Workshy Scrounger

Tag: Childfree

I am a Motherhood Denier

An interesting article in the Daily Mail about child-free women:

Any woman who says she’s happy to be childless is a liar or a fool.

I must be a fool then. When we got engaged, we discussed having children in terms of money: we would have to move, real nappies or pampers, baby-led weaning, etc. It was only later that we asked ourselves whether we actually wanted to have a baby. One night we were sitting around watching movies and thought:

Imagine we had a baby in our bedroom right now. We would have to get up and feed it or change it or console it. You go.

Do not give me the “it’s different when it’s your own”. What if it’s not? All these stories of child abuse and neglect prove the opposite. Sometimes your own parents can be your worst enemies.

Most of the people we know have children. Their lives changed beyond recognition. It is not about crazy nights out or spontaneous trips to Ibiza. It is every single aspect: no lie-ins, food restrictions during pregnancy and breastfeeding, no time off – ever. The worst aspect, for me, is having to be responsible for someone with a will of their own. It’s like letting a cute kitten out in a dog pound and hoping for the best. No reward for the kitten’s survival but eternal damnation should something go wrong – HOW COULD YOU LET IT HAPPEN!?

When it comes to having a kid as an insurance for old age – they will change my nappies and love me so much – I don’t buy it as it makes no economical sense. Pay the money now and perhaps you will get what you want when you need it. A child is a poor investment – it could die before you, get estranged, or simply do not care enough to do more than phone you on your birthday and send you a Christmas card. Or simply be in no position to help you – living on low income miles away from you. However, the £150k it would take to raise said child could bring in nice dividends. Can’t afford to save that much? You cannot really afford the child either.

I think that many people regret having children but hardly anyone will admit it. Having children is expected, especially of women. Being childless is viewed as a tragedy – is there really nothing the doctors could have done? If you are child-free and happy, you must be just putting on a brave face. Do you want to hold my baby? Just look at the little toesies.

I really do not want to have children at the moment. I know that time is running out and I might regret my decision later on. It is still a better alternative than to have your child look at you with large teary eyes asking “why do you not love me, mummy?” I think remaining child-free, paradoxically, proves I am a good mother.

Breaking news: babies cost a lot

I wrote before about the true cost of having a baby when we, the scroungers, were accused of popping them out just for the sake of extra money from the government. Mind that I wrote it without the benefit of ever having a child, even being close friends with someone who has a child or actually planning to have one. Therefore, the recent report from Aviva and Santander was puzzling:

Such is the extent of the monthly outlay on children that one in 20 parents say they would not have had a child in the first place if they were aware of the true cost of raising them.

The 0.05% might not seem like a lot but it means that just last year over 40,000 babies were born through sheer ignorance of their parents. Perhaps family clinics should start promoting arithmetic skills along with the awareness of contraceptive methods.

They go on to say that £537 is spent on a child every month. That already includes (to some extent) reliance on hand-me-downs, charity shops and accepting help from family members.

We would receive £357 a month in child tax credits and child benefits. That would leave us £180 short every month. No amount of second-hand items and family goodwill is going to cover such a shortfall day-in day-out for the next 16 or so years.

Unfortunately we are not the sky subscribing, cider drinking mythical creatures who can have it all while living on benefits. As all our expenditure is scaled down past the minimum, we would go hungry (very often). We would have to rely on our non-existent food bank (for the joy of free food, obviously). IDS will be happy to hear we will not be having a child partly due to our financial circumstances. Even if by some miracle I will be able to work again, we will still not take the chance because redundancies and ill-health happen. It happened once to us and it could happen again.

At the same time, the government and the tabloids are trying to say you are actually in profit if you have children while on benefits. Forget money education at schools, we should start with the politicians.

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