Author Topic: Kids: short-term vs long-term  (Read 2385 times)

meatface

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Kids: short-term vs long-term
« on: August 14, 2017, 08:06:45 AM »
How do/did you take into account the long-term vs short-term benefit of having more kids? In the short-term, I could see making a decision of having FEWER kids. Though in the LONG-TERM, having MORE kids could be more fun.

Kids of any age can be hard (Parenting is hard. Who knew?!), but the first few years are uniquely challenging due to getting through many hard stages such as newborn, toddler, potty training, etc. And it's usually the case that you decide to have more kids during these first few challenging years. At least that will be the case for us. So while the thought of an additional kid sounds like a nightmare right now, I can imagine that in 10-20 years I might regret NOT having the additional kid. Multiple older friends of mine (with high school and college-aged kids) have certainly suggested that they now regret stopping at two and wish they had the third kid. 

1. Did you take into account the long-term benefit of more kids vs the short-term pain (don't get me wrong - it's not ALL pain)?
2. Is it at all true that long-term it's "better" to have more kids vs the short-term? For example, is having three kids more fun in twenty years from now vs. right now when they're all tiny (assume that they're all good kids and physically/mentally healthy)?

GuitarStv

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2017, 08:15:36 AM »
Short term, kids are expensive needy monsters.  Long term they're teenagers.  Longer term they're 20 something boomerang kids living in your basement.  Extremely long term you get to be fun grandpa and secretly load their kids with sugar then leave the hapless parents to deal with the results.

I dunno man, that's a lot of hardship for minimal gain . . .

Lentils4Lunch

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2017, 08:25:30 AM »
I have four siblings and it's pretty fun when we all get together. On the other hand, growing up, I sometimes felt overlooked because a few of my siblings were just plain hard for my parents to raise, particularly during their teenage years. My parents didn't really have to worry about me, so I kinda felt like the less important child to them. (I probably still have some issues to work out because of this... ) So, I'd say, looking at my parents experience.... Sure, they probably feel like they are benefiting long term, but I don't know if it really outweighs the years and years of grief they dealt with during those early and teenage years. They still worry about a few of us immensely (not me, of course).

I have two kids now and we are definitely done. It's exhausting. The sleep deprivation in the early years, plus having very little time for yourself or your partner. We are finally out of the baby stage and it feels amazing. I don't ever want to go back. I don't think any amount of long term gain would have me change my mind on this one...
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 08:32:24 AM by Lentils4Lunch »

Novik

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2017, 08:32:22 AM »
Disclaimer: not a parent

The marginal cost/pain of the next kid can definitely be less once they start hitting HS. I had one step-sibling, so at one house I was the oldest of two, the other the oldest of three. Both parents could leave me to "babysit" once I was about 12, and one vs. two younger siblings didn't matter.

My mom's from the US so figuring out the Canadian university system was a big investment of time/energy - when she did it for me. A lot less for my younger sister, and would be less again for a hypothetical third sibling. Meanwhile, two university/adult children is twice the chances for socializing, twice the people to call when she needs a ride to the ER, and twice the people (and twice the potential partners) to help with heavy-lifting.

On top of that, if things go well, you don't have to be the only one looking out for your kids. If my little sister needs an adulter adult to consult, I'm often her first call. I tutored my step-sister through her degree's science requirement this summer, savings my dad/step-mom money and sanity. Not to mention being there for each other throughout the rest of our lives (not that that's guaranteed!). etc.

Whether that's a good enough reason to have more kids is up to you, but they are reasons worth considering.
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Ichabod

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2017, 08:54:51 AM »
How do/did you take into account the long-term vs short-term benefit of having more kids? In the short-term, I could see making a decision of having FEWER kids. Though in the LONG-TERM, having MORE kids could be more fun.

I think about it. The first six months of my daughter's life I was convinced she would be an only child. I was sleep-deprived, had no time to myself, and got little out of it. Now she's almost two, sleeps through the night, can play by herself for twenty minutes at a time, and she hugs me and plays with me. And she's only going to get more independent.

What if I find out I love the eight-year-old phase, but got a vasectomy the year before? Or if I want lots of grandchildren? Or I enjoy spending time my adult children? It's an incomplete information game, because I have to decide before I know any of those things.

