What They Don’t Tell You About The Real Cost of Raising Kids

Bebe Nicholson
4 min readApr 4, 2019

There’s one major cost that’s never factored in

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

An article in USA Today says it costs $233,610 (not counting college tuition) to raise a child these days. This includes everything from labor and delivery to child care, food, clothing, shoes, illness, haircuts, diapers, sports, video games, and probably even a Jurassic Park Jeep Wrangler or Barbie’s Ultra Dream House.

But there’s one major cost that’s never, ever factored in. You never hear the experts mention costs incurred from the destruction of your home. Kids are a force that, once unleashed, have the capacity to annihilate anything in their path.

I don’t remember when I first noticed the insanely expensive increase in home repair costs, but it must have occurred around the time my children moved from infancy to mobility.

Shortly after my daughter could walk, she became an artist. She was supposed to be tucked in and sound asleep following thirty bedtime stories, but instead she got hold of my sharpies and produced a mural that spanned the entirety of her bedroom. The next morning, smiley faces, unicorns and dinosaurs pranced across the canvas of her walls as she, smudged with the residue of her efforts, grinned proudly.

It took many, many coats of paint to erase all remnants of her artistic endeavors.

But at least sharpies weren’t as bad as my granddaughter’s art material of choice. We were visiting my son and his family when his wife charged downstairs shouting, “Emma has smeared poop all over her walls!”

“Are you sure it isn’t chocolate?” I asked hopefully.

“No. Definitely poop.”

I went upstairs to see for myself, but stopped short at the door without going in.

It was poop.

This took a lot of washing and bleaching, in addition to a new coat of paint.

But the worst art is the kind neither Clorox nor paint can conceal. My grandson’s decision to use a ball point pen to etch his creative work into our flat screen TV is forever etched in my memory. Following the damage, we moved the TV to the workout room where it is an ongoing reminder of the downside of…

Bebe Nicholson

Writer, editor, publisher, journalist, author, columnist, believer in enjoying my journey and helping other people enjoy theirs. bknicholson@att.net