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Your views on affording more children. - Page 2

post #21 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by starry_mama View Post
For our family, it was only the first kid that really cost any money. We bought slings, diapers, clothes, I quit my job, etc. Each kid after him will reuse all of those slings, clothes, diapers, etc, and I'm already at home. I think me NOT working is the biggest "expense", and that won't change whether we have 1 or 10 kids.
While this can be true when kids are very young for many of us that changes as kids get older. Nursing was free, but a preteen can eat as much as an adult. Our child is now in adult shoes - they are twice as expensive as kid's shoes. Braces are medically necessary, cost $5,000 and are not covered by insurance. He plays a musical instrument and lessons are expensive. At one time anything that came from a garage sale or thrift store worked great for homeschooling, but as he's gotten older and has more specific interests it isn't as easy to find bargains. We now have more interest in going to museums and concerts rather than just going to the park for free.

Yes, music lessons, books on topics of interest, classes, and concerts are not strictly necessary in order to live, but they are things we value and are glad to provide.

I would encourage people to take a longer range view than how much babies cost because the bigger costs come as kids get older.
post #22 of 192
For us its not about affording the day to day bills - thats never been an issue. It really comes down to affording a top-notch education.
post #23 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
While this can be true when kids are very young for many of us that changes as kids get older. Nursing was free, but a preteen can eat as much as an adult. Our child is now in adult shoes - they are twice as expensive as kid's shoes. Braces are medically necessary, cost $5,000 and are not covered by insurance. He plays a musical instrument and lessons are expensive. At one time anything that came from a garage sale or thrift store worked great for homeschooling, but as he's gotten older and has more specific interests it isn't as easy to find bargains. We now have more interest in going to museums and concerts rather than just going to the park for free.

Yes, music lessons, books on topics of interest, classes, and concerts are not strictly necessary in order to live, but they are things we value and are glad to provide.

I would encourage people to take a longer range view than how much babies cost because the bigger costs come as kids get older.
Here is some good info. Although I never felt like having a baby was cheap, I hadn't thought of braces! I was completely bucktoothed until I had mine. I think I was skipping entirely over the adolescent years to my concerns about college. Like I said in the OP, I'm still paying off my student loans but there's not a day where I've said to myself, you know I wish my parents wouldn't have had me because they couldn't pay for my college education...I don't know, I'm staying at home so we're not saving much right now, but my, I would never expect my children to support me in my retirement...What a crazy burden for my children!
post #24 of 192
This is something I've been thinking about, as my 2 school aged kids (we have 4) go to private school, and the cost per month is the same as our mortgage + one car payment. and we have 2 more little ones not school aged yet.

I want more kids, but at this point, affording private school for them will be tough. WE also had to buy a van with the arrival of baby #4-we only had one car, and it only had 5 seats, and we do all go places together.

Healthcare is only more expensive the in co-pay department. the monthly cost doesn't go up with the addition of more kids.
post #25 of 192
Whenever this puzzlement about folks who say they "can't afford more kids" comes up, it always seems to be from parents of very young children, in situations where there is a sahp. And I can understand that. When you've got babies and toddlers, you're so caught up in that world, and you know very well that - barring unforeseen medical conditions - babies and toddlers don't cost a family very much.

Unless both parents have to/want to work outside the home, of course, in which case, they do.

But I don't hear that kind of "puzzlement" from parents of older kids. Those folks know that shoes, clothes, sports, field trips, music lessons, food all add up. And once your kid gets to be 7 or 8, it's a lot harder to find all those barely worn thrift store clothes you could always score for the little ones.

But all this aside, I think it really comes down to what you want for your kids and what you think they need. That's going to be highly individual for each family. Technically, we could have another two kids. Sure, we could. We have the space for them in the house, and we could afford to feed them and clothe them.

But we couldn't save for college for four the way we can for the two we have. And saving for college is one of our highest financial priorities. It obviously isn't for everyone, but it's a deal-breaker for us. We can't afford more kids.

But for me, finances are almost beside the point. The main way we can't afford more kids is emotionally. Two are the most our marriage, our patience, and our mental health can stand. And I think that a lot of people who say they can't afford more kids mean it in more ways than financially.
post #26 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
Whenever this puzzlement about folks who say they "can't afford more kids" comes up, it always seems to be from parents of very young children
This seems logical though, since it is common to have all your children in a 3 to 6 year time span.
post #27 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Here's another example:



I think it works both ways. Those of us who don't believe in using birth-control shouldn't "get frustrated with" those who do, and vice-versa. It's all about respecting individual choice.

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.

Another interesting by-product of this whole cultural transition, is that those of us who don't contracept are often accused of "thoughtlessly" having children -- as if "lack of family planning" were an indication that children are unimportant to us.

