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  1. #1
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    Default Spinoff: is having children the problem?

    On various threads about poverty, people just keep saying over and over that women shouldn't have babies when they are young/not established/don't have enough money etc. (Some of them are the same people who don't want to supply free/cheap birth control, good sex ed, etc. Their answer to "how not to have a baby too young" seems to be "put an aspirin between your knees." I am SO pleased to see that not everyone who is conservative feels that way.)

    Anyway. I'm looking at various friends and acquaintances -- women -- and it seems like at almost any age, in almost any circumstance, the thing that wipes them out is having a child or children -- at any age. Careers come to a standstill as a mother either stalls out because she's spending so much time/energy on family, or stops working entirely because daycare would cost more than she earns or at least too much for it to make sense to work, there is never enough money, there's constant worry if the child is not 100% normal, if the father is even around there are huge tensions that I just don't see in child-free marriages (note: child free means no kids by choice, not people who want kids but can't have them.)

    I have one friend in particular -- I've mentioned her before -- who never went to college but in her early 20s was working in a supervisory position in a warehouse, with good prospects for moving up (extremely rare in the depressed area where she lives). (ETA: removed a lot of detail here as it wouldn't be too hard to identify her from what I said.) After having her three kids in her 20s (she is married to the father of the younger two), one of whom is autistic, she has physical and mental health problems she probably never would have had if she had not had children. She does not work outside the home and I am not sure she ever will be able to. Is it correct to say that having children "ruined" her?

    The vast majority of the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" crowd here -- I mean people who have done so successfully -- don't have children. Is that why they were successful?

    Sorry this is so rambling. I just feel sad to even contemplate that "having children" is the cause of some of society's toughest problems.
    Last edited by quietann; Feb. 1, 2014 at 05:52 PM.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine


    3 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
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    Default

    There is an old saying to the effect that the rich get richer and the poor get children They are expensive.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible


    9 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Apr. 14, 2007
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    I am 45 yrs old, happily married since 1994, and have NO children. Neither of us wanted them. We are very happy with our 2 horses and 5 dogs. and the bills are paid.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Oct. 12, 2005
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    We were poor, had children, but stopped at 2 because we couldn't afford more. I always wanted a couple more. Even with kids, we managed to do o.k. and once college was paid for we did well. Wouldn't have traded the kids for anything.

    My daughter and her husband don't have much financially, but that's because they have 2 kids and she quit her job to accept a full ride for her Ph.d. She's taken out a couple college loans to help cover the expenses that her paycheck used to cover. Not my position to approve or disapprove, but I'm no longer helping out financially. I imagine they'll do o.k. once she's done. She wants to teach college level. She's actually doing that now as part of her scholarship, but obviously not paid on the college scale.

    Having children doesn't mean you still can't pull yourselves up by your boot straps and improve your lifestyle. I know lots of people who have done it.



  5. #5
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    Mar. 4, 2004
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    Louisville, KY
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    Speaking as someone currently pregnant: I hope not.

    I know many people that have kids, and most of them seem happy. I know people that had their kids as teens, and others that had them in their late 30s/early 40s. Generally speaking, the ones that waited until later in life are better off financially, but I don't think anybody really would trade their kids for anything. I work in healthcare, and many of my coworkers had their kids very early. They're still working and moving up. Some of them are getting degrees, working full time, and raising kids (sometimes alone). It's very possible (but not easy, I'm sure).

    I'm 29, my career is stable, and I plan to keep working after baby the same as before baby. I don't think a baby is career suicide at all, although some women do decide to stay at home, and that's not a bad thing or anything to be looked down on. Hormones are a powerful thing and sometimes the most career driven woman changes completely after baby. Also, DH and I are going into this as a 50/50 venture. I don't do the "that's a woman's job" thing.

    I figure that kids are like anything else in life: there's no guarantee. I choose to believe that putting in lots of love and hard work will bring more joy and happiness than heartbreak, and I would regret not trying.
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
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    Dec. 18, 2006
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    Default

    Well, no. Because there are many, many financially and emotionally successful women that DO have children - single moms and married moms.

    But, poor planning would certainly make things difficult; as would the wrong spouse; child(ren) with special needs; going into debt; mental or physical illness...

