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Your views on affording more children. - Page 7

post #121 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post
I don't see that as being materialistic. It is important to me that I am not forced to shop at Wal Mart for basic needs (like food and a bed).
Amen, sister!
post #122 of 192
I want a small family for many reasons. Money is just one of them. I do believe that it is my responsibility to send my kids to college (with some limitations). I'm not making that decision for anyone else, btw. I also want to be able to not worry about every penny. We are comfortable, but not wealthy--dh is a teacher and I'm a librarian, so no big incomes here, but we do fine. We aren't materialistic and have far less "stuff" than most people I know in our income bracket.

My parents had a huge family as did dh's, and even though both sets of parents did well financially, money was always very tight. It added a huge amount of stress, which I don't need.
post #123 of 192
I think there's a difference between someone saying "I can't afford anymore children" from someone who doesn't actually want anymore children and those that do actually want more children.

1. I use the can't afford excuse to get people to stop asking me when my onlie is going to finally have a sibling. There are several other reasons why she's not getting a sibling, maintaining our lifestyle and providing things for her that either our parents gave us or couldn't give us is just one.

2. I find the people who say they can't afford children but want them usually somehow manage to find a way and perhaps are people who just want to kvetch.

3. And I'm sure there are those who can't afford more but want more who are just realistic about how big of a family they can afford and just want some sympathy for not being able to have something they want.

If the OP is really talking about the 2nd one up there then you have my sympathies. I find these people tiresome as well.
post #124 of 192
What does "kvetch" mean? And why is it "tiresome" for people who want more children to find a way to have them?
post #125 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
What does "kvetch" mean? And why is it "tiresome" for people who want more children to find a way to have them?
Complain. It's tiresome to hear people complain about things that aren't really a problem. ie if you're going to find a way to have more kids anyway don't complain that you can't afford them and go on and on about it.
post #126 of 192
We're poor as dirt. I don't feel like our children (well, soon to be two) are lacking in anything. We're not planning on having more than two but that has nothing to do with finances. Sure, they get "gently used" clothes etc. So... yeah.

I suppose I have somewhat different standards of affordability though. I don't consider a huge house with separate bedrooms for each child etc to be a requirement for having kids. And I definitely don't see why Baby's R Us etc make parents think that they have to afford all of the "essentials" for their kids, everything from $200 diaper pails to whatever else, deluxe portable formula bottle heaters or whatever.

We do accept state aid but ONLY in the form in health insurance. That's more or less a principle of my belief, I believe everyone should be entitled to free or affordable health care, so it's kind of a moral thing for me to accept it. We qualify for other state aid too but I don't think it's the state's responsibility to feed the children we chose to have. We don't really need that aid.

The only thing where I feel somewhat guilty is that we can't afford to move to a better neighborhood just now. But I know that if we had waited to be able to "afford" the IDEAL financial situation to bring kids into the world, well it'd be at least ten years or so from now, and I'd rather be a young parent than an older one. That was an important point for both my husband and myself. We both had older parents and wanted to do it differently with our own family.
post #127 of 192
You know, reading all the replies makes me a little sad inside. I was an only child, and my parents were WELL off. I mean several yearly vacations to the Caribbean, Europe, etc., three or four luxury cars at a time (and only my father drove), etc. I remember my dad coming home on a regular basis from some exclusive Italian leather shop with bags and bags full of shoes, costing hundreds each. Or them going to the opera and my mom in fur coats and thousands of dollars worth of jewelry.

And I never got to do music lessons, sports, (I wanted to do all of these), never got "brand name" clothes (wore my dad's hand-me-down sweatshirts to school), never got a new TV (got my dad's 20 year old TV when he upgraded to a big-screen TV) and the like. I never got braces either. Why? "They couldn't afford it." Just like we never went any kid-friendly places; I'd sit in the car while they went antique shopping. I guess it's a little telling in retrospect where their priorities lay.

Priorities, I guess, are the key.
post #128 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalou View Post
Complain. It's tiresome to hear people complain about things that aren't really a problem. ie if you're going to find a way to have more kids anyway don't complain that you can't afford them and go on and on about it.
I agree that complaining is tiresome -- but I think it's up to each individual to decide whether their problems are really problems or not (I think complaining can be tiresome even when I agree that the problems are problems).

