June 8, 2011

we're too poor to have more kids

It was recently suggested to me that it is ridiculous for an American to say "I cannot afford to have another child".  The United States is wealthy and compared to the rest of the world even our poverty looks pretty good.

Of course this discussion completely removed all other reasons Travis and I are currently practicing NFP to avoid pregnancy - reasons which we have prayed about and we believe are valid.  Instead the woman I was speaking with, who believes that married people should be making babies - the Church says so - end of story, focused on monetary reasons.  And she got me thinking.

She implied that since we have two vehicles, a pc and laptop, a 2100 sq foot house, two cell phones, a full fridge, full closets, and plenty of toys that we have enough money to have another baby.  And when you put it that way, yes, maybe we do. 

Except that there was no context.  Both our vehicles were bought used, the laptop was a gift, the house was a dump when we bought it, our closets are full of hand-me-downs, gifts, and things we've had since college, the toys are gifts, and part of our food comes from WIC.  We have no money in savings.  We live paycheck to paycheck. 

Well, was the response, your family would have more money if you, Bonnie, hadn't gone to college - racking up all that debt - for a degree you don't even use.

With that comment I stepped back from the conversation to think about what was being said.  It is absurd to compare my family to most families living in the world - who live in poverty.  I think it's also unfair to imply to families that our comfortable and fairly modest lives should be sacrificed for more and more babies.  Sell off the computer and cancel the internet and have another kid! 

Ummm... I don't think so. 

I am a better wife, mother, and citizen because of my degree.  My college experience helped me grow in character and knowledge, compassion and culture.  Plus it allows me the opportunity to get a good paying job should the need ever arise.  My college degree - and the debt in incured - are worthwhile.

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