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can you explain "can't afford more kids?" - Page 2

post #21 of 66
Originally Posted by freestyler
OK, I'm gonna ask a stupid question here. Maybe there's something obvious I'm missing. When people say "we can't afford another baby right now," what do they mean? I am assuming when people say that they mean it in a financial way.

Are babies really that expensive? It's been our experience that they get expensive as they get older and start taking extra enrichment things like swim team and ballet and stuff. But as for babies, if we cloth diaper, they cost virtually nothing in our family. They need a bed to sleep with mom in, and lots of breastmilk, and nice warm hand-me-downs to wear. The food bill goes up a little cause I need to eat more when I nurse, but that's about it.

Are people referring to the cost of the birth, with inadequate health coverage and the rotten insurance plans lots of us have? Are people referring to having to buy an extra carseat or baby carriers or something? Are people finding some other difficult-to-bear costs? I'm just wondering, because we've always found the baby years to be the INexpensive ones! So I was wondering what people find is financially prohibitive about having another baby. The first baby can require a big lay-out, but even that can be alleviated with careful planning.

The ONLY good advice my mom ever gave me was "If you wait to have children until you can afford them, you'll never have them. So don't wait." Hmmmm. I'm not sure it was even all that good advice really. Anyway, just curious.
whelp, im in this boat and for us we cant afford it in a way........ its so hard..... we have a small apartment and two kids and i desperately want to have one more... but i worry bc i feel we will need a 3 bedroom with 3 kids.... eventually. So, while I am cool with the babe being in our room for a year or so, I know that 3 kids in one room is just...... craziness, besides the fact that dd and ds are going to need their own room enventually (boy/girl), which just brings me round in a circle to then why not if we will need a 3 bedroom anyhow?? OH and another baby means more years of me working very part time to be home with my kids instead of picking up more hours so we can hopefully buy a house someday!! I dont know but feel in a way it would be irresponsible of us to have another one right now when money is so tight as it is...... but oh how i want another......
post #22 of 66
When I say we cant afford more than the 2 kids we have now. It dosnt mean that we cant take vacations (we never have done that) When dh gets time off work he spends it laying on the couch being a house ornament

What it means is if we want to pay the bills we have and me be a SAHM we cannot have any more kids. We have made huge sacrifices so that some one else wouldnt be raising my kids (daycare/babysitter) we had to file bankruptsy when dd was almost 2 1/2 yo so that I could continue to stay home and raise my own child. When dd was 3 we started trying for #2 because personally having a single child was not a option. After filing we could afford to have him and pay for the things he needs.

Both my kids have every thing they need but they dont always get what they "want" We occasionally are able to buy wants but mostly we just live pay check to pay check. I know that some will judge me as they have in the past but honestly all that matters is that our family is OK with how things are. I have been told before that we had no bussiness even having a second child

Before me and dh even got married we agreed that we would wait at least 5yrs before starting a family so that we would have time together alone and so that $ would not be such a big issue. We built our home when we had been married 4yrs and had dd a little over a year later. We only have 1 vehicle a van and dh rides to work with a coworker so that i am not stuck home in case of emergancy.

So when I say we cannot afford a second child I mean it litterally we could loose everything we own. Maybe not at this time but in the future when the kids require more financially. It is so much more important to me to be the one who raises my kids than to be forced back to work and leave their care to someone else. I have no planes to return to work any time in the future so that I can be here for them. I dont have a problem with anyone who chooses to do so but for me it is out of the question. If that means that we live on the edge then so be it.

