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Your views on affording more children. - Page 5

post #81 of 192
"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."

This was what wasn't ringing true to me, since the choice to abstain (I thought) was and is a legitimate option for anti-contraceptive families.
post #82 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by bczmama 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."

This was what wasn't ringing true to me, since the choice to abstain (I thought) was and is a legitimate option for anti-contraceptive families.
It's a legitimate option, but it isn't a realistic option.
post #83 of 192
Well we want to help with school someday and pay for activities like Karate and music. I feel that if we had more kids its would only be cheating the kids we have out of things that they would have had. We really can't afford more though, we are on Medicaid and if we wanted could qualify for food stamps. Bringing more kids into the world whes we are already on welfare isn't a good idea.
post #84 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by bczmama 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."

This was what wasn't ringing true to me, since the choice to abstain (I thought) was and is a legitimate option for anti-contraceptive families.
How does what I said "not ring true?" Abstinence is certainly an option, if anyone wants to go that route. But what does that have to do with what I said? Some of us choose not to control family size -- and your comment seems to simply be another criticism of this choice.

Abstinence may not technically be contraception, but it's still a means of controlling family size, is it not? It's theoretically an "option" (as are bc pills, depo-shots, condoms, and the like), but it would be hard on many marriages. That's why I call it a "theoretical" option, because I don't think many couples would see it as viable.

Again, I don't see what that has to do with what I said. I was referring to how the advent of more effective contraceptive methods was supposed to "free" women. Now it almost sounds like you're saying, "If you don't want to contracept, maybe you should quit having sex."

No, you didn't literally say that. But if that's not what you meant, what did you mean?
post #85 of 192
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Originally Posted by GranoLLLy-girl View Post
This might apply to me as well. To me education is THE most important thing--probably because my PhD is in education. So I WANT to afford to send my kids to college because I know that it will be costly by the time they are ready to go and I fear that they might think that it is too costly for them to go on loans. I am also an older mom and by the time my kids go to college, I will be retired and living off of my retirement funds. I also WANT to be able to provide my children afterschool activities if they should want them and I want to be able to afford educational experiences and options should we choose to. It IS expensive to have tutors (if they are needed) and braces for teeth and sports equipment, etc. I worked three jobs while I put myself through my undergraduate and graduate programs and I STILL had to have a loan to help me afford an apartment when I was in graduate school. I'm still paying that off!
Frankly, I think people are fooling themselves when they think that they can afford just to live for themselves--children or no children--social security as we know it will not exist when we retire (and those who are younger than me will have it even worse)...and you cannot expect your children to help you in your retirement--that type of mental insurance is not realistic.
I say be prepared for all options so that you don't find yourself in a bind. And a nice house on the outside does not mean that folks can afford anything else. Most of the people where I live would fall flat on their financial faces if one of the two working parents lost their jobs. They "appear" to be well-off, but I bet many of them are upside down on their homes and their credit cards debts are high. We don't live like this (I SAH) but I know many many who do. It's not a safe bet. Foreclosure is the name of the game around here. I don't want to live like that and worry about the what if's. I don't think that is wise whether you have children or not.
Well said. I saw my parents struggle horribly and we were just a family of five. I always felt so guilty and still do. I always looked longingly at the kids who could go to extra activities and lessons. My mom & dad worked their a** off for us and it is so sad that they have never been able to do things for themselves. They were always too tired. It's not just about money, it's also energy. When my dad lost his job we did fall flat on our faces.

I am a big fan of thrift shops and craigslist. I believe in quality over quantity. I don't want to HAVE to shop at walmart. (I don't shop at Nordstromes either). I just don't want my children to carry MY burden like I do with mine. I ALWAYS worry if they're ok. On special occasions, I tend to give gift certificates so that they can put it towards appliances or stuff they need. It's never just something for them to enjoy. It is possible to provide the NEEDS, but I want to be able to do more than that, I don't want to just get through it. Sure my parents are happy enough, but watching their eyes light up when we do something extra is priceless.

Just my opinion.
post #86 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
Such loaded words.. begging?

I don't believe its silly. I honestly do believe and have found that there is a way to get what you need, and even what you want if you look outside the box. Again, you've stated that you don't want to take the time to look. You'd rather just pay the money to do something. And I understand that. Heck, I have an ex husband that thinks exactly like that. I don't agree, but its not my money he's spending.
If you carefully read my earlier post you will see that I said we have worked out such arrangements. I recognize though that there is an element of charity to it. The teachers would rather be paid cash but have willingly bent because they want to help our child and our family. They've got families to support and bills to pay and I value their time and experience and would prefer to pay outright. I don't particularly enjoy the feeling that I'm not paying my full share. And, I recognize that in these sorts of arrangements it may mean you don't get the teacher or program that would be best for them.

