too many children?

Welcome Catholic Moms! Forums Raising Great Kids! too many children?

This topic contains 12 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  josie 5 years, 8 months ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #2040

    jmchenery
    Member

    Hi Everyone. I am new here so I’m not quite sure how this works. I am a young mother (23) of a 14 month old, Evelyn and 6 months pregnant with my 2nd. My husband and i have been married a little over 2 years. We are sort of having a dilemma though in relation to having children. We both feel strongly that children are a true blessing from God and I am thankful I can so easily get pregnant when I know so many others can’t. We decided to always be open to the idea that after each child we woudl always consider having another and to never avoid having a child for selfish reasons such as not enough time or energy etc. We practice NFP which has worked perfectly and we had both our children right when we wanted them. Our problem is although we only have two children (and one isn’t even costing us money yet!) we are feeling the strain financially. We wonder if after this second child we could even afford to have another or would have to space them very far apart(which we dont want to do as my husband is 10 years older that me and would like children while hes still younger). My husband and I both have secure jobs which is good but we also know what we will earn far into the future and it isnt too promising. We just dont see how it could work to have more than 2. It breaks my heart to think that we may not be able to have as many children as we would like simply because we don’t earn enough. I am really having a hard time with this concept. I guess I just need some encouragement. I am NOT ready to be done having children yet and ideally we would like 4-5. Any one have any words of wisdom???? Do I practice NFP and avoid pregnancy after this baby forever even though I am only 23 and have plenty of baby making years left! :) simply becuase we aren’t affluent? Any words of enouragment would be appreciated or insight into others who had this dilemma but have several children and still have a home and food. :) Thanks everyone

    #3159

    jamieanne
    Member

    I’m new here, too–here’s my 2¢ worth:

    Since you are only 23, why not take a couple of years to enjoy the children you have? Then you & hubby can have another baby (or two…). You may find that you have more financial resources to help you raise more children in a couple of years, and your oldest may be able to help out by playing with their siblings.

    And you’ll have more time to enjoy each child’s babyhood (as well as their “terrible twos”!

    :P

    #3160

    celticspirit
    Member

    @jamieanne wrote:

    I’m new here, too–here’s my 2¢ worth:

    Since you are only 23, why not take a couple of years to enjoy the children you have? Then you & hubby can have another baby (or two…). You may find that you have more financial resources to help you raise more children in a couple of years, and your oldest may be able to help out by playing with their siblings.

    And you’ll have more time to enjoy each child’s babyhood (as well as their “terrible twos”!

    :P

    I totally agree!

    I also wanted to add, while we are supposed to be fruitfull and multiply, we aren’t supposed to bankrupt ourselves in the whole process. If you can only afford 2 for now, that’s fine. Use NFP and enjoy those kids. If you should have an opportunity financially to afford more children, then go from there. We’re not called upon to have 10 kids each. We’re supposed to be open to live provided the circumstances (humble ones) are there. Hope that makes sense.

    And, you mentioned that your DH is 10 years older…he’s my age. I consider myself still young enough to have more children especially knowing how many people continue well into their 40′s. (Plus, I’m just not ready to give up on childrearing yet! :wink: ) He has plenty of time to enjoy his kids as do you.

    Big hugs to you sweetie and welcome!

    #3161

    Welcome to the forum. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. You sound exactly like me…I love my 2 boys but want to be open to more life if God chooses so for me. My DH just always talks about finances and how worried that would make him (he is the only breadwinner right now) but I know in my heart that God has a plan for us and if we are faithful He will provide. I think what the other ladies said is good advice. My kiddos are 4 and 1, however, I am 32 and DH is 37 so we’re no spring chickens!!!
    I guess the unknown is kinda fun too…God will provide…we just have to have faith. We practice NFP the best we can and let Him take it from there.
    Congrats on your pregnancy!
    Heather

    #3162

    anewlight07
    Member

    I’m just a couple of years older and pregnant with my 3rd! I have two boys spaced 3.5 years apart and now this little one will be 3.5 years out from our youngest. This spacing works for us because it means only having one in diapers at a time. BUT, that’s us. I know lots of moms have all the kids close together and it works out well for them, too.

    My husband gave me the “finances” worry with our older two. The funny thing is that it isn’t really the big nasty elephant in the room everyone made it out to be. My husband even thought of getting the big V (he’s not Catholic) which scared me. I just couldn’t imagine that.

    So, here we are.

    I don’t think everyone is meant to have 10 kids. I don’t plan on having 10 myself (get tired just thinking about that LOL).

