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May 6, 2011 / sharoncopy

How much to raise a child?

My husband and I laugh and scoff at all those articles about how much it costs to raise a child. What a pile of baloney! Back when we were having our kids I think the going rate was $100,000 to raise a child. Dennis always commented: “you don’t have to write a check the first day.”  It’s all a part of the new thought that denounces the worth of children and promotes the value of “stuff.”

You don’t need “stuff” to give you thrills when you have a little person to smile at you. You don’t need a fancy dinner out in a high class restaurant when your 2 year old will help you go through the “gidgy-water” to find something tasty to eat. You don’t even need TV or video games or trips to the movies if  you have a public library and a couple of little rug rats to curl up in your lap and listen to “Maple Hill Farm” or “Little House on the Prairie.”

Why do people focus so much on the diapers and the diarrhea? Yeah, they exist. They happen. So what? If you were in the hospital and a gentle nurse took care of these needs when YOU were ill, you’d think she had really done a great job. But when a parent gets a chance to show love this way, it’s “ewwww…..”

Society encourages us to be spoiled, to want our own way, and to strive hard to get it. It doesn’t promote giving and loving unless there’s something in it for the doer – like, you don’t go to a soup kitchen and ladle soup just because you care or it’s the right thing to do: you do it because it makes you feel good about yourself. Whoopee.

Anyway, I spent $100 in cash that was a gift from my students, when our first child was born. I bought a used crib for $30, lots of cloth diapers for $30, a playpen for $5, a couple sets of crib sheets for $6, and just about everything else I needed. Now, on Oprah, outfitting a baby would have cost thousands. But you know what? You don’t NEED a lot of fancy “stuff” in order to be happy. You need adequate food and housing, and a way to perk yourself up now and again, which doesn’t have to cost money.

more later…

One Comment

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  1. Cat / May 6 2011 12:44 pm

    So true…unless you have a very sick child.
    That can change the whole outlook on family living.

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