To be a little sad we can only afford one child

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

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Zzzzmarchhare Sat 02-Mar-13 16:31:53

Is the whole no space in the house thing related to when you had PND? I used to only see the good points in our house but being stuck in (and I went out most days-but not the same as work) with a screaming baby and PND made me hate it. If I still feel the same way when I'm ready to ttc no 2 want to move.

Goldenbear Sat 02-Mar-13 16:22:01

I would not feel 'sad' quite yet if your DC is only 2. I didn't even want to contemplate another in year 2 arriving as I'm hugely disorganised and thought I'd be incredibly stressed with the focus being split- I'm no multi-tasker!

If you have a 3 bedroom mews house, you have a 3 bedroom mews house and you have the space in my mind. I live in a 2 double bedroom flat and it is fine. We moved to a house in an area we could afford but I hated it and missed urban life so we moved back again and lost the 3rd bedroom and garden- we still went ahead. However, I'm a SAHM and despite living in a flat, it's a nice flat and we have a good standard of living in terms of buying good food, day trips, a decent car. On the other hand this will be the first year that DS (5) will go on holiday abroad as we have simply not been able to afford it.

OhMerGerd Sat 02-Mar-13 15:33:37

And yes OP having one is brilliant too. Lots of people can't have one child and look Longingly at your situation. You'll be able to enjoy every minute of her childhood, teens etc without the distraction of anybody else and feel satisfied in your career too.
So do enjoy and don't feel sad.

OhMerGerd Sat 02-Mar-13 15:29:28

Ou can only afford one and are interested in how others have managed more than one a few of us have offered up some thoughts.
On paper we could not afford any when we had DD1, and again when DD 2 came along. Yes one of us has sacrificed advancement in career but both of us have worked and so we have not claimed or been entitled to anything but the universal child benefit even though on paper we'd never had enough to raise a family.

OhMerGerd Sat 02-Mar-13 15:26:02

Of course it is all about choices. And if course there will be some people for whom having one child is the right financial choice and/ or the right personal emotional choice. The OP was asking if she being unreasonable to be a little bit sad she she can only afford one child. Well, no... If you are sure you can only afford one OP and you'd have liked more then no you're not being unreasonable to feel sad. If on the other hand you think y

fatlazymummy Sat 02-Mar-13 13:33:12

In any case the Op doesn't have to make a permanent decision right now. As long as neither of them get sterilised then they can always change their minds in the future if/when their circumstances change. The future doesn't have to be set in stone.

fromwesttoeast Sat 02-Mar-13 13:07:11

Sorry for your loss writehand. You words ring so true.

Writehand Sat 02-Mar-13 12:40:12

We could only possibly afford 1 baby. I was the breadwinner by a mile, and childcare is so expensive. We couldn't do it. No way.

Then I got pregnant. Contraceptive failure. I thought it was the end of the world. But abortion was never an option. Perhaps when I was single, maybe, but not after I'd had my precious DS. I loved my DH and my DS far too much to terminate a 2nd pregnancy.

So we had 2 kids. And we made it work. We had no choice.

I look back now & I'm very grateful I didn't get the outcome we'd planned so carefully.

Life is so uncertain, OP. Today my DDH is long dead. We could never have planned or expected that either. So no husband, 2 kids. Not the plan. But I am so very grateful I had my 2nd baby. Babies are more important than any amount of money and -- drumroll -- there is no real security in the world -- however much we like to think there is. If it means that much, go for it. Life really is v short.

ChestyLeRoux Sat 02-Mar-13 12:28:35

First year costs for me have literally been nappies and thats about it which are £10 for 112 from asda. My mum bought me a 25 quid pushchair and dh has spent about a tenner or so on second hand clothes.All the rest has been hand me downs.Milk is free as still breastfeeding. Food she just has bits and bobs of mine so no extra money.

KobayashiMaru Sat 02-Mar-13 12:15:46

You can afford another child, you have chosen not to have one for whatever reasons. It's not the same thing.