Even teenagers, I remember one of my parents' main complaints about me as a teenager is that I didn't want to spend anytime with them. I hear this same complaint from coworkers and friends with teenagers now. They have plenty of other complaints about their teenagers, but they still want more time with them.

As for regrets, surveys back up that people regret not having more kids than the opposite. I think part of that might be a human tendency to regret inaction more than action, but that doesn't completely discount it either. Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids by Bryan Caplan, an economist, talks about how the preference for quantity of children changes with the age of the children. If you're looking for benefits of more kids, you might look into it. People (as seen here) are pretty good at listing the negatives.

iowajes

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2017, 09:03:55 AM »
I have never thought of my children in terms of money.  It's irrelevant.   (I know the OP didn't strictly address money, but some commenters have)
I either want to raise a small person, or I don't.  So I guess the same comes with the difficulties of having many young children.  I wish I could have 3 under 5, for instance.

I think time and circumstance will make the how many children decision for me.  Likely my daughter will be my only living child.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 10:13:43 AM by iowajes »

moof

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2017, 10:05:57 AM »
Our single and mostly likely last kid is just about to turn 5.  Relative to other kids we've known throughout our lives, and his cohort of similarly aged friends he is very easy going and a great kid.

My overall opinion is you need to ask whether you get your life fulfillment and enjoyment from kids, or if you are one who wants/needs other things.

I had a lot of other hobbies I greatly miss, and I greatly miss the freedom to take off for a weekend climbing or backpacking trip without the logistical challenges and guilt associated with leaving the wife and kid behind.  With a SAH wife I am now solely responsible for income for 3 souls, which weighs greatly on me on a regular basis.  I've gained the joys associated with a great little boy.  On the whole I know I am slightly happier, though much more stressed than I would be without a kid.  I voted against a second kid, my wife was weakly for one.  I am fine with the choice, and at age 40 it is not one we are likely to reverse.

Laura33

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2017, 10:43:27 AM »
Our choice was somewhat constrained by time/circumstances (miscarriages/infertility that pushed our first to 35).

The tl;dr version is that my first was a massively huge handful, and a second was not even remotely in question until she was 2 1/2-3, or my head would have exploded (along with my marriage).  Thanks to another miscarriage and a cross-country move, I found myself debating a second at 39.  To be 100% honest, I wanted 1.5 kids, because my first was so much more of a handful than just one kid should be.  But since you can't have a partial child (and since I wanted her to have a sibling), I rounded up and decided to try for a second.  Had DS at 40, and that was very clearly all she wrote, both physically and emotionally. 

I think the long-term goal has to be your north star; but you cannot overlook the day-to-day pressures that could make you a bad parent or break up your marriage.  Both partners have to agree that they want another child, and they have to be clear-eyed about how they will manage that extra stress.
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hoping2retire35

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2017, 11:27:10 AM »
I realize parents, ourselves included, have to take a long hard look at their finances and mental well being before deciding to have another kid; it is foolish not to. Often this can be a dry, sobering and hopefully logical exercise. But after those initial considerations are made....

WTF?
It is a fat, happy little baby, why wouldn't you want more of that around??

Lentils4Lunch

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2017, 12:16:12 PM »

WTF?
It is a fat, happy little baby, why wouldn't you want more of that around??

lol...  good idea,  I'll just go and get me some more babies to plant around the house being fat and happy all day. They'll be a nice addition to the décor.

iowajes

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2017, 12:51:54 PM »
I realize parents, ourselves included, have to take a long hard look at their finances and mental well being before deciding to have another kid; it is foolish not to. Often this can be a dry, sobering and hopefully logical exercise. But after those initial considerations are made....

WTF?
It is a fat, happy little baby, why wouldn't you want more of that around??

Can you guarantee a happy one? And not a very sick one?  That's part of the rationale in the decision of not having more.

GuitarStv

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2017, 02:23:05 PM »
I realize parents, ourselves included, have to take a long hard look at their finances and mental well being before deciding to have another kid; it is foolish not to. Often this can be a dry, sobering and hopefully logical exercise. But after those initial considerations are made....

WTF?
It is a fat, happy little baby, why wouldn't you want more of that around??

