Pregnancy & Birth Clubs <
01/08/2014 at 10:24
Not sure I've worded this right but what I wondered is, did anyone find themselves weighing up the standard of living they would have with just one baby against having a larger family?
i feel very much like this at the moment. When I go back to work we will be comfortable financially and (without ending up with a horrible spoilt child) will be able to provide for O without any concerns and still be able to go on holiday and out for dinner, away for weekends of out to do things like the zoo etc without having to worry about money.
BUT a part of my would like another baby and I worry about O being an only child but then that obviously means that everything will be halved so any savings we would put away for O would be half and we wouldn't have the same money to live like we did. We purposely waited to have a baby until we moved to a house we loved and until we were in a position to still be able to afford things even after the cost of a baby as I really didn't want it to become the case that we couldn't do this or that or buy something because we had O and but I didn't want it to become a thought that we can't have things because we had a baby (not that I think we could ever think that about O, I would starve for this wee guy!) I have a cousin and my H has a fairly good friend who both have two children and don't struggle for money to the point that they don't have food, clothes, heating etc but every pound is allocated and they really do live month to month and it does put a strain on their relationships with their other halves.
Not sure where I'm going with this but I just think about it a lot!
01/08/2014 at 10:30
I think about this a lot too, I grew up with very little money for treats/holidays but had tons of love. I'm determined my children will have both, I want my children to go on holidays and make childhood memories that are broad if that makes sense! I always think about if we will have a second, O is 11 months now and I return to work in a month and we will be comfortable again. It's such a hard choice to make
01/08/2014 at 10:32
01/08/2014 at 10:36
That's how I feel DS, I don't think I want O to be an only child and be lonely- it's so tough
01/08/2014 at 10:37
01/08/2014 at 10:38
I think when it comes to it, people make sacrifices when they need to. We live off H's salary which isn't large by any accounts because I was working as a supply teacher when I got pregnant with M. I hadn't worked enough to be entitled to MA. It means we sold a car and now just have the one car, which can be a pain when I need it for the day as it means I have to get M up ready so we can take H to work. Money is tight and we're left with about £100 'free' money after bills/food/petrol/some into savings at the end of the month so we can't do a lot of things we used to and I don't do a lot of the more expensive baby groups some friends do. We'd actually be worse off if I went back to work which made my decision to be a sahm a lot easier and also meant we didn't have to consider finances too much when considering ttc again.
At the end of the day money can be tight but I have a loving H, a beautiful daughter and another baby on the way. My family will be complete and we're a very happy family we still manage to do a lot of things together, we just budget very carefully. When the time comes for me to return to work, we're going to have a lot more 'free' money and will be able to start saving properly for our family home to buy (we currently rent). I guess I'd prefer that any tough times were now when babies won't remember it. You find ways to cope and while we can't go on any fancy holiday we are going away for a couple of nights; we have plenty of family days out so I don't feel M is missing out on anything.
01/08/2014 at 10:41
I completely understand where you are coming from, it was a big factor in us deciding if we would have number 3, fate took over and we will be fine but I do not want anymore after this. We have a nice life, some sacrifices are made but not many, we have nice holidays and spend family days together without having to worry but I am also cautious with money and make sure we don't waste any as we are certainly not in the income category of "having it all" if we were I would not work. I will have a decision to make when returning to work as OH has been promoted at work and his payrise would cover me dropping a day or two but I am not sure I want to make that sacrifice from my career plus we have some expensive times coming up i.e. Lauren driving/university and plus I think that I would consider putting baby into a nursery a few days a week to give my parents a break as they currently look after the children out of school hours and will have baby (they refuse to be paid for this but we do treat tthem often adn try to take them on holiday every year too!)
To me family is about love, I COULD survive on a shoestring but do I want to? no! if you want more than one you will make your finances work, I think the questions come when you are talking 2+ children and logistically the costs which go with it like cars, houses, holidays, childcare, it does start to outweigh the balance and can cause friction.
01/08/2014 at 10:44
Thanks ladies. Noodle we were the same, I had amazing childhood with an older sister of just 22 months between us but my mum was a SAHM and my dad busted a gut at work to provide for us and as I got older I was more aware that we didn't have as much disposable income. I still had a great childhood though and was loved to bits and me and my sister were (still are) very close. I know exactly what you mean about holidays and experiences, I remember being one of the only children at school that hadn't been abroad for holidays and things and I didn't have a lot of the experiences other kids do (not that holidays abroad are the be-all I just used that as an example).
My H however has a younger sister and they're not close, they never were. His mum had so little money when they were growing up and he didn't have a great childhood. It means the world to him to be able to give O a better start in life than he got, both financially and from a loving family position. I think tbh he would have gladly been an only child so he has a slightly different perspective on things than I do.
