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Your views on affording more children. - Page 3

post #41 of 192
Thread Starter 
Wow, on this note I think I'll bow out of the thread I started. I certainly didn't mean to get tempers flaring. I do feel like I learned a little bit though, so thanks for the input from everyone.
post #42 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!

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.
True, I hear what you are saying. However as someone who grew up the way you did, it ain't an experience I wish to repeat with my own kids. By the time I was in HS, wearing 2nd hand stuff really bugged me, did I need Armani stuff? No, but it would have been nice to not always be the hand me down kid and it did impact my ability to do activties because my folks couldn't afford them. I remember having free dance lessons only to have a recital and my folks couldn't afford to get me the proper attire, what my Mom found at the thrift shop didn't cut it. I was 10 or 11 at the time and I am 34 now but I still remember the shame like yesterday.

I suppose its countless incidents like that that made me skittish about additional kids coupled with the fact that I was a young mama and had no $$ in my son's early days.

Its not about materialistic crap, but I know for a fact that had my folks had $$ so I could have pursued my dance and music in HS I probably would not have ended up being a stoner who dropped out. No, I am not in therapy about it and looking back I marvel at my folks creativity but frankly their hand to mouth existence has impacted me even as an adult. My Mom died 3 years ago and they had no $$, I had to help pay for my Mom's cremation. My Mom died early, right after my brother graduated from college, I know they figured they's have time to earn money (My Mom was a SAHM for most of my childhood) but it didn't work out that way.

Personally I don't knock anyone for the number of kids they have regardless of income source but I do know what my own personal comfort level is.

Shay
post #43 of 192
Quote:
Materialistic is not having more kids so I can buy new cars, clothes or a better house.
There's nothing wrong with that, either. The world is overpopulated as it is (says me with my 3 children) and if people don't want more kids for WHATEVER reason, GOOD.
post #44 of 192
To me, not being able to "afford" children means not being able to provide them with the basics, and I think that's a bad idea. That said...when I had ds2, I went on maternity leave, and my ex hadn't found work (he was working when I got pregnant, but lost the job a couple of months in, and it's hard to find work when you're not looking). We had a car payment (couldn't just sell the car, because it broke down the day I came home from the hospital, and required $3000 in repairs) and our rent, which left us with $125.00/month for food, utilities and phone. It could easily be said that we couldn't afford ds1, but we still wanted more kids. While my ex missed a few meals, ds1 and I never did (I was a nursing mom, so if there was enough food for one, my ex made sure I got it). We always got the rent paid, and ds1 always had clothes, shoes, etc...all second hand, but that's not an issue to me. We could afford kids, even though we were ridiculously broke.

OTOH...ds1 is now 14. He was invited to attend a Marine Science field trip in May. That gave him the opportunity to explore several marine environments, participate in lab experiments, and spend part of a day on a marine research vessel to participate in the dredging of the ocean floor. That's a once in a lifetime opportunity. My ex and I could never have come up with the fee, but dh and I could. While I have very few regrets about my financial situation when ds1 was very young, I'm awfully happy that my situation has improved enough to do a few things like this for him. Not being able to do this wouldn't mean that I couldn't afford my son...but I'm still awfully glad I can...and I'm not sure I'd choose to continue having kids at this point if I couldn't. Having a teenager has changed my perceptions of what constitutes a "frill". Marine science field trips aren't a necessity...but I'd no longer call them a "frill", either...
post #45 of 192
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.
DS1 currently eats roughly as much as dh and I combined. He's growing like a weed, and very active, and it takes a lot of fuel to keep him going.
post #46 of 192
I would LOVE to have another baby, but we literally cannot afford it since we can't afford to have 2 children in daycare. Now the reason for this is because my parents couldn't afford to pay for my college and I had to work and take out loans which now have left me in debt.The same goes for my DH as well.

So we'll have to wait till our son starts K in a few years to be able to have another one and while that saddens me there isn't much I can do about it.
post #47 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by CheapPearls View Post
Our #3 was very unplanned and it's putting us in a tight spot but we can afford it with adjusting. Heck if we were having problems I wouldn't have the internet or cable (we want to get rid of cable anyway but need it for cable internet with this company. ). It all comes down to needs vs wants.

It kind of goes with the debate on if you are on WIC or welfare then choose to have another baby. If you can't afford to feed the family you have now don't add to it.

But I agree with you, I think people these days focus on more materalistic things rather then what is really needed. My kids have a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, decent clothes on their backs and great health care thanks to the US Army. That's all they need, the rest can wait until we have extra.
Technical correction here, WIC is not welfare at all.
post #48 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
Do you consider piano lessons materialistic crap?
I firmly believe you can find things inexpensively if you look hard enough. Sure, you could pay $$$ for piano lessons.... or... you could find someone in the community that is willing to barter, or who loves children and loves to play piano. There are many ways to accomplish something, and they don't all take a lot of money.. just time and creativity. Something IMO many people lack these days.

