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Your views on affording more children. - Page 8

post #141 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
I limited the size of my family because I want to provide my children with certain things (college, music, travel) that are important to me. But I don't fault anyone for whom these are not priorities. I don't expect everyone to have the same priorities. I fully understand that bartering produce for music lessons and raising kids with the expectation that college is their own responsibility reflects some families values. Not everyone values the things I do, and I don't think they're making bad choices or giving their children less.

That's why I said (and I'll repeat it) that how many kids a family can "afford" is not going to be a cut and dried affair. It's going to be a complex calculation revolving around what we want to, need to, and can affford to give our children. Acknowledging that is not offensive, imo.
I agree with all that zinemama has written so far.
post #142 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by RainCoastMama View Post
Your POV is clear.

However I still think that you are making an unfair blanket generalization - that rich = spoiled/uncharitable/selfish and not rich = caring/loving/etc. It may be in your situation, but it isn't in mine.

snip

No one is saying that spending money diametrically inverse to expressing non-materialistic love - you are.

It's all about the values you pass onto your kids.
:
post #143 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by RainCoastMama View Post
I guess that this perhaps illustrates the difference between limiting the size of a family to get into a position to make it a priority, vs having more children so that you're NOT in a position to make it a priority, KWIM?
I didn't see where the pp you quoted said her purpose for having more children, was so she wouldn't be "in a position to make it a priority" ("it" being saving for retirement). I didn't see where anyone on this thread said they were having more children in order to not be able to save for retirement.

Quote:
Some people choose one or the other. Not bad, not good, just a choice.
You're really sincere? You honestly don't see one choice as better than the other?
post #144 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
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.
Also, katheek, I loooved your essay about how to prevent being criticized.
post #145 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
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).
FWIW, I frequently find the difficulties of dealing with a teen and younger kids to far exceed the difficulties of dealing with two younger kids. While dd (4) and ds2 (2) present their challenges in terms of competing needs, particularly at bedtime, they don't present the same kind of challenges in terms of structuring my day that the "ds1 vs. dd" situation does. Most family outings that will interest dd will also interest ds2. That doesn't apply with ds1 and dd or ds1 and ds2. I also find it difficult dealing with the school stuff - parents nights and such - at the high school, when I have a preschooler and a toddler in tow.
post #146 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
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.
Yeah - and that's the other downside to having a teen and little ones. DH and I really can't use the closet (too small) and the classic option of the living room is out when you have a teenager who may wander in, and be traumatized. (I'm guessing, based on the way he goes "my ears! my ears!" and crumples in a heap if I say something nice about dh's bod.)
post #147 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Yeah - and that's the other downside to having a teen and little ones. DH and I really can't use the closet (too small) and the classic option of the living room is out when you have a teenager who may wander in, and be traumatized. (I'm guessing, based on the way he goes "my ears! my ears!" and crumples in a heap if I say something nice about dh's bod.)
My 9 yo dd has started the "Ewwww! Gross Mom!" if she sees any affection between us at all.
post #148 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I didn't see where the pp you quoted said her purpose for having more children, was so she wouldn't be "in a position to make it a priority" ("it" being saving for retirement). I didn't see where anyone on this thread said they were having more children in order to not be able to save for retirement.



You're really sincere? You honestly don't see one choice as better than the other?
I can't remember (too lazy to go find it honestly ) re the first issue.

Second issue - yeah, I honestly don't see one choice as better than the other for anyone outside of me. For me - it is better to be able to save. I really could give a flying hoot what someone else does for their own families. I'm far from perfect and have little expectation that anyone else be, so why could I ever be in a decision to judge someone else? Why is it so hard to believe that I'm sincere? (Oh yeah...cuz everything comes across as snarky when you're typing )
post #149 of 192
Quote:
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.


