Your views on affording more children. - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 01:44 PM
 
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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.

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#92 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 01:45 PM
 
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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.
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#93 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 03:38 PM
 
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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.

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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.
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#94 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 03:54 PM
 
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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.
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#95 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 04:30 PM
 
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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.
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#96 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 04:39 PM
 
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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.
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#97 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 04:53 PM
 
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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.
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#98 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 05:02 PM
 
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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.

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#99 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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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.
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#100 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 05:58 PM
 
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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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#101 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 06:07 PM
 
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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.
I think thats really the difference. For many, perhaps most of you... living with things like this (retirement, savings, college savings, etc) is a necessity and you can't imagine not having it. For others, like me... those are things we've never had and so therefore, don't put much importance on personally. Some people simply don't have the money to have things like that, and choose not to put their life and children on hold until they get it.

Necessities to me are literally food, shelter, clothing. Everything else is an extra.

I guess some people just have a very different standard of living. I know I can't imagine going out to eat more than once a month, yet I know some people do it daily or at least weekly. To me thats an enormous amount of money for that. Because in comparison...it IS an enormous amount of our monthly income. Someone mentioned violin lessons averaging to what.. three thousand a year I think was said? Thats three months income for me. No way would I be able to sink that amount of money towards lessons of any kind. So there are other ways. We find them, and have no problem utilizing them.

I guess my problem is.. we're supposed to accept that if you have the money to spend it on things, than you should be allowed to live how you want. Fine. I do accept that. But then the argument is, that people that don't have enough money keep having kids. Having enough money is relative. It really is. With my three things I listed as the important things, that actually leaves quite a bit left over. But my quite a bit would seem like a very tiny amount to most of you. It all comes down to what YOU think are YOUR priorities and having enough money for that, but not coming down on others who don't have those same priorities, or who have alternate means of meeting goals that don't take a lot of money.

Honestly, I am glad that I can barter and "beg" as the word was used. I know there are people out there that want to help, not just because we're a charity case. I see nothing wrong with utilizing those in your community, nor do I think the quality you get is inferior just because less cash or no cash was exchanged for it. Personally, thats where things get hurtful in this thread. Judgments get placed on peoples values, and it sucks no matter who is judging whom.

Also, I'm coming from a very different place growing up. I was poor. Always had second hand things. But in contrast to many of you, I never felt second rate. I never felt ashamed. I never felt the poverty I was in, ever. So I don't see how I grew up so horribly simply because we had little money. So the reason of, not wanting to struggle because of going through it as a child etc.. to me, just doesn't have a voice because I had the opposite experience. I respect that our childhoods were experienced in vastly different ways and no doubt that has colored our parenting.

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#102 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 06:26 PM
 
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FOr us having more children really does come down to cost. Adoption is not cheap and we still are, and will be, paying on Olivia's adoption loan. And then there is health insurance. Right now she is under my policy and it is $200 a month just for her. Now double that and double day care costs...
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#103 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 06:26 PM
 
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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.
Yep, you pretty much summed it for me. I know I "could" add a 3rd but really at this point in my life I can't say that I want to. As my dh & I say maybe we will revisit this issue in another 3-4 years but considering the 13.5 year gap between #1 & 2, not sure I could do it again.

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#104 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 06:42 PM
 
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Great thread.
I haven't read the whole thread but wanted to add

I think this is a very personal view and it can be an awesome topic.

I do believe this is a very personal choice and while I voice my opinions I would hope I would be respected, as I choose to respect the decisions of others that believe differently.

