Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Healthy baby=Eternal Happiness?

I just came across something that bothers me and I want to share. On an internet forum that I frequently browse a woman was venting about her DH being laid off again, and she was worried and stressing over not having enough savings (because they had already drained it the first time he was laid off) and being financially strapped. Unfortunately this type of story and financial burden is all to common in today's economy (in fact just yesterday I canceled our cable to save money and I called to have our home phone-we will be using cell phones-disconnected at the end of the billing cycle). I mean, Thomas and I live paycheck to paycheck right now, so yes, one of us losing our job would be devastating so I understand this woman's concern. Anyways, although she was trying to be nice, someone responded back with this statement:

"All I can say is be strong for your LO. I know things are crappy right now, but I also know that you 2 have been pretty fortunate in having a healthy child and all"

And with that, I have issues.....Since when does having a healthy child null and void all the other issues and problems that can go wrong in life? Now please don't get me wrong.....children are a true blessing and I don't know what I would do without my son and I am THANKFUL every day for him, and I do understand the heartache of someone who struggles to bring a child into their life, and yes I understand that the love you have for your child can transcend many things that arise in life, BUT those other things do still exist AND those other things can cause stress. In fact, having a child INCREASES the intensity of financial situations because baby's cost A LOT of money.

I mean, if you look at the statement literally it could be interpreted as "well at least you don't have a 'sick' child that would require more stress and money than a 'healthy' one does". And yes this statement is true because anyone who has been the caretaker for a chronically sick baby, whether by disease or infection, etc, can tell you it IS extra stress and extra medical expenses so it can increase the financial burden one may have, BUT the simple existence of a "healthy" baby doesn't negate all financial stresses and woes nor is it a reason for people NOT to be upset over it so why is it considered a helpful response? good is it to have a healthy child and not be able to keep them that way....because even "healthy" children require diapers and clothes and food and toys and medical care...which costs MONEY. So in my eyes, even if you have a healthy child, the child itself can cause more financial stress because you are worried about all the things you have to provide for your child....and if you can't do that, it can lead to guilt and more problems.

Again, don't misinterpret me here, this isn't an issue of "at least you have a child" or "since you have a child you need to be grateful" because I AM grateful for my child, I AM thankful. I simply have an issue of people using that statement as an excuse or a reason for other people to not be upset over negative life situations. Having a baby/child is wonderful but it doesn't mean someone is happy all the time and it certainly doesn't solve or erase all of life's problems as the responder above implied. Seems like a bit of an unnecessary guilt trip, no?


Jen said...

I agree with you. It's that whole Pain Olympics thing again, I think, but in a slightly different way.

Plus, I hate being told to look at my blessings when I want to wallow a little. Sometimes complaining is what I need.

Tammy said...

What you are taking about is exactly what we heard at our foster/adoption orientation. They see kids from families who have lost their jobs and lifestyle will end up in temporary care. Financial stress can cause a situation where tempers get the better of even the most even tempered adult. To say a healthy kids negates the fact that they economy sucks is naïve and thoughtless.

BTW... He is a beautiful baby.

Jewels said...

There is life after delivery, and sometimes it is more stressful because you do have someone elses whole future to look after, care for and influence.
When I had my healthy son, well, I had the baby blues, but was excited about him, but he eventually settles into the picture of my life (rather than stick out like a conversation peice) and life continues, the fears, the joys, the fun with friends, the time with my self (and enjoying and even looking forward to it). It doesnt mean I love my sone any less, it just means that life goes on and my son is not the solution to all problems.

I probably didnt explain that well. but I get what your saying, just like my fears of becoming a mom after 2 years TTC and finally getting a BFP, there feelings and deserved to be expressed and validated.