Have you ever wondered why anyone would willingly part with sleep, money, time and freedom? It's called parenthood and it's about all-consuming, life-changing love.

By Zara Hanawalt
September 30, 2020
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When you think about what parenthood requires, it seems kind of wild that people opt in for the experience (sometimes multiple times over!). Having children means you lose a lot of sleep, spend a lot of money, relinquish a lot of control over your day-to-day, and, if you're a birth mother, put your body through a lot of stress. In short? When you become a parent, your life is no longer your own.

But there's a pretty compelling reason to do it. Because as cliché as it sounds, there's truly nothing like parenthood. Nothing compares to the love you feel for your children or the joy they bring to your life.

To that effect, a Reddit user poses the universal question: "Parents of Reddit, why did you decide to become a parent -assuming you actually decided- and did you have a good understanding and acceptance of the sacrifices you'll be making?"

As for the answers? Well, they perfectly touch on how unconditional a parent's love is.

"Once that first baby pops out, you aren't the most important thing in the world anymore. Your whole life, up to that point, you pretty much get to make the decision and do what's right for you," a commenter writes. "It's the hardest thing you'll ever do. But it can also be the most rewarding. My kids complete my life in a way I couldn't have fully grasped until I experienced it."

The answers also delve into how unpredictable parenthood is...and how deeply the experience can affect you.

"Becoming a parent is one of the most emotionally vulnerable things ever," one user comments. "A child opens you up to so many happy experiences but also could open you up to heartbreaking devastation. I struggled with PPD with my first and just the thought of something terrible happening made me cry almost every night. I'd often sneak into his room and lay on the rug next to his crib. I thought I understood and accepted how it would change my life but the emotional sacrifice isn't something you can teach in a parenting class."

It's important to note that not everyone goes into parenthood intentionally, and commenters in this particular discussion touch on that as well. "All of [my] kiddos were surprises. I was ready but yet totally surprised," another user shares. "I love them all and although it is the hardest job I've ever had; I would not change a thing. They are worth the struggle."

So there you have it. While everyone's family is different, and we all face different challenges along the way, parenthood is always a lot of work, emotionally, physically, and otherwise. And while we certainly can't speak for everyone and understand that some parents contend with battles we can't possibly understand, one consensus emerges from this conversation: Having children is pretty dang amazing for so many reasons that could never fully be put into words.

Sleep deprivation aside, of course.

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