Written by Penelope Farthing
Following on from an article posted back in January discussing why Jesus is not birth control, and yesterday’s blog about HIV prevention tips, here’s a friendly reminder for those who may have forgotten, choose to believe otherwise, or were never told.
I’m not bringing any religious beliefs into this equation, either, as my beliefs are not important in this discussion. Furthermore, this sentiment applies to Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, you name it.
Actually, now that I think about it some more, that statement is too broad. It needs more.
You know what is really expensive? Like, into the hundreds of thousands of dollars over an 18-year period? BABIES. Fresh out the womb they need stuff, like diapers and bottles and toys, worse still if they had any complications. If your job does not have decent maternity leave (few jobs really do), you might have to go back to work as early as six weeks after delivery (or less if you’re in really dire straits). If the dad is not around, and the mom’s support system isn’t great, she may also have to cough up the funds for daycare, which has its own issues for very young babies. These things put the baby behind the 8 ball mere weeks into their young life. By vetting your partner appropriately, and getting married first, it reduces (not eliminates) the chances of this fate befalling you.
Motherhood is the greatest indicator of poverty, and while being married does not guarantee that you will not end up a single mother, (nor does it automatically mean you are ready for children) it establishes some legal protections for you. If you are married and something happens to your husband (and his affairs are in order) then legal issues can get resolved a lot more quickly than if you were just a baby mama.
You know what though? I think more restrictions need to be placed on that statement. Let’s see.
Not because you’re married means exemption from getting tested. Before you engage in unprotected sex, as part of the marriage, pay a visit to your local clinic and get matching his and hers STD panels prior to consummation.
“That must be so exhausting being so cynical all the time!” you might say.
Nope, not at all. There’s something very liberating about taking my own health and reproductive system so damn seriously that I don’t have a baby I’m not ready for or contract diseases I don’t want. I suggest these tactics be employed by any woman who values herself enough to not bear children before she is ready, or get a diagnosis that could literally change her life forever.