    I think that if you had any of the above, adding a/another child would make things even harder.

    Planning is a key component to having a family. If you don't plan well and have an unexpected pregnancy, I think it might often financially hinder a woman (or couple). Mostly because it's not one of those things you can take back....it's sort of a lifetime commitment and doesn't get *easier* or cheaper. (Of course it gets easier in some ways, but new issues arise as well.)


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  7. #7
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    Jun. 24, 2006
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    Well... The answer is it's complicated, and maybe. I used to have a pretty good sales job, got pregnant with DS1 (surprise, I was on the pill), and through a strange change of events wound up staying home with him. I got the IUD, 6 weeks after that... I was pregnant with DS2. I had always out earned my husband, and he works a job that requires him to work out of town, work nights, it all changes constantly. Which means that 4 days a week, essentially, I'm on my own.

    Yes, I could put both kids in day care (It would be between 130 on the low end to 250 a week per child) and go back to work, however, my prior job required me to work varying hours (not as bad as his, home by say 10-10:30), sometimes I'd have to be there on special days by 5:30am. And I'd never have any idea when he could pick them up, when he could be there in the morning so they didn't have to get dropped off by 4:45am for me to get there.

    Yes, I could work a variety of jobs... But when you're realistically looking at $1600/month in child care for someone licensed on top of every other expense, yes, it's difficult. Is this really because I had kids? No, it's because my husband chose to take this job without thinking about the big picture for us. Granted, at the time we only had one in utero, however, it still has really hindered me career wise. On top of that, there isn't a lot extra from his income every month. So all of those child care expenses need to come out of my income.

    So, to counter all of that, I am in nursing school and I have my own business that I can work around the hours I have an affordable sitter available. It is working for our family, but any time he gets negative about it, I... whew. A little hard to take.

    I feel like in a lot of families, the wife is just seen as the primary caregiver. My husband isn't a hands off dad, he's a great father, but when it comes down to it... He hasn't ever applied for a single job that has better hours to enable me to go get a more steady job.

    ETA: I did choose to have my tubes tied during my c section with DS2. Not only did I not feel I wanted any more children, I knew I did not want to expand our family for financial reasons as well.



  8. #8
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    Default

    I'm a member on another board that is comprised of very family/child-centric people, almost entirely female and under, oh probably 30. There's currently a thread going on discussing the decision whether or not to have a third child. A few of the posters have written really insightful, rounded arguments for their indecision (or decision either way), but an alarming (to me) number seem to say, "if you want them, you'll find a way to make the financials work." I just want to say, "Maybe... But also maybe not, and then what?!" Many of them were talking about their kids (real or future) not getting all the newest tech toys and brand name clothes, but that's only one level of financial compromise IMO. There's no name jeans and a shared Nintendo, and then there's wondering if the power will be shut off, and not having enough food for dinner.. And I honestly do think more people are a lot closer to finding themselves in the latter position than they believe (ie, just one bad sickness/injury, or unexpected job loss). Adding kids to it, and not only is it harder for yourself to scrape by, but you have another human to care for (in terms of time and resources), too.
    (A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
    (he does listen!)


    5 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
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    Apr. 13, 2008
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    Yes. OP I think you are right. I dont regret my one, but its a complete game changer on a bone deep level. Im glad I had him later in life so I had a chance to experience some of my dreams. Agree with Bits that lots of folks are one step away from disaster, with kids its just harder to regroup and move forward.


    8 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10

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    Was married, have a daughter with special needs. Financially...yes...nearly ruined. But I am a pull myself up by my bootstraps girl and am great now. Divorced. Happy. So as S1969 said able, two strikes and it's hard.

    But I do consider myself successful.

    It takes a lot...unimaginable financial and other hardships. I'm a better person for it. But it's not for the weak or lazy .
    LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by quietann View Post
    She does not work outside the home and I am not sure she ever will be able to. Is it correct to say that having children "ruined" her?

    The vast majority of the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" crowd here -- I mean people who have done so successfully -- don't have children. Is that why they were successful?

    Sorry this is so rambling. I just feel sad to even contemplate that "having children" is the cause of some of society's toughest problems.
    Well, if she were considered along with her husband and extended family, then no, bearing children didn't ruin her. It perhaps changed her job description.