Too true. Only you can mitigate that criticism by getting divorced. Of course, then you get the single mom judgment, so I'm not sure it's exactly a winning situation.

boatbaby - I do the "where's the baby?" test, too. And I completely agree about "affording" having many different meanings. Of course, I can't financially afford another child right now (even though I can pay for extra-curriculars for my son and I can put some money in retirement/savings every pay period, having another baby would be financially stupid for me). But even when I can, I'm not sure that I'll be able to emotionally afford one. I'm of the opinion that your first responsibility is to the children you already have and they deserve more than just food, shelter, and clothing. Children need a lot from their parents emotionally and in terms of time and thought. It seems like some people trick themselves into believing that there is enough of them to go around, to fulfill their children's need of them. IMO, they're often wrong (note I don't say "always wrong"). I don't think that's particularly fair.
post #150 of 192
My partner & I decided to have only two children as an environmental choice. So I guess you could say that we felt that the planet could only afford human children at a species replacement level ie. two children per reproductive couple.

Going back to read the rest of the thread now.....
post #151 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by RainCoastMama View Post
Second issue - yeah, I honestly don't see one choice as better than the other for anyone outside of me. For me - it is better to be able to save. I really could give a flying hoot what someone else does for their own families. I'm far from perfect and have little expectation that anyone else be, so why could I ever be in a decision to judge someone else? Why is it so hard to believe that I'm sincere? (Oh yeah...cuz everything comes across as snarky when you're typing )
Okay, I believe you now! I'm sorry I thought you were being sarcastic when I first read it.
post #152 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Okay, I believe you now! I'm sorry I thought you were being sarcastic when I first read it.

...imagine the flame-wars that could be prevented if email/typing came with some sort of...inflection? (but then again, that wouldn't be fun would it )
post #153 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by RainCoastMama View Post
...imagine the flame-wars that could be prevented if email/typing came with some sort of...inflection? (but then again, that wouldn't be fun would it )
I guess not!
post #154 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I find it interesting that contraception was supposed to expand choices for everyone -- but it seems like it actually makes some feel more constricted. We now "have the choice" to control family size -- but it can feel more like a mandate to those of us who choose not to take control, and to let God decide.

...

I realize this isn't a discussion about contraception, and am not trying to hi-jack this thread. I just think the tendency to judge for someone else whether they "have enough children,"
- just to add that I hadn't read the rest of the thread when I posted -or could you tell?

Very interesting points and I have to say I agree 100%, even though it seems we differ on our own personal usage/approach to contraception, and possibly where we base our opinions too.

I am DEEPLY skeptical of all population programs and efforts that are not centered in human/women's rights - i.e. the conversation needs to be about helping women (and men too) have more choices to have the number and spacing of children they want, and raise those children with all the basic needs met.

If these programs are not based in women's rights, the conversation quickly turns into rich and powerful people telling not rich and not powerful people how many children they are "allowed" to have.

And this goes straight at the heart of human rights- the right of every human to reproduce if they wish. Anything curtailing that right, in my opinion, is eugenics.

In addition, since pregnancy has a substantial impact on the health and wellbeing of women exclusively, it is every woman's right to determine how and whether to control her fertility. Anything curtailing that right denies a woman her human rights over her own body.

The technology we have today makes fertility control extremely effective. I agree, however, that a result of its effectiveness leads to the blanket assumption that every woman SHOULD or CAN control her fertility - that not controlling it is "irresponsible" or that mistakes never happen.

There are many real world challenges to this ethical stance - especially in cases where parents clearly are negligent or irresponsible with their children or where circumstances beyond the control of the parents prevents them from having full choices they deserve. But ethics are not meant to bow to pragmatism, of course.

My 2 cents.

Siobhan
post #155 of 192
I know this is obsessive, but I worry even more about affording more than 2 kids 20 or 30 years from now then in the next few years, when I know we could scrape by on love. But what will the world be like when they are adults--will they really be able to make a decent living? Too much worrying, huh?
post #156 of 192
Interesting thread. I think people really get emotional about this - so very much *stuff* is wrapped up in family size.

I'm from a family of 7. Three of us loved it and would love to have large families; two don't ever intend to have children (one an environmental choice, the other a prudent mental health choice); and two think that 2 children is the Golden Mean [I note that they are both married to "two child" spouses and fit Kathee's description of how not to be criticized, very well ].

