Author Topic: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!  (Read 10434 times)

Credaholic

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But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« on: October 27, 2014, 12:43:22 PM »
Right around the time that MMM put up his post about having only one child, DH and I had our second. So we already biffed it there ;) Our plan has been to only have two. I've always wanted four, but for practicality and affordability we decided on two. We even got lucky and had a boy and a girl. However, now that our family is "complete" and we're considering the big snip, I'm waffling. The biggest thing that derailed me is my grandmother. She told me the one thing she wishes she had is four children, and her friends with big families are all the happiest of her friends now in their old ages (grandma is almost 90.) Her situation is a touch unique in that although she has two girls 9 years apart, she should have had another two boys in between, but they both died in childbirth.

From a practicality stand point, two seems perfect. I have one of each, they get their own rooms in a 3 bedroom house, their car seats fit in my Prius without being squished, and we're not outnumbered. My kids are also very close in age, so we're getting the baby years out of the way and I can start sleeping through the night again one day. I've always said I wanted 4 older kids, but I don't want to raise 4 babies! From an affordability stand point we can pay less for travel, daycare, college...everything really, but those being the big obvious ones.

But I always wanted 4. My husband is one of 6 kids, and although they don't have a relationship with their parents, they are very close, hugely supportive of each other, and frankly we all have a very fun life together! Had that family stopped after him, I honestly can't imagine life with just his older sister. Despite siblings on both sides, my kids only have one cousin. Several siblings likely won't have kids at all, and our youngest two sisters who will are a long ways off. With that said, I worry I couldn't handle another baby right away. If I waited too long I'd worry about my age (30 now.) I'd also worry about the age gap, which would make me want to have another "pair." Part of me worries about upsetting the apple cart, I have two healthy beautiful kids now, what if another added a disability or something that burdened the family with even more than just another mouth to feed. But "they" always say, you regret the kids you don't have, not the ones you do.

For me, if we had a sudden financial windfall (say $400k extra burning a hole in my pocket) I wouldn't hesitate. I'd have 4 kids. I'd get a live-in nanny too for the early years!

How many kids do you have or are planning on having? How do you make it work, from the day to day stuff, to the financial/early retirement stuff?

Terrestrial

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2014, 01:03:20 PM »
you 'can' have as many kids as you want.  there is no ideal number that's perfect for everyone and this isn't China where they tell you what you 'will' have.

Most of us make alot of our decisions based on the fiscal aspects, and that's fine for comparing which toothpaste to buy or if you need a new car or not...but having kids is the one area where for me it really goes back seat.  This is of course assuming you have the means to adequately support the additional kid and it's just a matter of 'it will increase my FIRE time by X years', or 'I will only be able to pay for half of college for them'.  I never viewed it primarily from a financial aspect...we decided to have 2 because it made us happy, and I'd gladly have more if I thought we wanted more (still haven't quite decided, youngest is still a baby), even if it's not 'cost efficient' or hinders my ability to retire as quickly as possible.

I wouldn't trade my 2 for any amount of years off my working life and I'd gladly add more years or reduce our lifestyle accordingly if I really wanted another one....kids are a blessing and provide more happiness than any ammt of $$ for many people.  If you feel the urge for another then do it, I understand the practically aspects but no kid ever died because they had to share a room with their brother or didn't have their parents pay their full way for college.

« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 01:09:56 PM by Terrestrial »

Terrestrial

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2014, 01:15:44 PM »
My kids are also very close in age, so we're getting the baby years out of the way and I can start sleeping through the night again one day. I've always said I wanted 4 older kids, but I don't want to raise 4 babies!

I will also say...i think that post was fairly recent, so your younger child must be quite young still.  I don't think ANYBODY wants any more kids while they are still dealing with an infant...it's hard. 

We didn't even start entertaining possibly wanting another until recently now that our youngest one is almost 1, and probably wont really decide for another 6 months to a year at least. 

klystomane

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2014, 01:16:08 PM »
Among the older people that I know (60+ yo), I would say that if you asked them what makes them happy in life, the majority of them (if not all of them) will tell you that it's children/family.

I believe that most parents will love their children unconditionally. Parents all around the world love their children, even if they're delinquents or criminals. I can only assume that Hitler's mother loved him like a parent would.

My theory is that I believe that when I'm old and grey, I may regret not having had enough children, but I believe there's almost no chance that I will regret having had "too many" children.

I think if you really want more children, you'll find a way to make it all work out.

As always with questions like these, YMMV.

Louis the Cat

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2014, 01:48:43 PM »
We backed into parenthood in the most cavalier way: threw away the birth control and said "let's see what happens!". The debate had always been 0, 1, or maaaaybe 2. The answer to "let's see what happens"? Twins! Oops! However, I love having two (they're 3 now so we're passed the nuttiness of twin infants) and wouldn't  have it any other. You couldn't pay me a million dollars to have another one but I love having the most I ever thought I'd have. I agree that this is a decision where finances shouldn't be the primary concern unless you couldn't support more. If you think you'd love it, I say talk it over with your SO and if you're both up for it, go for it.

