Monday, February 4, 2019

Counting Blessings & Privilege: How Our Small-Budget, Large Family Makes It In America

Sometimes we receive accolades for our large-family-low-budget lifestyle: “You guys really have your priorities in order!” And yes, we sacrifice, work hard (often several jobs at once), and save whenever we can. 

But the truth is, we've received many advantages over the years that make our thrifty lifestyle possible; advantages that aren’t options for many other American families.

Rather than declare our large family’s frugality as self-made virtue, I’d like to share the privileges we have experienced over the years that make our lifestyle possible. Whether we call it privilege, blessings, or random unearned gifts from family or friends, these opportunities (along with a shipload of hard work) have been necessary to make the real cost of raising our kids possible.

You can read the details in Part 1 over at FemCatholic -- how blessings & privilege in education, housing, childcare, food costs, transportation, and healthcare make our small-budget, large family living possible.

And then, in Part 2, I review examples of successful family policies already in place by Catholic employers, contemporary encyclicals (within the past 130 years) on the relationship between work and family life, and how these ideas apply to American family life in 2019.

(For those upset that disclosing my cost analysis might turn vulnerable future parents away from the potential joy of children: 1) You’re shooting the messenger. 2) People are smart; they've already run the numbers.)

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