I’ve enjoyed following yet another great thread over at Danielle Bean’s blog, where she asks readers to talk about how they afford to have more than one or two children on one income.
One thing that surprised me was how much of the discussion is focused on paying for children’s college education. If I’m understanding correctly, it seems that some of the commentors thought that not being able to afford to pay for all or most of college for additional children would constitute a serious reason to avoid pregnancy. (It’s quite possible that I did misunderstand what the writers on this particular thread were saying…but certainly that is a common notion in our society.)
Personally, I disagree with that — I’m biased, however, because I have the most amazing husband in the world, whose mother knew full well when she decided to get pregnant that there’s no way she’d ever be able to pay for him to go to college. 🙂 She ended up becoming a single mother and was so poor that they often couldn’t run the heat in the winter, so paying for even a single textbook was out of the question. He ended up getting an undergrad degree and two graduate degrees, all from Ivy League schools, so the student loan debt we’re paying off boggles the mind. He was able to get some scholarships and financial aid, but it didn’t even come close to covering the total cost. When we got married the debt we had on student loans was more than some people have on their house! To this day, it continues to be an albatross around our necks, especially since we’ve restructured our lives around stability and family instead of making more money. Our debt payment on the loan each month makes it really hard to get by, and it’s going to take us forever to pay it off. All that said, would it be better if my husband had never been born?
I understand wanting to do everything possible to help your children not begin their post-college lives under a mountain of debt. I also understand that certain dire financial concerns are surely “grave and serious reasons” to limit your family size. But is student loan debt so terrible that it outweighs the value of bringing a new life into the world?
I’ve made it clear what I think, but that’s just my $0.02. There’s no right or wrong answer to this one. What is your personal opinion on the issue?
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