in a case i'm reading, it says that "as a matter of law, the benefits to the parents outweigh their economic loss in rearing and educating a healthy, normal child." (fassoulas v. ramey, 450 so. 2d 822)
this should be true as a matter of law, as the law would become so thorny if parents were allowed to sue for wrongful birth damages for a healthy child.
this should also be true in the minds of people who are having babies...they should believe that all the money it's going to cost them to raise a kid is worth it in what they are going to get out of the experience of raising the child.
as for me...thinking of making the financial sacrifices, much less the sacrifices of time and energy, is enough to make me ill. i can't see anything good about the idea of having someone dependent on me for everything, or at least most things, for at least eighteen years. i don't want to expend the money, the time, or the energy to do that.
i want to sleep at night--every night--without hearing a baby cry, having a toddler shake me awake, worrying that my adolescent is going to stay out all night with shady characters.
i want to come home from work and unwind, read, watch tv, have dinner...at my own pace. i don't want to come home and have to shuttle the kids to soccer practice or go to a parent-teacher conference or make sure their homework is done.
i want to spend my disposable income on books to read, on concerts to see, on trips to see my friends. i don't want to spend it on clothes and food and toys and necessities for children.
maybe this is selfish of me. if it is, i really don't care. the idea of being a mother is not appealing in the least to me. at least i realise this, and i'm not going to be crazy enough to try and deny it, to try and convince myself that it'll be oh-so-different if it's my own kid. it won't be enough for me to sign away two decades of my free time.