can you explain "can't afford more kids?" - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-04-2006, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I'm gonna ask a stupid question here. Maybe there's something obvious I'm missing. When people say "we can't afford another baby right now," what do they mean? I am assuming when people say that they mean it in a financial way.

Are babies really that expensive? It's been our experience that they get expensive as they get older and start taking extra enrichment things like swim team and ballet and stuff. But as for babies, if we cloth diaper, they cost virtually nothing in our family. They need a bed to sleep with mom in, and lots of breastmilk, and nice warm hand-me-downs to wear. The food bill goes up a little cause I need to eat more when I nurse, but that's about it.

Are people referring to the cost of the birth, with inadequate health coverage and the rotten insurance plans lots of us have? Are people referring to having to buy an extra carseat or baby carriers or something? Are people finding some other difficult-to-bear costs? I'm just wondering, because we've always found the baby years to be the INexpensive ones! So I was wondering what people find is financially prohibitive about having another baby. The first baby can require a big lay-out, but even that can be alleviated with careful planning.

The ONLY good advice my mom ever gave me was "If you wait to have children until you can afford them, you'll never have them. So don't wait." Hmmmm. I'm not sure it was even all that good advice really. Anyway, just curious.
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Old 02-04-2006, 01:48 PM
 
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ummmmmmmmmmmmm yah, newborns/infants are pretty cheap... but I believe it's common knowledge that those very babies WILL get older and more expensive. Therefore--- babies ARE expensive!
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Old 02-04-2006, 02:31 PM
 
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I thik it means that whoever says it doesn't want to make any sacrifices for their present lifestyle.

By that I mean - less income if only one partner is able to work, children having to share a room/need to buy a bigger house in order to avoid this, more difficult/expensive to go on holiday or trravel, need for a new car to fit everyone in and other stuff like that.

I can see how lots of people in our society believe those things to be important because we are all judged by what we have and where we go on holiday.

We are right outside that norm at the moment. I am pregnant with our fourth, we live in an English 2 bed house which is small, we have only one old car. I work part time teaching and DH has just left his job to set up his own business.

Most of our friends have had to move to a 3 bed before having even one child. They are shocked that we still share a room with dd and that the new baby will sleep with us too.

Everyone does what they are comfortable with and some folk just aren't comfortable pulling their belts in or making material sacrifices. I know that stuff does not affect my happiness either way, but people do so I'm comfortable with doing what we are doing.
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Old 02-04-2006, 02:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by freestyler
Are babies really that expensive? It's been our experience that they get expensive as they get older and start taking extra enrichment things like swim team and ballet and stuff. But as for babies, if we cloth diaper, they cost virtually nothing in our family. They need a bed to sleep with mom in, and lots of breastmilk, and nice warm hand-me-downs to wear.
Not everyone has access to hand me downs and used free stuff. You also have to think about those "as they get older" things. Just because you can afford a baby doesn't mean you can afford a child. Sometimes one more baby is what tips the scale of needing a bigger house (or at least a bigger bed) or a bigger car. I know people who can't go anywhere as a family beause they have no way to get there. One parent has to stay home with someo f the children while the other takes kids somewhere. Also some things are not as easliy passd down. cloth diapers eventually wear out, carseats get too old, clothes wear out, etc. There are expenses.

I can skimp a lot with a baby, even with a child but some things I won't risk. for example having to go back to work to support them. I don't want to have a child unless I can stay home with them. I won't risk my dh haing to work so much he never ses them (although we are already pretty much there. Right now he is working 80 hour weeks and rarely sees the kids. But it is what we have to do to provide the basics. And we don't live a lavish life. One car with just enough seat belts for everyone. (so having another woul require a bigger car if we ever wanted to go to church together or to the park or something) A 3 small bedroom house (fortunately we invested in nice beds and can fir 3 kids per room but not everyone has money for that sort of thing.) And we upgraded to thi from a 400sq foot 2 bedroom. I guess we could make do with less but we enjoy having a little space and being able to go places as a family and actually spending our days together.