    However, as an only child of two secularist parents who viewed children as “luxury items” only for people who could “afford” them (i.e. pay in full up front for a college education, nanny, toys, private school tuition for each child)…I can tell you that is just the WRONG way to look at it.

    As an only child, and with my husband as an only child…it makes it rough later on because we don’t have brothers or sisters. We don’t have anyone in our generation that we are blood relatives to and are watching everyone we cared about grow old.

    Not pleasant.

    Besides that, when children are a “luxury item”…they are an item. That is wrong. Children are a blessing and not just something you can “buy”…you can’t place a monetary value on family.

    I’d rather my children be rich in family and bonds with others than in dollars and cents.

    To make matters worse, I’m estranged from my side for my views on family. I’m not cold and rational enough. I was admonished early on not to have children because I would lead to the “overpopulation problem”…and didn’t listen…and I’m glad for it.

    I struggled at got a college degree while caring for two kids, I have my share of student loan payments and so does my husband (also 10 years my senior). We make it, though. We’re not exactly jet-setting, but, I manage to stay home and teach the children.

    For information on frugal yet comfortable living I highly recommend the series of books by Jonni McCoy (cookbooks, too!). There are some really good tips in there. Maybe your library has a copy?

    Best of luck to you! I agree with the other moms, though. I wouldn’t worry too much. You have plenty of time. Enjoy the kids you have and no doubt things will work out for you and your husband!

    :D :D :D :D

    #3163

    elisa
    Member

    Cloth diapers save a ton of money.
    I switched to cloths when my son was 5 months old and I love it now. It’s pretty inexpensive, you can hang them to dry if it’s not freezing outside and you don’t need that many if it’s only for one child.

    My husband comes from a family of 11 children, but his dad makes pretty good money. I come from a family of 4…but there could have been more, had my mom’s tubes not been tied by the recommendation of the doctors for medical reasons (and she didn’t know it was bad then).

    We just take one child at a time…I don’t know what it’ll be like when we have about 3, because we don’t make that much money either, but I think God will provide.

    My mom and I always say: “Babies don’t need a lot of money, they just need a lot of love”.

    Of course, I still try to save money anywhere I can. I breastfeed, use cloth diapers, make my own baby food, walk if I can avoid using the car, cook most things from scratch, and once I have my own garden I want to grow my own veggies.

    We qualify for the WIC (Women Infants Children) program…which gives free groceries (milk, cereal, 100% juice) to pregnant/nursing mothers and any children under 5 years old. Check if you qualify for it…you can google it online, or check your phone book.

    #3164

    julka
    Member

    You’re only 23 :) Don’t try looking too far ahead into the future at this moment, but take it one step at a time. You may feel financially insecure right now, but you never know what might arise 5 years along the road.

    You indeed do not need to have 10 kids one following the other, but if you are blessed with a 3rd one, be thankful and God will provide the rest.

    Julia

    p.s. I am almost 23 y/o and have a 3-months old daughter with identical fears to yours. It is ultimately scary and sometimes stresses me out to the most extremes – not only the financial aspect of it, but the whole idea of having more than 2 kids in a world where 2 is to many. I would like at least 3 kids and know 100% my family will freak out and consider me a mental case. It’s tough hehe

    #3165

    mommandm
    Member

    I’m curious about how money-saving savvy you are now. There are some things you can do that won’t affect your lifestyle much and still save tons of money:

    Join a warehouse club, like BJ’s, Sams’, or Costco. If you formula feed it saves tons, and if you use disposable diapers and wipes it saves tons. They usually have name brand clothes for all ages at very low prices. I buy all my kids’ clothes there, and they wear carters’, dockers, oshkosh, etc. Its cheaper than the outlet malls. They usually carry winter coats, too.

    I had been using cloth diapers, but I just don’t seem to have time to wash them right now. I quit when I was exclusively pumping breastmilk (another long sad story…I’ll post about it later) and going crazy. I guess I could start again, but I’ve gotten spoiled by disposables!!

    Buy off brand diapers….they’re fine. A gigantic box at BJ’s is 16 dollars. In fact, buy off-brand almost everything! It saves tons of money.

    When you buy brand name products, use the rule that you’ll only buy it if its on sale and you have a coupon. If you do that, its cheaper than the store brand usually.

    Breastfeed! Its good for you and for baby :D And cheap! You can pump at work, most places they have to let you by law.

    Believe it or not, you’re through the initial baby investment. You have all the gear and clothes. Just take good care of all of it and your next child will be much less expensive. I put all my kids’ clothes they’ve outgrown in airtight rubbermaid-type containers to keep them nice. My youngest (4 months) needed very little only because I gave some baby clothes to a relative after my oldest grew out of them.

