up.
#5 Water Slides
You get to do all sorts of fun stuff that adults are shamed for like water slides, regular slides, swings, getting excited about toy stores, and going to children’s museums.
#6 A New Set of Eyes
Getting to see the world through a new set of eyes. You forget how exciting mundane things are to kids. They literally stop to smell the roses. Their face when they see bubbles for the first time or when they realize the reflection in the mirror is them is priceless. Walking down the sidewalk takes forever because they stop every two seconds to pick up a rock or a stick or to wave to each neighbor that they see.
Having to share a room is exciting, not inconvenient. The magic of Christmas is back. Their faces when they come down the stairs to see the tree is ingrained in your brain even though they’ll disregard all of the toys for the bubble wrap and boxes. Watching them discover new things and develop their own interests as they get older.
#7 A Built-In Excuse
They’re a built-in excuse to leave social gatherings; “Timmy needs his nap, gotta go!”
#8 Self-Esteem Boosters
If you’re sitting down and want someone to get something for you, they tend to be pretty amenable to doing it, as opposed to adults who are more likely to tell you to get up and get it yourself. They’re also pretty good for a bit of a boost of your self-esteem… at least until they start hating you.
#9 Love Showers
I taught my daughters that it’s important to say “I love you” and hug the people you love. Our family is now constantly showered with love.
#10 A New Best Friend
One thing I really like about having a child, who is now an adult, is that we are friends. I like him. I mean, sure I still do dad stuff like give him advice about his career and talk about relationships, but sometimes we go to the pub and have a beer and just chit chat. And you know, it turns out that’s he’s a really great person to hang around with.
I loved every stage of parenthood and was lucky to have a pretty amazing kid if I do say so myself. And now, I’m enjoying a completely new phase (and waiting for grandkids, but that might be a tough sell).
#11 Funny Stories
Funny stories. Kids say and do some absurd stuff. I’ve been writing down what I can ever since he’s been born.
Snacks, man. I’m 34 and I’ve got a pantry full of fruit snacks and Fruit by the Foot, and there’s always chocolate milk and string cheese in the fridge. If I didn’t have kids, I’d feel weird or guilty about always keeping that stuff around. There’s other stuff, like finding joy in the weird little words they use and watching them explore. Life’s just a lot more joyful because of them. But the snacks. For real.
#13 Someone to Hang Out With
If you don’t have friends, you can force your kids to hang out with you against their will and people will think, “Oh, what a good parent spending time with their children!”
#14 Video Games
My kid and I play board games and video games. Heck, we’ve been playing MTG since he was about eight years old. He also loves getting an allowance, so I haven’t had to do dishes in almost six months or laundry in about three months, but somehow I do still have to take out the trash.
#15 Apple Juice
There’s always apple juice in the house.
#16 Social Excuses
Children provide you with an excuse to leave events you feel obligated to attend but which you don’t actually enjoy. Long family gatherings, social events with coworkers, etc. Just show up, hang out a bit, then, “Oh dear, we are getting awfully close to nap time. It won’t be pretty if we stick around much longer. Bye, everyone!”
#17 A Life Reboot
I was 29 when I had my first I was pretty bored of life felt like I’d done everything. Having a kid was like a life reboot. You get to go back and do all the fun stuff you did when you were a kid but had forgotten about.
#18 Self Improvement
For me, it’s the insane amount of love for your children and the drive for self-improvement. Before having kids, I severely lacked empathy for other people. Now, there is a whole new world of emotion that has opened up for me. I put a lot more thought into how others feel and what I can do to help people. My kids have basically caused me to go from “I’m in this thing for myself” to “What can I do to make the world a better place.”
I also view angry people differently as well. I think about how they were once somebody’s little boy or girl, and perhaps they weren’t treated very well. The thought of that makes me sad and causes me to have some sympathy for them instead of just viewing them as a bad person.
#19 Good Mornings
She wakes up, cradles my face and says, “Hi, momma!” It starts my day off right.
#20 Pop Culture
I know a ton of new pop culture references and I get to impose mine on him. Our particular genres of “nerding out” are music and movies. My kiddo can sing along to Nirvana, RHCP, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and others as well as most current stuff. I love showing him movies from when I was a kid, and we’re current in most of the cool movies that have come out in the last few years.
#21 Good Small Talk
No adult will ever walk up to you and ask you, “Hey, what’s your favourite dinosaur?”
#22 Fun Between the Melt-Downs
Getting to introduce your kids to all the stuff you loved as a kid. Showing my kids Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons, Transformers, Thundercats and all those Saturday morning cartoons was great. We played Legos everyday, read Dr. Suess books, colored in coloring books, went to the park and played on the swings and slides. It’s a lot of fun in between the melt-downs.
#23 So Much Love
They have so much love to give, all the time! I’m sure it will change as they get older, but for right now, I’ll take getting “Mom, you’re the best mom ever,” from my five year old.