As for the old age question, I know my mom's mom loves having the whole catastrophic brood. She raised 5 who then went out and had 15 more who have at last count had 9 more (I think) and still counting and she loves every last bit of it. Thanksgiving is a house on fire! (Literally, once...)My dad's parents are disappointed that of their 6 and the 4 more they produced (+ another 4 and that's probably it), none are proper Catholics but they've always been selfish, cranky people so I would dismiss that result.

Kingomri

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2014, 02:26:27 PM »
We have one now, and are planning on 4-6, though that's of course still being discerned - if we feel after 2 or 3 that we'd be unable to have more, then we won't. If we get to 6 and would love a couple more, we'll have them.

My parents come from families of 6 and 7 kids.

For as far back as I can remember, if you were to go to visit my dad's parents, there would almost always be a family member at their house visiting, and it was always a really warm, welcoming environment. Can you imagine how nice it is for them to almost always have family around, especially when their health is declining, and at an age when a lot of folks get lonely?

On my mom's side, my grandmother died a few years back surrounded by family as she lost her battle with cancer. How big was it to have a huge family there to comfort my grandpa in his time of need, and to be there for grandma in her last days? Even now as his health is failing, they've got a rotation of his sons and daughters spending time with him and make sure he's doing alright.

That's the kind of stuff money can't buy. So I'd say yes, I'm absolutely planning on having lots of kids - as many as my our finances and sanity will allow.

Is it pushing back my FI date? You bet. My estimates have the difference between 1 kid and 6 kids being about 10 more years of work. But it's a trade I will gladly make.

Edit: On the practical sides of your question, I'm not sure how it will work yet (especially on the day-to-day stuff), as we're not quite there. My wife is a SAHM, as I mentioned, so while it hurts a lot on our income line, it helps a lot with our expenses. We're both frugal, and I have sufficient income as a software developer that I can financially support the family alone and still save a substantial portion of our income. My rough estimate of increased spending as kids grow up still has me able to retire at 50, assuming my wife is never able to go back to work, which is probably an overly conservative assumption.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 02:33:30 PM by Kingomri »

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2014, 03:50:15 PM »
I used to say that I wish I could have a baby again for a little while, but didn't really want to raise 3 kids! (Homework! Soccer practice!) I thought I was good with 2 until my second was born, and then I really wanted another. We are holding at 2--Mr. FP has done the big snip. He was very adamant about only having 2--you don't say how your husband feels!

I feel wistful EVERY TIME someone I know has a third child (and of course it seems like everyone I know has/is having a third!). If my husband wasn't so opposed, I'm sure I would go for it and just work out the details later. But he's half our marriage and he only wanted one (#2 was oops!), so I guess we compromised by default :-).

RFAAOATB

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2014, 04:25:37 PM »
I told my wife it's going to be one and done, but might be able to be talked into two (An heir and a spare).  I would lose control if the kids outnumber the parents.

Future Lazy

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2014, 04:59:27 PM »
I'm only 22, and so I haven't had kids yet. Actually, my turn toward the MMM way of life is because of my desire to build a really healthy and stable family! I admire MMM for having gotten to retire before having kiddos, and would love to be there to commit myself to raising them from day one. So, I'm working hard now to make up for it. :)

That means my post is going to be a little different - more from the perspective of a kid than of a parent. Some background:

I'm an only child, but my husband is one of nine. I was sent to private school etc, and my husband was homeschooled (uh.. More on that later).

My parents ran a business and easily made $250k a year or more throughout my younger years. Unfortunately, they were both "spend it while you got it" types and burned it all. Some of it, they burned on private school and gymnastics and fancy toys - I mean, I had the barbie pool, and every single video console up to the Playstation 2. We had personal computers in the house, in the 1990's - plural computers. We went to the ballet, and we went to the Bahamas, Florida and Hawaii. I wanted for nothing, ever, and that's great. But did any of that extravagance benefit me? Maybe the traveling did, especially to the Bahamas where the American culture was a lot less; Maybe the computers did, because they got me into tech early... But they weren't things I needed. I didn't need a computer at 8 years old, and I didn't need to go to the Bahamas at 12 years old.

One of the biggest things that is noteworthy in this story is that I was sent to private school as a little kiddo. I was never ever asked IF I would go to college, but instead WHAT I would go to college for. But, when I turned 17, and my parents and divorced and moved on from having a family and planning anything for me, no one had any help for me. My mother is buried under a pile of debt, and my father announced to my face that I was worthless and went on to peruse other endeavors. I haven't gone to college because of the lack of financial support, and am having to educate myself and make my way in the world in other more creative ways... It really sucks to be fending for myself.