I also don't think that children need to be scheduled every moment of every day with lessons here and there across town. I see friends that are spending so much money on classes, and they don't even know anything about their own kids because they never get to see them. All their free time is spent at extra curricular classes. You know.. the All American way. :
post #49 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by CheapPearls View Post
Our #3 was very unplanned and it's putting us in a tight spot but we can afford it with adjusting. Heck if we were having problems I wouldn't have the internet or cable (we want to get rid of cable anyway but need it for cable internet with this company. ). It all comes down to needs vs wants.

It kind of goes with the debate on if you are on WIC or welfare then choose to have another baby. If you can't afford to feed the family you have now don't add to it.

But I agree with you, I think people these days focus on more materalistic things rather then what is really needed. My kids have a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, decent clothes on their backs and great health care thanks to the US Army. That's all they need, the rest can wait until we have extra.
Yep, the army is taking care of us as well and thanks to my hard working husband , my kids have NEVER went without anything they needed.

I don't think WIC is welfare though...I'm not on it, but most (if not all) military families qualify and I KNOW they live pretty comfortable!
post #50 of 192
Wow that's harsh. One person's materialistic crap is another person's bread and butter. It's all about priorities and goals.

If your goal for your children in life is to provide little beyond basic necessities (food, shelter) then power to you.

If your goal is enrichment, alternative education, college tuition, vacations, or not having your kids struggle the way you did as a child, I fail to see why judgement falls upon these people.

I find it condescending that someone would judge someone else's goals in life - be it a car that runs well, nice family dinners out, whatever - as materialistic crap and think that there's anger and bitterness behind that horrible label.

Live and let live.

As to the OP - I am one of those people who stopped at 2 children when I factored in the cost of private school education, family vacations further than a car-ride away, braces, enrichment lessons (music, dance, etc. etc.) and a nice house in a nice neighbourhood. We agreed that I could SAH for as long as I wanted to based upon our expense calculations - I actually did a rough calculation with DH. If we did have a third child, we could not do most of the above things. Would it devastate me? No. It would sadden me that I would have to give up some of the goals and lifestyle choices that I have for my current children. We ponder fertility with open eyes and an economic bottom line. I am not depriving myself by not reproducing beyond what we have and we are very happy with our decisions.
post #51 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisac77 View Post
Yeah for me it's not at all about "materialistic crap." It's about providing an enriched life. And unfortunately that costs money.
Sorry for double posting but... Why do you think this way? I honestly do not understand why some feel that an enriched life costs money..
post #52 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by RainCoastMama View Post
Wow that's harsh. One person's materialistic crap is another person's bread and butter. It's all about priorities and goals.

If your goal for your children in life is to provide little beyond basic necessities (food, shelter) then power to you.

If your goal is enrichment, alternative education, college tuition, vacations, or not having your kids struggle the way you did as a child, I fail to see why judgement falls upon these people.

I find it condescending that someone would judge someone else's goals in life - be it a car that runs well, nice family dinners out, whatever - as materialistic crap and think that there's anger and bitterness behind that horrible label.

Live and let live.

As to the OP - I am one of those people who stopped at 2 children when I factored in the cost of private school education, family vacations further than a car-ride away, braces, enrichment lessons (music, dance, etc. etc.) and a nice house in a nice neighbourhood. We agreed that I could SAH for as long as I wanted to based upon our expense calculations - I actually did a rough calculation with DH. If we did have a third child, we could not do most of the above things. Would it devastate me? No. It would sadden me that I would have to give up some of the goals and lifestyle choices that I have for my current children. We ponder fertility with open eyes and an economic bottom line. I am not depriving myself by not reproducing beyond what we have and we are very happy with our decisions.
Perhaps because it sorta feels like judgement is being placed on the mamas who have more than one child, and are low or middle income. I mean, look at the way you worded your post even..

Quote:
If your goal for your children in life is to provide little beyond basic necessities (food, shelter) then power to you.

If your goal is enrichment, alternative education, college tuition, vacations, or not having your kids struggle the way you did as a child, I fail to see why judgement falls upon these people.
So much more importance is based on the second choice, and the first choice given with a shake of the head and a "power to you." You are not the first poster to have worded their post that way either, so I don't mean to pick on you. Only to point it out.

I don't think most of us feel angry at all, but perhaps a little defensive about how it seems others feel we aren't giving the best to our kids, or are making bad choices, especially with many stories of "I know a friend who has too many kids they can't afford...."

