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Wanting a 4th but unsure if it'll work financially
59

fizzyblush · 23/10/2021 10:14

Hi guys
I currently have 3 babies 9 yo, 6 yo, 7 month old
I work in a school as a learning assistant and am entering the 'unpaid ' part of maternity . My partner earns about £3200 a month take home. We rent and it's £1200 a month. My take home isn't much at all at £1100 a month . I still am undecided about going back as it'll
Cost a lot to put our youngest in childcare.

Thing is I sort of feel like I want another baby ? But closer in age to our 3rd as I feel like the gap between the older two and the baby is quite big. My oh is logical saying he's already stretched financially which I completely get . We sort of live month to month . Would a 4th make a huge difference financially? I defo would stop at 4 I hope ! Bearing in mind I probably won't be able to go back to my job anyway as childcare will be about the same as I earn! Am I being really irresponsible ...

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Lougle · 23/10/2021 10:20

Yes, I think you are. Look after the 3 you have and give them a good life.

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MissBattleaxe · 23/10/2021 10:21

Children are horrendous ly expensive. Fast forward to the future and all the things they'll need such as uniform and school trips. Think of practicalities like getting a hotel room for 6 and the cost of a holiday for 6. You can't do that on one salary. Also if you're having children and renting, why aren't you married? You have no security.

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Kitkat151 · 23/10/2021 10:26

Entirely your decision....obviously any 4th child will make a financial difference....it’s not just childcare....it’s Extra clothing/shoes....after school activities....holidays.....presents.....food....days out.....Uni costs later down the line....the list could go on and on.....if you can afford it then great....if that would mean compromise for your other children .....then maybe it’s not such a great idea

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Insertfunnyname · 23/10/2021 10:27

Truly, stop now and give your existing children a good life. They're cheap now but won't always be. When they start wanting tech, branded items, a first car, university, help to get on the housing ladder etc you'll be forking out money hand over fist.

If you're renting and unmarried with children you're in a very unsafe situation. Is there a reason you're not married? Just you and DH down a registry office - wouldn't cost barely anything just go one weekend.Because if you stop work now then you're a bit vunerable.

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Insertfunnyname · 23/10/2021 10:29

It costs £150,000 to raise a child to 18

Then you have uni costs and help on the housing ladder. Honestly, spend that money on your existing children

www.compassfostering.com/raise-a-child-cost-uk/

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Flowerpowwer6 · 23/10/2021 10:33

Your baby is a bit young to be thinking about another. But tbh with your rent I would not do it OP. Kids are expensive! The older they get don't do it

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Comedycook · 23/10/2021 10:35

Three kids is plenty ..don't tip the balance

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Buddyhobbs · 23/10/2021 10:39

Yeah sorry, you are beinf really irresponsible. Your OH has already told you hes stretched financially.

We were discussing going from two to three, but aside from childcare costs for a third, our two DS can have everything they need in life because we are comfortable financially.
If we had a third, as well as extra childcare costs, we'd also have extra clothes, shoes and school uniforms to buy, extra christmas and birthday presents to buy.

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imnotacelebritygetmeoutofhere · 23/10/2021 10:40

Aside from the financial cost, please think of the impact on the environment. Three children is more than average, focus on what you already have.

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Sleepinghyena · 23/10/2021 10:42

Teenagers are VERY expensive. We are struggling with three. Don't do it.

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fairislecable · 23/10/2021 10:58

I have 4 as the third (unplanned) pregnancy was twins! We managed but it was very hard. The expense of bedrooms, car seats, hotel rooms etc, we had to buy an extension for our tent!

The cost of just giving your gang lessons : swimming, horse riding, tutoring and driving lessons was very draining. As was getting each of them to clubs Cubs, brownies etc I was frequently dashin hither and thither in order to accommodate the needs of 4 people.

University costs multiplied by 4 are crippling.

The guilt of parenting the way you would like when the numbers rack up is exhausting.

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IncessantNameChanger · 23/10/2021 11:04

I have four and although we rent our home we do own property. I haven't found it expensive as they all reused a lot of stuff I buy things second hand even tech. They dont expect the latest iPhone which is possibly good for a realistic non credit live.

If you have bigger age gaps that also spreads out major costs like uni, driving etc. We go on holiday a fair bit but nearly always Haven or Travelodge premier inn. The novelty wears off for them with that by teenage years. They dont like the same activityies. Abroad was once every few years but with covid and testing it's not really possible at all.

One thing I will say is that life admin and the emotional time they need is a real proper full time job now. They all need a lot of emotional investment.

It's all less stressful knowing we have equity if things go TU. But saying that it's not something you have a time infinite option to consider either.