Chunderella Sat 02-Mar-13 12:10:40

Maths isn't subjective, but that's not to say it isn't valid to see if things can be reworked. Most of us haven't pared spending down to the very bone. Some have, yes. But I suspect the majority of us aren't eating the absolute cheapest food available, cut out all unnecessary travel, no Christmas, wearing extra clothes instead of heating, no treats whatsoever, and using every single money saving device and tactic we possibly can. And I'm not saying that people should do this in order to be able to have more DC. Just that it's a way, and if you want another one but think you can't afford it, it's worth thinking about how much might be saved by reducing living standards in particular ways.

Equally, it's possible to reduce some of the costs associated with children if you're able to be creative. Again, not everyone can do this, but some can. OP may have thought it through and ruled out any such options, but she doesn't say that. Perhaps OP could reduce childcare costs by using a CM instead of a nursery, or compressed hours for her or DH or both, or one of them might be able to do shift work. Or maybe one could go PT and make an arrangement with a friend or relative in the same position locally that they'll each look after the other's DC on their days off. In OPs case, her view that they don't have room for another in a 3 bed new build is surprising. Even in a poky one, they must have a lot of stuff and a de-clutter may be possible. Perhaps not, perhaps they need the room for someone's medical equipment or a home office or one of them is a tradesman and has to keep the tools somewhere. But it's worth raising the possibility.

Obviously, one doesn't have to do this exercise. Plenty of people would rather limit their family than compromise elsewhere, which is fine. But if a person is sad enough about their situation to post online about it, surely it's worthwhile to look very carefully at all possible options without ruling anything out.

fatlazymummy Sat 02-Mar-13 12:01:47

People just want different things.Some people seem to be taking this a little too personally.
In the OP's case I would suggest waiting for a year or so(if her age permits) then re-evaluating. By then she (plus partner of course) may have definitely decided she doesn't want another child, or she may have decided she does, in which case she can look at ways of making it happen. Reorganising the space in her home, finances, work hours etc.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 02-Mar-13 11:51:19

Some people have a choice between a high standard of living and a child, some don't. For some, the relative is that they will have a very poor standard of living if they have another child.

I see what is being said about the ability to afford something being subjective, and for many people, they could afford to have a child if they were to sacrifice something else. But for other people, there just aren't any sacrifices left to be made. Your mortgage is still going to cost the same, your gas and electric bills are only going to go up, your other children are still going to eat the same amount and grow at the same rate regardless of whether your budget has shrunk or you need to start buying formula and nappies. If your standard of living is already basic, then it can easily be a case that you can't afford more children.

I agree that standard of living is subjective though. Some people are happy with very little, some people like to have more in the way of material things. It's entirely up to them what they spend their money on, whether it be children or holidays.

MyDarlingClementine Sat 02-Mar-13 11:38:40

I have to say I do find that phrase " standard of living" v interesting, what does it mean?

To some people I know standard of living is DC in boarding schools whilst they enjoy global free expat life, to some -its kitting out DC from next every season for several hundred pounds, for some its getting thier nails done and providing ipads whilst house is a shambles, for some its basic living but DC looking smart and tidy and all focus is on school and education? confused

ChestyLeRoux Sat 02-Mar-13 11:35:51

You have a choice though cloudsandtrees a high standard of living or child.That doesnt mean that someone couldnt afford one.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 02-Mar-13 11:28:37

You don't have to be 'very well off' to be able to afford more than one child.

It is about choices, some people aspire to a higher standard of living than others, and that is fine. It's up to an individual couple whether they want to be able to have another child, or they want to be able to afford new clothes each year, or indeed to make whatever choices they want with their own families and their own money.

It is sad that a family that has two parents working has to think carefully about whether they can afford another child without their standard of living dropping drastically, and it shows the massive problem we have with wealth distribution between workers in this country. But that's the way it is and we have to plan our families around the circumstances we are actually in, not the ones we think we are entitled to be in.