I was married previously and have 2 children. One is now almost finished with high school. My husband was married while serving in the Air Force and has a daughter. When we met - I finally knew what "in love" means and WHY we have children...we have a son together and he is the light of ALL our lives (our other children included)..we struggled with the issue of having more....it was honestly one of the hardest decisions I've ever made..but we chose to not have anymore children.
We wanted perhaps different things than most...we wanted time together..someday hopefully child free...we wanted vacations..without packing a diaperbag....we wanted a savings account in case one of us want to take sky diving lessons OR ALL of our children want Karate lessons. If we had more, things would definately be "tight" financially..they already are.
I look at it like this.......having older children it is VERY difficult to see the "expense" when they are babies...people who make the choice to have 5 or 6 (great for them...I'll hold, rock and snuggle and then go home : ) and have all these small babies...are they really SEEING the expense? I know I didn't realize the expense of things until my kids started to grow....financially it gets HARDER as they get older ..and it's not just things like Nike shoes or Nintendo games... it's getting cavities fixed, paying for childcare for other children when one of yours has cancer and needs treatment...it's "what if I am not lucky enough to live to raise my kids"...who is going to raise 6 kids????? Would end up in foster care if something happened to both of us???.....or it sure would be almost impossible to raise them on our own should one of us die....I did the single parenting..IT'S TOUGH!!!!.....
These were our decisions...IN SHORT...I don't think "affording" is always about money...financial issues..it's about "affording time"...the more you have --am I going to not spend as much time with the others..to me affording means a lot more than money issues.




Thanks for the thread!

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#105 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 06:52 PM
 
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I do want to say that "affording college for our kids" never was an issue. My parents COULD afford my college ..however I had to pay for it myself..and I appreciated every moment of my schooling...I'm still paying for it too.

To me college IS a reward for hard work..and your career is a reward for your college schooling....it should NOT be handed to you..you should have to work for it!

I know other's view it differently and that's awesome honestly...but I tell my kids to work hard and earn scholarships..they work hard.

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#106 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 06:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nature View Post
I think thats really the difference. For many, perhaps most of you... living with things like this (retirement, savings, college savings, etc) is a necessity and you can't imagine not having it. For others, like me... those are things we've never had and so therefore, don't put much importance on personally. Some people simply don't have the money to have things like that, and choose not to put their life and children on hold until they get it.

Necessities to me are literally food, shelter, clothing. Everything else is an extra. .

Retirement savings is a necessity. You need money to pay for food and shelter and clothing when you are old and retired.

An emergeny $ fund is also important to us. That way we can pay for food, housing and clothing in the event my dh would lose his job or something would happen to him that he couldn't work for an extended amount of time.

I am happy with my family size and happy that I can stay home and that we don't have to struggle. I am happy that we have everything we need and some of what we want.

We all have different comfort levels.

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#107 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 07:03 PM
 
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. Having enough money is relative. It really is. With my three things I listed as the important things, that actually leaves quite a bit left over. But my quite a bit would seem like a very tiny amount to most of you. It all comes down to what YOU think are YOUR priorities and having enough money for that, but not coming down on others who don't have those same priorities, or who have alternate means of meeting goals that don't take a lot of money..
Well then, I think we all agree. Because this is exactly what I (and others) have been saying all along. How many children someone can "afford" is never going to be anything *but* relative. Personal priorities will color everything.

It's unacceptable to me to be unable to save for retirement. It's not a priority for you. But I don't fault you for having different priorities than I do. I don't think anyone on this thread has said anything like that. People have stated what their *own* priorities are, and I think some readers have taken that as criticism of their choices, when in fact, it's simply a statement about our lives, personally. Just because some of the choices you make would be unacceptable to me does not make your choices wrong in my eyes.
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#108 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 07:05 PM
 
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Retirement savings is a necessity. You need money to pay for food and shelter and clothing when you are old and retired.

An emergeny $ fund is also important to us. That way we can pay for food, housing and clothing in the event my dh would lose his job or something would happen to him that he couldn't work for an extended amount of time.

I am happy with my family size and happy that I can stay home and that we don't have to struggle. I am happy that we have everything we need and some of what we want.

