I read an article this morning, which made me feel so sad. It discusses that the number of births in the U.S. have gone down every year for the past 3 years - while some of this is good news like the teen birth rate dropping 9% (even then I don't feel 100% comfortable saying it is "good" only because I know most of that is probably through birth control and abortion, and not abstinence as it should be, sigh,) most of the article was just so sad to me, because it shows the mindset our country has towards children.
I have encountered this attitude several times in recent weeks, and the article just reflected that same thing that I have been hearing from people I know. For example, I have been told by several married acquaintances that they won't be having children either because they want to be by themselves as a couple and don't really want to deal with children, or they can't afford it. Now, I don't know their financial situation, but I know ours, and we live on a very restricted income and keep a tight budget. Its not easy to have one parent stay home now - at least, it isn't easy to do and live the lifestyle that society tells us we should be living! We have had many people comment that we must be "rich" to be having a third child, and several have asked how we afford everything. My answer is usually "Its cheaper than you think, and God always provides". And both are so very true. Don't get me wrong, it costs money to have children, but no where near, at least in our experience, what "they" tell you it is going to cost. Especially if you are responsible about it, don't buy silly baby things you don't need, practice simplicity and modesty in your lifestyle, etc. We meal plan and budget, we cloth diaper (mostly), we breastfeed (when possible), we don't expect to be paying completely for our kids college or for them each to be handed a car, and we also don't let them watch commercials and we don't buy them every new fangled toy they see or want. We aren't in 10 different activities, and we homeschool. There is so much that can be to "save" money and live reasonably well on a limited income. What it really comes down to is what type of lifestyle are you living and what are you expecting?
In the article, parents were getting their tubes tied to avoid having children. A couple who has been longing for children stopped trying to conceive because one of them lost their job. It just breaks my heart when people turn away from these gifts of God because of a lifestyle choice, or just ignorance. I just feel so sad about it. I guess it hits close to me right now, since even though we are so excited, and so many people around us are excited, about this new baby, we also know that there are many people who have a negative feeling about our having a third child. They may not all voice it, but you can tell when people aren't excited and happy for you. I don't feel hurt or badly about it, those reactions by those people were actually expected, but it makes me just so sad for all those people out there who don't really understand the joy and blessing of having children. Even on those crazy terrible days, what a blessing! I suppose I better get used to the comments, stares, looks, etc. now. I have heard from several people with large families that once they went from 2 to 3 children all of a sudden the "comments" even from total strangers sometimes began. Adam said we should "Duggar it up" just to show them. ;o)