by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn

“When we become parents, whether intentionally or by happenstance, our whole life is immediately different, although it may take some time to realize just how much. Being a parent compounds stress by orders of magnitude. It makes us vulnerable in ways we weren’t before. It calls us to be responsible in ways we weren’t before. It challenges us as never before, and takes out time and attention away from other things, including ourselves, as never before. It creates chaos and disorder, feelings of inadequacy, occasions for arguments, struggles, irritation, noise, seemingly never-ending obligations and errands, and plenty of opportunities for getting stuck, angry, resentful, hurt, and for feeling overwhelmed, old, and unimportant. And this can go on not only when the children are little, but even when they are full grown and on their own. Having children is asking for trouble.

“So why do it? Maybe Pete Seeger said it best: ‘We do it for the high wages…kisses.’ Children give us the opportunity to share in the vibrancy of life in ways we would not touch were they not part of our lives….they share …[their] vital nature with us and call it out of us as well, if we can listen carefully to the calling.”

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