We all have different comfort levels.
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#109 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 07:08 PM
 
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How many children someone can "afford" is never going to be anything *but* relative. Personal priorities will color everything.
This is very true - my definition of being able to afford to buy something material is being able to afford to buy it without resorting to credit (except house mortgage), whereas I know many people whose criteria for being able to afford something is to be able to afford to make the credit payments for it. Neither is wrong, they are just different approaches.
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#110 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 09:01 PM
 
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But I don't fault you for having different priorities than I do. I don't think anyone on this thread has said anything like that.
I don't think you have, nor have some others who talked about why limiting family size is better for them (and their families) personally. But a couple of others made references to "couples with more kids than they could afford" or the idea that if you use WIC or other assistance you shouldn't have more kids.

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People have stated what their *own* priorities are, and I think some readers have taken that as criticism of their choices, when in fact, it's simply a statement about our lives, personally. Just because some of the choices you make would be unacceptable to me does not make your choices wrong in my eyes.
Thank you. The main difference between people who limit family size and those who don't, is that those who limit are rarely subjected to criticism for their choice. In contrast, people with large families are often criticized by complete strangers when they take their children out in public. People say things like, "Haven't you figured out what causes that yet?"

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#111 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 09:15 PM
 
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[QUOTE=mammal_mama;8950479]I
Thank you. The main difference between people who limit family size and those who don't, is that those who limit are rarely subjected to criticism for their choice. QUOTE]

I beg to differ. We have one daughter, and we don't want anymore children. You would not believe the comments we receive from family, friends, and strangers. Some comments are just a sense of incredulity on their part (I have a couple of friends with 3 (maybe more coming) and 6 kids apiece). Others are just downright rude, condescending, and obnoxious. I have had LITERALLY one positive comment from someone regarding Katie being an only, and the rest were "Oh, she'll be spoiled...oh, she'll NEED a sibling...oh, *you'll* change your mind...how can you do that to her?, etc. etc. etc"...ad nauseum

I have a friend who is child-free by choice, and the abuse and labelling she receives from other people (she's selfish, materialistic, cold-hearted, immature, etc.) based on that ONE aspect of her life is just outrageous.

It's the same at both ends..if you're outside the 2-3 children scope, well, you're just abnormal, and people feel free to give their "advice" about it.
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#112 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 09:48 PM
 
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It's the same at both ends..if you're outside the 2-3 children scope, well, you're just abnormal, and people feel free to give their "advice" about it.
I couldn't agree more! It's like 2 or 3 (preferably spaced 2 or 3 years apart) are the ONLY ACCEPTABLE CHOICES; more or fewer than that will get you all kinds of grief.

It doesn't bother me if other people have different priorities for their finances than I do for mine. Having more children is not as important to me as it is to them. Fine. The only thing that bothers me is the insinuation that I am materialistic, because it quite simply is not true.

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#113 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 10:23 PM
 
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Well then, I think we all agree. Because this is exactly what I (and others) have been saying all along. How many children someone can "afford" is never going to be anything *but* relative. Personal priorities will color everything.

It's unacceptable to me to be unable to save for retirement. It's not a priority for you. But I don't fault you for having different priorities than I do. I don't think anyone on this thread has said anything like that. People have stated what their *own* priorities are, and I think some readers have taken that as criticism of their choices, when in fact, it's simply a statement about our lives, personally. Just because some of the choices you make would be unacceptable to me does not make your choices wrong in my eyes.
Perhaps if my financial situation was different, then I would save for retirement. However, its not possible to save much of anything living off Social Security. And I don't see when I'll ever be able to get off SSDI in the near future. If I return to the workforce, then I'm sure saving money will be something that I decide to do... until then, you can't really save what you don't have.

That said, I can see why its a priority for others. I just personally have not been in the position to have it be a priority.

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#114 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 10:24 PM
 
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Retirement savings is a necessity. You need money to pay for food and shelter and clothing when you are old and retired.
Absolutely. Not to mention that us saving for our retirement frees our kids from having to worry about providing for us financially like many people end up doing for their parents.

