Your views on affording more children. - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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#181 of 192 Old 08-27-2007, 10:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by holly6737 View Post

ETA: I went to college with a bunch of stuck-up, snob sorority girls and frat guys. Spoiled brats. Parents were completely paying for their kids educations and they were just drinking their parents money away. No concept of responsibility or maturity at all. That's NOT going to be my kids, let me tell you. I made excellent grades because I knew I was paying for them! No mommy or daddy to bail me out. Our plan right now is to have our kids completely pay for their own college out of federal loans and grants (scholarships are ideal...). IF they graduate with a minimum GPA (3.0 for a science/math/engineering degree and maybe 3.5 for a liberal arts degree) we'll assume the loans and pay for them. If not, they better budget for the 300$ a month or marry someone rich! Eating ramen noodles 4 times a week never killed anyone. Also, if someone *doesn't* go to college just because they didn't have parents to pay for it, they didn't deserve to go anyway. The government has wonderful grant/loan programs to help people pay for their own college. College is no longer a luxury for the well-to-do families. Everyone can go to college now. Money is available and if you get a degree in the right field, jobs are available also immediately to help pay those student loan debts.
I just couldn't leave this alone....

I believe Ramen WILL kill you over time. I ate plenty of it in college and am still alive to tell about it, but I am seriously hoping we will have enough cash to help dd buy better food In fact, that is FAR more important to me than a college education.

And, as a former beer-loving sorority girl who paid her own way through school and got two engineering degrees that would have been paid for by my parents if they had the same GPA rules as you do, I resent some of the stereotypes you are flinging around here. I know plenty of people that bombed their way out of school that were footing the bill. And I also know plenty of people that graduated with top honors on their parent's dime. But whether or not that even matters, the fact is, college is going to cost a buttload more when my dd is that age than it did when I went. I *barely* scraped by, even with my strict Ramen diet. I am not going to pretend it might not actually be impossible to do it on your own in 15 years. This is not at all a factor in my own family size, other factors weigh more heavily in our decision to have only one, but it is something I think about. I have no idea if dd will even want to go to school, but I am facing the reality that if she does, the only way it may happen is if we help. And she can even be in a sorority if she wants

I would also like to point out that my sorority's average GPA was far higher than the average for all women (or men for that matter) on campus. And *gasp* some even had parents that paid their tuition!
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#182 of 192 Old 08-28-2007, 09:00 AM
 
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I just couldn't leave this alone....

I believe Ramen WILL kill you over time. I ate plenty of it in college and am still alive to tell about it, but I am seriously hoping we will have enough cash to help dd buy better food In fact, that is FAR more important to me than a college education.

And, as a former beer-loving sorority girl who paid her own way through school and got two engineering degrees that would have been paid for by my parents if they had the same GPA rules as you do, I resent some of the stereotypes you are flinging around here. I know plenty of people that bombed their way out of school that were footing the bill. And I also know plenty of people that graduated with top honors on their parent's dime. But whether or not that even matters, the fact is, college is going to cost a buttload more when my dd is that age than it did when I went. I *barely* scraped by, even with my strict Ramen diet. I am not going to pretend it might not actually be impossible to do it on your own in 15 years. This is not at all a factor in my own family size, other factors weigh more heavily in our decision to have only one, but it is something I think about. I have no idea if dd will even want to go to school, but I am facing the reality that if she does, the only way it may happen is if we help. And she can even be in a sorority if she wants

I would also like to point out that my sorority's average GPA was far higher than the average for all women (or men for that matter) on campus. And *gasp* some even had parents that paid their tuition!
Well, obviously you are a very intelligent person and have defied several stereotypes, the sorority girl stereotype being just one. Men dominate, unfortunately, the engineering field, and so it's not surprising to me that you would be the exception to the rule in more than one area. I also think it depends on what college you go to. Some universities have more down to earth sororities/fraternities (NC State being one, for example) and sororities differ from each other as well. From my experience on an "old money" southern campus, the majority of sorority and fraternity people came from very wealthy families who were footing the bill. Oh, and they were ALL white. In fact, ZTA at my school even got in alot of trouble because they put on a fundraiser for the parents with the girls wearing "black face". A black frat built a big house on frat court, and several of the frats said they were going to do things like dump a bunch of corn husks on their lawn when the house was finished just so they could watch them pick it up like slaves (this was found on a frat/soro. forum for our school and even had the frat names attached- several guys were kicked out, but it's obvious if they hadn't of been caught they wouldn't have gotten in trouble). Every week in our paper we had articles about this fraternity was suspended for this, or that, or whatever that had to do with drinking, hazing, more racist issues, whatever. They never got in trouble, though, because there's so much money involved. I never met a sorority girl who was paying for herself to be in the sorority. I HAVE met girls who's parents STOPPED paying for the sorority because the girl's GPA was below 3.0, and I thought that was a good move. Obviously greek people can be smart, but from my experience the majority of them are also stuck-up, racist snobs who think they don't have to live by anyone's rules but their own. I wouldn't pay for my child to be in a greek organization if they went to the same college as I went to. That's just me. Like I said, every campus is probably different.