    And also, there’s no crime in enjoying the kids you have. :D It doesn’t mean you can’t have more later.

    Nicole

    #3166

    johnson8
    Member

    Ok, I am one of the “older” moms here…I’ll be 44 this June. My husband is a teacher and we are forced to live very frugally. Our children have grown up valuing each other and they just don’t mind a trip to the thrift store to look for ‘nearly new’ clothes. :) We have our children in activites that do not cost a lot of money…
    4H programs, girl scouts, boy scouts, Little Flowers Club etc…

    We have never traveled to Disney or Sea World, but we do camp all over Wisconsin every summer, due to my husband’s wonderful career.

    I am so glad that most of you practice NFP and are open to life. Some of you are very young and the future can be scary. As I’ve gotten older, and I’ll remind some of you who don’t know me, I have 6 children ages from 17 1/2 all the way down to a 14 month old… I realize more and more every day that having a big family (at least by today’s standards) is such a blessing.

    God bless you young mothers.

    #3167

    sahm-o-my
    Member

    Dh and I have 5 children. Our 4th is special needs with cerebral palsey. she requires a lot of work and attention. It’s almost like having more children, as she runs up our bills more than the other 4 put together, especially our health insurance.

    But, we wish we could have more! There was a time in our grandparents and great grandparents times when 4 to 6 children were the norm and families of 2 or 1 were not.

    I had heard and read several places and have found it to be true. Costs from one child to two children may double, but then it does not increase severely after that. Three children seems to be the hardest for most families to handle, even though at the time one or two seemed so hard. Once you hit three, you are out-numbered. After that, the older children are more independent and able to do a lot on their own. They can also help with younger children, and it only gets easier! My house is actually cleaner now, than when we were a newlywed couple, and especially cleaner than when we had one or two kids! My kids are expected to help in the house work, and I rarely mop or sweep my floors, they keep their rooms clean, and we all help with the laundry, dinner, and other meals.

    I have used cloth diapers for nearly 10 years, and have always washed them myself. These have saved us thousands. On vacations (yes, we can still afford them), we use disposables. You learn to simplify life to afford children. It all depends on what you are willing to give up. We gave up going out to movies two years ago, bougth a large, widescreen, HD tv for our family room and wait for the movies to come out on DVD, or to cable. Then we pop our own pop corn (air popped, less salt, better for you), and whatever other snacks we want. We watch American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and other fun shows on this TV as a family, and have saved so much time and money. This was a HUGE cut in our finances, as we used to see movies with our kids at least once to three times a week! And buy snacks! We would go to the drive-in during summers, but not everyone has one by them. We’ve cut that out, now, too, as the comfort issue with a special needs toddler, and an infant crawling all over us.

    We learned smart grocery shopping (generics, Aldi, cheap stores, shopping sales, planning the menu, not eating out!), we are sticking to a budget, and following Dave Ramsey.

    We wish we could have more, but do not regret the ones we have at all! In fact, older couples walk up to me all the time and comment that it is so nice to see a large family (yes, I often take my kids everywhere, even to the grocery store). They often comment that no one ever says, “I wish I didn’t have this many kids”, but some do say, I wish I had had more or I wish I had had more time to have more”.

    I am 37. I had my first at 28, my last at 36… I am heart broken not to have more, but I have a hard time through the pregnancies. We are highly considering adopting or, more likely, foster care (to spread more love and joy to children who need it).

    As far as finances, God finds a way if you follow him, and you learn to manage. Mainly because, once you have that child, you don’t have much choice, in all honesty, so you make due and it all works out. WE have found we enjoy staying home, more and more, and hanging out as a family. We used to eat out at least twice a week, which stopped well over a year ago. Now, we MIGHT get take out once a month, maybe! And have gone out for lunch once or twice this past year, while the kids were in school, usually take out, as well.

    It all boils down to priorities and where you see yourself in a couple of years. You can easily space it out, as well. You are soooo very young on the child bearing scale, for today’s times! Seriously!

    As far as your husband… my dh and I are 37 with our 5 and still loving it. My dad started late for his time. He was 30 when he started children in the 1960/70′s. Most started way before that. He was able to keep up with us, enjoy us, and have a great time. Plus, now my sister and I started later with our kids, yet he still manages to enjoy them, keep up with them, and love it, but he gets to send them home, too!!!! He is nearly 70 and enjoying it big time!