My older sister and her dh would like more children but know they can't afford it (and yes, they could make lifestyle changes to afford it - but they would like to have more kids WITHOUT making those changes and I don't see anything wrong with that). The school system where they are is abysmal; they will be paying private school tuition for their three children just to keep them literate. They aren't blowing $$ on things - they are scrupulous about not going into debt, and they live in a remodeled mobile home so obviously their money isn't going to fripperies. They are great parents. I wish they could figure out a way to afford more children but they just can't.

DH and I agreed to "Three with an option to upgrade" before we married. He's from a long line of "just two, thanks" -- so the idea of more than two was a huge, huge stumbling block for him. We have two now, and it's a given that we'll have a third. He loves parenting, loves time with the girls .... If he felt we could afford it, I know we'd have four or even five children. But, he doesn't feel we can afford it and honestly I think he's right. If we manage to have a fourth child, it will probably be via foster adoption .... And we will need to have had some changes in our lives. I've read that in some states, foster adoptees are given free instate tuition, and that would level one of our huge stumbling blocks for having more children (being able to help with college expenses).

I think that it's a given that for many people who say that they "can't afford" more children but would like to have more, the unspoken phrase is, "without changes to our lifestyle which would be unacceptable." For my sister and her dh, that would mean putting their kids in a school system which is awful (or she would need to homeschool, but frankly it's in their best interests that she not be their teacher and she knows that ). For dh and me, it would mean that we wouldn't have enough saved for retirement. Realistically speaking the time will come that we aren't able to work anymore. DH is self-employed and we want me to be able to SAHP at least 'til our children are all in school. We are self-insured; it costs about $10,000 just to have a baby at the hospital in my area (and no homebirths unless you're UCing).

My memories of growing up in a large family are wonderful and I wish, wish, wish I could provide that for my children. I won't lie - I do remember taking swimming lessons in a leotard and feeling awful. And every guy who's married into our family, knows that he and his wife will be helping care for the ILs in their old age. I don't want that burden for my kids. We are also saving for college - I've got about $45,000 in student loans still (grad school) - we don't plan to pay for "all" of college cart blanche. But if we can help our kids graduate with a minimum of debt, then that'd be wonderful. Maybe *they* would be able to afford to have 4-5 kids according to a criteria that feels comfortable for them!
post #157 of 192
I am about to have child # 5. We are classed working poor, yet through smart spending & an ability to know how to make extra money when needed / wanted. We do OK. We even have a few extras. I feel more prepared financially then ever before.

I believe there are 2 reasons you hear people comment on not being able to afford more children.
1. poor spending habits.
2. an unwillingness to give up regular extravagances.

You love your children enough you will find away, no matter how tough things are financially, or how tough they get. Plus, if you don't feel that an additional child is an expense you can't figure out, then your better prepared if harder times hit.

Oh and somehow we even have a savings account.
post #158 of 192
Quote:
I believe there are 2 reasons you hear people comment on not being able to afford more children.
1. poor spending habits.
2. an unwillingness to give up regular extravagances.
I guess my poor spending habits and unwillingness to give up regular extravagances are the reason I can't afford more children then . I guess I'll have to quit buying things like food, electricity, toilet paper and other extravangances so I can afford #4.
post #159 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Sweeties1Angel View Post
I guess my poor spending habits and unwillingness to give up regular extravagances are the reason I can't afford more children then . I guess I'll have to quit buying things like food, electricity, toilet paper and other extravangances so I can afford #4.
Well, you know, you could substitute junk mail for toilet paper -- but then, there's that anthrax scare to think about!
post #160 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by InaX5 View Post

I believe there are 2 reasons you hear people comment on not being able to afford more children.
1. poor spending habits.
2. an unwillingness to give up regular extravagances.

You love your children enough you will find away, no matter how tough things are financially, or how tough they get.
One thing I was absolutely unwilling to compromise on was raising my children near their extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, great-aunts, great-uncles, great-grandparents!). Unfortunately, we live in the super-expensive northeast USA. I don't consider living near extended family a regular extravagance. I think it's pretty darn judgmental to tell me that I'm unable to afford a large family because it's expensive to live where I live. DH and I are working hard to get into a position to afford child #2. Until you walk in my shoes, please leave your judgment at home. :
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