Everyone has to make choices for there family and not every one thinks in the same way.
post #23 of 66
Originally Posted by lilyka
I want a little breathing room to enjoy them. I want them to have a least a few advantages and a few nice new things.

post #24 of 66
I'm enjoying interesting reading this thread. We have two children and my husband underwent a vasectomy Friday. One of the many reasons we decided to stop at 2 was money. I always said three but it would mean a bigger place (we're in a 2 bd. 1.5 bath), bigger car, (when I would stop nursing) another mouth to feed, one more for activities (soccer, gymnastics, whatever), travel (my husband from Sweden so we visit family), check-ups at the doctor, school supplies, college, etc. I think considering the financial aspect is a very responsible thing to do and I know plenty of people who have lots of kids and can afford them. I think that's great, I feel that how many kids you have is a very individualistic decision.
post #25 of 66
Originally Posted by orangefoot
I have friends who have just had a third child unexpectedly and are gutted that they won't be able to afford to go on two holidays per year as they have been up to now. Her husband put it to her some years ago that it was a baby or no more trips to the US or skiing and no new kitchen.
You say that as though you think that's a selfish choice...but you know, if that is what those parents want, I think it is their right. I mean presumably they are taking their existing children on holidays?

We can not afford another child at this time. We can not afford to either lose my income or pay a daycare bill. It has nothing to do with already having cloth diapers on hand (which we do) or nursing instead of formula. We also can not afford the expenses of another birth, which would range from 1500-2500 for a homebirth (not convered at all by insurance), and ironically, even with insurance, probably about the same amount out-of-pocket even for a "covered" hospital birth.

USAmma has posted on many different occasions about the unexpected medical expenses for her second daughter. My own BIL & SIL have a daughter who has needed numerous surgeries and therapies for mutiple medical conditions she was born with. Insurance doesn't cover everything. A surgery and 3-day hospital stay can run tens of thousands of dollars, with 20% being owed by the parents. So that is a possibility to keep in mind. My son was hospitalized overnight recently for RSV--our total expense for that illness was over $600 out of pocket. That's huge! That's our mortgage payment!

Other PPs have mentioned the ongoing expenses as children get older.

I don't begrudge the low-income/on-assistance mama taking up the (somewhat controversial) position that if she's going to be poor anyway, might as well have the family size she wants and get by on medicaid and food stamps and section 8 (housing voucher), etc. But if you are marginally middle-class and economically stable, owning a modest home, etc., adding one more child to the mix can absolutely mean the difference between having some financial stability versus always being right on the edge.

We are determined to have one more child anyway...just not right now. I feel a real responsibility to the child I already have not to play risky with our family's financial stability.
post #26 of 66
I cannot afford another child. I'm a single parent and am trying to save for the following: college education/traveling with dd/retirement/a small house - hard to do now and almost impossible with another kid.
post #27 of 66
If we had another child we would have to buy a bigger car to fit us (and the bulky, expensive carseats) all in. Aside from that, no, IMO babies are not expensive. So far my kids have not cost as much as the US average says they should have, way way less in fact. Of course, I am cheap Now, when they get old enough to eat, they sure do put a dent in the grocery budget .

I asked someone once why they thought babies were expensive. They said formula, plastic diapers, new clothes, all new nursery items, baby sitters/daycare, time lost from work, and all the baby accessories (high chair, bottles, pack and play, bouncy seat, etc). I think that most of the mamas here forgo quite a bit of that stuff, so our opinions will be a bit shy of the "national average" ideas.
post #28 of 66
double post
post #29 of 66
Yes, I am assuming that the cost of prenatal and birth care is a big portion of the quandry. We had the luxury of planning our children, and saving accordingly to pay for our care. Yes, even if you homebirth/AP/cloth diaper/breastfeed as I did, you still need some essentials, that can be costly (car seats, better car maybe?, more room in the house? a washer or dryer? the extra food involved for mother and eventually baby?)

Recently a woman aquaintance who has 1 child already, chose to abort because it was cheaper than prenatal and birth care. Very sad choice to feel that overwhelmed by financial worries.

Even cost in terms of time you spend on each child. Some feel that they can spend more time with 1 or 2 kids and feel that it may spread it all too thin for more.
post #30 of 66
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by edamommy
ummmmmmmmmmmmm yah, newborns/infants are pretty cheap... but I believe it's common knowledge that those very babies WILL get older and more expensive. Therefore--- babies ARE expensive!
Ummmmm yah, that's kind of a condescending way of replying to my post. I was looking for insight into what families and moms here are going through, so I could broaden my understanding of other people (and myself), and I was NOT looking for snide comments. Sorry if my original post offended you in some way! It was just an honest query, meant to invite honest feedback.