It's not up to me to say someone else's problem isn't a problem, just because it wouldn't be a problem to me.

Of course, it is up to me to decide how much time I want to spend listening to complaints -- and either say something to the person, or limit the time I spend with that person if s/he persists in griping all the time.
post #129 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
Orthodontia isn't the same as seeing the dentist. During the height of braces we are often in the office once or twice a week. We've gotten to know our orthodontist well and we chose someone who would do a good job. He's come in more than once to fix an emergency on the weekend. We interviewed several before we chose. At the dental school you are assigned who ever happens to be available that day and they may be just beginning to learn a skill so it can take hours. A friend is currently getting braces at the dental school and her appointments often take two or three times as long as they would with someone experienced. She advised absolutely that no one consider this route for a kid because it is often more painful and time consuming. And again, the point is that it is one thing to choose this as an adult, but as a parent my hope was to be able to provide medical care for my child without having to put them through extra crap to get it.
Ah - gotcha...hadn't thought about the "random stranger" aspect of it.
post #130 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalou View Post
If the OP is really talking about the 2nd one up there then you have my sympathies. I find these people tiresome as well.

Hi, it's me, the OP :. This thread has really taken on another life. I guess when I originally posted it was kind of off the cuff. I had just read the other thread where a couple of mothers were jealous of other women having babies they (the other women) couldn't afford. That sentiment took me off guard because in my PC mind it just seemed really judgemental. That being said, I was being a voyeur reading that thread to begin with because DH and I are in agreement about how many kids we want and I didn't have problems conceiving, so I probably don't "get" what those women are going through.

I DO want to emphasize, in spite of some of the hostility that has surfaced here, that all of the opinions expressed have given me alot to think about. Though I'm not a "young mother," I am a new mother so I'm pretty willing to listen to what everyone has to say (except my MIL) and take from that the tips and ideas that fit into our family's life. I think the fact that we're all here on MDC means that we all have at least a few things in common, maybe more than we don't, who knows?
post #131 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Upside View Post
I had just read the other thread where a couple of mothers were jealous of other women having babies they (the other women) couldn't afford. That sentiment took me off guard because in my PC mind it just seemed really judgemental.
That's what I read in your earlier post -- and I must say I usually see more judgment directed at mothers of many, than I do at mothers who stop with one or two.

That said, participating in this thread has made me more aware that some moms really do get hassled for just having one child ... I don't know so much about two. I was never hassled, even though it took me almost five years to conceive dd2 -- but maybe my older age has something to do with it.

I have a feeling I might get hassled if at some point I conceive #3 (I'm 43, and our finances are not great). But, having read some of the accusations of "materialism" being thrown at parents of smaller families -- I'm finally seeing the hassling goes both ways.

Again, I think the criticism is rooted in the criticizer's basic unhappiness with her own life and choices (or, in the case of the other thread, her husband's choices). I realize many of us just shared our personal preferences without saying anything derogatory about others with different preferences.

But some, on both sides, stepped over the line and attacked the choices of others. That's sad, and I don't think happy people act this way --

I'm reminded of that movie Legally Blonde, where Reese Witherspoon's character says something like, "Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people don't kill their husbands." Are we happy yet?
post #132 of 192
I would like another, and I'm not sure we can afford it!

We have a comfortable lifestyle right now, not lavish, not stringent. I left my job in May and I'm working pt from home. I am not making enough $$, not contributing half of what I was when I was working full time, and my husband and I had a serious talk last night about savings, taxes, credit card debt, 401K, the septic tank that needs to be redone (10K+) some time in the next few years, etc...etc...so, it's not particularly a matter of "do I buy the used car or a brand new Mercedes?" It's more the big scary things that make me worry about having another. So, I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to stay home, or if having another is really an option now.

I grew up with a lot of financial uncertainty--parents divorced, alimony checks never came, utilities were turned off, some times food was scarce. I still have a lot of stress issues related to money. I would like for my child not to feel that stress. I don't particularly care about high end clothes or things at all, to be honest, for me it is really about having a solid financial base that equals security for me and my family.