Threads like these are always filled with judgment and hurt feelings.
post #53 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!

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.
Food and shelter are not materialistic, and that is what a lot of people are referring to in this thread.

Furthermore, enriching your childs life with lessons is important to many people, and it is not materialistic. If DS displays an aptitude for something, I want to be able to nurture that. I don't want to see my child in debt for school, either. We have the ability to save and help him with this, so we will.

I feel that these are important things, as do many others. I'm sorry, but this was kind of offensive.
post #54 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
I don't think most of us feel angry at all, but perhaps a little defensive about how it seems others feel we aren't giving the best to our kids, or are making bad choices, especially with many stories of "I know a friend who has too many kids they can't afford...."

Threads like these are always filled with judgment and hurt feelings.
I don't think that anyone has been terribly offensive here, except for Mommato5, who made the "materialistic crap" comment.

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.
post #55 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
Perhaps because it sorta feels like judgement is being placed on the mamas who have more than one child, and are low or middle income. I mean, look at the way you worded your post even..

So much more importance is based on the second choice, and the first choice given with a shake of the head and a "power to you." You are not the first poster to have worded their post that way either, so I don't mean to pick on you. Only to point it out.

I don't think most of us feel angry at all, but perhaps a little defensive about how it seems others feel we aren't giving the best to our kids, or are making bad choices, especially with many stories of "I know a friend who has too many kids they can't afford...."

Threads like these are always filled with judgment and hurt feelings.
I agree that threads like that are always filled with judgement and hurt feelings, and around MDC, sometimes it seems that if your views on life are a little more mainstream or capitalism-firendly, you get the same sorts of prejudices thrown at you from the mamas who are uber-opposite, KWIM? A bit of defensiveness all around.

And yes, I did throw more adjectives into the second choice because it IS my choice, therefore I have more to say about it. i obviously did not choose the first way of living. I really, really DO mean power to you - having to expend more energy to find people to barter services with, etc. etc. IS a struggle to me than picking, say, a music teacher out of the phonebook. I do prefer not having to, and I see nothing inherently wrong with not having to by way of having money = choices.

I do not judge people on their lifestyle choices. I was a social worker for 7 years in the poorest postal code in Canada. I've seen happy non-materialistic families, and I've seen unhappy ones, and vice versa. It's a blanket generalization and stereotype that materialistic things cause happiness (or not) - sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. It's not black or white but infinite shades of gray. There are as many happy poor people as there are rich. It depends on SO MANY other factors.

But going into a life situation with eyes open is the only way to do it, IMHO. Nothing beats planning ahead, esp with kids involved.
post #56 of 192
My materialistic crap comment means things like expensive name brand clothes, expensive shoes, cell phones, computers, travel, expensive cars, big expensive houses people don't need, the latest electronics, ridiculous toys, etc. Does that make more sense??

I wasn't meaning food, shelter, or utilities.

We aren't barely scraping by, but I refuse to become a person who has to have this or that in order to have a rich life. I don't want my children feeling that they are entitled to things. We provide better than our own parents, but, I don't want to raise a bunch of spoiled kids.They need to learn the value in everything we have. I do not want them growing up thinking money can buy love or happiness. People too often think that because they have money and can have a certain lifestyle above others that it makes them high and mighty and happy.

Growing up how I did has turned me into a decent person. My younger siblings who are growing up with that literal silver spoon in their mouths are inconsiderate people who expect things to just be handed to them. The differences in them and me is astounding. I've also noticed a difference in the kind of person that my mother has turned into since she started living the way she has. Family no longer matters, she matters, inconsiderate and selfish.

I can also honestly say that as our family has grown, our lives have been MUCH more enriched and happy. We actually do more now than we did years ago! Another person means one more person to love and enjoy.


It honestly irritates me when people talk about affording kids and their "lifestyle" is more important than anything. "I have to give my kid this or that" NO, you don't have to give your kid this or that. A special person is being skipped over because people want to spend thousands sending their kids to some private school or going on expensive trips. Do you think children look back and say "My parents loved me so much that they sent me to this private academy and took me to Italy" or "My parents loved me so much that they took the time to spend with me. We went to the park to feed the ducks. We went to the library. We went to these neat places and really explored our community. My parents took me to see their volunteer work". Trips and private schools don't equal love!

Lifestyles can change in one day. It can be here one day and gone the next. Your children are your children forever!