Quote:
Are people referring to the cost of the birth, with inadequate health coverage and the rotten insurance plans lots of us have? Are people referring to having to buy an extra carseat or baby carriers or something? Are people finding some other difficult-to-bear costs? I'm just wondering, because we've always found the baby years to be the INexpensive ones! So I was wondering what people find is financially prohibitive about having another baby. The first baby can require a big lay-out, but even that can be alleviated with careful planning.
Health care is a big one for us. Our first child set us back $25,000. we still don't have health insurance. Madeline is 9 1/2 and we still make sizable payments every month. So outside of birth there is all the extras. My 2nd and third were born with a birth defect. smallish thing but $700 for corrective surgery. fortunately we qualified for medicaid for #2 but number 3 still has it. she also had another birth defect that we couldn't aford to have corrected. fortunately hers was mild but it could have been life threatening and would have cost around $30K for it to be corrected. when they do get sick it is a crisis. Ava has a staph skin infection that set us back $150. herbal stuff isn't any cheaper. But even little things are a crisis around here. There is no cheap medical care. Everyone is sick and we just ran out of VitC and can't fford more.

No babies aren't that expensive but kids are. If all I thought about was how much fun it is to be pregnant, give birth and have a newborn and how easy and cheap all of that was (although birth with an assistant of any sort starts at $7000 around here - which I can't imagine affording right now) then yes I would always be able to afford more BABIES. But groceries are expensive, school is expensive, clothes, even second hand are expensive, shampoo, beds, bedding, gas for running hear and there, birthdays, Christmas, special treats, little vacations (camping at a close state park for example) , it all adds up and is frightfully expensive. granted there is nothing else I would rather work hard for and spend my money on but for now anyway I certainly don't want to be stretched any thinner.

we didn't wait until we could afford it (although waiting for insurance to kick in would have been wise) but our ability to afford children has impacted our decision to have more. It has been so hard. my dh has missed most of it, I have had to work off and on and that has been hard on my children, fortunately my MIL elps with childcare. But I want more than a lot of children. I want a little breathing room to enjoy them. I want them to have a least a few advantages and a few nice new things. I grew up poor and never had any new clothes, never had any clothes that fit me (beggers can't be choosers ya know), went without a bed for a while, never had school supplies, never took lessons, had to skip lunch to pay for things I needed for school, couldn't invite people over to my house, etc. I could choose to raise my chislren in that kind of poverty but choose not to. Not everyone who says that is simply wanting more more more and all these lavish things in life. Some really are talkign abotu being able to provide the basics.

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Old 02-04-2006, 02:50 PM
 
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Yes we did wait until we could afford to have children and wow we did!!
We started our goal of me being a sahm before we were married.

Sometimes afford could mean different things. It could mean all the things others before me have ppd. It could mean time, patience, desire etc. If your first child was born with medical difficulties, it could be a drain to bring another one in right away if you have to dedicate time and money to the first one. If you live in an area without a support system and your spouse works long hours, you are on your own to raise kids. Its a long lonely road for some mamas.

Soem people choose NOT to have children for various reasons just like some choose to have only one or many. Each family is different.

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Old 02-04-2006, 02:53 PM
 
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For me it means: can't afford a bigger house. Could possibly afford diapers and clothing, but it would really be a stretch. And in general I just hate to be stressed about money. Right now I can afford to take care of my son and even sometimes buy him something nice. As it is I buy just about anything he needs for cheap off Ebay. So, I'm already penny pinchin' to take care of just the one. If I had another we would be on an even tighter budget and that would stress me out even more.

A big part of it for me is that I grew up really poor. I was 7 years older than my brother and had to share a tiny room with him. Once I went through puberty my mom decided my brother and I couldn't share a room anymore and made the living room my brother's room. (the house only had 2 bedrooms) So, I think children should have their own rooms, even if they're tiny rooms. And we never had enough...I was lucky if I had more than 2 pairs of used pants, I never had school supplies, or enough food half the time. So, I really don't want my children to have to go through anything like that like I did. So, I just want to make sure we have enough to go around.
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Old 02-04-2006, 03:03 PM
 
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For me it's things like a bigger house for one. Our house is a bit small for 3 kids and it would be very small for 4. Babies aren't a problem but someday the baby would want a room of his/her own. Right now we really can't afford a down payment on another house and there's no guarantee that our house would sell.

