The thing with kids (and dogs) that doesn't get mentioned as much as may deserve, is their presence really forces you beyond your own habits. I can't tell you how many times I've taken the dog out, thinking "he needs some exercise", only to have a lovely walk through the woods. Or brought J to a class so he could socialize, and end up chatting with a fantastic fellow mom that I otherwise wouldn't have met.
It's not hard to find writing about the lack of sleep or the financial expense of children. Conversely, you hear about the joys of watching them learn, grow, achieve. But what can't be overlooked is the side of myself that my son brings forward. In all my pre-parent years, when truth be told, I had a tremendous amount of disposable time - how often did I get up and out and meet a friend on Saturday morning at the Peabody Essex Museum. Not once.
Children help expose your own potential, a gift that I am grateful to receive.