Also, maybe an aside, but we are older, closer to 40--so maybe that makes things like retirement and college and debt seem more immediate than to those in their twenties? Generalization, I know, but I thought I'd throw it out there.
post #133 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
Also, maybe an aside, but we are older, closer to 40--so maybe that makes things like retirement and college and debt seem more immediate than to those in their twenties?
I wish! My husband is 43 and he still has his head in the clouds about finances . I see your point though.
post #134 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
and I must say I usually see more judgment directed at mothers of many, than I do at mothers who stop with one or two.
Maybe so, I know before I started hanging around on SAHM boards, 4 kids would make my jaw drop. I don't think it was out of any subconscious judgement, just plain surprise because I didn't know of anyone with large families.

But just so you don't think I only freak about large families, when one of my best friends decided last year that she and her husband weren't going to have any children (he had the big V), all I could manage in my shock was an Oh,wow! We've talked about it a lot since then and I totally support her decision and realize that people really do stereotype childless by choicers as selfish. My friend is so not selfish and she is a teacher, so she has tons of kids in her life.

I do like the distinctions that have been made between those who can't afford more kids AND want more, and those who can't afford more and don't want more (regardless of the definition of "afford.") I think if that had come out earlier in the thread there would have been less reading between the lines.

The plan for us is that our second child (bun currently roasting) will complete our immediate family. I'm sure I'll have fleeting thoughts of more babies just as I will have fleeting thoughts of running away and taking a new identity. I think if we changed our minds and really wanted a third child, we could afford it, but it's not part of our plan, and I'm a plans and checklists kinda gal .
post #135 of 192

OBVIOUSLY, I am being sarcastic...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
That said, participating in this thread has made me more aware that some moms really do get hassled for just having one child ... I don't know so much about two. I was never hassled, even though it took me almost five years to conceive dd2 -- but maybe my older age has something to do with it.

I?

As an observation of people...I mainly see criticism leveled at

1) Moms of Many. And the younger and more closely together you have them, the more criticism. Rarely will people bat an eye at a 35 year old with three or four kids, spaced 2-3 years apart. That's just good planning...maybe not everyone's choice to have three-four kids, but, they obviously thought about it. But God help the 23 year old with three kids under the age of four. Obviously, she's an idiot who doesn't know how to keep her legs shut

2) Moms of onlies - exceptions are those who had their first child at an "advanced" age (read: 35 or older). People tend to not want to pry into why there's only one child because, you know, they could have trouble conceiving or something, what with Mom's eggs getting all shriveled and what not. DON'T, however, have ANY children after the age of 45. That's just selfishness on your part, and you'll be dead by the time your kid graduates high school. It's an inverse ratio, you know...the later you have your kid, the sooner you'll die. Why do that to a kid??? God forbid you had your only at 25 and decided not to have any more. You're a selfish, materialistic bee-otch, and your child will be the King or Queen of Entitlement. (Exception include the poor widow whose husband died soon after birth, divorced moms of one (they get pity), and those who have a child with horrible birth defects (although, you know, they might want to try for a "normal" baby).

3) Those couples who have been married for more than a couple of years and admit they are *gasp* WAITING to have their children later in life. How selfish can you get? Really, Gram and Grampa only had you so that you could give them grandchildren. And what if something goes horribly wrong tomorrow and your uterus implodes??? Or your husband DIES (I actually get this a LOT being married to the military)? THEN you'll be sorry, woncha?

4) Childfree couples. This has been covered. The epitome of selfish. It is your DUTY to bring more children into this world, whether you like it or not. Also see: Gram and Grampa's RIGHT to grandchildren. Exceptions: Infertility issues...again, you get pity. Also, those who married at an advanced age...namely because people assume you have infertility issues and missed your opportunity...it's not really your choice, you're just playing "Fox and the Grapes" to assauge your sense of incompleteness and lack of foresight in not finding the right man early enough in life.

5) Single moms...especially those who KEEP on having children. The chutzpah! Why, that's even worse than the young MARRIED mom of many...at least she's in a good, god-fearing marriage. Related: Homosexual couples with kids.

