deciding on how many kids you want - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-08-2003, 04:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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When thinking about how many kids you want, do you consider finances? The reason I ask is that it seems that many people's reaction, to having more than 2 kids is some sort of comment about being able to afford it. In fact, now that I am remembering, it was even DH who made a comment like this. This seems rather bizarre to me because for me it is really not finances that comes into the picture. Not that money doesn't matter, but it isn't one of even the first 3 things I think of when contemplating this question.

How I see if working for me is that sometime after having the second I will know if a third is in the picture or not. At this point we have DD, who is 14 months and I know that a second will be coming at some point and possibly more. My strongest indicator of an answer will be "that feeling" that I presume that I will have, telling me if I want more kids or not. It might be rational, it might not. But it won't be a question of affordablity.

Am I naive?
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Old 03-08-2003, 04:24 AM
 
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Old 03-08-2003, 05:29 AM
 
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We did wait to get pregnant this first time until we were fairly sure finacially we're doing pretty decently... so I could have a chance at being a stay at home mom. But we're also going to work on the 'feeling' of if we're done or not to finish out our family. The only thing Dh has said is "5 is too many", so I think I can work within those constraints (I hope so at least!). But aside from making sure I can stay home, I think finacially thats as far as we're really thinking....

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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Old 03-08-2003, 09:04 AM
 
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A friend asked me if kids were really so expensive, and I guess that's a commonly held belief. What I feel is that it is a tough transition financially into parenting for the first time, when we dropped an income and had to get by on one. Beyond that I don't see ds sucking up the money. I have no problem with asking my children to take on the financial responsibilty for college, though I would help out if I could. And I am not attached to private education in the elementary years, but we have yet to arrive there. More kids may mean longer that I cannot join the work force. Or for others it is child care. In that case there is a substantial increase in costs per child, and with each repeated time away from working during infancy.

I think it is wise to consider the financial impact, but keep a perspective broader than money. My measure of how many kids I can have is based on my (and dh's) energy, and spiritual need. Financial strain can definitely come in as an energy drain, and if for me financial stress would increase a great deal with another child, I think I would rather maintain our vitality than feel overly stretched to meet the financial needs of more kids.

I do think that the friend who asked me that would put it on herself to provide for college, make sure each child had their own bike (and I'm sure it would be a new one,) etc. I may find that when my children are teenagers I feel the strain on grocery bills, heating, energy use, etc. But I expect as they grow they can learn to respect what our family's financial situation is, and even contribute. (I picture a family project of growing a garden and putting up solar panels, motivated by geez this house is cold!) I don't feel obliged to follow the conventional material consumption that our society pushes, and that should help keep our financial perspective on children--that would be an awful reason to deny yourself the children that you want.
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Old 03-08-2003, 02:56 PM
 
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Outside of Dr. bills we have hardly noticed a difference between one and three. That first one was a financial leap though. I guess for one I don't feel obligated to provide for my childrens college education (after dh and I have had the privledge we will think about providing for them), we have all girls which cuts down on clothing bills, food? well noone eats much yet, I figure the finnancial burden of children is something that thankfully you grow into. The spending per child increases gradually as they get older and start classes and eating insanely. The more expensive they get the better I am at handleing money so we have never felt a pinch. I suppose dh freaks out about it but that is just because he has issues with spending money on the girls and not himself where I would rather go crazy spending for the girls than buying anything for me (He likes electronics i like tiny shirts )

umm anyway what I am trying to say but keep getting sidetracked by rambling. I haven't noticed a decrees in our comfort level between having #1 and #3. If you use those stupid calulater then yeah, you will think children are gonna put uyou on the fast track to the poor hopuse but really it isn't all that expensive and we never ever consider money when decideing to have another. Our main consideration is can I handle it.

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Old 03-08-2003, 03:41 PM
 
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We're TTC #1, so we've thought a lot about $$$ issues for this first child. While our kids are young, our main concern was me being able to stay home with them. But, I think when we're looking at #2,3,4 etc. the concerns grow.

- We do want to provide college for our kids, at least as much as our parents did for us (we both took out student loans, got scholarships and our parents covered the rest for undergrad). And we want our kids to go wherever they want - private or public.
- I plan on going back to work eventually. I have a career that is very important to me (I'm a social worker). More kids will mean a longer time at home (which has ups and downs).
- We think that enrichment/education opportunities are very important. Toys, clothes, cars, vacations are not important to us, and we will restrict what we buy for our kids in the way of material things. But we want great educations - that may mean private school, or living in an area with good public schools, which can be expensive. And we want our kids to be able to explore their talents and interests - music, arts, sports, language, etc. through lessons and activities.