01/08/2014 at 10:47
Yes, I definitely feel like you. I was really lucky as a child, and although my parents struggled financially for the first couple of years, my dad worked really hard and we got to have some amazing family holidays as things got easier and we were always able to do school trips, activities etc, and had money put away for us for Uni. H was the same and we really want to be able to give our children similar experiences.
Obviously money isn't everything by any stretch, and we don't want to spoil them ridiculously, but like you we want to be able to afford day trips, meals out etc. I like the idea of three children but financially it'd be a stretch, but I don't want S to be an only child so I think two would be ideal if we're lucky enough to be able to give S a brother or sister in a few years.
01/08/2014 at 10:54
Yes, I understand. When I had Harry I had experienced a period of disability that meant we ended up in debt and a court case as a result. We were broke in that we couldn't go out to eat, date nights etc, sometimes we'd have friends over. Couldn't afford a decent car (had a banger between us) etc. I did take Harry on Sun holidays, but on a shoestring. We would never have afforded 2 lots of child care whilst we worked and we couldn't afford not to work. By the time the settlement for my accident came we had drifted apart and weren't in a position to have another baby.
This time our situation is different, I've studied and got qualified and having a baby/second baby means less/no holidays, no car upgrades, fewer meals out, but it doesn't mean we can't eat or pay for house maintenance etc. Having had an only child for 17 years, I really really would prefer Agnes has a sibling near her own age and I'm prepared to make some fairly big changes so that we can afford it.
01/08/2014 at 11:21
This is something that is a big issue for us at the moment...we weighed up having our second child, worked out we could afford it etc, had C then when he was 5 weeks old my 10year old sstepson came to live with us which was entirely unexpected, not budgeted for and has put a financial strain on us.
But we will make it work and I think regardless we would have had C, we both wanted another child together. You just make it work.
01/08/2014 at 11:31
Oh wow, WE, I didn't realise that. Quite a hectic time for you! Hope all is going well x
01/08/2014 at 11:57
Hey WE, good to see you. Big news about step-son, you need to do an update! x
01/08/2014 at 12:11
Thanks everyone, WE I didn't realise either, that sounds tough and a lot to adjust too, hope your doing ok xx
Other things to throw into the mix for us -
- I do have a good career and as you say nina that's still important to me, plus I'm our main earner so mat leave for us was a bigger hit than if it was my H's wages we we're down
- Before we had O we both were only thinking of one child and my H still feels the same although has said on numerous occasions that it's not his decision and if I really wanted to try again we could
- I really didn't enjoy the first few months of having a baby (probably a bit controversial!) infact it's one of the worst experiences I've had! Things might have been different if we had got O's milk changed sooner but for the first few months O had absolutely zero time that he was awake and just contently looking about. He fed and cried in pain inbetween and then we spent however long needed after his feed to settle him to sleep while he cried hysterically. I know it's not to say we would have the same experience again but it really took it toll and was a strain for me and my H.
- my mum had cut down to part time hours and we were never going to be settled putting O in a nursery all day so we are covering most of my mums wage and she is finishing up work to look after O. This would mean we would still have full childcare costs when I was on mat leave if we had another (I know my mum would never let me pay her the full amount we will be but I would have to be able to cover it as I could never leave her with no income for 9 months or whatever!) although on the plus side, we wouldn't have increased costs after I went back to work!
I'm honestly so torn. I can see both sides of things and the pros and cons of each.
01/08/2014 at 14:20
Counter can probably keep you right on this but I think the rights around maternity leave are changing and it can be shared between mum and dad now? Or maybe it's from next year? so potentially your H could take time off.
Thanks Counter/NB it's all a bit messy at the mo but we will get there x
01/08/2014 at 17:43
WE, that stuff is rarely smooth, I bet you've had a pig of a time. Keep your chin up xx
MDD - from April 2014 the parental leave can be split. You can tag team it with dad, so if you go back on a Wednesday his leave will be deemed to start on Thursday. If you want time off yourself it's not ideal, but I banked loads of holiday so I did go back 'full-time' but physically part-time, with H off for a few weeks and I won't go full-time proper until November although I'm being paid my full wages because technically I only took 6 weeks off (the 6 weeks you get 90% for, I get no extended benefits). We're seriously considering hubby taking 6 months next time, if there's a next time.
01/08/2014 at 17:51
Thanks counter, that's good to know. I guess I would be relying on my work to agree to me going back 'part time' by using holidays though.
Something to consider at least!
01/08/2014 at 17:53
I know, you're at their mercy :)
01/08/2014 at 18:07
For us I think we've decided to live off one wage but it's scary as we've always been comfortable!
01/08/2014 at 20:49
As you know MDD we are defo only having one. The only child thing does scare me but we'll ensure F has a busy social life and spends lots of time with his cousin who's 5 months younger. You will ensure that O has a full and happy childhood be that as an only child or with a sibling. Finances weren't the main thing that influenced our decision but I must say that it doesn't appeal to me to live on a shoestring and I'd like to be able to give F many of the things we couldn't afford.
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