Can you guarantee a happy one? And not a very sick one?  That's part of the rationale in the decision of not having more.

Yeah, I mean we only had one colicky baby . . . But near as I remember there were no moments he was happy for the first year or so.

iowajes

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2017, 02:28:48 PM »
I realize parents, ourselves included, have to take a long hard look at their finances and mental well being before deciding to have another kid; it is foolish not to. Often this can be a dry, sobering and hopefully logical exercise. But after those initial considerations are made....

WTF?
It is a fat, happy little baby, why wouldn't you want more of that around??

Can you guarantee a happy one? And not a very sick one?  That's part of the rationale in the decision of not having more.

Yeah, I mean we only had one colicky baby . . . But near as I remember there were no moments he was happy for the first year or so.

I'd be fine with colicky- that gets better.  More that I don't want to risk another baby who would have to live his/her life on life-support.
Though colicky is really really rough, and that really sucks.

NeonPegasus

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2017, 09:50:09 AM »
1. Did you take into account the long-term benefit of more kids vs the short-term pain (don't get me wrong - it's not ALL pain)?

Yes. That's why we planned to have two. We didn't want DD1 to be an only child and to have no options for support if/when something happens to us.

2. Is it at all true that long-term it's "better" to have more kids vs the short-term? For example, is having three kids more fun in twenty years from now vs. right now when they're all tiny (assume that they're all good kids and physically/mentally healthy)?

I dunno. There are too many variables and I won't be able to make a fully informed decision until my deathbed. That being said, three kids seems to be just MORE. More fun. More craziness. More screeching. More noise. More ridiculous statements that make you die laughing. More amazing smelling kid skin. More smelly kid farts. More tears. More frustration. More chaos. More metastasizing toys. It is everything that is life, but multiplied. So if you think one kid is fun, three is a riot. If you think one kid is hard, three is harder. If you think one is stinky, three are stinkier.

Kapiira

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2017, 12:09:21 PM »
Each kids is a different person and there's no way to predict how that new family member will change your family dynamic now or 10 years from now.  Additionally, there's no right or wrong answers about how many kids to have.  Make the decision in the way that feels most comfortable to you.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2017, 01:14:00 PM »
I dunno. There are too many variables and I won't be able to make a fully informed decision until my deathbed. That being said, three kids seems to be just MORE. More fun. More craziness. More screeching. More noise. More ridiculous statements that make you die laughing. More amazing smelling kid skin. More smelly kid farts. More tears. More frustration. More chaos. More metastasizing toys. It is everything that is life, but multiplied. So if you think one kid is fun, three is a riot. If you think one kid is hard, three is harder. If you think one is stinky, three are stinkier.

I think this sums it up perfectly. The ugly truth of the “should we have more kids” conversation is that it really requires us to take a long hard look at ourselves and how we really experience and enjoy parenthood (not just what we like to tell ourselves). Most parents love their kids, but some parents genuinely enjoy parenthood and all its attendant sacrifices, challenges, and joys more so than others. On the other hand, some parents if they really are honest, probably don’t actually enjoy being a parent all that much even though they absolutely love their children. I see this pretty frequently on forums where I think people are probably more honest because of anonymity – there are so many people out there who really do talk about being a parent in very negative terms. They are very “the glass is half empty” when it comes to discussing being a parent and their life as a parent. For these people, more kids would probably not be particularly beneficial and might end up making their lives worse. If overall you view parenthood as a joy, a blessing, an adventure - then more kids will probably be right up your alley. But if you view it more as stressful, worrying, exhausting, or limiting, then more kids will probably only exacerbate this.

meatface

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2017, 08:00:25 AM »
If overall you view parenthood as a joy, a blessing, an adventure - then more kids will probably be right up your alley. But if you view it more as stressful, worrying, exhausting, or limiting, then more kids will probably only exacerbate this.

OP here.

I view parenting as all of these combined equally :)

mm1970

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2017, 11:58:39 AM »
I realize parents, ourselves included, have to take a long hard look at their finances and mental well being before deciding to have another kid; it is foolish not to. Often this can be a dry, sobering and hopefully logical exercise. But after those initial considerations are made....