So that's just my perspective from the begining stages of planning a family. Those are the financial things we will think about - and it is fairly important to us in terms of how our family will grow.

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Old 03-08-2003, 04:43 PM
 
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Honestly, I don't/didn't consider financial issues much at all when deciding to have my ds, or now that we're ttc #2. However, my dh def. does/did! My dh doesn't make a lot of money, and I've had to work pt off and on since our ds was born but we get by just fine. I tend to go more by my feelings than anything. I've heard from many people that adding a 2nd, 3rd, etc. isn't really a big deal - money wise, and that makes sense to me. I guess it all depends on what your prioritys are. We plan on having 4 children, regardless... its just the spacing of them that is in question. Like I said, we don't have a lot but my ds has never had to go w/ out anything he has needed and he also has a lot of 'wants' as well.

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Old 03-08-2003, 06:06 PM
 
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I did consider financial part of having children and I knew I would never have enough money to make me confortable. So I took a dive. Its not as bad as I thought. A few large things had to be change (bigger place to live and a bigger car).
My job is great because I can bring my son to work, so I don't have to pay for daycare (not that I (me personallly) believe in daycare anyways. I don't think it becomes hard with more children. So I am not worried about money if I want more.
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Old 03-08-2003, 06:42 PM
 
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I did all the dumb stuff with my first (like shopping at department stores for clothes, etc.) However, I don't see the second one (due in August) being any more than expensive than one. Except, maybe, when the baby gets older and is eating regular food - I can see our grocery bills going up a bit.

As far as clothes, there's consignment stores and EBAY!
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Old 03-08-2003, 06:43 PM
 
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Kids cost a ton if you buy into our materialistic, consumerism culture. My girlfriends Dad told me if you wait to have kids until you have enough money, you never will. I agree with the others that the hardest financial burden is the initial loss of 2 incomes, but after that it isn't bad. I figure the financial burden could be high feeding 3 teenage boys as my MIL did, but I will worry about that when I get there. I do always kid that if money was no option I would have 6 kids, but since it is I will settle for 4. I also agree that for me the biggest indicator will be can I handle the energy load. I figure I will only know that when I get there.
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Old 03-08-2003, 06:53 PM
 
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I have given this some more thought and it really depends on your life style. while having more won't cost me a ton if you have to pay for day care or private school the cost is signifacant. If that was the case for me I certainly don;t think I would have had more than one or two because the expense would have just been too great.

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Old 03-08-2003, 06:56 PM
 
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If we decided to have more, I would not do so if we weren't financially stable. We are way too poor financially to be thinking about another baby. The added stress of financial burden makes it too hard to handle life, nevermind having a baby to take care of.
It is hard enough right now for us to take care of our bills, we are lucky that people have given us baby clothes.
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Old 03-08-2003, 06:58 PM
 
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While Dh seems to think that finances are the most important thing I do not consider it. I mean, he has a good job and probably always will. We'll make it work with what he gets paid. I spend the same amount of money with five kids as many of my friends with two or three kids do. Possibly even a little less.

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Old 03-08-2003, 09:16 PM
 
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hi, I'm new here, but here's what my thoughts on the subject are I think about money to a point. Like what dh will do (he is still in school) anyway, I want 5 kids because I grew up with 4 brothers and then me and I loved having so many people around. It's nice to have siblings and have a couple close to my age. To me that's what really mattered.
My dh is going to be a Mechanical Engineer and that will help too. his choice to do that was so his kids could do more than he could growing up. He wanted to be abel to afford the small things, like being on teams. So, to a point we think about money, but mostly I want a bigger family than just 2
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Old 03-08-2003, 09:25 PM
 
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marylygf - my dh is a mechanical engineer! And I have 5 kids! Whoa! Are we the same person!? :LOL

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Old 03-08-2003, 09:31 PM
 
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Oh I didn't even speak about college $! My Dh is very unhappy right now because his parents are paying the full load for his brother to go to school (including a 700$ a month apt, when his brother does work)... but has NEVER paid for ANY of his schooling. They just loaned us some $, which is nice, but its really unfair they paid for one kid and not the others... So anyways, having what we can for our kids for college is VERY important to him.

