Don't get me wrong. I am not suggesting that it isn't worth it but there is a part of me that wants to warn non parents that the job is much more difficult than you ever expected. Here's the thing. Being a responsible, attentive parent requires that you give and give and give. From the get go, you are giving away your freedom. You no longer have all those choices for what to do with your discretionary time. You also give up your ability to sleep when you want to sleep. From the get go, you are giving up a TON of money - all those medical expenses, food and clothing items, baby gear, and babysitters in the beginning all the way through lessons, school pictures, birthday presents for a million kid birthday parties, yearbooks, sports, tutors, and then, perhaps college. That's a lot of money. From the get go, you are giving up your heart. Every time your baby/child is hurting, you are hurting. And it doesn't stop when they no longer live at home.
I guess what I am saying here is that a baby's cuteness is an evolutionary survival mechanism. There are going to be a million hugs, slobbery kisses, and smiles AND there are going to be a million difficult moments. The difficult moments don't stop when the child is asleep (because that's when you are balancing the checkbook or desperately hoping to sleep yourself). In the wise words of fellow blogger Melanie Crutchfield** (words to which non parents would be advised to listen), "Having kids is not about what you get from them. It's about giving to them. In perpetuity."
** Melanie Crutchfield writes a very cool and engaging blog - I think the blog title is a simple, "Hello".