WTF?
It is a fat, happy little baby, why wouldn't you want more of that around??


sleep...i need sleep...seriously

Dicey

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2017, 08:03:05 PM »
Short term, kids are expensive needy monsters.  Long term they're teenagers.  Longer term they're 20 something boomerang kids living in your basement.  Extremely long term you get to be fun grandpa and secretly load their kids with sugar then leave the hapless parents to deal with the results.

I dunno man, that's a lot of hardship for minimal gain . . .
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EmFrugal

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2017, 04:40:51 AM »
For us having three kids versus two really came down to the fact that it felt like someone was missing in our family. This comes from someone who always "dreamed" of having four. But with each child I realized four was just that. A dream. The reality is that kids are not just cute little happy babies that smile and coo all the time. Some stay relatively easy in terms of disposition and others are far more needy/draining. But in the end, my husband and I both agreed that even though we would have to sacrifice more "quiet time" for ourselves and just more in general, we could not imagine life without the third.

Two girls and one boy later, I love our family dynamic. It is hard. It is filled with tons of noise and chaos. But despite the occasional fights, these kids love each other like crazy and have an amazing bond. I know we will have tons of ups and downs. There are some days I want to lock myself in my bedroom with noise cancelling headphones and zen out, but despite all the craziness of the younger years (they are 6, 3, and 18 months) that vision of all of them coming home when they are in college and beyond for Thanksgiving and Christmas keeps me going. Because I want that big, close-knit family. Despite hating the chaos at times I also love it. And I know my life would be so empty without it. But that still doesn't make me want a fourth! Three is the right amount of chaos without completely losing my sanity.

GettingClose

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2017, 11:04:41 AM »
We adopted four kids, and honestly I only had enough emotional energy/time for three.  They were highly demanding children, but time is a limiting factor.  There's a great deal to be said for knowing one's limits.

ManlyFather

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2017, 07:39:47 AM »
I used to want 4 kids, and my wife wanted 2, so we tentatively decided to have 3.  It took a few years for our first one to come along (he was born 2 weeks ago!).  I'm now 32, and I no longer want 4 kids.  Because it took so long for our first kiddo to show up, I spent my time learning new hobbies, reading, and just enjoying my freedom.  Now that little Manly Father is here, we'll be thinking long and hard about having a second.

He takes a lot of time, but he is worth it.  When a second child enters the picture (or 3rd, 4th, etc.), it is no longer just your time you are missing out on.  Your older kids get less time with you, and this can be challenging for them (given their lack of impulse control/emotional control).

Having 1 kid = relatively easy.  Having more than 1 is not a linear increase in difficulty: it is an exponential difficulty increase you won't fully appreciate until you have kid 3.

If you are trying to logically decide on paper why having 3 or more makes sense; it won't.  This is where your biology kicks in and says whether or not more are "worth it."  On paper, I shouldn't be as happy with my baby (he takes up all of my time, money, and energy and pays little in the way of dividends), but my biology pumps out massive doses of oxytocin and dopamine whenever I look at him.  These biochemical highs are what makes it awesome for me.

Before taking advice from someone else, who has a completely different frame of reference and a completely different set of experiences, you need to do some deep introspection.  What do you want out of life?  What is missing from your life?  How will you get what you want and replace what is missing?  Does adding another human to your family mix help or harm your (and your partner's) long term goals?

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2017, 04:36:28 PM »
We have five kids, the oldest is nine. We're also all redheads (one blonde but everyone just sees red when he's standing with us) so even more comments. I can't count the number of people that tell us they wish they had more kids. Never had anyone come up to us and say "we have five kids and we sure wish we had stopped after three". Of course that's just not something most people would tell a random stranger even if it were true.

It's hard having a lot of kids, very hard. There are some frustrating times and it pretty much guarantees that you will have a different lifestyle than the family with only one or two kids.

However, it's very gratifying as well. Each child has a totally different personality and brings something unique to the table. Every morning my daughter comes up to me all bleary eyed and sleepy and gives me a hug. Watching my oldest boys learning to read and being able to enjoy my old Calvin and Hobbes comic books or building amazing things with my tubs of old LEGOs is a great feeling. Cuddling with a couple of kids on the recliner or couch while we watch a movie together is awesome.

