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Would you trade perpetual adolescence for having a child? Uh, hell yes

Conservative Review

It truly is sad that anyone has to justify or defend continuing the human race over fleeting pleasures and trifles, but in a society that values nonstop gratification over everything else, it’s what has to be done. So here we go.

Some new contraception ads from Britain’s government-run National Health Service are generating some controversy.

The ads — which are also being called sexist — show high heels and lipstick next to a pacifier in one and a video game controller next to a pacifier in another. Each features the text “Would you give up this? For this?”

The implication is pretty clear: The club scene and video games are where it’s at, so use contraceptives to help keep you focused on what’s really important.

First off: Why in the world would the NHS make ads like this? Like all government welfare programs, it’s completely dependent upon having enough working taxpayers to be coerced into keeping it afloat going forward. And given Britain's super-low birth rate and the fact that the system has had to ration procedures recently, it’s got no business discouraging anybody whatsoever from having kids. But when the government’s paying the bill, guess what? It doesn’t want you to incur the medical expense of having a child.

And to answer the question on the posters: Hell yes; I already did.

Before I returned to Christianity and got serious about my faith, I tried out the nonstop partying thing and the prolonged adolescence thing. It’s all overrated, unfulfilling, and a complete waste of one’s life.

Look, with a newborn daughter at home, I currently live a life of muddy diapers, spit-up that smells like spoiled milk, and completely unpredictable fuss-fits from a little girl who already has a set of pipes fit for the Metropolitan Opera. The other day, my body woke up before my mind did; I came to my senses at 3:30 in the morning holding my infant daughter and trying to piece together what my job was at that particular moment.

That’s my life now. I love it. And I wouldn’t trade any of it for that adolescent’s life I lived before.

That’s because in addition to everything above, it’s also a state of constant, shared wonder between my wife and daughter and me. It’s the cutest content smiles during kitchen-sink baths. It’s the amazement at the first time she managed to kick herself five feet across the living room carpet. [Author’s note: Okay, fine, it was six inches, but it was still impressive.] It’s laughing at how quickly and deeply she conks out after a long nursing session. It’s watching a new human slowly and steadily becoming an active participant in this world of ours and realizing that you’re lucky enough to be the main guide and guardian on that journey.

It’s amazing.

Here’s the big secret that we don’t tell enough people in the process of growing up any more: Nothing truly great comes easily. Having and raising kids is something truly meaningful, important, and fulfilling, so it does require effort and commitment, and that has a tendency to terrify people who have never learned how to value those things.

But you won’t find this kind of meaning, fulfillment, adventure, or anything else in a nightclub or on a gaming console. Trust me.

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