Babies Don’t Need Air Jordans & 5 Other Societal Myths Debunked
by Kaitlyn Clare Elizabeth Mason
Many people feel they cannot afford children, or that they are not in a position to care for a child. While everyone’s situation is certainly different, it seems that American societal expectations are currently set pretty high.
Families around the globe do not have access to necessities that are often mainstream in the U.S. – things like clean water, fresh clothing & linens, food, and safe shelter. These are the things babies truly need. Add some snuggles and love, and you’re all set!
Of course every effort should be made to ensure that all humans have access to basic necessities. But every day children are born into less than ideal circumstances, and they are able to grow and thrive.
Here in America, it is not uncommon to hear highly educated parents with a home, health insurance, multiple cars, and well-paying jobs say things like, “We can’t afford another baby.” Or, “We won’t fit in a 3 bedroom house, we have 3 children.” What some of them are really saying is that they want to maintain a certain lifestyle – one they feel is best for their family – and that more children or a more humble lifestyle would be burdensome.
Downsizing a home, selling a car, or not going on that expensive vacation are often not considered. Aspiring to have bigger and better possessions seems to be a twisted, misguided, modern adaptation of the classic American dream.
While everyone has the right to discern how they’d like to raise a family within the limits of moral and social laws, we can run into problems when Mothers in crisis pregnancies feel they need to meet these unnecessarily high societal expectations. In fact, unnecessarily high societal expectations can lead women and families to choose abortion.
Here’s the reality:
- Babies don’t need Air Jordans
Babies don’t even need to wear shoes for months after they’re born. Sure, in colder climates shoes may help a baby stay warm. But walking shoes aren’t needed for a while, and when they are needed, you don’t need to spend a fortune. Name brand clothing items can really add up. Shopping Goodwill or consignment for nice items at low prices is a frugal way to meet needs without breaking the bank.
2. Babies don’t need to go to Disney World
Nope. Babies don’t need expensive vacations. They need parents who are willing and able to live within their means. Humble living is beautiful living. There is nothing wrong with humility and prudence.
- Babies don’t need their own bedrooms
It seems like just about everyone in the baby boomer generation was forced to share a bedroom at one point or another. Then contraception hit drugstore shelves, and all of a sudden, these baby boomers were going to make sure their kids never had to endure this room-sharing torture. Home sizes swelled, and children were given as much space as their parents could afford. The result? Somehow people have it in their heads that children need their own bedrooms. Anyone remember the Walton family? The Brady Bunch? Little House on the Prairie? Sharing a room forces kids to learn all kinds of great life skills – and they’ll likely have some fun memories that come out of it in the end.
- Babies don’t need Mothers who are college educated
Sure, education is important, but it’s not everything. There’s so much pressure in our society for everyone to go to college, but it’s not always right for everyone. College-aged women can feel pressured to abort when they discover they are pregnant just because a baby will interfere with their plans. In reality, pursuing a college education at the cost of an abortion interferes with God’s plan for a new little life to be brought into the world. What a beautiful thing it is when we are able to let go of our own desires and embrace God’s plan. And by the way, many determined women are still able to finish their education while parenting. And many women choose adoption as a loving option for their child when they truly are not able to parent.
- Babies don’t need everything you’ve seen on a baby registry
Wipe warmers, humidifiers, noise machines, video monitoring equipment, bottle warmers, overpriced baby carriers, expensive diaper bags – these may be nice to have, but they are usually wants, not needs. Babies need a place to sleep, but this doesn’t have to be a large, expensive crib. Pack-n-plays and portable rockers can work for a good while with infants. Babies need a safe carseat, but it doesn’t have to be a top of the line item priced as high as a mortgage payment.
- Babies don’t need name brand diapers
Name brand stuff is expensive. You really just need something to catch the #1 and #2. Pennies more for softer, better scented disposable items can really add up. Cloth diapering is also a much cheaper option for families who are able to launder their own items.
It is abhorrent that many women and families feel the need to have an abortion because they can’t provide what our society expects them to provide. It is unfortunate that many other families resort to contraception and convince themselves they are “done” having children because they don’t want to change their lifestyle to accommodate another life.
Prayerful discernment is crucial when making decisions that alter our family sizes.
And so we pray – God please give us humility to trust in your will for our lives. Please give us prudence so that we can be good stewards of the gifts you have provided for our use and for distribution to others. Please give us wisdom and love to share with the souls that you have entrusted in our care. Amen!
What are some other societal myths about raising a family that need to be debunked?
Copyright 2016 Kaitlyn Mason