View Full Version : Motherhood...A Valid Profession

Saturday, February 7th, 2009, 07:09 AM
Sixteen years ago I became a mother. Fourteen years ago I found myself committed to the profession of motherhood. I've often had people comment that they sure do wish they had the luxury of staying home with their children. A luxury? We could never describe my commitment to be home a luxury.

Does it take two incomes for a family to survive today? We hear if you want to give your kid what he "needs," you will have to have two incomes. Are you aware that over 7.7 million families in the United States live on one income? For many of these families it is not a luxury, but a sacrifice they are willing to make. The husband is not making more than an average salary and they are living in average homes. Bottom line, most of these families are living with less than what we are made to believe we need to be happy.

Bill Flick, a newspaper columnist, questions the concept of the "high cost of living." He says it's more like "the high cost of the way we choose to live." The concept of "keeping up with the Jones'" affects us whether we realize it or not. We believe we need certain "things" for the basic existence of daily life. My husband and I have been trying to think through our purchases with this in mind. We ask ourselves, "Do we really need this or do we want it?" One area we have found to cut costs is cable television. Yes, you can get TV reception without cable--even in some rural areas! We're living proof of that. We haven't had cable television for fourteen years. Our children have not been hurt by the absence of cable in our home. Are there times we wish we had cable? Yes, there are. Can we afford it? No, it doesn't fit into our budget. So we use an antenna and watch the basic network channels (when the reception is good!).

It is possible to live on one income in today's society. But it takes some willingness to practice delayed gratification. Delaying some of the things we would like to have now in exchange for doing something we need to do now is what it is all about. As much as I'd like to have a new car (for once in my life!) or new furniture in just one room of our home, I choose to forgo those things in exchange for being able to be home with my children. It's a concept that we don't hear much about today, but it's one we can learn to embrace. By practicing delayed gratification we are on our way to living without regrets, making choices now, about things we will reflect upon in the future.

It can be a challenge to live on one income, but it is not as impossible as the media would want us to believe. At the same time, there are certainly some circumstances where there is no choice in the matter. Single mothers and families with extenuating financial struggles face very real challenges. But we do need to ask ourselves--is it really about the high cost of living or the high cost of the way we choose to live?

What are some ways we can choose to live with less?
Cancel the cable television.
Eat out less.
When eating out, share meals. (Make sure and tip the wait staff the estimated percentage of two purchased meals!)
Plan meals and shop less often. With the exception of running to the store for bread and milk, I shop only once a month. This keeps temptation at a minimum.
Give homemade gifts rather than purchased gifts. (Fresh baked goods are always a hit!)
Make dates with your spouse simple: a walk in the park, a drive in the country, a bike ride to the ice cream shop to share a root beer float--complete with two straws!

Let the creative juices flow! You can begin to live with less. As you learn to enjoy the simplicities of life, you will find that your stress will decrease and your contentment will increase!

Source (http://www.drlaura.com/sah/sahm.html?mode=view&tile=1&id=984)

Mrs. Lyfing
Saturday, February 7th, 2009, 07:20 PM
It can be a challenge to live on one income, but it is not as impossible as the media would want us to believe. At the same time, there are certainly some circumstances where there is no choice in the matter. Single mothers and families with extenuating financial struggles face very real challenges. But we do need to ask ourselves--is it really about the high cost of living or the high cost of the way we choose to live?

It can be a challenge to live on 2 incomes these days. ;) If a family is going to struggle on 2 incomes anyway why not just let the mother stay home? Very nice article. :)

Thursday, February 12th, 2009, 12:03 AM
Here's a related article from the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/fashion/08bigfam.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all). It's specifically about large families, but it hits similar economic points.

Too many people—male and female—start by assuming a desired standard of living, and then trying to do the math to arrive at a balance between career and parenthood. If you start with a certain set of family values, then live within your means, it's surprising what you can make work. Having a large family forces creativity, economy, and community. In a very real sense, the materialistic life is the lazy, uncreative life.

Too bad more people don't choose parenthood....


And Baby Makes How Many?
By Kate Zernike
February 8, 2009

THE comment from the photographer at Sears was typical. “Are these all yours?” she asked, surveying Kim Gunnip’s 12 children.

“No,” Mrs. Gunnip replied, “I picked some up at the food court.”

But it was harder to find a retort for the man in line at the supermarket, who said within earshot of her youngest children, “You must have a great sex life.”

Now her family, like other larger families, as they call themselves, is facing endless news coverage of the octuplets born in California and a new round of scorn, slack jaws and stupid jokes.

Back when the average woman had more than three children, big families were the Kennedys of Hickory Hill and Hyannis Port, “Cheaper by the Dozen,” the Cosbys or “Eight is Enough” — lovable tumbles of offspring as all-American in their scrapes as in their smiles.

But as families have shrunk, and parents helicopter over broods tinier yet more precious, a vanload of children has taken on more of a freak show factor. The families know the stereotypes: they’re polygamists, religious zealots, reality-show hopefuls or Québécois in it for the per-child government bonus. And isn’t there something a little obsessive about Angelina Jolie’s quest for her own World Cup soccer team?