    But if you want to foist 100% of the responsibility for choosing and financing reproduction onto women, then yeah, they'll be ruined by having children more often than not. It's damn hard to afford raising kids for one person… let alone someone paid 77 cents on the dollar.

    Why is this a chicks-centric discussion at all?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    3 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    Nov. 15, 2005
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    Those who have kids and careers, or friends who have same... are those kids in daycare or cared for by a family member?

    I know lots of people who think it's easy-peasy, but they have their parents watching their kids most of the time... so the cost and concerns most have re: child care isn't an issue.
    Daycare= Cha-Ching! I went back to work for a while this summer, and ALL my pay for that month went to pay the childcare my son needed... I made $0. And I sent him to THE BEST local summer program there is in this area... and had problems like them taking him places without a seatbelt on the bus, and not knowing where he was when I went to pick him up. As a former daycare worker it was eye opening, shocking and scary.


    I was fired when I was about 4 months along w/DS... with pre-eclampsia and an OB who didn't want me doing parts of my job to the level that my boss thought I should.
    Boss actually said to me, re the other worker in our district who was preggers at the time '___ who works in Syracuse doesn't stop for lunch'.
    :eyeroll:

    So I never went back to that career [which required 60 hours a week on the road to be successful] and when I start to hanker for the old days [and that pay!] my former coworkers/friends at my first company remind me about the ups and downs of that biz that make doing it all nearly impossible for me and my life now.

    I dunno' that kids alone can be the breaker... many inspiring stories are out there about women who were down and out and with a kid or two and did it.
    But there's alotta' luck in there too I think.
    And the horror stories also exist... one illness, one job loss, .... and POOF!
    Last edited by Angela Freda; Feb. 1, 2014 at 07:04 PM. Reason: spelling
    Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

    http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/



  13. #13
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    I don't think the problem is having children. It's having children without a solid family support system in place.


    18 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    I think ANY crisis can cause a problem. Divorce, health issues, mental illness, abuse, unemployment, victim of a crime, really anything out of our control can screw up the balance. Having children just increases the chances that a crisis will occur because there are more people involved.

    My DH and I have 3 kids, we both work, have horses and a little farm, and are financially stable. I was certainly not "ruined" by my kids. If one of us was hit with a devastating illness, and maybe one of us had to give up our job, it would be a major game changer for sure, but even so it would not "ruin" us. With a 5 person family, we are 5 times more likely to have a crisis than a one person family, so I count my lucky stars every day, that's for sure.

    Oh and we pay for daycare, we did not have family members watch our kids for free. For years I have had multiple kids in daycare, sometimes costing as much as $2000/ month. The middle child just hit kindergarten so we are getting a little daycare break for the first time, though we still pay $400/ month for full day kindergarten, and about $900/ month for the 3 year old.
    where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?


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  15. #15
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    I think that "ruined" depends on what the individual's life goal was. Is your friend really unhappy that she didn't progress in her career, that she's now a SAHM? Then yes, having kids led to unhappiness.
    But what if having kids was more important to her than a career outside the home? Then the opposite is true.

    I think for career women, it comes down to planning a lot of the time. Most of my friends are career women, and every one I know has carefully considered when to have children. Whether early on (some had kids while in professional school, delaying grad/career but allowing the career to go on uninterrupted once they started) or waiting to become established. Deciding whether/how much mat leave to take, and what to do with the babies when they returned to work.

    One of my friends, who now has 2 kids and is happily pursuing her career, terminated a pregnancy that happened too early in her career path. Another, who like magicteetango out-earns her hubby by a significant amount, took short mat leaves and it was hubby who stayed home with the kids.

    In all cases where the career is progressing smoothly, there was a good deal of planning put in, and some hard decisions made (like the termination). None of them were the "oops, fell pregnant at the worst possible time, can't do a thing about it, guess the traditional lifeplan requires me to stay home for a while."
    Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Why is this a chicks-centric discussion at all?
    I guess it really shouldn't be, or that is what the idealist feminist in me says. But economically for a family, it usually makes more sense for mom to stay home/not move up/cut hours and take the career hit. A lot of my married couple friends have the husband in Tech, and the wife was in something else, maybe a tech position, but usually a more "support" oriented and less-renumerative position. This is a very expensive area to live in, especially for raising children. As long as the marriage stays together, husband keeps his job, etc. it can work. But that seems like a gamble.