My other point which I didn't explain in detail is that labor is labor. I don't understand why you consider it morally superior for a person to use their labor to fix the piano teacher's computer in trade for lessons rather than fixing someone else's computer and then using money to pay for the lessons. Fixing a computer is fixing a computer. Bartering doesn't mean the labor disappears, it may just mean that it has less value.

I'm sure there is always a way to get something for less. Like I said we could be getting braces through the dental school. I have no problem sending my child the message that his dental health is important enough that we make it a priority to get him professional care instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
I do wonder what kind of message it sends to children though... that having lots of money is always better? to have fun and be enriched you need to BE rich? That only the best things are good enough for them? That people with less money are below them and in need of "charity." Or maybe just looked down on instead? It seems a horribly materialistic way to live to me. I honestly just can't imagine living that way.
Living what way - the way where you pay the piano teacher what she deserves to be paid? How does planning the number of children that allows you to afford lessons and braces teach children something negative?

We don't live in a "horribly materialistic way". 99% of my clothes come from the thrift, we swap books, we garden for veggies, etc. Education is our family priority and we do put money into lessons, books, tuition. I don't find that to be materialistic.
post #87 of 192
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Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
It's a legitimate option, but it isn't a realistic option.
And yet it is proposed as realistic for teenagers all the time...
post #88 of 192
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Originally Posted by mommato5 View Post
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!
These two options are not mutually exclusive, you know.
post #89 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
And yet it is proposed as realistic for teenagers all the time...
I don't personally think it's realistic there either, but it's particularly not realistic for adults who are in a romantic relationship, have a sexual relationship, are living with each other, and are likely sleeping in the same bed each night.
post #90 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by GinaNY View Post
It is possible to provide the NEEDS, but I want to be able to do more than that, I don't want to just get through it.
Yeah, that.

Nope, not going to go out with my "extra" income and buy the biggest McMansion and SUV on the block. I don't care about that crap. However, I do want to afford at least one trip a year back to Germany for my husband and daughter, be able to support local farmers and buy organic/fair trade frequently, buy a nice day sailer, pay in cash for high quality things in my home, be able to retire early or on time. Having more kids would make each one of those goals harder to meet. I am not interested in making things harder on myself.

Could I afford to have more kids? Maybe, but it would require more sacrifice than I am willing to make for myself and my family as it exists now. That is the bottom line.
post #91 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
I'm sure there is always a way to get something for less. Like I said we could be getting braces through the dental school. I have no problem sending my child the message that his dental health is important enough that we make it a priority to get him professional care instead.


So, if I choose to have my child get braces through a dental school.. that means that I don't believe their dental health is important, or a priority?

Interesting..

Certainly seems to me that you believe money talks, and thats that.
post #92 of 192
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Originally Posted by thebarkingbird View Post
it irritates me when people fail to see the difference between "we can or cannot afford another child" and "we can't afford another child while maintaining our perfered lifestyle" the difference there is HUGE! it also bothers me when people fail to see this difference and feel tortured about not having more children when they simply cannot see that the things they need would be available and honestly decide weather maintaining a lifestyle or having more children is more important. i don't think coming down on any one side of that debate is better/morally right but i do think it's sad when people feel so trapped by imaginary needs that they're incapable of seeing all their real options and deciding from there.
Why do you think people don't know the difference? I think most people do, and choose to limit their family to their comfort level accordingly.

Not everyone thinks having more children is a good decision for their family.
post #93 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
So, if I choose to have my child get braces through a dental school.. that means that I don't believe their dental health is important, or a priority?
I have no idea what that decision would mean for you. I don't know you or your situation.

What it would mean for me is that I'm choosing to put saving money over my child's comfort and health. He has difficulty with dental treatments (due to apparently terrible genetics and anxiety) and my goal is to get him the best treatment I can with as little pain from him as possible.

