Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What You Can't Afford Not to Have

I read an article today about a young woman asking financial expert Suze Orman some advice. She and her husband had three kids and she wanted Suze's advice on whether or not they should go for a fourth child. Because the young woman didn't know her mortgage interest rate, had inadequate life insurance on her husband, their mortgage was upside down and she didn't know a few more answers to financial questions, Suze advised her not to have that fourth child. She told her she can't afford it and that, instead, she should learn all the answers to the financial details of her family now.

I disagree. If we had waited until we could afford to have kids, we still wouldn't have any. We had to live on a strict budget. We had to make personal sacrifices. We had to deny the kids things their friends had. We had to bake from scratch and say "no" to designer clothes. We shopped for the kids' clothes at yard sales and thrift shops. We took extra jobs if we needed to. I remember at one point my husband, David, worked three jobs to keep food on the table...and so I could be a stay-at-home mom. (He did everything to make that one happen!) I have always found ways to earn money from home. I sold on ebay, did couponing, babysat and wrote and sold articles, all from home.

It was the kids who motivated us to do more for each other and them. Now that many of my eight children are grown and on their own, they don't remember not having stuff. They don't remember not having special opportunities. Recently, one of my sons was telling me that he remembers the long walks I took the kids on around town. He said those walks were so special and he felt like he was on top of the world walking down the street every day with his mom and siblings. That same son also told me that the best thing I ever gave him was his seven siblings.

And my kids had toys, and bikes, and shoes, and food on the table. They had everything they needed and many things they wanted. God supplies our every need at all times. In this you can trust....Phil 4:19.

If I did not have eight children, I would likely have a nice, modern home with all the amenities one could want. And it would be clean. I would drive a newer car, wear better clothes, and eat out more often at fine restaurants.

And I would be most miserable. I would be miserable because that nice, big new house would be empty, the car would never have a car seat in it, my clothes would never be stained with baby drool and fine dinners out would be less fulfilling because I knew I'd be going home to an empty house.

No, thanks.

There is no price on the joy one has in having a family, and a large one at that. I can't remember one time when we even thought about what it would cost to have another baby. We just had another baby. The news of another child coming into the family was always good news. We were always so excited and we didn't think about the money.

I was often criticized, largely by Christian people, for having "so many children." They often greeted our news with "Another baby? How many are you gonna have?" That mindset always baffled me because I hadn't thought much about how many I was going to have. It didn't seem to be up to me so I had no answer for those people.

Having eight kids was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I wouldn't trade this for anything. I am one of the most blessed people on the planet.

Suze Orman gives a lot of good advice. I've read a couple of her books and like what she says.

But, on this one, Suze is wrong. Never count the cost of having a baby or raising a child until you've done it. Count it up after they've grown and moved on. Only then will you realize you could not afford NOT to have kids.


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