    (For the record: my husband and I are child-free. Neither of us have ever been that interested in having children, and I have health problems that would have made pregnancy very risky. I work 4 days a week; he's retired, and does most of the household chores.)
    Last edited by quietann; Feb. 1, 2014 at 08:49 PM.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bits619 View Post
    ... but an alarming (to me) number seem to say, "if you want them, you'll find a way to make the financials work.
    This attitude is the problem. And/or the attitude that "The lord will provide".
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


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  18. #18
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    I have to disagree. Totally.

    Having children doesn't 'ruin' anyone.

    Lack of education/resources/and a strong support system - that definitely 'ruins' a person. Regardless of gender.



    Also the assumption that wife is the SAH(P) for parent is a bit.. old-fashioned on the OPS part.

    I know a lot of men who've chosen to be the primary caretaker - as well as mom/dad being primary caretaker at different times in their family-life so to speak.
    Quote Originally Posted by ExJumper View Post
    Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by quietann View Post
    On various threads about poverty, people just keep saying over and over that women shouldn't have babies when they are young/not established/don't have enough money etc. (Some of them are the same people who don't want to supply free/cheap birth control, good sex ed, etc. Their answer to "how not to have a baby too young" seems to be "put an aspirin between your knees." I am SO pleased to see that not everyone who is conservative feels that way.)

    Anyway. I'm looking at various friends and acquaintances -- women -- and it seems like at almost any age, in almost any circumstance, the thing that wipes them out is having a child or children -- at any age. Careers come to a standstill as a mother either stalls out because she's spending so much time/energy on family, or stops working entirely because daycare would cost more than she earns or at least too much for it to make sense to work, there is never enough money, there's constant worry if the child is not 100% normal, if the father is even around there are huge tensions that I just don't see in child-free marriages (note: child free means no kids by choice, not people who want kids but can't have them.)

    I have one friend in particular -- I've mentioned her before -- who never went to college but in her early 20s was working in a supervisory position in a warehouse, with good prospects for moving up (extremely rare in the depressed area where she lives). (ETA: removed a lot of detail here as it wouldn't be too hard to identify her from what I said.) After having her three kids in her 20s (she is married to the father of the younger two), one of whom is autistic, she has physical and mental health problems she probably never would have had if she had not had children. She does not work outside the home and I am not sure she ever will be able to. Is it correct to say that having children "ruined" her?

    The vast majority of the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" crowd here -- I mean people who have done so successfully -- don't have children. Is that why they were successful?

    Sorry this is so rambling. I just feel sad to even contemplate that "having children" is the cause of some of society's toughest problems.
    Hopefully, economics will prove the vehicle to pull this planet's human population back in line with what the Earth's resources can sustain. The population explosion that began with the advent of cheap, stable calories transportable long-distance cannot continue, or we'll have a downgrade in the standard of living that makes this one look like the warm-up act.

    My feeling is that one should refrain from having children UNLESS and UNTIL:

    (1) You are truly functioning as a full adult.
    (2) You are in a stable relationship with a committed partner.
    (3) You are financially in a position to raise a child without hardship.
    (4) You intend to make parenting your highest priority for the next 20 years.

    In this day and age, I think you should also take a long, hard look at the world you'll be bringing that child into; consider carefully the mess it appears we'll be leaving the next generation. Ask yourself if you are prepared and committed to raise this child to be an ASSET to the world of the future; then, and only then, proceed.


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rainechyldes View Post
    I have to disagree. Totally.

    Having children doesn't 'ruin' anyone.

    Lack of education/resources/and a strong support system - that definitely 'ruins' a person. Regardless of gender.



    Also the assumption that wife is the SAH(P) for parent is a bit.. old-fashioned on the OPS part.

    I know a lot of men who've chosen to be the primary caretaker - as well as mom/dad being primary caretaker at different times in their family-life so to speak.
    Realistically, though... it's more often women in that role.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine



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