Some of our kids were planned and some were less planned. At no time did finances really enter into the discussion. The marginal cost of each child decreases, especially when you take into account the extra exemptions and tax credits. Despite earning above the national median household income our effective tax rate is still close to 0%. My wife and I are both open to life and while we hope to have a longer stretch before the next baby we're both still pretty young (early 30s) and expect to have a sixth child at some point. 

BAM

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2017, 07:19:31 AM »
We have 9 (ages 2-20). Wouldn't change it for the world even though some are difficult and a few have had some significant health issues (really hate when people say they would have more if they could guarantee healthy - not that I would wish unhealthy but my one that was born and should have died but didn't is amazing, truly a gift as everyone who meets him mentions).
A few thoughts:
If one child takes all your time, how can more children take more? They can't. You just get more efficient, learn more about what's truly important to you, etc.
Costs also do not go up for each additional child as they do for the first 1, sometimes 2. We rarely buy new clothes - we are given many, we hand down many. For kid clothes for all 9, I spend less than $50 a month (usually in two batches - spring/fall). Food: my monthly budget is usually less than $1000 - which sounds like a lot (okay it is a lot) but that's less than $100 a person. If I'm careful, I can cut it farther.
Toys: We've actually found that amounts shrink with more kids. Right now, all our little kid toys, like doll houses/blocks, fit in one cedar chest. We then have a dresser with legos sorted into it since all the kids like those. They each have assigned spaces for personal stuff but most don't choose to even fill that space up. We had more stuff than this when we only had two. Partly it comes from the fact that we now know what has staying power. But they also have more friends so don't need as many things.
Chaos: yes, it goes up. Juggling kids can be difficult. But you find what works for you and it just works. They probably don't get as much of my time as they would if there were less of them but I've also seen parents with 1 or 2 who are so busy that their kids don't get much of them either. But with as many as we have, they have each other to get some of those social needs and attention from. My kids love being part of a big family - they cheer whenever we announce we are pregnant again. They are accepting but disappointed that we are more than likely done - I was 45 when we had our last so time is disappearing. They all want big families themselves (I can't wait for all the grandkids - family get togethers are going to be a blast!).

It is a personal decision but so often we read about the negative and forget that there is much positive and that it works out even if you choose many.

BAM

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2017, 07:22:34 AM »
So I clicked post reply and realized that I had forgotten long-term. Long term, more is definitely wonderful. My oldest two are in college - they just went back this past weekend. Our empty nest syndrome hasn't kicked in-won't for many years and by then we'll have grandkids to take away the "sting". I can see more clearly what really mattered in what I did/didn't do as they were growing up. They all love being here. We can hardly get them to go to bed because they want to talk with each other and with us. As my DH has often said, we've been raising our own friends. The benefits are huge!

GuitarStv

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2017, 07:39:33 AM »
If one child takes all your time, how can more children take more? They can't. You just get more efficient, learn more about what's truly important to you, etc.

You might be able to get more efficient to a degree.  I think it's a pretty tough argument to make that a parent with a single child is 90% more efficient than a parent with 10 kids though.  At some point having more kids must therefore mean that each kid gets less from the parents.

fatcow240

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2017, 08:06:33 AM »
-Background-
I came from a divorced family with five children.  My wife came from a divorced family of three and a half sibling.  We were married for about 10 years before having children.


-Now-
We have two children (2&4).  My wife is considering another child, and I prefer to have the two.  For me it is the long term, not the short term that causes me to prefer two.  Between my wife and I, we have seven siblings.  Only one lives close to us and the rest are spread out across the U.S.  This is also common between our friends.


I'm not too worried about the cost of a third child.  This child would push us into a three bedroom, third college tuition to save for, etc.  If I crunch the numbers, I end up working one extra year.  I would be willing to give up one year of working, if I wanted a third child.


Two of the best parts of having two children to me are: They have a lifelong friend and we can easily give one-on-one time.  If I take one somewhere, the other has one-on-one time with mom.

MBot

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2017, 08:29:25 AM »
Long term it is nice having more siblings around to help each other out. Even though my siblings live farther away.

My mom had one sibling who has passed away, as well as both of their parents. To deal with parents passing away when you are the only kid left is tough.
My husband has one sister who has been in some tough situations.

