Having Children Outside Your Means

"Having children outside your means."

That's a great phrase. That's actually an issue that a lot of families have and no one in the US is really talking about it. I think that's because society really places value on babies and women being baby makers. Note, I didn't say that our society values mothers, because I don't think our society does. There is very little support for mothers when it comes to those who want to also have careers. The workplace seems to have very little support by the meager amount of maternity leave that's offered. There also doesn't seem to be any government program to help subsidize the cost of child care. Our society seems to value babies coming into the world, merely for the fact that it means that the population is being kept up.

Despite the low value our society has placed on mothers, it seems that you are assigned an even lower value if you are a woman with no children. A blog that I follow reposted a post from the popular Reddit thread "AITA (Am I the Asshole?)". In this particular post, a mother asked her sister (who has no children) to stop fostering dogs (which is this sister's passion) so that she can provide free babysitting. It's a pretty preposterous question, filled with the expected entitlement of a woman who is overwhelmed by her own life choices. Please click on the link to see the article as I won't bore you by repeating everything here. But this response to the entitled mother of 4 just resonated with me:

Filing this under "Obvious while not obvious". If you're married and have what looks like a stable home life, I feel like most people won't give you too much grief about having children. In fact, it seems like a lot of people celebrate having children, provided that the number is under 5. If a family has more than 5 children then society seems to suddenly be critical of now having too many babies. You're damned if you have too many children, but damned if you don't have any at all! As long as you can afford your children, you should be able to have as many as you freaking want without judgement!

I wish someone would say this to #3 and her delusional mother. #3's mother brags that her daughter keeps her pregnancies, unlike the women of today who just terminate them. (I can't even delve into the insanity of that statement.) #3 has never had a stable foundation in any capacity for children - financially, spiritually or mentally. The blissful family picture that she paints of herself and her children are fraying at the seams. She is on bed rest because apparently stress from working her 2 jobs to support her children is threatening to end her current pregnancy. Her currently boyfriend and father of her third child is working, but their combined incomes were not enough to fix their water heater 5 months ago. She had to ask for financial help from her father. Her son, who is older than my bonus daughter is currently in therapy and having angry outbursts, while my 6 year old bonus daughter can't properly brush her teeth and has been wetting her pants for the past year. The family is overwhelmed by problems #3 invented for herself by having children outside her means.

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