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Having children. For every other reason, kids are worth it except from an financial POV.
All of them should, but finances are not the end-all, be-all. Obviously, something like a car should have total costs at the forefront, but like a house, growing a family, spending quality time with family should have the cost of such items as a lower-weight. Perhaps the more utilitarian something is, the more cost should be a consideration, but you don’t want to skimp on the cheapest computer, for example. It’s all a dimmer switch of how much ‘cost’ should weigh in a decision.
I’d second Sanjib – caring for family in their time of need. One of the most beautiful things I’ve witnessed in my lifetime is my mother caring for my father during his last few months on earth. She took an extended leave of absence from work to do so, and has never regretted it. It was one of the most difficult yet most memorable experiences I’ve been a part of. Providing unconditional love to those we hold dear will always trump any dollar sign in my book.
My vote goes to caring for old parents at their times of need.
My wife left her job in US and moved to India with her 6 year old daughter to live with her mom who was diagnosed with colon cancer. This was before we got married. She came back after a couple of years when her mom was getting better. Sadly, things turned south once again and she went back to be stay with her in the terminal few months. We both are grateful that she could be there with her mom in her time of need. Financial considerations were not part of the picture at all.
My mom, who lives in India, was down with a back injury a few years ago. I needed to drop everything and live with her for a few months. My supervisor in US was immensely helpful in getting me a long leave of absence. My mom recovered in a few months and was able to come to the US with me to live with us for some more time. Thanks to my supervisor’s help and my wife’s support, the financial impact wasn’t much, but I’m glad that it was never a factor in the first place.
I hope I can do this when my parents grow old!