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,"

as well as the counter-tendency to judge whether someone else "really could afford more if they weren't so materialistic,"

are both rooted in a coercive attitude toward other people. I say, live and let live.
No doubt. And it's nice to know that now I can think about how people wish I would stop reproducing since we have WIC right now.
post #28 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnw826 View Post
No doubt. And it's nice to know that now I can think about how people wish I would stop reproducing since we have WIC right now.
It seems many find it hard to see others joyfully welcoming new babies, especially when those "others" are financially less well-off than many of the people who are stopping with one or two.

I think if everyone felt good about their own decisions, there's be no patronizing judgment directed at those who decide differently.
post #29 of 192
I have to agree with Roar and Zine and others who have mentioned the cost of older children. Groceries alone make my head spin. My kids wear men's shoes and outgrow them every other month. We will be paying out of pocket for a dental retainer next year. The list goes on.

Enrichment and activities are a real issue too, I think. Its not as easy to argue that our kids do not really need these things, when they are 8 or 10, and show a real aptitude or a passionate interest in something. You WANT to feed this kind of need like you do any other need.

I know of a family who lives hand-to-mouth, who can't pay all their bills every month, who will argue that "babies are cheap," and they keep having them. And yet they also feel very depressed that their 8 yo. child shows enormous musical aptitude, and they can't afford to do a single thing to nurture it. I don't know what the answer is for them, or if hindsight even applies (who regrets a child, you know???) but I do see that as their children get older, their enthusiasm about having more is wanning.
post #30 of 192
I'm unable to work, so we must not only consider our child's future, but our own retirement. Our son is four months old and we're not currently planning on ever having another, though that could change.

My husband and I are both musically gifted (he much more than I), if our child shows aptitude, we absolutely will support this as much as we can. I was an athlete and while public school athletics aren't super expensive, they aren't a non-expense, either. Years of wearing crappy shoes and the ensuing health problems that come with means that I'll be keeping a close eye on my kid's shoes. I remember how fast *I* grew--I get dizzy thinking about buying new sneakers every few months.

We may not buy a larger house--our house is very small and will probably prove cramped in a few years. It would be very tight with additional children. It would be hard to afford a larger house in the town we currently live in, especially on a single income. We do want some creature comforts. Right now, it just makes sense to stick to one child.

My parents covered the portions of my college which weren't met by my scholarships. My in-laws helped my husband. I absolutely *do* want to provide a college education for my child and we're starting to work on that now.

Hand-me-downs and room sharing are fine and dandy, though if we were to have a daughter, I'd eventually want the kids to have their own rooms sometime in elementary school.

Right now, one child is all our physical and mental health can accomodate. We adore our son, but would have trouble coping with more. And we're okay with that.
post #31 of 192
For me, it means that I'm able to AFFORD to not work for a few years. I feel very strongly about being the primary caregiver for my baby the first 3 years. So I wont have any more children if that means I'm going to have to continue to work and leave them in somene else's care.

Private school is an issue for us. I'm far from rich, but went to private school myself and have experienced the difference. I want that difference for my child and I'm willing to sacrifice to give it to him.
post #32 of 192
Having read the examples, I see your point and I agree that it isn't anyone's business how many children another family chooses to have. People have children for many reasons, and as was mentioned not everyone believes in birth control. I am a strong believer in reproductive rights, and by that I mean *all* reproductive rights, including having a large number of children when you're struggling. It isn't my place or anyone else's to judge families on this issue. And as I've said a million times in my life, welfare is a small small part of the federal budget. There is so much waste in our government that dwarfs how much is spent on different kinds of assistance to families. We as a country (speaking of the US now) really need to just get over demonizing poor people for being poor.
post #33 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
Whenever this puzzlement about folks who say they "can't afford more kids" comes up, it always seems to be from parents of very young children, in situations where there is a sahp. And I can understand that. When you've got babies and toddlers, you're so caught up in that world, and you know very well that - barring unforeseen medical conditions - babies and toddlers don't cost a family very much.

Unless both parents have to/want to work outside the home, of course, in which case, they do.

But I don't hear that kind of "puzzlement" from parents of older kids. Those folks know that shoes, clothes, sports, field trips, music lessons, food all add up. And once your kid gets to be 7 or 8, it's a lot harder to find all those barely worn thrift store clothes you could always score for the little ones.

But all this aside, I think it really comes down to what you want for your kids and what you think they need. That's going to be highly individual for each family. Technically, we could have another two kids. Sure, we could. We have the space for them in the house, and we could afford to feed them and clothe them.

But we couldn't save for college for four the way we can for the two we have. And saving for college is one of our highest financial priorities. It obviously isn't for everyone, but it's a deal-breaker for us. We can't afford more kids.

