A young married couple had a child two years ago. They’re struggling to decide whether they should try to have another now, or hold out until they’ve got greater stability in their lives. So they wrote to me, and here’s how I responded:

Yes, life with a child—especially for the first two years—is hard, exhausting and emotionally straining.

Imagine you had an employer who called you at 2 a.m. and demanded you walk around the coffee table 200 times, and then demanded you be up again at dawn to watch him scatter his breakfast all over the floor while screaming at you for no apparent reason. I doubt you would remain working for him much longer.

And this is a 24/7 job. Yes, hard work.

But then, people work hard to get through medical school, to break into a career, to make it as a success and to own a house in the suburbs. Those are nice rewards if you know how to enjoy them. But they only last a lifetime.

Raising a child is hard work because all real achievements are hard and a child is the greatest achievement a person can have in this life and beyond. It's just that we're not used to looking at such a big picture.

We think small. Rewards we can see within the next few years—those are easier to chase after. But to work towards a better world in generations from now, when the many lives that we brought into the world will be thriving and bringing more good into the world—that's a little harder.

Our souls will be above, rising higher and yet higher through all the good our descendants will do. In a certain way, we’ll be living both beyond and within this world forever, since the lives we planted will continue planting new lives after us. And if we invested well and are fortunate, they will be following in the ways we taught them—hopefully even better. But that’s oh so far away, and life here now on Earth calls so much louder.

On the other hand, there's so much immediate pleasure from a child as well. I'm sure that if the two of you just sat and kvelled over your memories, over all the cute things your little boy did, how he went from raw-meat-with-eyeballs to a running, smiling, squealing-with-joy ball of energy with a full-blown personality all his own—how could you not want another one? Maybe it's worthwhile to sit and share those memories and see what happens inside yourselves.

It certainly doesn’t stop there. Of the deepest, most meaningful, lasting and blissful experiences of life, so many of them are provided us by our children. And from their children. It’s a pleasure so deep, it doesn’t need to make you giggle or laugh. It just touches you at your core, igniting something that nothing else can touch.

From the vantage of this point in life, I can report to you that there is no deeper pleasure to be achieved in this world than that experienced when a crowd of little people charges towards you, grabs your knees and screams in unison, "Zaidy!" Pure bliss.

One more point: If not now, when? It quite definitely doesn't get easier to have a child as life goes on. There's a delusion that childbirth is something we can turn off and on at will, much like a light bulb. The reality is that many couples try for years to have a child to no avail. In many cases, these are the couples that started with a plan, and then the plan took on a life of its own.

Not something to dwell on—it's not our way to think negative. But it's only fair you should both consider the whole picture.

Whatever the two of you decide, may you be blessed with many beautiful children walking in your ways and bringing much joy to you, to each other, and to all that come in contact with them.