Meanwhile, all the rest of you mammas, I'm loving reading all of your thoughts. It is helping me to think ahead a bit more about financial stuff myself. It is also making me anxious about $$$ -- no surprise there! We have four kids are are not having trouble affording them right now (they're 8 and under). But we sure don't take ski vacations anymore or spend three months away every summer. It is definitely a financial impact!! And yes, I do worry that we will be totally stressed out about college and stuff. IF that is the path some of them take---I'm not someone who believes it is the ONLY path. I'm hoping they all get swimming scholarships or music scholarships somewhere!
post #31 of 66
I'm probably echoing all of the above, but here's our situation:

We cannot afford another baby right now. What that means is

a) financially -- we cannot afford to pay for a third child's college tuition. We want to be able to pay the way for our kids to go to any college they choose. We can do that with two kids, but not with three.

--- traveling is very important to us. It's important to dh and myself because we love to travel, and it's important for our children because we feel it is good for them to be routinely exposed to different cultures, languages, places, etc. Airfare is obscenely expensive as it is. We would not be able to travel nearly as much (if at all) if we had a third child.

---- we like our small Honda. We don't want a big car, and we don't want two cars. Any more children and we have to get a bigger car/van.

---- our house is the perfect size for 4 people. Any bigger, and it would feel crowded. We don't want a bigger mortgage and/or a bigger house.


b) emotionally -- I have all I can handle with two at the moment. We're homeschoolers, so I don't know if I would ever be able to handle three and afford each the attention I wanted to give them.
post #32 of 66
I like all the replys since all are concrete reasons for stopping whether its affordability or not.
I do have a problem with someone saying I am poor and will be so I will use assistance and have my children or at least that is what I took away from that post. I am not judging but assistance was originally set up as only assistance and temporary, not a way of life. I would hope that the goal would be to use it temporarily and not a way of life since many people even here cannot afford another child because they are paying taxes which support programs like these ones-which we should, but for the reason for the programs.
post #33 of 66
Can't afford another one for us is right now and until I'm out of school. Yes, I choose to go to school and have a massive amount of student loan debt. Yes, we planned the two we do have. We plan on having 2 more when we have some financial stability - probably after I've been in practice for 2 years. Yes, my kids are in daycare - to the tune of $12,000 last year. Daycare costs for a third would add another $8500. :

We do/did cloth diaper, EBF, co-sleep (also had a beautiful crib that my parents made for us), don't get any state aid like food stamps, WIC (did have it for a year, but we don't do much dairy or cereal), TANF or any of the others. We are living from paycheck to paycheck to loan check and it stinks.

Ideally, when I start making money, dh will be able to stay home. Until then, we can't afford another baby.

Interesting question. Some really insightful replies.
post #34 of 66
Originally Posted by zinemama

Would you say it to the parents whose financial and emotional resources are strained from raising their special needs child?
that would be us.

not every baby is born 100% healthy. and breastmilk ain't free when you have to pay $20/month for a pump rental, not to mention $16/month for freezer bags and the hot water to wash the bottle with. and all the future surgeries, physical and speech therapies, special needs school if I can't h/s,

it would cost me upwards of $7,000 for IVF to ensure a child without a chromosome disorder like my dd has. And I am a SAHM who sacrifices mucho luxuries and 90% of dd's clothing is handed down or was given as gifts, and I CD more or less. I do everything I can to live in a safe area, eat healthy food, and still be able to enjoy ourselves with simple things like renting a movie or going out to eat once in a while. it's not materialism. it's having a happy life, not everyone's budget can stretch to accomodate another child. it's not fair to generalize.

besides, maybe people are just saying that because it's a less personal answer than "we've been ttc another one and are experiencing secondary infertility" or "we might be getting a divorce soon" or "we don't WANT another child" because it's an intensely personal choice and no one should even be asked when they're having more. who cares how many kids someone else has or what the reason is? live and let live!
post #35 of 66
Thread Starter 
I'm confused. Of COURSE live and let live! This thread wasn't supposed to be anything about judging ANYONE, it was just my curiosity, just plain old curiosity, what people mean by "can't afford another one right now." it wasn't my intent to care how many kids people do and do not have. None of my beeswax, as they say!!

