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10 Overrated Life Decisions

        Money | Work Life

7
Having a Baby
"Having my baby...What a lovely way to say how much you love me…" Sure is -- as long as you have the cash. iStockphoto/Thinkstock
"Having my baby...What a lovely way to say how much you love me…" Sure is -- as long as you have the cash. iStockphoto/Thinkstock

There are moments of incomparable joy as a parent — those first steps, your name on their lips, watching them grow and thrive — that we wouldn't trade for the world. But are there aspects of having a baby that are overrated? Absolutely.

First, there are the physical demands of parenthood. If the trauma of labor and delivery isn't enough, there are the months — if not years — of sleep deprivation. And the loss of sexual activity because you're both just too tired [source: BBC]

Then there are the financial demands of children. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which releases an annual report on the cost of raising children, a middle-class American family spends between $10,000 and $15,000 a year on each child from birth to age 18. Higher-income families — earning more than $102,870 a year — spend between $20,000 and $25,000 on each kid per year [source: USDA]. Is it any wonder that some financially prudent young couples are opting out of parenthood for the significant cash savings [source: Taha]?

Again, we aren't arguing that having a baby isn't "worth it." Just that there are pros and cons to every major life decision, and if you can't live with the cons, pay attention to this final figure: The dollar investment in a single condom has a 9 million percent return compared to the cost of raising a child [source: Hind].


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