Also the fact that daycare is so expensive. I'm a SAHM but what it something happeded to dh and I had to work.

There's also the retirement issue. I may have to work someday to save for retirement and/or college.

We have a minivan so that's not a problem nor is insurance but it could be for some families.
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Old 02-04-2006, 03:19 PM
 
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speaking from experience..number 3 was a very big shock for us. we had just bought a house and i was already staying home, we had sold everybit of baby stuff because we didn't want another baby for 5-6 years, we had no health insurance, we had no savings. the only reason we baought a house is because the payments were the same ($25 more) as apartment rent. We didn't have any extra's that could be cut out. ds3 is 6 months and I am still paying all the medical bills; midwife, NICU because of transfer. thankfully i got most of my clothes given to me and got a load of cds at my baby shower. It is very hard, but we made it. But I would not have planned my baby (much as I love the little booger ) because we could not really afford another baby.

Just my 0.02
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Old 02-04-2006, 03:55 PM
 
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I think they are referring to formula and diapers and all the other stuff that many people buy new for each baby.

I never ff dd but we did use disposable diapers for the first 4 months. That cost us about $40 in diapers and $6 in wipes a month. I have some friends that have formula fed and that costs them $20 a week for a newborn and it just gets higher as they eat more.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 02-04-2006, 04:04 PM
 
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We have decided to just have two for many reasons, but one of them is financial.

Babies are not that expensive, but even then you have the cost of the birth, the cost of clothes and diapers, a carseat, sling, stroller or high chair if you choose to get one. And the cost of childcare if you are working, or the cost of *not* working because you are a SAHM.

Here's where it gets expensive for us:

-- medical care, esp dd2. She was born with some problems. This included(or still includes) meds, doctor visits, ER copays, hospitalizations, special formula, and hidden costs of dealing with her condition (future dental bills due to teeth erosion, for example)

-- dd1 is a typical child in most ways. She needs classes at the YMCA, new clothes, food, meds, doctor visits, educational material, art supplies. We are frugal but it still costs money.

In the future they will both needs braces, maybe glasses, college, more clothes and food, more meds, music lessons, sports teams, and so on. Not to mention family vacations, plane tickets, hotel beds, etc. Dh's whole family lives in India and it's $1200 per ticket. Yeah, ouch.

Sure we could have a couple more kids but our quality of life would go down unless we found a way to bring in about double the amount we are bringing in now. We are only in a small amt of debt (mostly due to dd2's med stuff) and are working hard to pay it off. But it's still stressful to have that over our heads.

One more kid means one more set of basic needs being met (more lessons, braces, clothes, meds, etc). Plus a bigger house, bigger car to hold another carseat.

We would rather just enjoy the kids we have now. If I didn't worry about finances we would jump at the chance to adopt a baby from India. No more pg for me after my last one, but maybe more kids if money was not an issue.

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Old 02-04-2006, 05:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangefoot
I thik it means that whoever says it doesn't want to make any sacrifices for their present lifestyle.

By that I mean - less income if only one partner is able to work, children having to share a room/need to buy a bigger house in order to avoid this, more difficult/expensive to go on holiday or trravel, need for a new car to fit everyone in and other stuff like that.
That is quite the tar brush you are painting with.

What it meant for our family was all the expenses that come along with a baby for life. Clothes, school supplies, food, and shelter and yes, music lessons, swim lessons, trips to museums, and any other interest they may have. Wanting to give your children the best you can does not make you a materialistic whore who is only interested in keeping up appearances and unwilling to make sacrifices.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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Old 02-04-2006, 05:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by orangefoot
I thik it means that whoever says it doesn't want to make any sacrifices for their present lifestyle.
.
Excuse me? Can you possibly get any more judgemental? Do you know personally the exact circumstances of everyone who makes this statement?

Would you make that statement to the face of a single mother working to support her children?

Would you say it to the mother and father who each work minimum wage jobs and live in a cramped apartment?

