Babies, Babies, Everywhere, and Not a Wedding Ring

Hey, good news! So, in 2008 (a little old, I know) less teens were getting pregnant! Great, right? A teenager could never care for a baby properly. They're still kids themselves!

But if you are 20+, go ahead, ladies. You don't have to be married. You don't have to have a boyfriend.

All you need is sex.

Something wrong with this picture? Is it just me, or are more ladies in their 20s having babies (s!) out of wedlock?

It's not just me. The same Reuters article that says teen pregnancy is down reports that more women in their 20s are unapologetically having kids without husbands or boyfriends.

Maybe I'm just old fashioned.

I mean, this IS 2011. It's the latest it's ever been. The first Sci-Fi novels didn't even consider this year. (I always have a feeling they'd be disappointed that we're not zooming around in space cars, but utterly flummoxed by an iPad.) 

How Many Kids are Too Many? 

So, maybe I am just behind the times, but I am amazed (and shocked) at how many of my Facebook lady friends are having multiple children out of wedlock! I've been married for about a half a year, I graduated college, I've been relatively independent for about three years, and I can't imagine having a kid or two. It's one of my biggest fears: an uninvited, unforeseen bundle of responsibility that I can't handle either financially or psychologically.  I have a hard enough time keeping myself fed and happy and out of too much debt. And these ladies, some of whom are still dependent on their parents, are creating expensive, dependent humans. That's two layers of dependency. Is that responsible? Don't we as citizens of our world have a responsibility to provide as well as we can for our children? How can we possibly provide for them if we can't even get out from under our own parents?

Maybe three generations in one house is preferable. What is it that people say? It takes a village to raise a child? Maybe, in the absence of a mother-father team, a mother-grandma-grandpa team is quite as good. I don't know though. I have only my own experiences. I was raised an only child in a house with my mom and my dad, a couple of cats and a springer spaniel. I accept that there might not be one "right" way to raise a child. And sometimes mothers are not single by choice.

But there seems to be an alarming amount of ladies on who seem not to care whether or not there is a relationship between mother and father. From what I see, they're attempting to foster a relationship between the child and his father, but the mother seems to be completely unattached, whether there's been a break up or what.

And the comments, when a single lady announces that she is pregnant again! Congratulations drip all over the comments. "Likes" add up. I suppose you can't say to a person, "Dammit, Lady, how the hell do you make this enormous mistake twice!?"

Society dictates that my harshest response be "no comment."

One comment I saw recently on a photo of a single lady's second baby offered their congratulations, and then commented that she'd have the perfect family: herself, one boy, and one girl. I was surprised to hear her refer to that as the "perfect" family.

But what is a "perfect family?"

I know it isn't the 1950s. I know a nuclear family isn't necessarily the ideal anymore for everyone. But I think, traditionally, family styles tend to reflect the overall life style of the parents. Farmers have many kids: free farm hands! Working parents have one or two: that's all they have time for (and can afford to give the lifestyle they prefer.) I've read a couple news articles recently that talk about the middle class having smaller and smaller families. One or two kids now is the norm, as opposed to the three or four that was common several years ago.

Still. I cannot imagine myself raising two kids by myself.

And it's not just being able to provide the love and guidance to children...it's also a financial thing. The link under the photo up there brings you to an article that says that the average cost for raising a child is over $200,000. How can one mother provide enough for herself and both of her children? If I weren't married, I'd never be able to live on my own. I just don't command the economic resources to pay rent on an apartment, buy a car, keep myself in food and electricity. Forget the internet, a cell phone, a TV, or furniture! How would I ALSO manage to pay for baby food, toys, clothes, diapers, school supplies, winter coats, roller blades, dance lessons, medical bills, college!? I could never do it. I could not provide for my child if I were single. I would have to depend on the charity of others.

And is it really anyone else's responsibility to provide for my bastard children? I don't think so. Still, a child is a child, and all sacrifices must be made to provide for it. It's a human. If you bear a child, you have to take any help offered to rear that child successfully.  For the child's sake.

I propose taking EVERY precaution to avoid conceiving children out of wedlock, or out of financial solvency. I don't care if you have to take birth control, wear a condom, or simply abstain.

Once you conceive, you're in it for the long haul. But that's an entirely other blog post.

"All I can think of is the emaciated bodies of the children on our kitchen table as my mother prescribes what the parents can't give. More food..... And here in the Capitol they're vomiting for the pleasure of filling their bellies again and again." - Suzanne Collins in Catching Fire, p80

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