To be a little sad we can only afford one child

(155 Posts)
filibear Fri 01-Mar-13 20:18:30

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gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 22:05:28

DD was no. 2. Trills - I totally disagree. Our family is complete now we have two. DS is so much happier, they have shared experiences, they play together, they learn together, it is wonderful. I don't understand how it could be better for a child be on their own, although I suppose if there are other relatives that might make up for it. DS has no cousins, for example.

Iggly Fri 01-Mar-13 22:05:49

I know more people who get on with siblings than don't.

We've got two close in age and boy it's tough financially. If we were worse off, we'd have waited for a bigger gap.

You have three bedrooms?! You must have loads of stuff!

Trills Fri 01-Mar-13 22:07:35

You should want another child because you want one, not because you think it might be nice for your DS.

Lorialet Fri 01-Mar-13 22:09:04

YANBU. DS is 9 now and I'm 43 so don't think I'll be having any more. Would have liked another if I hadn't had to worry about the money side of things, but have my own business and mortgage to pay.

Figgygal Fri 01-Mar-13 22:10:41

We are in same boat we have a small 3 bed house ds 14mo is in bedroom 2 and dh works in bedroom 3 we cant afford another house i worry about affording another dc and we earn more than £50k between us. i don't know how people do it I'm unwilling to get into debt and should b in a good position to have another but ...........

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 22:15:07

Trills - what's good for DS and what I want tend to be the same thing. Is that not so with every parent?

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 22:17:54

I can also see how having just one could be MORE, or at least equally expensive. Certainly if it was me I would feel the need to DO more with him - things that cost money - and buy more for him to offset the fact he has no one to play with. So I think perhaps having two saves us as much as it costs.

Sarahplane Fri 01-Mar-13 22:21:40

we waited until dd was at school before trying for another because we couldn't afford the huge nursery costs for two.

I can also see how having just one could be MORE, or at least equally expensive. Certainly if it was me I would feel the need to DO more with him - things that cost money - and buy more for him to offset the fact he has no one to play with. So I think perhaps having two saves us as much as it costs.

Think this actually makes quite a bit of sense. Also saves you time and energy when you can ignore leave them to play together

OhMerGerd Fri 01-Mar-13 22:25:21

We have 6.7 yr gap. DD1 begged for a bro/sis. DDs have always got on are v close. Food, clothes, toys, activities, holidays etc are not the challenge. It's childcare. But it depends on what you want the most. Family or consumer goods. We were in private rented until DD2 was 5 started school and DH could get back to work(SAHD was the best option for us).So yes it costs(we do not get any benefits apart from family allowance) and yes, it will take us many many years (until/after retirement) to pay things off but 2 is hardly irresponsible if we had fallen on hard times. With the gap it was doable,and oh the JOY ohague family dynamic. Of course we could have had swapped the tent for hotel holidays, the carrier bags for mulberry and sagging boobies of have benefitted from some expensive uplift surgery BUT oh the joy!
Oh ...the absolute joy! If its what you both really want think about the compromises put them into action and go for it!

LittleBoxes Fri 01-Mar-13 22:30:03

It's the childcare thing. DH and I earn roughly the same each, and when we bought our flat (a 2-bed ex-council flat in an insalubrious area, before anyone accuses me of having a flash lifestyle) on that basis. So when we had our DD we both had to keep working or we wouldn't have been able to afford the mortgage. Also couldn't afford 2 children in childcare, so had to leave ttcing until DD was heading for school. But I was in my late 30s by then and sadly we haven't been successful. DD is 7 next birthday and it's looking like she's going to be an only (I'm 41).

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 22:31:04

Actually this reminds me of when people say they can't afford to get married. They can, of course, they just can't afford a big wedding. Again it's about priorities. I can recommend a largish age gap. There's 4 years between my 2 and it does help stagger any expense (although as I said planning a second child for a certain time didn't cross our minds).

LittleBoxes Fri 01-Mar-13 22:38:13

It's not the same. You can have a cheap wedding (we did!) but expenses like childcare are always going to be huge.

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 22:41:04

No not necessarily. DH is a SAHD. Childcare is almost zero.