Would you say it to the parents whose financial and emotional resources are strained from raising their special needs child?

Would you say it to my face? I'm a sahm mama. We have a modest income. It is one of our goals as parents to send our children to college. We also don't want to spend our retirement years in poverty. We can't afford more than two children.

Why would anyone even question what lies behind another person's explanation for not adding to their family - let alone belittle it?
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Old 02-04-2006, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thank you for all your responses, Mammas. I wanted to broaden my thinking and understand better what people mean by "cannot afford" and you have helped me to do this. Reading your responses has also helped me to think more intelligently about how we (our family) are spending our own money.

It's refreshing to hear that so many Mammas here ARE planning ahead and thinking about finances for the future. Sometimes it seems like we live in a country of crazy people, and so many people (myself included) have no sense of planning for the future or (myself not included here) thinking about anything except immediate gratification of one kind or another. You guys rock!

That's all my comments about $$$ I promise. Back to our regularly scheduled program!
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Old 02-04-2006, 06:11 PM
 
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We have always cloth diapered, exclusively breastfed, have actually bought only a few items for our children new... However with the three little ones currently, I would currently say that we "can't afford more kids". It isn't always about those things. When I choose to have a child, I look long term. Will I be able to support them emotionally and meet all of their needs without impending on my other children's needs and the needs of everyone in the family? How far can I really stretch without my personal needs being completely violated? As a mother, I sacrifice a lot. I can't really afford to sacrifice more. (I'm not complaining about being a mother, I just think that each person at different times in their life can really only afford to emotionally give so much).
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Old 02-04-2006, 06:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kewb
Wanting to give your children the best you can does not make you a materialistic whore who is only interested in keeping up appearances and unwilling to make sacrifices.
thats pretty much what I was saying but much less conciesly

. But even if you don't want the best. . . Our house is not balmy and warm. but we do want to be able to provide some heat. our food is not gourmet but we do want to be able to priovide healthy nutritious food. I want my children to be comfortable and educated and have a happy mom.

that doesn't mean I am consumeristic pig who puts thing over people. far from it.

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Old 02-04-2006, 06:18 PM
 
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"Afford" is a purely financial term to me and only means money. There are many other good reasons for not wanting or being able to have more children but that was not the subject of the OP.

I should have prefaced what I wrote before with In My Experience because I have heard this a lot lately.

I am looking at this from a totally different place because I have never had to consider paying for my children's education nor paying medical bills for any of us. I will have a small state pension and our children will probably have to work and study to pay their tuition fees if we have to pay for their accomodation. Our income taxes (22% between £2,000 and £27,000) and National Insurance (11% of net salary) are high, as is VAT (sales tax) at 17% and fuel for the car is at almost £2 per litre but I don't have to buy books for school or pay for glasses or braces for my sons. All our healthcare is free at the point of delivery, but housing, clothes and food are expensive.

In the UK it is about lifestyle because often both partners need to work in order to pay the mortgage and full time daycare is too expensive if you have 2 children. I have friends who have just had a third child unexpectedly and are gutted that they won't be able to afford to go on two holidays per year as they have been up to now. Her husband put it to her some years ago that it was a baby or no more trips to the US or skiing and no new kitchen.

I have been a homeless single mother and life was harder but I've worked hard to make our life better and am now in better circumstances. Even so we are agains the wind. We live in an expensive place and a larger house for us is absolutely ridiculously out of reach on what dh and I earn at the moment.

We have hardly ever bought clothes which have not been from charity shops (thrift stores) I never buy ready made meals and I have to really scrape sometimes for things like school trips. We have a low income and we have debts, I'm not lording it over anybody by any means.

