The cover of a recent Time Magazine read, “The Childfree Life: When Having It All Means Not Having Children.” Time reported a growing number of women and couples are choosing not to have children.
In 1976, 1 in 10 women ages 40 to 44 were childless; in 2010, that proportion rose to 1 in 5. The article noted advantages of childless couples, such as money, career advancement, and freedom to vacation wherever they’d like.
While I’ve had to make sacrifices in these areas for fatherhood, nothing has been more valuable to me than moments like holding my newborn child for the first time, or coaching their Pee Wee basketball teams. Before we dive into a new school year, let’s stop and reflect on the many ways that our kids enrich our lives.
• Ask your wife to reveal her top parenting moments. Recently, I asked my wife, “What are your Top 10 moments as a mother?” It was really cool reflecting back on so many heartfelt moments. Plus, I didn’t realize how special certain moments were for my wife before asking.
• Consider sharing some of these top-parenting moments with your kids. I recently shared one with my 10-year-old son, and he loved hearing about it. Sitting in the ultrasound room with my two little girls — each on one lap — the nurse looked at my girls and said, “you have a little brother,” and my girls jumped up and down. I thought to myself, “It doesn’t get much better than this.”
The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides bi-weekly Action Ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and parents. For more information, or to join local conversations, contact David Eggebeen at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mick Trombley at email@example.com, Robert Orndorff at firstname.lastname@example.org, Chris Dufour at email@example.com, or Marc McCann at firstname.lastname@example.org. See the Centre County Fathering website for resources and information at www.centrefathering.org.