“Look at the three shows on TLC that have bigger families,” said Meagan Francis, the 31-year-old author of “Table for Eight,” which stems from her experience raising four children (she is expecting her fifth next month). “One is about religious fundamentalists, one has sextuplets, the other is a family of little people,” she said, referring to, respectively, the Duggars of “17 Kids and Counting,” “Jon and Kate Plus Eight” and “Little People, Big World,” about two dwarfs raising four children, three of average stature, on a pumpkin farm in Oregon.

“You get the feeling,” Ms. Francis added, “that anybody who has more than three kids is either doing it for bizarre reasons or there’s a medical anomaly.”

In the last several days, the British government’s environmental adviser declared it “irresponsible” to have more than two children. And Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, asserted that including contraception in the stimulus package could reduce government spending. Ms. Pelosi, herself the mother of five, was arguing against unwanted pregnancies, not families who choose to have big broods. But no matter — larger families see the attacks piling up.

On Internet forums and blogs, like lotsofkids.com and largerfamilies.com, the mothers defend themselves against the accusations that they can’t possibly give each child enough love or that they are hogging the earth’s scarce resources. They resist, and resent, efforts to lump them with the Duggars, the Jon and Kates and the octuplets.

Many mothers, in fact, shared the revulsion and the ethical questions about the in vitro fertilization that led to the birth of the eight babies by the unwed and unemployed California mother. Yet they also say that the reaction to her turned harsh only when it was revealed that she had six additional children. Octuplets were amazing; 14 is gross.

Referring to a news show correspondent who seemed “disgusted” by the story, one mother on lotsofkids.com wrote, “I wanted to bounce her judgmental little head off a wall.”

Ms. Francis, the founder of largerfamilies.com, said, “I can’t imagine having 14 children, but I do think it’s possible to raise 14 and do a great job.”

She continued: “People feel like they have some say or some ownership over your kids or the way kids are being raised. It’s this symbol of who you are and your values.”

If large families are the stuff of spectacle, it is partly because they have become rarer.

In 1976, census data show, 59 percent of women ages 40 to 44 had three or more children, 20 percent had five or more and 6 percent had seven or more.

By 2006, four decades after the Supreme Court declared a constitutional right to use birth control (and the last year available from census studies), 28 percent of women ages 40 to 44 had three or more children, 4 percent had five or more and just 0.5 percent had seven or more.

“Three is still O.K.,” said Michelle Lehmann, the founder of lotsofkids.com and a mother of eight children who lives outside Chicago. “When you have four, people start raising eyebrows. When you go to five, people are like, ‘No way.’ ”

Beyond 10? “They think you are lying,” said Mrs. Gunnip, who also writes two blogs for so-called mega-families, those with eight or more children.

Leslie Leyland Fields, a mother of six in Kodiak, Alaska, recalled her boss’s response when she announced she was pregnant with her fifth child and resigning as a professor at a state college: “This is what, your 9th or 10th?”

Ms. Fields, who had four children and then two unexpected but welcome pregnancies in her 40s, said, “Inevitably, people would come up to me in a patronizing way, sidle me away and whisper, ‘Let me tell you how this happens.’ ”

In a 2006 article, “The Case for Kids,” in Christianity Today, Ms. Fields lamented new social norms that assume that multiple children burden the goals of educated, professional women: “The smart, ambitious, fully realized 21st-century woman chooses career. The ambitionless woman has children.”

In an interview, Ms. Fields added: “Choosing to have a large domestic life is often seen as negating the professional and the public. I think it’s very healthy and wonderful to have a foot in both worlds.”

With more children, she had to change jobs, but her career, she said, has become more fulfilling: she teaches graduate students instead of undergraduates now, requiring less time in the classroom, which has allowed her to write three more books.

“The criticism feels elitist,” she said. “It’s coming from educated people, which makes me think, You have no excuse for thinking in such stereotypes.”

The article in Christianity Today unleashed a flood of hate mail. One reader wrote in all capital letters: “Did it ever occur to you that if you really want to serve God you should have less children so you’d have more time to serve God?” (“You can’t enter into debate with people who have that kind of rage,” Ms. Fields said.)

With anecdotes of a boomlet in larger families in places like the Upper East Side of Manhattan and select pockets of suburbia, large families are presumed to be either really rich, having children as status symbols, or really poor, living off the dole and completely devoid of culture.

The hayseed assumption prompts a howl from Barbara Curtis, mother of 12, ages 8 to 39, in Loudoun County, Va. “They expect me to come crawling in from Appalachia or something,” she said. In fact, she is a Montessori teacher, and her husband is a commercial accounts manager for an auto company. One son is entering a graduate program in opera, and another was in New York last week auditioning for a theater touring company. Her sixth son was the only National Merit Scholar finalist in his high school class, she said.

Mrs. Curtis illustrates one of the many ways that families grow so large: she had two children from her first marriage, then, with her second husband, seven in 10 years. One of those children had Down syndrome, so they adopted another Down syndrome child, believing two would grow up happier together. Since then, they have twice accepted requests to adopt another child with Down syndrome.

“Children are a kind of wealth,” Mrs. Curtis said. “Just not the kind of wealth our society tends to focus on.”