The other side of "not being able to afford" is "are people who do have a lot of children irresponsible?" Again, everyone does what they are comfortable with.
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Old 02-04-2006, 06:20 PM
 
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and to be completely honest, until I had a second one who was old enough to want all teh things her sister had I didn't realize how mcuh children cost. Suddenly what we need to cover cost almost doubled. sudlenly I had two large children chowing on the food, suddenly not only did dance lessons go up but i had two who wanted them, two sets of uniforms for girls scouts, two of this and that, an older child who was wearing out her clothes before they could be passed down, kids who didn't line up for seasons, things were getting broken at an alarming rate and #3 was on the way. Suddenly kids were expensive. not babies but kids. and babies have a nasty habbit of growing up

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Old 02-04-2006, 07:25 PM
 
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for us, 2, if we have a 2nd, would be do-able in terms of space & then expenses in general. 3- we'd have to change cars for both of us (neither of us drives a car that could fit 3 car seats side by side). now with the law here of being in a booster until age 8 or 80 lbs, that's a lot of backseat space being taken up for a long time! i *need* to work at least part time, so dd *needs* to be in daycare at least part time. (not looking to defend/debate this point, it is what it is for a lot of reasons )add another one, the bill goes up. then there are extra-curricular activities. we are fortunate to live in an area with a great public school. also a very active community with lots of sports, music & arts options. for us, that's something very important to have dd be able to experience. more kids, more $ for that stuff.

my friends have more kids than we do. they drive the bigger cars/mini-vans & totally make it work. every family figures out what will work for them. however, "material" sacrifices differ in meaning for every family as well.
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Old 02-04-2006, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Orangefoot, I didn't think you were being judgmental at all, just phrasing things your own way. Sorry you got jumped on! Thank you for sharing your story. It's awesome to have an overseas viewpoint. I lived in France for four years and wow, what a different place from here. Visited England a lot too, and had lots of English friends, and that was a really special time in my life. But I digress....
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Old 02-04-2006, 08:32 PM
 
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Wow- formula is expensive and thats getting away cheap at $20 a month.
NEver bought a can of it so I do not have a clue what that cost!
DD was in sposies for 3 years plus before potty learning. I did a quicken report to add up what that cost and if that money went into a 529 and sat, it would be worth more. This is why dd2 is being cded for sure! She is not due for another 4 plus months and I have been building my stash so its costing over a period of time. I then will sell it again when done with it.

DH just reminded me of a couple we met on our honeymoon in Paris 9 years ago. They were from Jersey (the island near France and England) and had been married for about 10 years. They were a wonderful couple to sit next to at dinner and chat. As they left, they wished us the best and the husband leaned over, shoke out hands and said "Wait a while to have children, they are expensive." With that they were off. Know what, he was right!

Babies are the easy part if everything goes right. Children growing (and they all grow!) are the costly part. As a frugal person, I can tell you there are many creative ways to cut expenses and still give your child a wholesome well rounded life and give them what you want. You just have to know how to do and thats the fun part!

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Old 02-04-2006, 10:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by freestyler
OK, I'm gonna ask a stupid question here. Maybe there's something obvious I'm missing. When people say "we can't afford another baby right now," what do they mean? I am assuming when people say that they mean it in a financial way.

Are babies really that expensive? It's been our experience that they get expensive as they get older and start taking extra enrichment things like swim team and ballet and stuff. But as for babies, if we cloth diaper, they cost virtually nothing in our family. They need a bed to sleep with mom in, and lots of breastmilk, and nice warm hand-me-downs to wear. The food bill goes up a little cause I need to eat more when I nurse, but that's about it.

Are people referring to the cost of the birth, with inadequate health coverage and the rotten insurance plans lots of us have? Are people referring to having to buy an extra carseat or baby carriers or something? Are people finding some other difficult-to-bear costs? I'm just wondering, because we've always found the baby years to be the INexpensive ones! So I was wondering what people find is financially prohibitive about having another baby. The first baby can require a big lay-out, but even that can be alleviated with careful planning.

