Tag Archives: Children

Over A Thousand Children Will Be Born In The Time It Takes You To Read This

15 Feb

Recently Pope Francis announced that “the choice to not have children is selfish.”

Far be it from me to disagree with the Infallible One, but I’m afraid he’s got things just a bit wrong.

In truth, a very good percentage of those who have chosen to release their spawn into the world have done so to ensure that a little piece of them will carry on even after they’re gone. Um . . . a little self-centred, no? Others feel their life philosophies (or genes) are just so super-duper, humankind needs more of them, so they spew out smaller versions of themselves to help spread the word (or the DNA). Again, you’ve got to think pretty highly of yourself to assume humankind needs more of you in it.

Others, of course, have children without having actually “chosen” to do so. Instead they chose not to take two seconds to roll on a condom and now the rest of us are paying for that choice. And we’re the selfish ones, Francis?

He also condemned a “greedy generation” that doesn’t surround itself with children and considers them a worry or a risk. Okay, now, hold up there, Holy Father. Have you looked around recently? Everywhere I go, I’m surrounded by children (particularly on the No. 43 into the City Centre). Without a single one passing through my birth canal, I still can’t get away from kids. And while I’m not saying no one should ever reproduce, kids can be a worry and a risk. They could get poorly or caught up in the dangers that seem to lurk behind every corner or they could vote Tory or support Man United. These are real concerns, good sir, and to pretend they don’t matter is unfair.

Lastly, he said, that life “is enriched, not impoverished” by children. I know he was speaking metaphorically, but it’s expensive to have a kid, especially if you plan to kit it out in a way that will keep other ‘unselfish’ people’s kids from bullying it on the schoolyard. Children are notorious bank breakers, and we mustn’t pretend they’re not.

baby-popeWhile I take umbrage with the practicalities of some his points, I’m not unaware that ultimately Pope Francis wants people to get it on to help create more people for God, saying a child is “a life created by us but destined for Him.” I’m going to leave that one alone as its target audience is probably not the same as mine. However, this is also the man who criticised some large families’ “irresponsibility,” clarifying that “some think, excuse me if I use the word, that in order to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits. But no.”

Whatevs.

As popes go, Francis seems to be one of the best. And I know his timing probably wasn’t coincidental; what with all the condom adverts thrusting their Valentine’s Day specialties our way this week, he probably just wanted to put in a good word for shagging without protection.

But it’s not really fair to criticise people who choose not to contribute to overpopulation. They all have their reasons — some might be sensible (they aren’t in a position to properly care for a baby), some might seem a little less so (they were chosen to be God’s representative on earth), but the decision must be theirs.

And lots of childless people still see children as gifts to the world. That’s why they care for them in hospitals or schools or work to keep them safe in the community. It seems to me that the best guidance should be about looking after children, rather than just encouraging people to squeeze them out willy-nilly.

That’s why whenever I push a kid over in the street, I always stop to help them back up. Being kind — it’s a selfless act and the most important message of all.

A Sense of Pride, Yes, But £200k?

25 Feb

A new report claims that the total cost of raising a child is now £210,848. Below is a breakdown of the costs.

I apologise in advance for their inconsistent use of ampersands.

Some of these figures are a little startling and indicate a real problem with priorities. Parents are spending over thirty thousand quid to keep their kids entertained (with holiday, hobbies, toys, leisure and recreation) yet just barely a thousand for personal care? I also wonder what on earth the children are buying with their £4543 in pocket money if their parents are already providing them with food, shelter, clothing, furniture, vacations, entertainment and even a car. I can’t imagine what that leaves left except for fags and no child should be smoking over 4000 quids’ worth of fags, even I will admit to that. Most upsetting of all, though, is the fact that parents spend £67,430 for childcare and babysitting. You could buy over 23 acres of land in North Yorkshire for less than that. Instead, parents choose to have children and then shell out the cash for someone to take them off their hands.

To pour salt on the wound, the “news” article I read about this report claims that parents can save money in the following ways: by taking advantage of bargains on entertainment; by buying “used” toys; and by cutting their own cost of living through shopping around for cheaper rates on insurance, credit cards, mortgages, etc. If I were a parent (which  I am not), I would be more than a little offended by these so-called suggestions. Firstly, on principle, I take umbrage with anything connected to the word bargain. Secondly, facts are facts: kids chew on things. When a toy is described as “used,” what they mean is “has already been chewed on.” In my mind, purchasing a pre-chewed-on toy for another child to chew on is tantamount to abuse. And finally, faced with the knowledge that I as a parent (again, I’m not) am expected to disburse over £200,000 of my hard-earned money for this little kiddie, if someone suggested that I alter my own cost of living by wasting hours upon hours on the internet trying to save 3 quid a month on my car insurance, well, I hope said advice-giver is wearing a bulletproof vest, because I’d have a gun and one of us is going to die.

I believe that children are our future. We should treat them well and what not. However, there’s already over two billion of them on the planet; I’m not sure we really need any new ones. Doesn’t it seem like a wiser investment to buy that land up North, make a donation to UNICEF and have a few bob left over to get yourself something nice on a rainy day?