What I have learned reading your posts is that it seems like when people say "can't afford another one right now," that it actually implies some looking into the future. It doesn't necessarily mean ONLY "right now" but also means you're thinking ahead to the years ahead. Which is smart!

Thanks for all the good insight everyone.
post #36 of 66
well you asked and wow was it explained!! Its true, it sounds like such a simple reply and now was it really is a loaded reply! There are sooo many reasons that people cannot afford another one, not just $$ but health, sanity, time, space, need, want, and more.

I think it takes a big person to admit to yourself- this works for me and this makes me happy and stop expanding their family. Its even harder to have to say to others- this works for me and this makes me happy, so we are done.
post #37 of 66
people are sensetive because if youwant one more you must not care about the environment and you must just be addicted to having babies.. If you can't afford to have one more you are a selfish materialistic pig.

Welcome to motherhood. there is never a simple answer.
post #38 of 66
Originally Posted by freestyler
I'm confused. Of COURSE live and let live! This thread wasn't supposed to be anything about judging ANYONE, it was just my curiosity, just plain old curiosity, what people mean by "can't afford another one right now." it wasn't my intent to care how many kids people do and do not have. None of my beeswax, as they say!!
I didn't mean to imply that, I understand the reason for the thread and realize it wasn't meant to be a judgmental question, unfortunately some responses *were* judgmental and that's really where my post was more directed.
post #39 of 66
Originally Posted by Amys1st
I do have a problem with someone saying I am poor and will be so I will use assistance and have my children or at least that is what I took away from that post. I am not judging but assistance was originally set up as only assistance and temporary, not a way of life. I would hope that the goal would be to use it temporarily and not a way of life since many people even here cannot afford another child because they are paying taxes which support programs like these ones-which we should, but for the reason for the programs.
Don't those programs (food stamps, medicaid, etc) make up like less than 1% of the federal budget? Meanwhile I've gotten a full refund on all federal and state income taxes paid the last few years, so I can not personally claim that paying taxes on assistance programs prevents me from having another child. Honestly most families at or below median income should owe little to no income tax, so I really can't see how that would be a factor in affording another child.

From my perspective--as long as we have inadequate maternity leave provisions, unaffordable health care, and just basically poor support for families in general, I can see how *choosing* to conceive children while receiving benefits from the system, being able to stay home with them while they're small, and perhaps returning to education or the workforce when the kids are school age, is an EXTREMELY rational choice. Shoot, I only wish I'd thought of it ahead of time myself.
post #40 of 66
I think this is a loaded question. In our case I tend to get defensive because my MIL is always telling me how expensive kids are so she can convince me not to have any more. We're on the fence about it right now, but I certainly don't need MIL's input to make the decision. : I do think she's referring more to the costs of older children, but we don't intend to spend money on the kind of things she's thinking of (designer clothes, a house with a room for each kid, a car on their 16th birthday, etc.)

On the other hand, having another would impact us financially right now because I've recently developed a nice little wahm client base (I do computer drafting) and I would have to leave it at least for a while if I had another babe.

I really don't believe that another kid would add that much to our budget right away since we bf, cloth diaper, co-sleep, etc. This is, of course, provided that there are no special unforseen needs.

DD1 recently started guitar lessons, and the kids take gymnastics at the YMCA, and those things will start to add up as the kids get older. We spend very little on clothing since I sew, shop at thrift stores, and save hand-me-downs. When someone needs something, we find a way to afford it.

Bottom line, we aren't having anymore right now because I really don't think we can afford it (right now), but I think however many family members we have, we will make the budget stretch to fit.
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