#24 Rapunzel and Breakfast Burritos
Watching their humor and personalities evolve is rewarding. Also, them holding hands while sleeping is pretty hilarious. And telling bedtime stories involving Rapunzel, Belle, Ariel, and Bill Nye the Science Guy founding public education and a library system to establish a space program and eliminate famine and disease is entertaining. The real discovery is when Rapunzel introduces the kingdom to breakfast burritos. Kids are simply amazing.
#25 Family Boarding
#26 Watching Them Learn
Watching a creature you brought into this world learn, grow, adapt, and become a fully functioning human being that you’re proud to be around. There are plenty of disadvantages, but when you see a kid put in the time and effort for something they want and get rewarded because they worked hard, that’s awesome.
#27 Using Them as Dogs
My daughter loves to fetch things around the house. If I’m sitting down and comfy, I’ll send her to get the remotes I left across the room, let the dogs out, and get me a beer. She sincerely seems to love it.
#28 Learning How Strong You Are
Watching them see something for the first time that you’ve seen a million times. My son is seven years old and he’s wowed by everything from bugs to mundane medical stories. I explain medical things to him and he’ll ask simple questions I never thought of. Plus, I was diagnosed with major depression amd my kids have been a great motivation to keep on moving forward every day, Having someone’s life depend on you is a great motivator to get out of bed. I didn’t know how strong I was until I had kids.
Chores. Hands down chores. Daddy needs a break. He’s tired.
#30 Pure Love
When you have a bad day—or a bad week, month, or year—you can come home and grab them. You can pick them up because they’re small and you can hug them and they will always hug you back. No matter what life has thrown at you, no matter the roll of the dice. You can pick them up and inside of them is pure, pure love.
You can sit down and they snuggle right in. And you can just live in that moment. You can escape from everything because this thing loves you so much. Not because of your job or your clothes or because you’re handsome. But because you are Dad. It helps.
#31 They Grow Into Real People
They start growing into actual real awesome people. And then you look at them and think, “Wow. I got to help make that happen.”
#32 Everything is Magical
The magic comes back: Christmas, Easter, Halloween, the theme park, playgrounds, movies… everything goes back to being magical and amazing.
#33 Mac and Cheese
I like macaroni and cheese, and when you have kids, mac and cheese isn’t a once a week meal. More like once a day.
#34 Messy Cards
I love the hand-made cards they make. From the messy crayon and glitter glue to the beautiful, well thought out drawings my oldest now makes, I love them. Every birthday and Mother’s Day I always tear up. This past Mother’s Day, my two kids paired up and made me a book with pictures of all us and handwritten pieces. I cried for an hour. I love it.
Christmas is better when kids are there.
#36 Good Movies
You know all that cool stuff that you like? Like Star Wars and Harry Potter and Xmen? You get someone to share that stuff with and you get to show them that stuff for the first time! I showed my eight-year-old the original Star Wars trilogy for the first time. Seeing her reactions to it was 10 times better than the actual movie, especially seeing her jaw drop at “I am your father.”
#37 Nap Time
#38 Learning New Things
A built-in excuse to learn things. My nephews are full of questions that I’m too embarrassed to admit I don’t know the answer to, so I act like I know but I’m “teaching” them by forcing them to ask. “What do those moving parts on the airplane do?” “You know what, Timmy, I think you should ask the pilot as we’re getting off the plane.”
#39 All That Love
No one loves you like your children do. It’s a wonderful feeling.
#40 Play Time
I have never had to quit buying toys. I have two kids and now three grandkids and the six years between the kids allowed me to always have someone to play toys with. Non-stop Legos and Transformers and pretending to be a dinosaur for literally my entire life, basically.
#41 Great Movies
I get to watch all the things that would be weird without my three-year-old. The Duck Tales reboot is fantastic.
#42 They Make You a Better Person
Mine is 16 months but watching him get excited about stuff is the highlight of my day. Also, they’re super good at illustrating how other people see you because they imitate EVERY DARN THING you do. My son “works out” with me every day. He flexes in the mirror if he isn’t wearing a shirt because daddy did it. He has an old phone, which he stomped through the house yelling in it the other day, waving his arms around and glaring… an hour after I got in an argument over the phone. I’m trying to model the behavior I WANT him to imitate. He makes me a better person.
#43 Making the World a Better Place
It’s my biggest chance at making the world a better place. I can vote only every couple of years. But with my son and his brother that will be here in a month or so, I can do it every single day with what I teach them.
#44 They’re Gullible
They’re incredibly gullible. It’s so much fun seeing how far you can push something ridiculous.
#45 Kid’s Movies
There’s no judgement when I go to kid’s movies. Pixar and Disney are awesome. Also, getting to watch them figure things out and experience things for the first time brings out the fun and wonder.