We're looking into accounts where you can add 60$ a month to them, and have a decent chunk of $ when the kid is 18. Unless my Dh gets a WONDERFUL job and awesome raises and promotions we won't be able to pay 100% for our kids to go to school. But we do want to be able to cover the expenses that loans and scholarships don't cover as much as we can.

I also think finacially, we also consider that my Dh is in college right now, and should have a much better paying job when he is through. I don't think small children are all that expensive to have (if you are careful... not buying tons of junk, ect), its when they start eatting like horses and such that it gets way pricy! So hopefully by the time our kids get to that stage we will have a much better income. I also spend a LOT on groceries now, and know I could stretch the dollars a lot better if we need to. I'm confident in my ablities to make things work for us.

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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Old 03-08-2003, 09:40 PM
 
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ekblad7: oh wow, that's kind of cool. How does that work for you?
dh's dad is a janitor and wasn't able to do a lot so he found that line of work interesting and thought it would help with his kids he actually wants 4 and I want 5 (both had 5 in our families) but I think i may win Did your dh get his Masters? mine still has 2 years left and is deciding whether he should get his Masters or not.
Maybe if you don't mind my asking, how much did he start out making?
This is great to find someone who has this in common, I have many questions
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Old 03-08-2003, 09:46 PM
 
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I PMed you!

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Old 03-09-2003, 12:43 AM
 
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We currently have one precious jewel. Dh has always talked about having more, however, in the last week he says he does not want any more. No particular reason either, according to him. I had a very, very difficult pregancy with iv from dec 2001 to april 2002. I want another mainly for my son's sake and next because I love children and always envisioned a home full of children. The tough pregnancy though has sort of put a damper on that idea. I really want another one...to be born perhaps when mine is 2. Now I dont know what to do that DH does not want me to have anymore. I DO NOT want my child to be an only child. My brother and I are 17 yrs apart in age...so to me I was an only child and it was a living nightmare. I do not want my son to ever experience that.
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Old 03-09-2003, 11:16 PM
 
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Am I weird that one of my major concerns is environmental - overpopulation? To an extent I agree w/the zero population growth thinking. I waffle though; we did go ahead and have #3. To be honest, I would want at least one more if nothing else mattered, but finances do play a part here too. Plus my obvious lack of patience lol! I always say I have the heart for a big family, just not the ability.

C ~ mama to (16), (13), (9) (5)

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Old 03-10-2003, 12:00 AM
 
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We are thrilled to have one child. We went through a lot of fertility treatments to have our Goo. Today, my DH ran into our fertility doctor at the store. He told Dr. N "I hope we don't see you soon!" Meaning that when we try for #2, we hope we don't need to resort to needles and inseminations again.

Money is only a partial issue. We so much want a family of 4, but I am thrilled with our family of 3. I do worry about overpopulation and feeling that we are selfish for wanting another.
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Old 03-10-2003, 12:39 AM
 
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money has never been a factor for me when deciding upon having/not having children.

for one thing. children do not become expensive until they are teenagers. so, i dont see the point in most of that worry, unless you are sure you will still be in bad financial situations by that many years.....but i doubt many people feel gloomy about their future.

especially if you use cloth diapers, breastfeed, co sleep and sling....then where is the big expense? even if you do not do any of the above.....it is still just a drop in the bucket difference between one kid and two. you REUSE their clothes and stuff...if you space the kids 2-3+ years apart you can reuse ALL the baby supplies. and formula ran me $900 per year plus bottles...so it isn't this HUGE unattainable goal.

kids would be expensive to pay for their college tuitions, cars, highschool clothes...etc.

buy USED clothes for your babies and hand them down.

I never understood the "babies are expensive" thing. I think is a load.

(ps) unless you have huge medical expenses or something.
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Old 03-10-2003, 12:53 AM
 
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I think a lot about the financial aspects of having a child, and I think every family should do what it needs to do. However, my dh and I will never be wealthy or even financially stable the way his parents are. If we wait to have a child until we have a lot of money, we'd never have a baby!

We have decided the best plan for us is to have a little money, a home, and plan for the expenses that will incur with baby. You can save a ton of money by cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and co-sleeping (not spending $$$ on a fancy nursery).
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Old 03-10-2003, 12:58 AM
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You can't have them share clothes if one is a girl and one is a boy!

We are going to start paying $270 a month for my daughter's private school education..... which is quite a chunk of change for us, but is still less than some private schools charge........my niece's school is about $900 a month. Ouch!
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