Friday, May 25, 2012

Responsible Parenting... or 'To be or not to be.. preggo'

Fist let me say that I absolutely despise the word 'preggo'. I think it's tasteless and low class, but for this post I think it fits.

When I was a kid I never wanted to be a doctor, or a astronaut or a famous actor or singer. I wanted to be a wife and a mom.

Ok there was that year I wanted to be a fighter pilot (thank you Tom Cruise) but that only lasted until I realized that A) women weren't allowed to fly (back then anyway) and B) I was horribly afraid of heights.. and flying meant high HIGH heights!

Considering the family dynamic I grew up in I find it a little odd that being a wife and mom was my deepest desire - my parents fought horribly on a fairly regular basis and my mother's 'mothering' was more in line with Mommy Dearest than Leave it to Beaver, but for as long as I can remember all I wanted to be when I grew up was a wife and a mom. I imagined by the time I was 25 I would be married with at least one child. I wanted the whole tire swing in the front yard & white picket fence dream. As you may have guessed that didn't happen.

When I was in my late twenties I found out I had a defunct uterus. I ovulate - sometimes - but I don't shed the lining (Aunt Rose rarely visits me) like I'm supposed to which makes my uterus an angry confused place - not conducive for baby making. I've been told with 'assistance' I can possibly become pregnant, but the who's and what's of that are complicated and to be honest a little scary, not to mention incredibly expensive.

My husband and I are 100% for adoption if that becomes the only option but we're also 100% in agreement that until we are in a relatively comfortable place financially it would be horribly irresponsible  and incredibly selfish to even consider having or bringing a child into our family. - Which brings me to the topic of this post.....

I've made the comment before to friends and family that my husband and I don't want to have children until we can afford them, and I've been told that "you'll never be able to afford children". Now you're either shaking your head in agreement with that statement or you're raising your eyebrow like I did.

What does it mean to be able to afford children? Does it mean you have one year's worth of back-up emergency money in the bank? Does it mean you're debt free and the expense of a new baby would barely dent your finances? Does it mean you're husband makes enough money that you can easily afford to have a baby & be a stay at home mom? I don't think it has to mean anything as dramatic as that but I DO think that if you're currently only able to put a few dollars in savings (and I do mean a few!) after paying your bills then you 100% most definitely can NOT afford a kid.

If you or your spouse haven't been able to keep a stable job for more than 6 months in the past 5 years, then you most definitely can NOT afford a child.

If you're borrowing money from your parents/grandparents/friends etc to make ends meet then you most definitely can NOT afford a child.

And if you've only been with your baby daddy a few months, are jobless, live with your momma, or his momma you sure as HELL can NOT afford to have a child.

There are a dozen other situations I could describe but I think you get the point of what I'm saying.

Yet these are the people who are dropping babies like it's the most responsible thing in the world to do and I just don't get it.

While my family, growing up, wasn't what you would call poor, we definitely didn't have any major cash reserve in the bank. I remember as a kid hearing my parents stress about money and fight because one wanted to do something & the other said we couldn't afford it.

I remember not going to homecoming, or prom, or getting a letter jacket (yes I could have lettered!), or a class ring, or any number of things that make a high school experience memorable because I was told we just didn't have the money. At 36yrs old I clearly remember the stress and tension money issues caused in our house and I would NEVER willingly put another child through that.

I've been married for just over a year,  and my husband and I both have good stable jobs; and I still to this day want more than anything in the world to be a mother and my baby clock is not far from its last tick, but we would not even THINK about trying to have or adopt a baby right now because it would just be too much of a strain on our finances.

There are more people in my family who have kids that can't afford them than I can shake a stick at. Hell there are more people in this country - psh the world that have kids they can't afford that I can't even imagine or possibly conceive the level of selfishness and irresponsibility it would take for me to bring a child into a financially strapped family situation no matter how much love my husband and I have to give.

Children going hungry, growing up in orphanages, growing up feeling unloved, neglected, a burden to their families, becoming introverted and sad from not knowing how to deal with or understand the stress you sense between your mom or dad... whether 'parents' realize it or not these are all possible outcomes of having a child when you truly can not afford it.

It's not like I'm talking about kids getting knocked up because they were stupid. I'm not even talking about ladies in their 20's or 30's who get caught in an 'accident' after a night on the town and too many drinks - although those women should be smacked in the head too - I'm talking about grown women who know good and damn well they have no business getting pregnant not being responsible enough to prevent it.

I'm going to piss some people off in my family with this post but they piss me off being so selfish and irresponsible so we'll be even.

Anyway - the more I write about this the more indignant I get so I'm going to turn it over to you.

What's your opinion on becoming parents? Is it 'OK' if a woman forgets to take her pill and gets knocked up? Is it responsible to actively try to get pregnant when you can't even pay your house note?

Or are you like me and my husband and think being a parent is the most amazing rewarding precious gift in the world and the act of becoming one should be treated with responsibility, selflessness and respect?

Does having ovaries and a womb give us the right to bring a child into this world whether we can afford it or not, or just because we 'want' to be a parent or because we were careless about getting busy?

***Disclosure - I do want to say that I am in no way, shape or form a supporter of abortion or ending an unplanned pregnancy. I am one bajillion percent pro-life.

That being said we live in a day and age with resources enough that there really is no excuse to not be actively preventing pregnancy if we know it's not in the best interest of anyone involved to get knocked up!

0 People who coughed on a furball: