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[personal profile] snapes_mistress
File this one under the "Mind Your Own Damn Business" tag!

A friend of mine from back home, Christy, is having her second baby soon. She posted on Facebook asking if anyone knew where she could get a "Belly Bandit," which is apparently some kind of girdle/belt thing you can wear after giving birth to support your abdomen.

I replied jokingly that "Belly Bandit" sounded like some guy was gonna show up in a Zorro mask and steal her baby-fat away. This somehow turned into my friend, me, and my mom joking about how I should have kids with Liam, so we could raise them in England and my mom could have grandbabies with cute British accents.

My mother has NEVER pressured me into marriage or kids. She always told me to do the opposite... go to college, become able to take care of myself, travel, see the world, live my life before thinking about having kids. I know the whole thing about babies with British accents was just a joke. So I replied that I'd happily start shooting out kids, if anyone wanted to support us all financially. Til then, no way. LOLs all around from the three of us.

Today when I checked my Facebook, some random woman on Christy's friend list, whom I have never met in my life, sent me a long-ass message basically telling me I should go ahead and have as many kids as I want, and not worry about being able to support them financially; if I didn't have the money, it doesn't matter... because the Lord will provide!

Seriously? Who sends this kind of message to a complete stranger, based on a few facetious Facebook comments?

Tara, I don't know you or your situation, so if you think I'm out of line here, go ahead and tell me. I promise not to be offended! :):)

I'm a friend of Christy's, the one who asked for you to tell me if you find a belly bandit that steals belly fat. :D:D

As I said, I don't know you're situation, but I wanted to answer the comment you made about not being able to afford babies. I sooo know the feeling! I've had ten, the first six of whom we paid for out of pocket because we had no maternity insurance. (After that, we moved to Canada, where babies are paid for by taxpayers as part of socialized medicine). During that time, my husband has had a variety of jobs, none of which really paid well. I never worked outside the home since getting pregnant with our first, although I now deliver papers in the morning. We also had a lot of debt during the time we had those first six since we both had college loans to pay off. Many times it seemed as though we would never see the light of day financially.

Things have often been tough, and there were a few times when we moved in with my parents between moves to help save on rent while getting things together for moving. Once we stayed several months in a suite of rooms in the school building where my husband was maintenance man/janitor because we were moving sooner than the six-month lease our landlord wanted us to sign, and we had to be out of the apartment before we were ready to move.

We've had times when we wondered where the next meal was coming, but we never actually went without that next meal. The Lord always provided, sometimes in amazing ways. We've had money left in our mailbox anonymously. One summer we had a woman ask if she could sell vegetables in our front yard, which was in a prime location on a crossroads. She paid us $10 a day, plus more veggies than we could eat fresh, which I canned, and which lasted a good part of the winter. We've had our tax return not come on time (when we didn't need it and would have spent it on other stuff) but came late (when we really needed it because the car broke down).

Right now my husband pastors a very small church which is not able to support us the way they'd like to. Yet even here, he has not had to get an outside job like so many pastors do. At least half our groceries are donated by one of our deacons, a single man who says God laid it on his heart to do this for us. Sometimes, when things were tough for him financially, we've told him to stop, but he refused. He sometimes scaled back, but he never stopped. His wife, who died of cancer about 15 years ago, was never able to have children, so he has sort of adopted us as his family.

I could go on and on. I just want you to know that if you set your heart to have children (which God calls blessings from the Lord), God will never leave you in the lurch as you trust in him. He promises to provide all our needs, and even some of our wants. He says that as long as we trust in Him, He will never let us go hungry, and we won't have to go begging, either. His promises have never failed us, not ever. Our ten children are healthy and strong, and have plenty to eat and to wear.

Since we couldn't afford all the things our children wanted (like ipods, computer stuff, brand-new bikes--we've had lots of used bikes given to us--and other things that a lot of kids in wealthier families seem to take for granted), they learned to work and earn the money to buy those things themselves. They've babysat, mowed lawns, shoveled snow, delivered papers, baked and sold bread, gathered old appliances and misc. metal junk to sell for scrap, cleaned houses and a doctor's office, held a yard sale, and sold wood to campers at local campground.

You really CAN afford children when you trust the Lord to supply your needs.

Just my thoughts based on experience.

Cathy Newton

Really? REALLY? That is just so friggin' weird... I don't know this woman at all. She knows absolutely nothing about me, except that I'm Christy's friend. My Facebook profile doesn't show any information to anyone not on my friends list. Why the hell would you send a complete stranger such a message?

I guess maybe she thinks she is doing her Christian duty? With 10 kids, maybe she believes in that Quiverfull thing, where Christians don't use birth control, so they can have a ton of kids so as to put more Christians in the world?

I haven't replied yet. I wonder if I should tell her the truth... that I'm an atheist, and think all her talk of "the Lord providing" sounds childish and silly. That I think having kids you can't support is a really selfish, stupid thing to do. That I have no desire to be a drain on society that way. That I grew up really poor, and the Lord never miraculously showed up when my mom couldn't afford to feed us or take us to the doctor. That growing up poor SUCKS, and I have always promised to never willingly inflict that on my own kids. That I think it is totally out of line to message a random stranger on Facebook and suggest they have kids they cannot afford. That her sending me such a message really creeped me out.

I guess I should be nice, and just send a polite "thanks, but no thanks" type response? Or should I just totally ignore it?

The whole thing is so weird!!! What say ye, LJ peeps?

Date: 2011-08-21 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't read it all, but I have someone on my f-list is who is the same... She's 21/22 and pregnant with baby #4. her husband work below minimal wage... She says that God decided how many babies they will have. I guess it works out ok for now, but what happens when the babies grow into "children" and teenagers and needs more (economically)? Ugh.

Date: 2011-08-21 07:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm totally with you on this one. I'd like to have kids some time in the next few years, but not if I can't afford to provide them with the basics. "The Lord" did not provide that woman with those things her kids needed - generous friends and neighbors did. And if those friends and neighbors had all had more kids than they could afford, they probably wouldn't have had any cash or vegetables left over to share with her. When packages of diapers and food start falling from the sky, I'll start having more babies than I can afford too. Until then, though, I'll continue to ignore anyone who tells me it's a good idea to start popping them out.

I think you're right that she probably feels like she's doing her Christian duty by sending you that message. Seems awfully irresponsible and creepy to me too.

Date: 2011-08-21 07:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd feel like you. Your response would be exactly like mine (how stupid can you be to keep pooping out kids when the ones already there barely have nothing to begin with???), but I probably wouldn't quite dare to send it...
On the other hand, maybe if you did, she won't be so quick to harass someone else in the future??? (Wishful thinking.)

Date: 2011-08-21 07:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow. I'm totally with you on this one -- don't have babies you can't provide for. I think this woman is completely out of line, and it was not any god that provided her with the ability to feed and clothe her family, it was a group of generous community members.

I would definitely want to send the reply you talked about, how believing that "God" will provide for kids you can't afford is silly and how having children while you are not financially stable is irresponsible and selfish. I don't know if I would be brave enough to actually send it, but I would definitely feel the urge to.

Date: 2011-08-21 11:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
holly hell. I can't believe someone would take the time to write that to another they don't even know. and you gotta love how she assumes that just because parents have money - the kids are going to be brats and won't know the value of money.

I agree with you thought. You need to be able to provide for you kids. It doesn't help anyone if you are always worried about money and can't be there for your kids as much.

My mom is the same. she never pressured for kids, being married or being in a relationship. You have to be able to provide for them and give them the time that they need and deserve.

Date: 2011-08-22 03:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This reminds me of a story I heard on NPR about Muslim clerics in Pakistan encouraging families to have as many kids as they can because "Allah will provide." Despite the majority of these kids being into complete and utter poverty. Nice reminder that we have nutjobs like this in the West too.

I think if you really want to reply to her just simply say God would probably want you to be married before you start having kids.

Date: 2011-08-22 03:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And on the off chance you're married and I somehow missed that, just tell her that you're never going to be able to have children because you had 37 back alley abortions that left you sterile. That'll start a real fun conversation!

Date: 2011-08-22 09:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmm - I know the sort of message I'd want to send her, so I must admit that I'd probably ignore it, because it would really stick in my craw having to hold back on the 'Are you kidding me?!' outpouring that is what I would really want to say.

Irresponsible woman - if I were Canada, I'd have sent them back to the US, rather than making her offspring the burden of the taxpayer!

Date: 2011-08-23 04:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well...she did say she wouldn't be offended if you told her she is out of line!

I generally "live and let live" for the religious folk -- unless they point their religion uninvited in my direction in a "the Lord can help you" or "this is why you should go to church" or ... something similar.

And then I let them know their "advice" is intrusive and unwelcome. (Especially when it comes in the form of people on our doorstep!)

In her case, I'd either tell her you all were joking around and/or tell her you're only interested in having children that *you* can provide for, not an invisible being. ;-)

Date: 2011-11-04 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's so weird. Did you reply?


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