On another thread about NFP, some comments were made about spacing so I really thought this could become a thread on its’ own. Personally, I was brought up that you needed to be financially stable in order to responsibly have children. My parents wanted to make sure that their children had everything they needed, much of what they wanted and every advantage that they could give us. My husband and I wouldn’t have even thought of having a child until we were making enough money to have a stable home and save up enough for when times got a little more strapped with expenses reagrding the new addition. I know that God never says in the Bible to make sure your financially comfortable in order to bring a child into the world but I can’t imagine that he would want to make children suffer because there’s not enough to go around. But I truly believe that bringing children into a family when money is strapped is not a wise move and I think it should be avoided. (I’m in no way saying that if an accident occurs while using NFP or birthcontrol that the fetus should be aborted - if you can handle it you keep the baby or you give it up for adoption or ask family for help) at the same time, I believe that if you have enough emotional, financial and spiritual support that you should have as many as you’d like - (note, I say as many as you’d like not as many as you possibly could have). Personally, monetary reasons seem to be an excellent reason to stop having children or to space them. I can’t imagine a parent who wouldn’t want to give his/her child ever advantage possible. This seems to me to be a sufficiently grave reason to put off or stop having children all together. I don’t believe I’m completely off here so please, sound off if you agree or disagree.
Space shuttle, space station, spacewalk, space rendez-vous, space children…
Am I on the wrong track? :o Sorry, I must have spaced out!
There are plenty of “financially stable” families who are spiritually unsound.
I see what you mean but "financially stable " would be secondary, to me.
As always, just my thoughts
I love children. Black, white, Hispanic, Asian, girls, boys, it doesn’t matter to me… I have never met any space children, but I am sure I would love them, too! They are God’s precious gifts to us!
Umm yeah -then we still wouldn’t have any children. Do you realize how many amazing people wouldn’t be here if all parents waited to be financially so well off as to be able to give their children “every advantage possible.” You mean every material advantage?
Every advantage, in my opinion, can be a disadvantage.
Yeah, there was a baby boom in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Couples who lost all their material belongings, suddenly realized that there’s more to life than material wealth. It also takes a belief that God will right the wrongs, that God will provide.
I think that financially stable has so many different levels of meanings that it is very difficult to talk about. What it means to one person, won’t make sense to another. I think you should have a home and not living on a street or out of your car. I think you should be married. I think that at least one of the parents should have a stable job. If you put conditions on financially able beyond that it is very likely that you will never feel that you are financially able.
Is anyone really financially stable? Seriously:shrug:
Yes, it is wide to consider your financial situation when having or spacing children. To have money being THE determining factor…not so wise IMHO. The Church says reasons for spacing (using NFP) must be serious, (not grave) and financial issues certainly can be serious. I don’t know that not having savings, or not owning a home etc. qualify as serious…
On giving children every ‘advantage’ I guess that depends on what you consider an advantage. It also depends on what the goal is in raising children.
Of course there is nothing wrong with spacing children using NFP…but don’t be neurotic about it or turn it into a mental form of contraception where you “fear” a new life. Once you have accepted the possibility of life as a couple, you have already won half the battle and prepared a spiritually sound home for your potential child
Wanting to make sure you are financially and mentally in a good place is responsible…that is why NFP is a great way to work out your concerns spiritually.
But a life is a life, whether or not the parent’s have their checkbook balanced every month and a mortgage on its way to being paid off. So many brilliant people have come from homes where resources were scarce. Don’t stress about giving them every little thing…the greatest poverty is that so many people don’t know love, not that they suffer a lack of cool toys.
I agree, but I bet everyone has a different definition of stable.
Of course, when we had our first baby, we didn’t even have health insurance, a house, or any savings!! But, we had good prospects, enough food, access to affordable health care, and lots of family support (some financial, for a desperate bill here and there).
I think if we didn’t have our parents to help out or at least to give us advice and encouragement, we would have wanted more savings.
My friend who did wait until they were debt free, had a house and savings, has six kids and a big, lovely house. I used to feel sorry for her for waiting, but it’s turned out pretty nice for them.
But, all those years childless and yearning!
It seems to me that using money as an excuse to use contraception, even NFP - I am not Catholic and view NFP as just another form of contraception - gives me a hint that money is more important than children.
Every advantage is not money; it is not things; it is not opportunity. The best advantage that a child can have is to be born into an intact family where both mom and dad love and serve God.
I believe that if you use money to justify contraceptive attitudes, you’ll pass that love of money onto your children as a bad attitude. Almost no one has enough money to be comfortable having a child. We all get by and do the best we can.
Obviously, if you’re living in a car and eating from dumpsters, things are not good for a child. But, how many people who want to be “financialy stable” are even close to this?
