Why Telling People “Don’t Have Kids You Can’t Afford” Massively Misses the Mark

When poor folks complain about their lot in life, onlookers often inspect their choices, grabbing onto anything they can put the blame directly into the complainer’s lap. 

Children become the target as the well-off deride poor people for making the awful choice to bring children into a life of impoverishment. 

Not The Flex You Think

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The situation is far too common. People scoff at single mothers, telling them to “make better choices” and blame low-income families for having far too many children than they can afford while missing a lot of crucial information. 

Telling poor folks to stop having kids is an awful flex, and here’s why. 

Children Aren’t Just for the Wealthy

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They say kids are expensive, and that’s a massive understatement. Raising a kid in the US can cost up to 30K per year

That’s not affordable for most people. When you say, “Don’t have kids you can’t afford,” you’re also saying, “Parenthood is a privilege reserved for the wealthy,” and that’s unfair. 

Kids Shouldn’t Be So Expensive


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The bottom line is having kids shouldn’t put parents at such an economic disadvantage. The government wants more kids but places the entire burden on two people. 

We need more collective action to make parenthood more affordable. 

You Don’t Know Their Circumstances

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It’s easy to judge others without knowing their situation. That single mother you’re deriding may have lost her husband. She may have lost a high-paying job that paid more than enough to support a family. 

Life happens to everyone. You don’t know if they were stable when they decided to have kids, so why not stop judging? 

Lack of Education

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Telling people to stop having kids assumes that everyone knows how babies are made. Sexual education is sorely lacking in the United States. People believe crazy myths about pregnancy and don’t have anyone they can trust to set the record straight. 

Stripping Women of Bodily Autonomy

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People will really tell women not to have kids they can’t afford, and they strip those same women of their rights to bodily autonomy, thus ensuring the poorest women will continue to have children they can’t afford.

Access to Contraceptives

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It’s harder and harder to get contraceptives, too. Pharmacists can “opt-out” of providing this essential medication to women, and some political circles are trying to ban it altogether. 

Questionable Consent

An angry man stands behind the couch, yelling at a woman who is sitting on the couch with her hands over her ears.
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Telling women not to have children they can’t afford assumes that the impregnation happened consensually. 

Men stealth their partners. They cry and beg and plead until the woman gives in. They get angry, making everyone around them scared and miserable until they get what they want. 

The opposite is also true, where women pretend to be on birth control to trick their partners into fatherhood. 

Without knowing anyone’s circumstance, you can’t assume all pregnancies happened with consensual activity. 

The Parent That Stayed

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People love to shame single mothers. They get the short end of every stick, and the most insidious thing is that they’re the parents who stayed. People joke about deadbeat dads, but they rarely receive the same amount of hate and vitriol pointed at single mothers. 

Many believed the lies their partner promised – that they’d be a family and he’d take care of them. Why do we only blame the parent that stayed?

Shames People in Need

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The worst part about blaming parents for having kids when they can’t afford them is that it does nothing to fix the situation. The kid is still here, and the parent is still suffering. They can’t go back in time, so why must we shame them?

Some Truth, but Lacks Nuance

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While some people are lazy about their reproduction and purposefully bring forth children they know they can’t afford, most situations are far more nuanced. If you don’t know, you shouldn’t judge. 

We need to stop shaming the parents and find ways to make parenthood more affordable for everyone.

Valid Reasons Not To Have Kids

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Despite all the pressure to procreate, it’s perfectly valid not to want kids. Millennials and younger generations are opting out of parenthood at record rates. 

Here are their top reasons for not wanting kids

Will You Change Your Mind About a Baby?

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Everyone tells childfree people they will change their minds. But is that true? Here’s what to consider if you’re on the fence about parenthood

Talking About a Baby

parents doing their own thing ignoring their small child that's sitting between them
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Don’t have kids on a whim. Have these crucial conversations without your partner before deciding you’re ready for a baby

Are You Ready for a Baby?

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Think you’re ready for a baby? Consider these 15 points first. 

Yes, There is a Real Poverty Trap in America

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We often think of third world countries when we talk about poverty, but it’s thriving right here in the US.

Here’s the truth about America’s Poverty Trap.