I know it's really hard when there is only one other sibling to help out. There's no backup person for when your sibling is in trouble or just needs a ride somewhere or has to call and ask something..., or your parent needs help and only one sibling is close by.

My mom ended up having 6 kids, my father also comes from a family of 6 kids. We don't plan on having 6, but more than 2 sounds pretty good to us (one so far and one more on the way).

BAM

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2017, 08:48:58 AM »
Actually, GuitarSTV, I see lack of efficiency all over in small families. Yesterday on this site, I read the "food that is expensive in stores but cheap to make post". Someone mentioned throwing a cup of beans in the pot to make a batch of hummus. Last night, I cooked 6 cups of beans to make hummus today (that's only a double batch for us but...). Why not make it in bulk and freeze it? Hummus freezes well. Tastes great upon defrosting and doesn't take twice as long to make a double batch. Equals time saved. I do this all the time - most of the time I make double batches of anything we eat that can be frozen to use later. Interestingly enough, my oldest two have learned this well. They are in college, grew up cooking for a family of 11 so they still cook for a family of 11 and freeze tons. They cook for about 1 month of school and have enough in the freezer to eat for the rest of the semester, at least, if not the whole school year.
Or clothes shopping: I have clothes bins in my garage of outgrown older kid clothes. When my kids need a new shirt or pair of shoes, we usually shop in the garage. Takes 5 minutes vs at least an hour to go to the store.
If you doubt that big families can save much time, read some big family blogs.

But, I will also say, that my kids don't get individually scheduled 1-1 time with us. We have plenty of time for each of them. Before the day is over, I will spend some individual time with each child on something. It's just not always a long period of time or a scheduled weekly or even daily time. They get the time they need from us - we make sure they do. But it does look different in a big family.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2017, 12:35:06 PM »
Actually, GuitarSTV, I see lack of efficiency all over in small families. Yesterday on this site, I read the "food that is expensive in stores but cheap to make post". Someone mentioned throwing a cup of beans in the pot to make a batch of hummus. Last night, I cooked 6 cups of beans to make hummus today (that's only a double batch for us but...). Why not make it in bulk and freeze it? Hummus freezes well. Tastes great upon defrosting and doesn't take twice as long to make a double batch. Equals time saved. I do this all the time - most of the time I make double batches of anything we eat that can be frozen to use later. Interestingly enough, my oldest two have learned this well. They are in college, grew up cooking for a family of 11 so they still cook for a family of 11 and freeze tons. They cook for about 1 month of school and have enough in the freezer to eat for the rest of the semester, at least, if not the whole school year.
Or clothes shopping: I have clothes bins in my garage of outgrown older kid clothes. When my kids need a new shirt or pair of shoes, we usually shop in the garage. Takes 5 minutes vs at least an hour to go to the store.
If you doubt that big families can save much time, read some big family blogs.

But, I will also say, that my kids don't get individually scheduled 1-1 time with us. We have plenty of time for each of them. Before the day is over, I will spend some individual time with each child on something. It's just not always a long period of time or a scheduled weekly or even daily time. They get the time they need from us - we make sure they do. But it does look different in a big family.

We too have tubs and tubs full of old kids clothes in our garage. They're (mostly) sorted by age and since four of our five are boys it's made it a lot easier for hand me downs. I think we literally have about 50 pairs of old shoes/flip flops in a couple of bins. It's kind of crazy but our clothing budget has also gone down quite a bit now that we've been able to reuse so many things. Plus, our daughter is my mom's only granddaughter so she can't help but buy her clothes to bring down every time she visits.

Everything we make seems like it's a double (or triple) batch. We don't freeze as many big meals as the kind of stuff that works well for most of the kids won't eat so it becomes monotonous for my wife and I.

