Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Case Against Parenthood?

Do you ever see those articles about the cost of having children and think, there's no way it costs that much, because I know how much we make and I know how much I spend and even if we multiply it by 18 it's only going to be a fraction of that cost!

I think kids cost... however much you have to spend...

There's a disturbing slant to this article, when you read the whole thing, that makes me think the author heartily agrees with the conclusion: "It's just not worth it!"

Here's the newest from Shine from Yahoo!:
"...Even before the Shepherds left Asheville, North Carolina, for Sichuan province, they'd made their life decision based on the experiences of their "childed" friends. "We watched them struggle to pay bills, find suitable apartments or houses to fit their families, and work at jobs they didn't like because they needed the insurance," Cynthia says. So she and Anthony enthusiastically took a pass on parenthood, an increasingly common decision for America's couples.

Considering the state of the economy, it should come as no surprise that the ranks of the child-free are exploding. The Department of Agriculture reports that the average cost for a middle-income two-parent family to support a kid through high school is $286,050 (it's nearly half a million dollars for couples in higher tax brackets). Want him or her to get a college education? The number jumps to nearly $350,000 for a public university, and more than $400,000 for private. Though if your kid's planning to major in Male Sterilization, it could wind up being a good investment: The vasectomy business seems to be one of the few in America that is booming. In the past year, the Associates in Urology clinic in West Orange, New Jersey, has seen a 50 percent jump in the procedure. So you could stress over starting a college fund, or you could consider that you can get a vasectomy at Planned Parenthood for less than the cost of a Bugaboo Cameleon stroller. Unless you're among the less than 2 percent of Americans who farm for a living and might conceivably rely on offspring for free labor, children have gone from being an economic asset to an economic liability.

But for the child-free, the benefits go beyond dollars and cents. There's less guilt, less worry, less responsibility, more sleep, more free time, more disposable income, no awkward conversations about Teen Mom, no forced relationships with people just because your kids like their kids, no chauffeuring other people's kids in your minivan to soccer games you find less appealing than televised chess..."

Read the entire article here.
And then there are the assumptions that this article makes. Want your kid to go to college? You better pay for it or it's not going to happen!

While this article can tell you all the great things about not having kids, the author doesn't find a way to put into words the many great things about having kids (in fact she parrots the research that claims that people with kids are less happy). And don't read the comments section unless you want an eyeful of hate on why it's evil to have kids and how "stupid" "breeders" are "overpopulating the world."

I wonder how many people are going to regret the decisions to sterilize that they made in their twenties (I have a friend who tried to convince her OB/GYN to do an elective hysterectomy when we were in our early twenties. She now has a beautiful baby girl!)... I have a feeling the numbers looking for reversals, and hoping those reversals work, will be very high.


  1. How very, very sad. Just wait until everyone has to pay considerably higher Social Security and Medicare taxes because there aren't enough young workers to subsidize them.

    The profound selfishness of these people is mind-boggling, and the sad thing is, they don't even see themselves that way.


  2. "There's less guilt, less worry, less responsibility, more sleep, more free time, more disposable income, no awkward conversations about Teen Mom, no forced relationships with people just because your kids like their kids, no chauffeuring other people's kids in your minivan to soccer games you find less appealing than televised chess..."

    This is appalling. Basically the argument not to have kids is so that we can continue to be autonomously selfish and egocentric.

    Because, you know, THAT makes for responsible and productive adults. *dripping with sarcasm*

  3. I've seen plenty of those articles claiming to have the roundabout figure of what it costs to raise a child. I think it's all a bunch of malarky. It is absolutely possible to have a child and live on a shoestring budget. We've done it and have lived to tell the tale. Sure it's nice to have money to buy all the unnecessary extras, but they're not necessary to raise a child. It's very possible and feasible to raise a child frugally by bargain hunting and seeking out good second hand items for an even better price.

  4. The author doesn't think there is any benefit to children aside from child labor on farms.

    Unfortunately, people who live solely for themselves often find out only at the end that it makes for a very lonely, meaningless life.

  5. I read this article this morning and found it very sad. She doesn't go into the woes of not having children. How short sighted it is to not want a new generation to create and have jobs. So many think they'll retire when they get to a certain age or they think they will just keep working, but things don't work out that way. Employers are looking for the young not the old and often people get sick or disabled as time progresses making work much harder. Also, if there is no replacement generation how can you retire? The economy will collapse under the weight of an older generation.

    Does she mention that most people are cohabitating rather than get married and that the likelihood of separation is huge? How women are enslaving themselves to porn addicted men? This article rubs me the wrong way all around. It's all feministic and eco-friendly. I wish people could see through these lies. I can't even think straight to give a better comment, it makes me so sick.

  6. I've known people in their 40's/50's/60's and up who chose to be childless and didn't regret it, it gave them the resources and time to do other good in the world (teach, volunteer, etc.).

    Though I agree that the cost of child-raising is only as high as you want it to be. Children don't need designer everything! Just the basics (which does include things like health care...which for special needs children can admittedly be very difficult to afford for some families).

  7. Well, first of all, I want to wish you congratulations on your pregnancy! I've missed quite a bit not keeping up. People can be so weird about children - I can only think that the Evil One really has influenced this part of their mind, because it is so convoluted. For my part, I am deeply convicted about the tie between openness to life and conjugal love, and if/when I get married, I intend to have as many little ones as God sees fit to bless me with. I think we can be examples.

  8. Hi Catherine-

    I just wanted to clarify, that I don't think every person who doesn't have kids will regret it. I think that many of the men who have vasectomies in their early twenties will likely regret it when (or if) they are ever ready to settle down. Especially since the article said that long term reversals were much less successful. It's just such a big decision to make at 23!

  9. Ahh--thank you for clarifying!

    I agree 23 is a bit young to make decisions like that. I'm sure there are young adults out there who are happy to prove me wrong, but like any permanent life decision--if it sounds like a great idea now, it will still sound good in a few years.

    I'm surprised any doctor was willing to perform a vasectomy on someone so young!

  10. sure, I bet kids cost that much if you are putting them in daycare as soon as you leave the hospital, using formula and disposables and buying brand new clothes every season, leaving them with sitters at least once a week, and eating out all the time. then sending them to private school from preschool on. maybe they are including the hospital bill too (c-sections are pricey)

    scare tactics, plain and simple. I hate it.


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