But for me, finances are almost beside the point. The main way we can't afford more kids is emotionally. Two are the most our marriage, our patience, and our mental health can stand. And I think that a lot of people who say they can't afford more kids mean it in more ways than financially.
: I have a 15 yo and a 2 yo and I absolutely agree with you. In my case because I waited a long time to have a 2nd child, I was quite well aware of the cost factor and that same factor will probably keep me from having #3. My eldest is entering his sophmore year of HS and I am petrified about college because I saved nothing (I was 19 when I had him) and while my family income is decent I know he probably won't get a ton of free money for college. Hell, I put myself through college and grad school, kept a 3.8 and still have 100K in student loans.

IMO when your kids are little its easy not to see the costs, but let me tell you as the Mama of a teenager, they can eat you out of house and home and its not so easy to do free stuff with a teen either. Don't even get me started on clothes, even at our 2nd hand stores near here just the other day a few items for my son and I still costs me $70 at a used store???

Though I agree about the mental piece, my 2 yo is high needs and as my dh recently said he doesn't know that he can do another child. (my son is not his) Our relationship has taken a hit from having a child who still at 2 must be held for naps, the only way we even get 1 on 1 time is because we use daycare for her. Mentally we are drained and as lovely as dd is another child like her might do us in, so money aside I am not sure we can afford more kids. I'm gonna have a college freshman and a kindergartener at the same time. :

Shay
post #34 of 192
I believ epeople can have as many children as they would like if they weren't so set on having a bunch of materialistic crap!

We take our kids different places. They don't fret if we can't all fly to mexico or the bahamas. We like day trips or even weekend trips. My family went on one weekend trip to Niagara Falls when I was 16. That hasn't negatively impacted my life! Growing up, my parents couldn't even afford to go to Wal-mart. It was Aldi's and Goodwill and handmedowns. I'm not in therapy over it! My parents sent us to public school *gasp*. We each had a bed and dresser with at least 2 children in each room. I didn't have a full college tuition waiting for me. My husband went to college without him or his parents paying a dime.

I understand medical gets expensive, hence why some things, you need to save for or find a good place you can do payments with. I know one day we will have kids who need braces and we are prepared for that. The only reason i will even consider those is because I have needed them and my parents never bothered. It has affected my self esteem.

Where there is a will, there is a way.
post #35 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommato5 View Post
I believ epeople can have as many children as they would like if they weren't so set on having a bunch of materialistic crap!
Do you consider piano lessons materialistic crap?
post #36 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommato5 View Post
I believ epeople can have as many children as they would like if they weren't so set on having a bunch of materialistic crap!
I don't believe that a liberal arts education constitutes a bunch of materialistic crap. It's important for me to pay for as much of my kids' college education as I reasonably can. So I'm not having more kids.

I certainly respect your right to have as many children as you want and to raise them in any way you want. However, it would never occur to me to describe your choices as "crap." And I'll raise my children to have the same consideration for other's choices as I do. I guess we differ in more than our financial priorities.
post #37 of 192
Quote:
I believ epeople can have as many children as they would like if they weren't so set on having a bunch of materialistic crap!
Do you consider food on the table and a roof over the head materialistic crap?
post #38 of 192
Yeah, it isn't about materialist crap. Music lessons, sports, books, preschool, etc. There are lots of things that parents might choose to spend money on that aren't "materialist crap".

And I understand that not everyone will be able to pay for their kids' college educations, but it is important to me that we be able to provide that for any children we have.
post #39 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommato5 View Post
I believ epeople can have as many children as they would like if they weren't so set on having a bunch of materialistic crap!
Where there is a will, there is a way.
Is wanting to be able to stay home with my baby materialistic? Is wanting food and shelter materialistic? Is giving my child the BEST education that I can materialistic? NO. How offensive.

Materialistic is not having more kids so I can buy new cars, clothes or a better house. We are NOT doing those things .. we live a very modest life and can not afford another child.

But oh yeah, I guess we just need to give up all this materalistic crap we have lying around!
post #40 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
Yeah, it isn't about materialist crap. Music lessons, sports, books, preschool, etc. There are lots of things that parents might choose to spend money on that aren't "materialist crap".

And I understand that not everyone will be able to pay for their kids' college educations, but it is important to me that we be able to provide that for any children we have.
Yeah for me it's not at all about "materialistic crap." It's about providing an enriched life. And unfortunately that costs money.

It is also important for me to pay as much as I can for DS's college. Having watched my brother and sisters struggle to pay for their college educations, and in some cases eventually drop out because they couldn't afford it any more... I never want that for him. I want him to get a good start in life as an adult.
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