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#115 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 10:29 PM
 
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Thank you. The main difference between people who limit family size and those who don't, is that those who limit are rarely subjected to criticism for their choice.
I beg to differ. We have one daughter, and we don't want anymore children. You would not believe the comments we receive from family, friends, and strangers. Some comments are just a sense of incredulity on their part (I have a couple of friends with 3 (maybe more coming) and 6 kids apiece). Others are just downright rude, condescending, and obnoxious.
Wow! I'm sorry you've had to deal with that. Maybe it's just my age. I'm 43, and was almost 36 when I had my first. Some people kinda thought I should be happy to get one (I was, of course), and shouldn't "tempt fate" by having another.

When dd2 was born (I was almost 41), one of the ladies from church was just absolutely shocked. She hadn't realized I was pregnant because she hadn't seen me lately, and she said, "I didn't even know you were wanting another," as if it was weird for dh and me to be having sex at our ages, or something.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#116 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 10:45 PM
 
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That said, I can see why its a priority for others. I just personally have not been in the position to have it be a priority.
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?

Some people choose one or the other. Not bad, not good, just a choice.
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#117 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 11:20 PM
 
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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.
You know...I had the same dentist from the time I was about 5 or 6 until I was about 30. He was very experienced and very good. He was also getting really sick of his profession by the time he took on a new partner...and getting work done by him hurt. OTOH, his new partner, fresh out of dental school, is a dream. He does the most incredibly painless work.

I certainly have no objection to not going the dental school route. I've never seen anything but a graduated dentist, myself. But, I think it's a little off base to assume that by going with a full-fledged dentist, you're ensuring a better experience for your kids.

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#118 of 192 Old 08-20-2007, 11:41 PM
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But a couple of others made references to "couples with more kids than they could afford" or the idea that if you use WIC or other assistance you shouldn't have more kids.
I don't remember what I said earlier and I'm too lazy to go back and look, but I have more kids than I can currently afford. We get foodstamps, the kids get Medicaid, and while our bills are paid we have no savings whatsoever. This is not how I want to live! Hopefully after I finish school I'll be able to find a job that pays enough to build up a savings account and get us off of the assistance.

I don't actually care what other people do, though. If you want to keep on having babies while getting assistance, go right ahead It doesn't matter to me.
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#119 of 192 Old 08-21-2007, 01:04 AM
 
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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.
You explained my POV quite well.

It's not like I'm pining away for another child but won't do it because it would mean no more french manicures or something.

Right now I have a beautiful child, and I can afford to buy organic food, fair trade coffee, have a mattress made with no flame retardants in it (although I couldn't afford the organic cotton), and take small scale vacations now and then. Ds will have music and sports in his life, and a good education.

These things are important to me, and I could not afford them if we had a second child. So for my family, we cannot afford another without some lifestyle changes that would make me unhappy.

I don't see that as being materialistic. It is important to me that I am not forced to shop at Wal Mart for basic needs (like food and a bed).
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#120 of 192 Old 08-21-2007, 10:02 AM
 
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I certainly have no objection to not going the dental school route. I've never seen anything but a graduated dentist, myself. But, I think it's a little off base to assume that by going with a full-fledged dentist, you're ensuring a better experience for your kids.
Orthodontia isn't the same as seeing the dentist. During the height of braces we are often in the office once or twice a week. We've gotten to know our orthodontist well and we chose someone who would do a good job. He's come in more than once to fix an emergency on the weekend. We interviewed several before we chose. At the dental school you are assigned who ever happens to be available that day and they may be just beginning to learn a skill so it can take hours. A friend is currently getting braces at the dental school and her appointments often take two or three times as long as they would with someone experienced. She advised absolutely that no one consider this route for a kid because it is often more painful and time consuming. And again, the point is that it is one thing to choose this as an adult, but as a parent my hope was to be able to provide medical care for my child without having to put them through extra crap to get it.
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