Do I make sense???
post #57 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
Technical correction here, WIC is not welfare at all.
What would you consider WIC since its based on income levels? For me, any federal/local/state program that assists a family is welfare.
post #58 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
I firmly believe you can find things inexpensively if you look hard enough. Sure, you could pay $$$ for piano lessons.... or... you could find someone in the community that is willing to barter, or who loves children and loves to play piano. There are many ways to accomplish something, and they don't all take a lot of money.. just time and creativity. Something IMO many people lack these days.
That is one way to do things and it is an okay way if it works for you. We are solidly middle class and we do some of this. I will say though I'd be happy to have the money NOT to need to barter. We have found people who are generous and have offered to help with barter arrangments and with free mentorships and I accept that help graciously but I am aware there is an element of charity to it and it is only extended because the child is unusual. I would prefer to simply pay for everything if we could because I appreciate the time and talent of teachers and I believe they deserve to be compensated.

I don't agree that there is always a way to barter for the exact thing the kid wants. If your child is a talented violinist and needs a full size instrument and there isn't someone who wants to give it to you or trade for it, you will need to pay or they won't get it. If there is only one violin teacher in town and they aren't interested in barter then you are stuck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
I also don't think that children need to be scheduled every moment of every day with lessons here and there across town. I see friends that are spending so much money on classes, and they don't even know anything about their own kids because they never get to see them. All their free time is spent at extra curricular classes.
Obviously no one is suggesting this. It doesn't take hours every week for lessons to be very expensive. In many areas an hour of music instruction is $40. So a single hour of music lessons a year is a couple of thousand dollars, two lessons a week and that's four thousand dollars a year.

It is fine to say that music lessons aren't something our family considers important or considers a priority. But, I don't accept your giant leap that if someone else prioritizes this and their child takes a couple of lessons a week that means they "don't know anything about their kids".
post #59 of 192
I have a deep and abiding problem with the mentality that depriving people of whatever is the only way to make decent/happy/unselfish/insert-your-own-adjective-here adults. That can't possibly be true.

I didn't see anyone here saying that they don't understand that circumstances can change in a heartbeat. I hear them saying that they are better prepared for those situations with a smaller family.

It is not in any way wrong to want to buy nice things, however. I don't know what that is so vilified. Honoring nice things over your family? Not good. Honoring your famly while still liking nice things? In my opinion, that's OK.
post #60 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommato5 View Post
My materialistic crap comment means things like expensive name brand clothes, expensive shoes, cell phones, computers, travel, expensive cars, big expensive houses people don't need, the latest electronics, ridiculous toys, etc. Does that make more sense??

I wasn't meaning food, shelter, or utilities.

We aren't barely scraping by, but I refuse to become a person who has to have this or that in order to have a rich life. I don't want my children feeling that they are entitled to things. We provide better than our own parents, but, I don't want to raise a bunch of spoiled kids.They need to learn the value in everything we have. I do not want them growing up thinking money can buy love or happiness. People too often think that because they have money and can have a certain lifestyle above others that it makes them high and mighty and happy.

Growing up how I did has turned me into a decent person. My younger siblings who are growing up with that literal silver spoon in their mouths are inconsiderate people who expect things to just be handed to them. The differences in them and me is astounding. I've also noticed a difference in the kind of person that my mother has turned into since she started living the way she has. Family no longer matters, she matters, inconsiderate and selfish.

I can also honestly say that as our family has grown, our lives have been MUCH more enriched and happy. We actually do more now than we did years ago! Another person means one more person to love and enjoy.


It honestly irritates me when people talk about affording kids and their "lifestyle" is more important than anything. "I have to give my kid this or that" NO, you don't have to give your kid this or that. A special person is being skipped over because people want to spend thousands sending their kids to some private school or going on expensive trips. Do you think children look back and say "My parents loved me so much that they sent me to this private academy and took me to Italy" or "My parents loved me so much that they took the time to spend with me. We went to the park to feed the ducks. We went to the library. We went to these neat places and really explored our community. My parents took me to see their volunteer work". Trips and private schools don't equal love!

Lifestyles can change in one day. It can be here one day and gone the next. Your children are your children forever!

Do I make sense???

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.

I came from a very wealthy background and had everything mentioned above: private schools, lessons, free tuition - as well as a heap of 'stuff' - growing up. BUT my parents were very AP, very loving, very involved. I did community volunteering once a week EVERY week from the time I was 11. My parents were community leaders of a social service organization. We were always taught that it was not about stuff - that was drilled home, and that living the way we did was a privilege, not a right. I chose the poorest profession ever - a social worker - and both of my sisters are teachers, one in a very poor school in the Bronx and another just got back from a village in Peru. Hardly the doom and gloom scenario you described

Oh and you know what? We went to feed ducks as kids, the library, etc. etc. ad nauseum. As a social worker, I can throw back at you that some of the materialistic-free families I worked with did NOT volunteer, did NOT feed ducks or go to the library, etc. A lot of their parents did NOT give a flying darn about them.

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.
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