The ONLY good advice my mom ever gave me was "If you wait to have children until you can afford them, you'll never have them. So don't wait." Hmmmm. I'm not sure it was even all that good advice really. Anyway, just curious.
whelp, im in this boat and for us we cant afford it in a way........ its so hard..... we have a small apartment and two kids and i desperately want to have one more... but i worry bc i feel we will need a 3 bedroom with 3 kids.... eventually. So, while I am cool with the babe being in our room for a year or so, I know that 3 kids in one room is just...... craziness, besides the fact that dd and ds are going to need their own room enventually (boy/girl), which just brings me round in a circle to then why not if we will need a 3 bedroom anyhow?? OH and another baby means more years of me working very part time to be home with my kids instead of picking up more hours so we can hopefully buy a house someday!! I dont know but feel in a way it would be irresponsible of us to have another one right now when money is so tight as it is...... but oh how i want another......
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Old 02-04-2006, 10:09 PM
 
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When I say we cant afford more than the 2 kids we have now. It dosnt mean that we cant take vacations (we never have done that) When dh gets time off work he spends it laying on the couch being a house ornament

What it means is if we want to pay the bills we have and me be a SAHM we cannot have any more kids. We have made huge sacrifices so that some one else wouldnt be raising my kids (daycare/babysitter) we had to file bankruptsy when dd was almost 2 1/2 yo so that I could continue to stay home and raise my own child. When dd was 3 we started trying for #2 because personally having a single child was not a option. After filing we could afford to have him and pay for the things he needs.

Both my kids have every thing they need but they dont always get what they "want" We occasionally are able to buy wants but mostly we just live pay check to pay check. I know that some will judge me as they have in the past but honestly all that matters is that our family is OK with how things are. I have been told before that we had no bussiness even having a second child

Before me and dh even got married we agreed that we would wait at least 5yrs before starting a family so that we would have time together alone and so that $ would not be such a big issue. We built our home when we had been married 4yrs and had dd a little over a year later. We only have 1 vehicle a van and dh rides to work with a coworker so that i am not stuck home in case of emergancy.

So when I say we cannot afford a second child I mean it litterally we could loose everything we own. Maybe not at this time but in the future when the kids require more financially. It is so much more important to me to be the one who raises my kids than to be forced back to work and leave their care to someone else. I have no planes to return to work any time in the future so that I can be here for them. I dont have a problem with anyone who chooses to do so but for me it is out of the question. If that means that we live on the edge then so be it.

Everyone has to make choices for there family and not every one thinks in the same way.

 
SAHMlady.gifread.giflovin' trekkie.giffan intactivist.gifwinner.jpg to loveeyes.gifenergy.gifDD 10/00 & superhero.gifmoon.gifDS 10/04 ribbonpb.gifIf your ds is intact, keep him safe, visit the Case Against Circ forumnocirc.gifCirc, a personal choice, Your sonsyes.gifbrokenheart.gif11/98brokenheart.gif6/99ribbonbrown.gifanti-tobaccoribbonyellow.gifThyroid cancer survivor. With cat.gif& goldfish.gif & (Boxer)dog2.gif wishing 4 whale.gif&ribbonwhite.gifsigncirc1.gifselectivevax.gifdelayedvax.gif

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Old 02-04-2006, 10:32 PM
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I want a little breathing room to enjoy them. I want them to have a least a few advantages and a few nice new things.

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"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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Old 02-05-2006, 07:38 AM
 
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I'm enjoying interesting reading this thread. We have two children and my husband underwent a vasectomy Friday. One of the many reasons we decided to stop at 2 was money. I always said three but it would mean a bigger place (we're in a 2 bd. 1.5 bath), bigger car, (when I would stop nursing) another mouth to feed, one more for activities (soccer, gymnastics, whatever), travel (my husband from Sweden so we visit family), check-ups at the doctor, school supplies, college, etc. I think considering the financial aspect is a very responsible thing to do and I know plenty of people who have lots of kids and can afford them. I think that's great, I feel that how many kids you have is a very individualistic decision.
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Old 02-05-2006, 11:48 AM
 
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I have friends who have just had a third child unexpectedly and are gutted that they won't be able to afford to go on two holidays per year as they have been up to now. Her husband put it to her some years ago that it was a baby or no more trips to the US or skiing and no new kitchen.
You say that as though you think that's a selfish choice...but you know, if that is what those parents want, I think it is their right. I mean presumably they are taking their existing children on holidays?