ETA: I did have one friend who was really nice and in a sorority. Not a snob at all and very smart. I guess she's in medical school now. So, anyway, not everyone is like that, but I think on my campus, she was more the exception than the rule. Just thought of 3 more girls who I knew who were also nice, smart and in sororities.

CNM mama.

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#183 of 192 Old 08-28-2007, 10:17 AM
 
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For, the greek system it really depends on what school you go to. For Northwestern or Purdue (2 schools I considered) you had no social life unless you belonged to a sorority or fraternity. As a result there were houses that catered to all sorts of lifestyles so the sweeping generalization you are painting wasn't true. At the school I did end up at, I would agree with your sweeping generalization most fraternities and sororities were little more than social clubs designed to get a woman married. I still remember vividly the one fraternity party I did go to where we had to basically drag a friend out as fraternity guys were circling around her once they realized she was drunk. Their reassurances that she'd get home ok didn't seem sincere to us. But there were alternatives for developing a social group and not everyone whose parents paid for college were in the greek system and not everyone whose parents didn't pay for college weren't in the greek system.

I had plenty of non-sorority friends who had their parents pay for college and didn't waste their parent's money. Heck even my dh went to a college with no greek system and his parents paid for it and he turned out fine. I think it really more boils down to how you teach your children about money, the worth of things and respect for things more than whether you pay for it all or not. I know plenty of people whose parents gave and paid for quite a lot but who also know the value of it and appreciate it. I also know people whose parents didn't pay for anything who are bitter and unable to manage finances. So I think it boils down to something else besides simply your parents paying for things.
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#184 of 192 Old 08-28-2007, 11:37 AM
 
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I used to go to school with the spoiled kids who basically drank themselves right out of college and I was so resentful of them, when I was working hard and surviving on $20 food allowance per week.
Why resentful? Did you really want to be in their shoes? To have the funding, but not have the ability to make good use of it, seems the worse handicap to me.

If you lack funding, but DO have the inner resources to make good use of opportunities, in my opinion you're going to get a whole lot more out of life than the wasters.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#185 of 192 Old 08-28-2007, 02:28 PM
 
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So I think it boils down to something else besides simply your parents paying for things.

Yeah, totally. If you weren't given some sort of ethical or moral guidance early on in life...rich OR not-rich, it does. not. matter. You will f* it up, rich or not, if you're a spoiled, self-centred brat. Money is one of MANY influences to shape a person.

ETA: Also, when you talk about totally economically disadvantaged people making it 'big' in the world...yeah, it makes news and writes books because statistically the odds are stacked AGAINST that happening. Obviously this is not the case for everyone, but it is for a majority. When you reflexively compare the future outcomes for say, a rich southerner who has all the ties to country clubs, sororities/frats, tutors, private schools, etc. ad nauseum, do you immediately think that they are on an even playing field with a poor kid from the ghetto who grew up with nothing more than the basics in life? The majority of the time, one outcome will be better than the other. OBVIOUSLY this is an extreme comparison, but when you're dithering somewhere around the middle ground you'll hit the argument for people limiting their family sizes based on affordibilty.
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#186 of 192 Old 08-28-2007, 03:40 PM
 
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The ability for people to pay for BASIC necessities; food, clothing, safe shelter, and health care are at the crux of this issue for me. It isn't about college, trips, or extracurricular activities. When we, as a nation, become as concerned with our fellow human beings BASIC needs as we appear to be with their additional lifestyle choices, then the rest is gravy. Who makes up the highest percentage of homeless in our country? Women and children.
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#187 of 192 Old 08-30-2007, 01:18 PM
 
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When you reflexively compare the future outcomes for say, a rich southerner who has all the ties to country clubs, sororities/frats, tutors, private schools, etc. ad nauseum, do you immediately think that they are on an even playing field with a poor kid from the ghetto who grew up with nothing more than the basics in life? The majority of the time, one outcome will be better than the other.
And what outcomes are we talking about -- purely financial, or do we include things like character development, concern for others, and the ability to relate empathetically with all kinds of people? If we're talking about the whole person, I'm not at all sure the rich southerner will have a better outcome from the poor child who grew up in the diverse inner city.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#188 of 192 Old 08-30-2007, 01:35 PM
 
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And what outcomes are we talking about -- purely financial, or do we include things like character development, concern for others, and the ability to relate empathetically with all kinds of people? If we're talking about the whole person, I'm not at all sure the rich southerner will have a better outcome from the poor child who grew up in the diverse inner city.
I think you underestimate the considerable psychological damage that can come from being part of a discriminated underclass.

While you can argue about character and empathy, the fact is that it wasn't rich southerners who drowned in their attics in New Orleans - it was poor blacks. And it isn't rich southerers whose kids were homeless and without schooling for months and years on end - their houses and schools were rebuilt first.

I am not saying that only the poor were impacted by Katrina and other disasters - but the poor were disproportionately impacted AND the poor have a MUCH harder time bouncing back from such devastating loss. And their kids are the ones who pay the price.