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mistermagpie · 23/10/2021 11:08

I have three. Closer in age than yours (6, 4 and nearly 2) and I honestly think there is some sort of hormonal thing that kicks in when your baby is about 6 months which makes you want another! Maybe it's just that?

Personally I think three is plenty. My older two are younger than yours but bear in mind that your 7 month old is probably at a pretty easy stage right now. My nearly-two year old was great at that age but is a total handful now and the thought of being pregnant now brings me out in a cold sweat. It's also quite hard to stretch yourself mentally across three children and this only gets more challenging when they hit the teen years, which you will soon enough.

Logically three is plenty of children for anyone, two is for most people, so I'd have a think about why you feel like you need another. My DH is one of four and would have had another if I was up for it, but his reasoning is some nonsense about even numbers and having a family that looks like his did. Those aren't really reasons to me.

Financially you could make it work but personally I would stick with three and give them everything you can.

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fizzyblush · 23/10/2021 16:10

Thanks for all your comments

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KeyboardWorriers · 23/10/2021 16:52

I think living in rented you are also going to create problems as if your landlord decides to sell up the finding suitable housing would get trickier.

How secure is your husband's job? If I were you I would go back to work to ensure you aren't totally reliant on his salary.

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Basicbitch40 · 23/10/2021 19:30

I would think you're bonkers to be considering it to be honest. I earn more than you and would struggle to support 4 children.

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fizzyblush · 23/10/2021 19:32

Blush
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Flowerpowwer6 · 23/10/2021 19:33

@mistermagpie

I have three. Closer in age than yours (6, 4 and nearly 2) and I honestly think there is some sort of hormonal thing that kicks in when your baby is about 6 months which makes you want another! Maybe it's just that?

Personally I think three is plenty. My older two are younger than yours but bear in mind that your 7 month old is probably at a pretty easy stage right now. My nearly-two year old was great at that age but is a total handful now and the thought of being pregnant now brings me out in a cold sweat. It's also quite hard to stretch yourself mentally across three children and this only gets more challenging when they hit the teen years, which you will soon enough.

Logically three is plenty of children for anyone, two is for most people, so I'd have a think about why you feel like you need another. My DH is one of four and would have had another if I was up for it, but his reasoning is some nonsense about even numbers and having a family that looks like his did. Those aren't really reasons to me.

Financially you could make it work but personally I would stick with three and give them everything you can.

I've heard the even numbers line too. I don't get it. People say it seriously too.
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tiggerwhocamefortea · 23/10/2021 19:39

I think it's pretty selfish sorry to want another baby which would stretch your partner financially and place additional pressure on him so that you can scratch the maternal itch you are having - what would you give up to be able to have another baby? Taking less maternity leave - going back to work and taking on an additional job to pay for them??

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PiddleOfPuppies · 23/10/2021 19:49

I've got three teenagers. We briefly considered having a 4th baby a few years ago and I'm incredibly glad I didn't. There's only just enough of me to go round with after school clubs, weekend activities and now parties/cinema/socialising, never mind homework and coursework support. Financially we've never really cracked having disposable income on a big enough scale to stop worrying about big bills so there is only a small pot for university etc.
Obviously a family is like a vacuum and expands to fill the available space, so we would've been fine with a 4th (or 5th) child but I'm glad we didn't need to.

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RandomMess · 23/10/2021 19:56

I think financially life is only going to get tougher. I have 4 DC aged 17+ they are very expensive even though our mortgage payments are now negligible!!

We have also been emotionally stretched supporting them through the pre teen and teen years.

The early years are hard work physically the latter years are far harder in other ways.


I would say stick where you are with 3 healthy DC you can afford.

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JudgementalCactus · 23/10/2021 20:00

Honest question OP, what could a 4th kid give you that your existing 3 dont already provide?

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NautaOcts · 23/10/2021 20:05

Agree that it doesn’t sound wise in your position
And ime they need more in terms of emotional input and finances as they get older. You haven’t even got into that properly with your eldest yet.

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Kendodd · 23/10/2021 20:06

I think youd be mad, and selfish, to have another.

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FourTeaFallOut · 23/10/2021 20:06

I don't have an ideological objection to anyone having four children. Given the small percentage of families in the UK who go on to have four children, it hardly seems worth hanging out on the larger family board trying to save the planet by niggling posters one child at the time, but I guess you have a scratch to itch?

Anyway, regardless. Like a previous poster said, I wouldn't trust this desire to have fourth yet, there's a good chance this will pass in short order and make the rest of this worry about it redundant.

But, yes, inevitably, a fourth child will shift the economics of the family again and the lack of childcare costs will only offer a temporary reprieve from the full impact.

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