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The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle-income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition.

But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into:

* $8,896.66 a year or * $741.38 a month
* $171.08 a week. Or * That's a mere $24.24 a day!
* Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is don't have children if you want to be "rich." Actually, it is just the opposite. So What do You Get for Your $160,140?

* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
* Glimpses of God every day.
* More love than your heart can hold.
* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
* A hand to hold which is usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:
* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,
* taking the training wheels off a bike,
* removing a splinter,
* filling a wading pool,

You get a front row seat to history to witness the:

* first step, first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel.

But most important, you gain immortality. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match. In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits; so one day they will like you, love without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!

Love and enjoy your children and grandchildren. :)
 

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This is such a great post, Richard. Thank you loads for sharing it.

There is just nothing like raising a family & enjoying the fruits of your labors all the rest of your lives. It's so amazing when those rascally toddlers grow up to be contributing members of society and pass forward all the things we tried to instill. And then they even come back & help us old duffers who seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle somehow! Being a mom & granny is just the best job I ever had! :D
 
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