Interestingly, those who are the worst off post Katrina were economically disadvantaged with few family and community resources. They literally have no one to turn to.

So better economic, social, and community status, even a marginally, absolutely has a positive impact on your kids ability to survive and thrive in times of crisis. And those times can come at any time with no warning.

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#189 of 192 Old 08-30-2007, 02:54 PM
 
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So better economic, social, and community status, even a marginally, absolutely has a positive impact on your kids ability to survive and thrive in times of crisis. And those times can come at any time with no warning.
Absolutely.

Living on the edge is a gamble ... you have to hope every day that some small thing doesn't occur that pushes you past your resources. Anything a person does to increase their resources decreases their odds of being pushed over the line. In the context of this conversation, every additional child that is brought into the world lowers the amount of available resources unless the resources are increased too.
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#190 of 192 Old 08-30-2007, 03:24 PM
 
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And to get back on topic, being homeless is probably a pretty good indicator that you can't afford another child.
But don't you think if they were willing to make sacrifices they could make it work?

That is a joke! Don't flame me.
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#191 of 192 Old 08-30-2007, 03:55 PM
 
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I'm trying to figure out what this statement means to me right now. We're currently expecting baby #2, just as planned. I don't know at this point if I want more than 2 children, but something I hear and read often is that people say that can't afford more children. In what way?
We're at 1 child, debating #2. We chronically discuss how many children we can afford to have on many levels because we feel responsible family planning involves more than just thinking inside the family domain. I'm not a citizen of only my house. I'm a citizen of the world too.

It is more than real estate or money concerns. We could afford another child in terms of house space or money type resources.

We aren't sure that we can afford it in terms of emotional, mental, health or relationship resources though. I have fertility hurdles and had a high risk pregnancy. I'm not esp. keen to revisit that scene or leave my husband a widower.

Also, if I can't be as good a parent to all children I bring into my home, then I best stop before I hit that point. There's only so much of me to go around, and I need time on my own, and time with my husband. And the plain fact is the more family members using up the family resource pie, the smaller piece of overall pie they get. Yes, love is endless. But the days only have 24 hrs, and the paychecks are only so big.

Then there is our family's place within our town's resources. If one of us dies, then how will the other parent move on with raising the kids? If public school turns out to be a bust, can we afford to cost of private/homeschool options here? What about feeding all this family if jobs get lost? Just being a good worker is not enough. I was downsized -- the company simply couldn't make it. That wasn't my fault, but I had to deal with the loss of income just the same.

Yes, there is aid, but one of the considerations of family planning to us is to make it without aid. I don't plan my family counting on aid to fill the gaps. If everyone did that, all the aid would get used up fast!

Then there's the view of being a global citizen -- there's more than enough people in the world as is, many of them unwanted kids. Do I HAVE to grow my family with bio children? It is natural enough to want one bio child with your beloved.

But how ethical is it to make another new biological child from scratch 9 mos from now when so many already existing children need homes via adoption TODAY! ASAP!

I'm not helping to relieve anything with another bio kid instead of adopting one who is already here... I've just added another person consuming Earth resources over a lifetime and thus cut every other citizen's pie smaller without asking them. The earth is a large but CLOSED ecosystem. More people on earth using up the earth family pie resources, less slice of pie overall all around.

What about future generations? Space in my country is as limited as space in the home. If I have a lot of kids, and then my kids have a lot of kids... does that mean my grandaughter or great grandaughter might not get to pick for herself how many SHE wants? Will the govt. make a rule about how you can reproduce?

China has had a One Child policy for yonks for population control. I'm half Chinese, I'm well aware of it all throughout my maternal line. I live in the US, but that sort of problem is close enough to touch my life through my maternal line... and through friends.

It'd be foolish to think it would never touch me or my descendants here in the US.

It's not totally out there for me to imagine my grandkid telling me "Thanks a lot Grandma! You selfishly went and had your brood of kids however you wanted, and now I only get to have one. Swell family planning there!"

So... those are the kinds of things I think about as I deliberate whether or not I can "afford" to have another.

HTH!
A.
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#192 of 192 Old 08-30-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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And what outcomes are we talking about -- purely financial, or do we include things like character development, concern for others, and the ability to relate empathetically with all kinds of people? If we're talking about the whole person, I'm not at all sure the rich southerner will have a better outcome from the poor child who grew up in the diverse inner city.
No, I'm not talking about purely financial outcomes. Siobhang put it so eloquently.

One thing that I continually notice, in my professional life as well, is that there is a lot of romanticization of poverty, the downtrodden, the disaffected. I had a client from a First Nations (native) reservation once vent to me that everyone thinks it's so great and poetic and noble, how every non-native thinks that natives (her word) take care of the land and are so spiritual with sweatlodges and their traditions, etc. etc. but they forget how miserable some of these living situations are and how damaged communities become because of the insidious experience of poverty over generations.

And as a social worker I'll say that sometimes...believe it or not...(hold onto your hats)...love is NOT enough to grow a whole child. I personally think that that's a shortsighted (somewhat selfish) way of looking at the world.
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