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 22:43:04

Sorry, I didn't mean that to come across as smug. I can see things are different for you. Just that since having DS we have planned our life on the basis of a single salary. If we had two salaries plus childcare we wouldn't be better off. All I'm saying is it is not impossible.

redplasticspoon Fri 01-Mar-13 23:07:17

You don't need a bigger place. Having a room per child is a very English thing and completely unnecessary. Childcare is expensive but you could wait till your dc starts school so you will only be paying one set of nursery fees at a time. If everyone waited till they could 'afford' children then nobody would have them, but the reality is everyone just makes do.

I think people are being really disingenuous saying it doesn't cost any more to have 2 than 1. Perhaps in some cases, yes, where one parent is already a SAHP and it's possible to live on one salary. But that's not always the case.

Saying 'we can't afford another child' isn't just saying 'we can't afford extra school dinners and uniforms'.

For us anyway, it's saying 'we can't afford another child unless one of us gives up working for a lot of years, after which we'll be so unemployable it might be a lot longer'. That's not a small sacrifice to make. And especially today, it's very risky to rely on one salary for many years.

There's nothing wrong with having only one child! FFS no of course you don't have to buy them more toys because they're lonely hmm We are able to give DS loads of our time because there's no distractions, and like most only children he can amuse himself for ages.

OP -- I felt just like you when DS was 2, it killed me that we couldn't try for another because we were skint. Now he's almost 3 and I'm actually so thankful that we were sensible about it. He is such a happy boy, and life is actually pretty easy, we are all happy. So don't think you'll feel this way forever. Just see how it goes.

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 23:19:12

The more people who decide they absolutely HAVE to have two salaries, the harder it becomes for anyone to decide otherwise because it goes more and more against the perceived norm, and the harder it makes it for any family to have more than one child. Everyone will suffer in the end.

I don't want this to turn into a rant and I have a book to read, it just really annoys me.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 01-Mar-13 23:36:30

shock that people are encouraging the OP to have a second child when she has said she can't afford it!

She is being sensible, and while I think the idea of thinking about it again when her first child is older is very good advice, because she might be able to afford it with a bigger age gap, I also think that people shouldn't be encouraged to have children when they physically cannot afford to provide for them.

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 23:41:50

I disagree. We don't have a second car because we can't afford one. A second car would be way more expensive than DD. But children are not commodities, they are the product of love and they give love in return. You cannot apply the same reasoning as you would to the purchase of a car, you just can't.

idiuntno57 Fri 01-Mar-13 23:46:03

I realise this is going to put the cat among the pigeons but we have four and it never occurred to me not to have them because of the cost.

DH and I both work, we are always skint and spend nothing on ourselves bar the essentials, kids only have second hand stuff etc. but it can and does work.

If you want it then go for it. There can and will be a way

CloudsAndTrees Fri 01-Mar-13 23:55:26

I wasn't trying to compare a child to the purchase of a car confused

Children are people, and some people like to give their children a standard of living that is above the bare minimum. To do that, you have to think about your income in relation to how many children to want to provide for. You don't have to, but it is a valid and sensible thing to consider.

There's more to it than just saying it won't be expensive because you can hand me down clothes and get all the baby stuff out again. It's double the cost for so many things, like days out, school shoes and lunches, school trips, extra curricular stuff. And if you want to be able to give them any support at all when they get to university or while they train, then that takes money that has to come from somewhere. Even if the OP spreads the cost by having a bigger age gap, there's still a whole extra child that needs to be paid for.

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 23:59:39

Sometimes it really is possible to over think things. I guess I have a different perspective on this - my children still both feel like miracles to me as I really didn't think I could have any. DD, my 2nd, was totally unexpected, but I couldn't possibly be without her for the world.

Children need very little except love. Society expects loads more, of course, it's good for the economy, but I do not subscribe to that view of life.

gaelicsheep Sat 02-Mar-13 00:02:01

Also, a minor point, but when it comes to days out it is usually almost as expensive with one as with two. All those "family" ticket deals for two adults and two children?

gaelicsheep Sat 02-Mar-13 00:05:25

You see, what some people are actually advocating here, whether they realise it or not, is a self-enforced (or god forbid State-enforced) one-child policy for all but the very well off.

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