GuitarStv

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2017, 01:55:18 PM »
Actually, GuitarSTV, I see lack of efficiency all over in small families. Yesterday on this site, I read the "food that is expensive in stores but cheap to make post". Someone mentioned throwing a cup of beans in the pot to make a batch of hummus. Last night, I cooked 6 cups of beans to make hummus today (that's only a double batch for us but...). Why not make it in bulk and freeze it? Hummus freezes well. Tastes great upon defrosting and doesn't take twice as long to make a double batch. Equals time saved. I do this all the time - most of the time I make double batches of anything we eat that can be frozen to use later. Interestingly enough, my oldest two have learned this well. They are in college, grew up cooking for a family of 11 so they still cook for a family of 11 and freeze tons. They cook for about 1 month of school and have enough in the freezer to eat for the rest of the semester, at least, if not the whole school year.
Or clothes shopping: I have clothes bins in my garage of outgrown older kid clothes. When my kids need a new shirt or pair of shoes, we usually shop in the garage. Takes 5 minutes vs at least an hour to go to the store.
If you doubt that big families can save much time, read some big family blogs.

But, I will also say, that my kids don't get individually scheduled 1-1 time with us. We have plenty of time for each of them. Before the day is over, I will spend some individual time with each child on something. It's just not always a long period of time or a scheduled weekly or even daily time. They get the time they need from us - we make sure they do. But it does look different in a big family.

We too have tubs and tubs full of old kids clothes in our garage. They're (mostly) sorted by age and since four of our five are boys it's made it a lot easier for hand me downs. I think we literally have about 50 pairs of old shoes/flip flops in a couple of bins. It's kind of crazy but our clothing budget has also gone down quite a bit now that we've been able to reuse so many things. Plus, our daughter is my mom's only granddaughter so she can't help but buy her clothes to bring down every time she visits.

Everything we make seems like it's a double (or triple) batch. We don't freeze as many big meals as the kind of stuff that works well for most of the kids won't eat so it becomes monotonous for my wife and I.

Nothing that either of you have said is any different from our own house.  We have boxes and boxes of used clothes from friends/family (sorted by size).  I don't think we've purchased a single new thing for our son since he was born.  All of our cooking is in large batches on the weekend.  We keep enough for the week in the fridge, then freeze the rest.

Neither of these things save remotely close to 90% of the time that our (one) son takes.

BAM

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2017, 02:35:21 PM »
Those were just a couple of quick examples. There are many more but I won't take the time to type them all in - don't want to and you probably don't want to read them all.
Yet it still remains that my kids get enough of my time. I've actually spent individual time with all 7 youngers already today and emailed one of my olders away at college (other older is visiting/helping my parents so probably won't hear much from him for the week) along with doing all my other tasks so...


golden1

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2017, 03:49:08 PM »
I hemmed and hawed when my youngest was a baby about having a third kid.  I came really close to going for it.  But then I really thought hard about what it would mean.  I would delay going back to work for another few years, another pregnancy etc... I decided to call it at two.   A few years later I found out my son had autism, and I was so grateful that I had exercised restraint.  It is hard enough to have a kid with special needs, and a neurotypical kid who feels like she doesn't get as much attention as it is.  If I had had a third, I think it would have been very difficult for our family.   

meatface

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2017, 07:29:03 AM »
Before taking advice from someone else, who has a completely different frame of reference and a completely different set of experiences, you need to do some deep introspection.  What do you want out of life?  What is missing from your life?  How will you get what you want and replace what is missing?  Does adding another human to your family mix help or harm your (and your partner's) long term goals?

Good questions. Hard to answer, especially considering the answers will change over time (thus the short-term vs long-term aspects of my original question).

ManlyFather

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Re: Kids: short-term vs long-term
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2017, 08:24:05 AM »
Before taking advice from someone else, who has a completely different frame of reference and a completely different set of experiences, you need to do some deep introspection.  What do you want out of life?  What is missing from your life?  How will you get what you want and replace what is missing?  Does adding another human to your family mix help or harm your (and your partner's) long term goals?

Good questions. Hard to answer, especially considering the answers will change over time (thus the short-term vs long-term aspects of my original question).

It seems to boil down to this main question: After the drudgery of the early years is in the past, will the future be more awesome with more kids?

I think the "answer" would depend on how those kids turn out.  As you add more kids to the family your per kid time investment goes down (it has to - YOU are their limited resource).  As long as you can continue to provide high quality parenting, despite the reduced amount of "time capital," then yes: more kids will make the future better.  No one has a crystal ball, so you'll probably just have to guess and just roll with the punches.

Good luck!