Your money won’t wipe the spittle from your face when you’re dying of old age; your money can’t replace the memories of holidays, picnics, school plays and everything else that goes with children.
Yes, having children means we’re called to be servants to a small creature. It means sacrifice, putting our own desires on the back-burner, losing sleep, losing control and even losing money.
Have kids or don’t have them. Space them or don’t, but using money as a justification tell me that money is of very, very high importance to that person.
When I had a miscarriage, my DH had to reaarange his schedule to be with me in the hospital. He then told his client, who told him, “Don’t you have 2 children? why would you want a 3rd?” This person had 1 child, and had spent a fortune (good down-payment on a house fortune) on tennis lessons, riding lessons etc.
Too bad tennis lessons can’t invite you to thanksgiving dinner.
It’s the “give them every advantage” phrase that really got me. (Not a huge fan of “most of what they want” either, but . . . that’s another post.) What does that mean? I suppose it depends on the person. I hear it most often in reference to schooling - can we afford private school, college, etc? Amongst some of my friends, it currently means can I afford to take my child to a number of activities - soccer, music class, etc. Or can I afford to take my children on vacation to broaden their horizons. For us, all of those things are nice, and we can occasionally afford some of them, but . . . I think it’s more of an advantage to my children to have another sibling.
What did Jesus say about laying up treasure in this world?
I agree- “financially secure” is awfully relative.
When we got pregnant with our first I was still finishing up my degree, my husband was unemployed working odd-jobs for his dad, and we were living in my in-laws’ basement. I am sure that probably doesn’t fall under the OP’s definition of “financially secure”. But… we were married and we felt that if we were ready to marry, we were ready to have kids. I couldn’t imagine life without my oldest son.
DH now has a stable job, we have two cars (both used), we built our own home, we have good food, heat, clothing, and electricity. We are working on getting some savings built up. I still doubt we fall under “financially secure” according to the OP.
How long, exactly, were we supposed to wait to be “finanically secure”? We’ve been married for over six year now and #4 is due in June. Our children bring us happiness that money or “security” never could.
We may never be able to afford a family vacation to Disney World, private school, designer clothes, cell phones for our teenagers, each kid having their own bedroom, cable TV, new cars, every kind of lesson or sport, or be able to finance each child’s university education 100%, but we love them a lot and we are investing a lot of time, effort, and as much of our money as possible into their upbringing- spiritual, educational, and otherwise.
Like everyone has mentioned… financial stability is all relative, so it’s a very difficult concept to define.
But - we do have to remember that every person has a different personality. I know MANY people that simply cannot FUNCTION in life if things aren’t “in order”. Yes, these people NEED to have a PLAN, otherwise they just simply could not even function as a parent. I’ve also seen the opposite end of the spectrum where life just seems so outrageously out of control - they thrive on INSTABILITY. These can be important factors in how well parents are even able to take care of their children…
There are many reasons why some parents would choose to space their children - not just financial. That’s why NFP is so beautiful!
I’m going to be a bit “controversial” here and say that emotional, financial, and spiritual stability stability ought to be considered before a couple gets married in the first place. I personally think people need a serious reason to get married if they are not reasonably financially secure.
However I do think the word “serious”, whether referring to NFP, marriage, or anything else involving the Church needs to be examined. Serious does not mean “grave” or even “super important”. It’s more like it means “real” rather than “used as an excuse”.
Financial concerns are a reason to space children. Minor concerns might be reasons to space for a few months. Major concerns might mean indefinitely. But not forever. Likewise, even vacations can be reasons to avoid having children. But again, just for short periods of time.
Just wanted to add…
Once someone is married I don’t think they need any reason to have children. There are just reasons why they might legitimately not have children.
I don’t think there is anything such as “financially stable”…you could loose everything in the blink of an eye. We are not promised tomorrow. That doesn’t mean we don’t have some plans in place and try to be prudent with our money and try to make good choices. That doesn’t mean we can’t try to space births for serious/valid reasons. However, limiting births because we want to travel the world or provide a totally private education or provide every lesson/sport/activity known to man or want to make sure every child has their own room and never see a hand me down are not really that serious. They border on spoiling a child. This is never good. Spacing births because we’ve been layed off, we’re ill, we’re emotionally stressed, we’re physically stressed, etc are serious reasons. Death need not be imminent for the reason to be serious.
Each couple needs to prayerfully consider what adding a child or not adding a child means to their family. If they are having issues figuring out what they should be doing, a holy spiritual advisor/priest can help them sort out their concerns. Erring on the side of life, however, is never a bad thing–even if financially it looks bad. Poor people are often more happy and satisfied with life than rich people. Children are looked on as blessings and riches instead of having material possessions (there’s something biblical to that!).