We can not afford another child at this time. We can not afford to either lose my income or pay a daycare bill. It has nothing to do with already having cloth diapers on hand (which we do) or nursing instead of formula. We also can not afford the expenses of another birth, which would range from 1500-2500 for a homebirth (not convered at all by insurance), and ironically, even with insurance, probably about the same amount out-of-pocket even for a "covered" hospital birth.

USAmma has posted on many different occasions about the unexpected medical expenses for her second daughter. My own BIL & SIL have a daughter who has needed numerous surgeries and therapies for mutiple medical conditions she was born with. Insurance doesn't cover everything. A surgery and 3-day hospital stay can run tens of thousands of dollars, with 20% being owed by the parents. So that is a possibility to keep in mind. My son was hospitalized overnight recently for RSV--our total expense for that illness was over $600 out of pocket. That's huge! That's our mortgage payment!

Other PPs have mentioned the ongoing expenses as children get older.

I don't begrudge the low-income/on-assistance mama taking up the (somewhat controversial) position that if she's going to be poor anyway, might as well have the family size she wants and get by on medicaid and food stamps and section 8 (housing voucher), etc. But if you are marginally middle-class and economically stable, owning a modest home, etc., adding one more child to the mix can absolutely mean the difference between having some financial stability versus always being right on the edge.

We are determined to have one more child anyway...just not right now. I feel a real responsibility to the child I already have not to play risky with our family's financial stability.
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Old 02-05-2006, 12:34 PM
 
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I cannot afford another child. I'm a single parent and am trying to save for the following: college education/traveling with dd/retirement/a small house - hard to do now and almost impossible with another kid.
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Old 02-05-2006, 01:21 PM
 
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If we had another child we would have to buy a bigger car to fit us (and the bulky, expensive carseats) all in. Aside from that, no, IMO babies are not expensive. So far my kids have not cost as much as the US average says they should have, way way less in fact. Of course, I am cheap Now, when they get old enough to eat, they sure do put a dent in the grocery budget .

I asked someone once why they thought babies were expensive. They said formula, plastic diapers, new clothes, all new nursery items, baby sitters/daycare, time lost from work, and all the baby accessories (high chair, bottles, pack and play, bouncy seat, etc). I think that most of the mamas here forgo quite a bit of that stuff, so our opinions will be a bit shy of the "national average" ideas.

The Tabbie Family; DH , DS , DD , a few :, a couple : and me.
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Old 02-05-2006, 03:16 PM
 
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double post
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Old 02-05-2006, 03:19 PM
 
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Yes, I am assuming that the cost of prenatal and birth care is a big portion of the quandry. We had the luxury of planning our children, and saving accordingly to pay for our care. Yes, even if you homebirth/AP/cloth diaper/breastfeed as I did, you still need some essentials, that can be costly (car seats, better car maybe?, more room in the house? a washer or dryer? the extra food involved for mother and eventually baby?)

Recently a woman aquaintance who has 1 child already, chose to abort because it was cheaper than prenatal and birth care. Very sad choice to feel that overwhelmed by financial worries.

Even cost in terms of time you spend on each child. Some feel that they can spend more time with 1 or 2 kids and feel that it may spread it all too thin for more.
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Old 02-05-2006, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ummmmmmmmmmmmm yah, newborns/infants are pretty cheap... but I believe it's common knowledge that those very babies WILL get older and more expensive. Therefore--- babies ARE expensive!
Ummmmm yah, that's kind of a condescending way of replying to my post. I was looking for insight into what families and moms here are going through, so I could broaden my understanding of other people (and myself), and I was NOT looking for snide comments. Sorry if my original post offended you in some way! It was just an honest query, meant to invite honest feedback.

Meanwhile, all the rest of you mammas, I'm loving reading all of your thoughts. It is helping me to think ahead a bit more about financial stuff myself. It is also making me anxious about $$$ -- no surprise there! We have four kids are are not having trouble affording them right now (they're 8 and under). But we sure don't take ski vacations anymore or spend three months away every summer. It is definitely a financial impact!! And yes, I do worry that we will be totally stressed out about college and stuff. IF that is the path some of them take---I'm not someone who believes it is the ONLY path. I'm hoping they all get swimming scholarships or music scholarships somewhere!
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