ZenNudist Sat 02-Mar-13 11:23:10

If you're worried about childcare cost just resign yourself to a bigger gap for when your ds starts his free 15 hours and then school.

My ds is 2.5. Wont get free 15hrs for a year due to being eldest in school year. Ive been waiting to try for another so I can have him in nursery funded when im on mat leave. Then will have him in school which will mean I only have one set of nursery fees.

It's no hassle to share a bedroom, even a small room can have bunks. You'll cope!

BrainDeadMama Sat 02-Mar-13 11:17:40

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.

^^ This. Great posts, gaelicsheep.

Also, something that struck me is that language seems to be the problem here. Unless I've missed something from what the OP said, it would be better for her family not to have a second child right now, for career and financial reasons. That is absolutely fine, but it isn't the same as 'can't afford'.

If we translate 'can't maintain a certain lifestyle/house/career situation' into 'can't afford' then we are basically saying that those without that situation probably shouldn't have any more than one child.

MyDarlingClementine Sat 02-Mar-13 11:06:13

I wish my DGM was alive today to tell us how she managed with 7 on a building formans wage - four girls all in one room and three boys in the other in a three bed house and 6 years of it through the war when DGP was away.

She also managed piano and violin lessons.

They have all done reasonably well in life - all of them loved thier upbringing, and dearly cherished each other and thier parents.

fromwesttoeast Sat 02-Mar-13 10:36:32

I think a lot of this is about choices. Before DC DH and I lived in one room in shared housing. We both worked, but did not take holidays or buy stuff. We saved for a big deposit. We bought our two bed flat when we wanted to start a family. We had 4 DC in that flat. Not a problem.
I am appalled at some of the attitudes on MN. Some people will be on a low wage their whole life. Not only must such workers forgo the material luxuries of life but some posters would have such people denied the fulfillment of family life too.

ChestyLeRoux Sat 02-Mar-13 10:25:51

Dd2 is nearly one it has only cost mr about £100 so far it does get more expensive as you get older but usually the more children you have the less the adults spend.

idiuntno57 Sat 02-Mar-13 10:15:12

sorry meant not affordable

vamosbebe Sat 02-Mar-13 10:14:48

We can't afford another, either. We live abroad, we rent a tiny 3-bed house (DH works from home) which costs no more than a small flat (the very wee garden was the deciding factor), so we have the space. Neither DH nor I earn very much, DH is freelance, I'm a sahm until October when DS will be 21 months, cheaper than childcare. There is no childcare allowance in my country, there is no flexibility - your child does either full time hours or parttime, no two mornings a week or anything useful. At the beginning of the school year you must buy ALL the books and they change them every year, at a cost of 200-250euros. We're not near family for childcare help, I'd like to visit UK twice a year to keep in contact with family.
We're struggling now, even though DS is old enough to be eating what we eat so no more ff costs.
I sew a lot of my own things, toys especially, and also for gifts. I buy cheap/sale basics and embelish them, that helps a lot.
So, I know where you're coming from, OP thanks

idiuntno57 Sat 02-Mar-13 10:14:45

surely being able to afford things is about managing our expectations. (aside of very low incomes which require the safety net of benefits)

one persons 'essential' Waitrose shop is another's trip to Lidl and the market. It is indeed sad that x2 kids is affordable but I can't help wondering what is essential and, in the case of childcare it is a relatively short time one has to shell out tons fir pre school care.

duende Sat 02-Mar-13 10:14:37

I think comparing getting married to having a child is absolutely pointless.
If I wanted to get married I could do it at the registry office and invite 2sets of parents and the witnesses for dinner.
It's hardly comparable, is it?

As for living in a cheaper area- easier said that done. We live in the cheapest part of town, in a small 3 bed house, on the edge of a council estate. But we live in the south east, where our jobs are, so it's still expensive.

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