Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How much is your next child worth?

Danielle Bean's coffee talk this week took a decidedly unChristian turn. I admit I only read through the comments after she'd posted about closing them and I turned to my beloved with my thoughts.

Very, very, very few of us reading blogs as a pastime have to worry about where our next meal is coming from. We live in the richest country in the world with one of the best safety nets for families. I know there are those on third-generation cradle-to-grave welfare; they probably aren't reading this. And you know what? If they weren't taking a handout from the government (and yes, taking something that you haven't earned is stealing), they'd find another way, I'm sure.
But those aren't the folks I'm thinking of. I'm thinking of those who limit their children so they can provide luxuries for the ones they already have. To have only a certain number because of things (and lessons are things) puts a dollar value on the child you don't have.
"We wouldn't be able to afford [insert modern "necessity"] for more than the two we've got!" Congratulations. You have just put a dollar value on human life. What is it? The cost of those ballet, horseback riding, soccer, watercolor, swim, fencing, or karate lessons.

I know someone who manages to feed her family of seven on less than $80 a week. SEVEN. Yes, and that less than $80 includes baby food, formula, and diapers. They have gotten help from the government and she hated it, every second. But they remain open to life. To tell them that any one of their children is a burden to society, or they should trade so they can afford more stuff, reduces the value of that child to a dollar value.

Which is about as unChristian as it gets.

UPDATE 8/7/08: Since I've gotten the okay, this is the brave, creative, imaginative woman from that last paragraph. She's "the other Heather" of note around here. And, while two of her children are babies and don't eat much, her budget does include diapers. Their fourth child was born at roughly 26 weeks gestation; their fifth was conceived less than four months later.
A mutual friend has said, "When I grow up, I want to be her."

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At 11:01 AM, Blogger Milehimama said...

The family of 7 on less than $80 a week... do they have a blog? I'm totally serious, here.

'Cuz $150 seems to be the bare minimum, here!

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I saw that and I nearly passed out! $80/week with 7 people. Goodness.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Sharon said...

Yeah, we're around $150 each paycheck (every 2 weeks), and that's for only 4 of us!

As for having enough money in order to have another child: if that was the case, I would not have been here.
I am the youngest of 8, and from day 1 my parents struggled. While it was no picnic for them financially, there was always food on the table, a roof over everyone's heads, and clothes to wear. They may have been hand-me-downs, but so what?
They technically NEVER had enough money to start a family. But they did it, and I'm glad they did.
Today they're still happily married-going on 50 years-and they are in a big house (which they own), they travel as they wish, and they aren't on welfare.

God qualifies the called, not calls the qualified.


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