Still, for many mega-families, existence is hard. Their homes are usually cramped; college often means community college. Parents work long hours on top of the demands of raising so many children. And while the census does not break out income statistics for larger families, women without a high school diploma have about one more child on average than women with graduate or professional degrees.

Mrs. Gunnip is a homemaker in upstate New York, and her husband works as a supervisor in a county sewer department. She says they could qualify for public assistance but choose not to apply, believing others need it more. “I can’t say how we do it, and on paper it looks like we don’t do it, but there’s always a way,” she said. “My kids never go hungry. They do activities they want to do, we go on vacation. We don’t go to Disney, but we go camping.”

Many large families are religious, and some follow the QuiverFull movement, which takes encouragement for big families in Psalm 127: children are the gift of the Lord, “as arrows are in the hand of a mighty man,” and “happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.”

Those beliefs can run headlong into environmental concerns. At 6.8 billion people, the world population has more than tripled in the last century, and demographers expect it to exceed 9 billion by midcentury.

“Every single person has multiple impacts on multiple environmental resources,” said Alan Weisman, the author of “The World Without Us,” which advocates a one-child policy to return the world to early 20th century population levels. “It’s a no-brainer that the more people there are, the more stress there is on an ecosystem that doesn’t get any bigger.”

Parents of large families counter that they have an economy of scale: a light bulb lights a room whether there are 4 people or 14. Their children learn not to take long showers, to share space, to appreciate hand-me-down toys, clothes and books.

“Large families are some of the greenest families,” Mrs. Gunnip said. “They don’t tend to have a lot of money, so they make sure things go as far as they can.”

And besides, they say, the birth rate in the United States is barely at the level needed to replace the population. Total fertility rate, which predicts the number of children an average woman will have in her lifetime, reached 2.1, considered replacement level, in 2006, but it was the first time it had been that high since 1971. A small percentage of large families, they say, is not enough to tip the balance.

As for whether their children suffer a poverty of time and attention, parents of large families say they make better parents. For while spending time with each child individually is possible, hovering is not.

“You have to let go of a lot of the ideas of the kind of parent you wanted to be,” Ms. Francis said. “That’s not a bad thing. If you hold on to the idea that you can control everything, well, you can’t. They become their own people. With big families, it gets beaten out of you.”

As for the other pointed questions about large families, defenders have developed standard comebacks, lists of which circulate on the Internet.

How can you afford so many? “Lifestyles are expensive, not kids.”

Don’t you know what causes that? “Oh, yes, I now wash my husband’s underwear separately.”

Do you get any time for yourselves? “Obviously, or we wouldn’t have six kids.”

Blue Eyed Devil
Thursday, February 12th, 2009, 04:40 AM
A sad thing that has become painfully obvious is that we have let the media think for us for so long, as a society, we cannot think for ourselves. How is it that we have come to believe that having large families is somehow evil, while having huge numbers of immigrants pour into our lands, who then in turn have large families is wonderful? Only a moron would think like that, at least without the help of brainwashing.

Clearly, our lands are exploding with population increases anyway, why not at least make the increase be native born citizens? Believe me, the world is not overcrowded with Caucasians. We form less than 8% of the world's expanding population and are not even having replacement level births. And still we have "experts" pressuring us to commit racial suicide by having prohibitively small families. These same "experts" are always on the side of unlimited immigration at the same time.

It would take someone who is either completely insane, or someone who has a hidden agenda that includes the extermination of Western Civilization, to support the changes that have happened over the past 50 years in all European based nations.

The destruction of the family can't be healthy for any society, and yet our media has done everything in its power to hasten that tragedy. Well over 80% of kids in the USA are raised by someone, other than both of their natural blood parents. In under 50 years we have moved from a society were the kids from a divorced or unwed-mother's home were the odd ones, to one in which nearly all the kids are cut loose from at least one of their parents.

This didn’t happen by accident. The leaders of the feminist movement had this very thing in mind right from the start, and they got exactly what they aimed for. Today, the kids in grade school have parents who are children of those who first embraced this destructive philosophy. As a result, even these parents don't remember the time when families were solid. Today, the traditional family is held up to ridicule, and large families are laughed at as being sick.

Meanwhile, millions of high breeding non-White immigrants are pouring over the border. It doesn't take a lot of thought to see where this nightmare is going to end.


That doesn't even speak to loss of the priceless, irreplaceable contribution a "stay-at-home" (traditional) mother makes towards building the next solid generation. Neither daycare, preschool, nor any other packaged pseudo-replacement could ever fill the place left vacant by the mothers who have left home to follow the will 'o the wisp given them by the feminists.

Results say it all, and the results are in: feminism has been the equivalent of the bubonic plague for our families. Marriages happen later in life, and fail at alarming rates when they finally do occur, if they occur at all. Some children are being born, but most guys who get married today, are taking on the father's responsibility for the kids of some other guy. Stepfathers are far more likely to abuse kids, and you can lay this whole disaster at the feet of the followers of Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, and Betty Friedan. We have sacrificed far too many children on their altar.

The question is not whether we can afford to have a mother at home with her children: it's can we afford not to.