If you would like judgment to not be passed at you, please be:

A married (HETEROsexual couples only) woman, aged 30-35, with two-three kids, spaced two-three years apart. Please be a WAHM, or, if necessary, a part-time WOHM whose schedule is arranged around her children's schedules. Your interests should include organizing a local book club, being on the committe of one or two "educational" programs (museums, PTOs, libraries, etc. are acceptable), and one fund-raising committee (preferably with a cause that has "touched" your family in some tangential, but not direct, way - we don't want to feel like you're looking for pity). No more than this is acceptable as you must always be "there" for your children. Your husband should have a steady job, which affords you the opportunity to travel yearly, but not to TOO nice of places (an overseas trip every 4-5 years is permissible...all others should be "family" vacations). All children should be presented with the opportunity and finances for one sport and one other lesson/club each year (Girl Scouts, Kindermusik, Chorus, etc.) More than this will make you seem too "scheduled". Prefer a woman who gets along with her mother-in-law, never opens the door in her bathrobe or towel, and hosts FABULOUS, kid-friendly open houses each holiday season. Those with children who have birth defects, learning disabilities, developmental delays, and/or just plain ugly kids need not apply.
post #136 of 192
Thread Starter 


HI-larious Kathee....
post #137 of 192
Kathee,

Why didn't you post that BEFORE I went and had kids, inappropriately spaced, at much too young of an age, and (gasp!) one with both birth defects AND developmental delays?



Maybe you should make this a nice little public service announcement? :
post #138 of 192
I fall in the "can't afford" because of the sort of life experiences we strive to give our son and because we plan on paying for his college education should he decide to pursue one.



But I also want to talk about emotionally affording more kids. Over the past 3 years with my son I have often done the "where's the baby" test.

Let's say he's having a bad day and he doesn't feel well and it takes me 90 minutes to get him to nurse down to a nap - coaxing and nursing and reading and so on.

Where's the baby in that scenario? How is that possible?

Homeschooling -- what is an infant/ toddler doing while you homeschool your 4-5-6-7 year old? Again I know people pull this off, I just don't think I could.

Let's say we're having one of those spontaneous days where we spend 4 straight hours in the pool playing and then sit outside and eat dinner in our skivvies.

Where's the baby there? Would I have to cut the pool time short? Yes, I know it wouldn't kill my son to have to alter his life for that of a sibling, but it's ME that would have a hard time being the sort of parent I want to be with two different humans who have different needs pulling me in different directions.


I just don't get how it is possible -- financially, emotionally, physically, etc?
post #139 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
I fall in the "can't afford" because of the sort of life experiences we strive to give our son and because we plan on paying for his college education should he decide to pursue one.



But I also want to talk about emotionally affording more kids. Over the past 3 years with my son I have often done the "where's the baby" test.

Let's say he's having a bad day and he doesn't feel well and it takes me 90 minutes to get him to nurse down to a nap - coaxing and nursing and reading and so on.

Where's the baby in that scenario? How is that possible?

Homeschooling -- what is an infant/ toddler doing while you homeschool your 4-5-6-7 year old? Again I know people pull this off, I just don't think I could.

Let's say we're having one of those spontaneous days where we spend 4 straight hours in the pool playing and then sit outside and eat dinner in our skivvies.

Where's the baby there? Would I have to cut the pool time short? Yes, I know it wouldn't kill my son to have to alter his life for that of a sibling, but it's ME that would have a hard time being the sort of parent I want to be with two different humans who have different needs pulling me in different directions.


I just don't get how it is possible -- financially, emotionally, physically, etc?
This is why my kids are 13.5 years apart, I admire women who juggle multiple small kids but I am not that woman. There are days when juggling the needs of a toddler and teen challenge me (totally different activities, etc).

I absolutely agree there is an emotional costs that few people speak of, I know for dh & I now that dd is starting to grow up and with the use of daycare we can still some moments together sans kids, I realize how much I miss that. Yes, more kids is more folks to love but it would also mean less time for my dh and I just don't that I can do that.:

Shay
post #140 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
Yes, more kids is more folks to love but it would also mean less time for my dh and I just don't that I can do that.:

Shay
I dunno... sneaking rare time away and having relations on the closet floor because all the beds were full.. was really kinda exciting last night. : It made me feel 17 again.
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