    Children and marriage keep you young, it’s medically and scientifically proven! The more kids you have, as a woman, the healthier you are later in life, honestly! The majic number surprisingly is 5. After giving birth and breast feeding 5 choildren, the percentages and odds for so many cancers and reproductive diseases goes down to nearly nil. Yet, very few doctors will tell their patients, because no one has that many kids now a days nor wants to (so not true). I’d rather have 5 kids, than have to take meds later in life, or develope cancer or what have you. ANd I know it’s a low risk, but I like making my odds even lower! And passing those low odds on to my many children!

    Babbling! I’m sorry! I guess I’m really passionate about having a family.

    Spacing is also a fun thing. I ran into a woman at the mall once who admired my family and I started to admire her young infant. We talked and found out she had three sets of two, enjoying being a mom for awhile, then having more. She had two teens, to gradeschoolers, and two in diapers. Since then, I have seen other similar families. It’s a clever way to handle it all and have all you want! I knew a girl from my high school who had two an when they were tweens, she had two more and had a blast with each set, yet time to have a career and build a future, then have children and stay home again.

    Pray and ask God what is right. We actually felt we’d have two or three. AFter the 2nd was born, I had this strong need –almost a calling– for a 3rd, then I was fine with stopping. After the 3rd, we planned on stopping, but then when she was born, we were having so much fun being parents and all the different personalities, we figured why not just let what happens, happen? “leave it up to God?!” So, here we are… And wishing we could have so many more, and had started earlier when we first got married, at 23!

    Anyhow, that’s so much more than my .02 cents worth, but I’ve had my say, and I’ll step off my soap box! Pray, you’ll find the answer right for you. But, you’ll never regret having more, if it’s in your heart, I guarantee it, I know many women who are heart breaking over having only one or two and missing those days… I’m pretty okay with the next stage in my life of raising them all and looking after my special needs daughter. I can’t wait to start on this new adventure!

    Babbling, yet, again! God Bless, best wishes, and enjoy the little ones!

    #3168

    ashersmomma
    Member

    Wow, I cannot tell you how happy I am about this group of women on here. I actually feel like the “norm” in here instead of the exception! I am 27 and a SAHM to a bubbly little 2 y/o boy. I read a wonderful book called,”The Stay at Home Mom” and I cannot tell you who it is by, I let a friend borrow it. It is filled with some wonderful insight about how important the SAHM is. In it is some great cost-cutting ideas too.

    It wasnt just the cost of daycare that made me want to be a SAHM, its what I always wanted to be when I grew up. We definetely have to make sacrifices: we drive a KIA mini-van and a Ford Focus, we dont have cell phones or cable, we shop at Aldi’s (for most things), we dont get a daily or even Sunday paper, we limit magazine subscrpts, I do laundry after the sun goes down (huge savings on electric), and a few others. I have a Virgin “pay go” phone I keep in the van just for emergencies. Paying for cash instead of credit ends up being a huge money saver too…thanks Dave Ramsey!

    I know this might sound weird but I honestly believe that if we are good stewards of our money and tithe the way the Lord has asked us to, HE IS ABLE to bless us back 10 fold….need to find that scripture! Now, God may not just ((poof)) deposit extra cash into your checking account but maybe your tax return ends up being more than you expected or maybe your groceries just seem to last longer and so on. When we are obediant, he is ABLE to do his end. This is the only thing he says to test him on. I still hold back sometimes and say, “we just cant this month God!” And when I do that, we always come out short or else even more unexpected costs come up. You’de think Id learn!

    I really do encourage anyone who is questioning the ability to afford more children to check out anything written by Ramsey and also the Stay at Home Mom book….eye opening!

    I too sometimes feel this inner pressure to be a little baby making machine, especially after having 2 miscarriages, but I have to remind myself to just chill out and take things as they come…in His timing. Thanks ladies for the wonderful words of wisdom! Gina

    #3169

    born2beamom
    Member

    My husband and I want as many as God will bless us with. We feel that each and every one of our children… both here and the ones He hasn’t sent us yet are worth the suffering, trials and maybe even being broke for. lol :D I would have 20 if I could.

    I was a professional singer and gave up my career for my kids. I would do it all over again because here’s what I know…

    When I’m old and delapidated…. no amount of money in the world will comfort me like having my kids by my side~

    #3170

    josie
    Member

    Welcome to the forum!
    Yes, you’re letting yourself worry about the future more than you should. I’m glad you’re looking for support because as moms I think it’s easy for us to get carried away with worry.
    As long as you continue to discern, God will open your heart to His will. Keep your chin up & keep lifting your heart to Our Lady & she will give you the strength and means you need for whatever Christ is calling you to do.
    Much love in Him who loves us,
    Josie

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Comments are closed.