I am fully admitting a certain set of values that probably most of us reading here have. I don't want to sell plasma or wonder how we will have enough food to make it through the week. I enjoy seeing my child happy because he gets to learn music and I anticipate he'll be happy as an adult that he can chew without being in pain. I feel fortunate I was able to make a set of decisions that has allowed me to give my child these sorts of life enriching things that I value. I recognize that I could be hit by a bus and that could all go away tomorrow because there are no guarantees and I will gratefully accept help at that point. But, I set out with the best intentions to accomplish this set of goals and I am. I am not saying you should have the same ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
Certainly seems to me that you believe money talks, and thats that.
I'm not even sure what that is supposed to mean. When our kid needed dental care we found that yes providers expected to be paid for that care. That seems to be the general requirement in the United States and I'm not sure why we are supposed to pretend that isn't true because some people have less money. If anything, I think it would be more appropriate to acknowledge that it is true and push for a reform to an acknowledgment that medical care including dental care should be a basic right guaranteed to all.
post #94 of 192
I think the issue is with the phrase "can't afford". I have one DS, and would like maybe 2-3 children. IF I had mmore money and an agreeable DH, I'd like maybe 4-5. Yes, I *could* afford 4-5 kids on our current income. However, it would require sacrifices I'm not comfortable with. Others may feel differently, and as long as the child is fed and loved, that's fine. And if a fourth child was dropped in my lap, I'd make it work, but that's not my plan.

As far as college education, parents of dependent students making a certain amount HAVE to pay a portion. It's the expected family contribution (government term). So if my kids go to college (and I hope they do), I will need to pay some part. I'd like to pay for more, if possible, but that's above and beyond the required. I would also like them to go to the college of their choice, be it Harvard or the local community college. I would prefer money not get in the way of their educational ambition, whatever it may be. That doesn't mean I need 4 years Harvard tuition in the bank for each child (not gonna happen!), but I do need some college savings per child. The rest can be loans in their name, grants, financial aid, whatever.
post #95 of 192
I think there is some confusion on this thread.

When people like me, Roar, Choli, Shay, etc (and forgive me if I'm misrepresenting any of you) say we can't afford more children while maintaining the lifestyle we want and giving our children certain things, I think some people read that as, we really *want* more children, but, blinded by the need to live a certain way, we're forgoing them. And that if only we'd give some up some of our desires, we could have those kids.

But I don't think any of us want more children. We want the number of kids we have, and we want the lifestyle we have. At least, that's the way I feel. Yeah, I couldn't afford to give 5 kids the things I can give two. But I don't want 5 in the first place.
post #96 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
I think there is some confusion on this thread.

When people like me, Roar, Choli, Shay, etc (and forgive me if I'm misrepresenting any of you) say we can't afford more children while maintaining the lifestyle we want and giving our children certain things, I think some people read that as, we really *want* more children, but, blinded by the need to live a certain way, we're forgoing them. And that if only we'd give some up some of our desires, we could have those kids.

But I don't think any of us want more children. We want the number of kids we have, and we want the lifestyle we have. At least, that's the way I feel. Yeah, I couldn't afford to give 5 kids the things I can give two. But I don't want 5 in the first place.
I agree with this.
post #97 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaduck View Post

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.
Tangent, but I know a lot of singers in this situation. Usually they would join honors choir at school, get scholarships to music camp in the summer as voice majors, scrape together enough and/ or barter for voice lessons starting at age 16, and then get scholarships to music school as a voice major. Even the super-rich don't start voice lessons until high school, because they have to wait for their voices to mature; so the playing field is relatively level for singers.
post #98 of 192
We have one child and we are not materialistic AT ALL, as in, our house is the size of some people's living rooms, we drive a small sedan, and we rarely buy anything but food. Even so, I don't think we could afford more children without lifestyle changes we are unwilling to make. We would HAVE to buy a bigger house, first of all. This one barely holds all three of us as it is. I would have to pay the midwives somehow. There is no way we could afford daycare for two kids, so I would be forced to stay at home, thus being unable to earn any money for quite some time. We would probably be able to feed and house them, but there'd be no emergency savings account, no retirement savings, no college savings. Possibly no health insurance. I can't live like that.
post #99 of 192
I definately think people expectations and idea of how "deprivation" is defined are very different in the States.

My dh survived the famines and civil war in Ethiopia, so to him, not learning to play piano is not deprivation. Neither is having to work your way through college. Going by most people's standards, we can't afford to be married, let alone have three children. But none of us are suffering, and we won't if we have more children. No, we're not going to be able to shell out 100K (or whatever college costs in twenty years) for each of them, but we wouldn't if we had it. We will help financially, and they will be welcome to live with us and start off with state schools for their first years, to be able to save money while they go to school.
post #100 of 192
Quote:
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
You could have not gone to college. Or worked for several years before you went to college so that you could pay for it. Went to a cheaper community college for two years first and then transferred to a 4 year one. Joined the military so they could pay for college.

I'm not seeing where you being in debt is because your parents didn't pay for your college (which is your expense if you choose to go, not theirs).
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