On the other hand, my husband was the young-middle of nine kids (Number 5 of 9). His father was a molecular biologist who worked as a post office clerk for $40 an hour; his father was also bipolar, and it's pretty awesome he could hold down a job and all his kids survived. His mom stayed home and made as many babies as possible (no exaggeration, none of the kids had more than 9 months between them, and those that did were due to miscarriages, most only have a handful of weeks between their conceptions...). She also decided to (attempt to) home school all of them, but only got through the first 3-4 before she completely gave up. But she still didn't send any of them to real schools, even after running into this failure in health and patience. Mom passed on in the late 2000's and dad passed on in the early 2010's. Their house had 5 bedrooms, and was well and thoroughly trashed by the time I met my husband. It was the kind of house where you would walk on the other side of the road to stay away.

No one ever got anything new, all toys and clothes were hand me down, and education went downhill quickly after the 4th and 5th child.  No one had the time or the patience. After the deaths of the parents, my husband was barely 18, and was left with a portion of life insurance, and a portion of the value of the house he grew up in... That came out to about $30,000, a GED he worked on his own to get, and nothing more. The siblings fight like cats and dogs, so my husband just doesn't talk to any of them. It's more painless that way. It really sucks for him, too, to be fending for himself.

So, all that said:
TL;DR How many kids you have isn't nearly as important as what you do with and for them.

As long as you're not running around willy-nilly with your head up your butt not paying attention to what is going on - financially and emotionally - everything is going to be fine. Your kids will come out fine. Educate them, however many you have, and give them a foothold when they become adults.


But, I still wouldn't have more than 4-5 kids. It's probably a bad idea to go with any more than that. Things can get very bad, very fast.

Just my history and two cents. :)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 05:01:40 PM by KaylaEM »

MDM

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2014, 05:42:55 PM »
How many kids do you have or are planning on having? How do you make it work, from the day to day stuff, to the financial/early retirement stuff?

See
 - http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/continue-the-blog-conversation/having-only-one-child-23536/
 - http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mini-money-mustaches/larger-family-forum-how-are-you-doing-it-3-kids/
for comments from both sides of "average number of kids".


teen persuasion

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2014, 09:21:07 AM »
What are your DH's feelings about this?

Growing up, my nuclear family was four kids, but my parents were from larger families, so I'm used to literally hundreds of cousins, some I know better than others, but still, tons of cousins.  Mom's family is nine biological sibs plus two adopted (a brother and sister the family took in after they were orphaned).  One sister has 7 kids, several have 5, 4, 3, 2.  I was one of 5 girl cousins born the same year!  My dad's family (6 sibs, with some having only children) felt much smaller by comparison. 

We have five kids, 24, 22, 19, 16, 9yo.  I'm approaching the concept of FIRE at a late date, after all the kids arrived, but I don't think I'd ever have considered limiting our family size for FIRE.  There is a lot of "volume discount", if you will, in larger families.  Reusing baby clothes, toys, equipment, etc.  The younger ones learn from the olders' experiences, and get to anticipate/plan for the day they will get to do "that", or deliberately choose to do something different.  My kids have done this a good bit with music ensembles and instruments, and sports.  It is also fun for them to do things together, but different: the girls like to be on stage in the musicals, but (so far) the boys have preferred to perform in the Pit orchestra.  The youngest boy got a munchkin role on stage this past year, so he may buck the trend when he actually gets to HS.

College has been interesting - a larger family has been helpful for aid purposes, at least for the first three.  By the time we are down to DS5, things will be different - he will effectively be an only child, for aid calculations.  I'm hoping we will be FIRE at that point, but doing a Roth pipeline might be counterproductive for financial aid.  Things change all the time, so I keep my eyes open on the details.  Flexibility is the key.

cynthia1848

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2014, 10:17:39 AM »
We have 3.  I would like 1 more but I don't really want to go through another pregnancy and DH doesn't want any more kids, so we are done.  I love having 3 though, they are not at each other all the time like 2 can be.

milla

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2014, 10:24:01 AM »
Fortunately there is no need for you to make this decision now. Seriously, don't obsess over it. Get on birth control, wait and see how you feel. There's no rule that says you have to make a permanent choice, ever.
After my first I didn't want more until one day when she was four we suddenly did. After the second (literally, an hour after he was born) I just knew I'd have another someday, but that's not a reason to do it right away. Three years later here we are. I KNOW this is my last in a way that I just couldn't have ever predicted before I got pregnant. I looked at the positive pregnancy test and my gut just said this is it.

My husband is the youngest of 8 kids. His parents had two sets of four. He describes his childhood as a "cog in a machine" feeling where he was not an individual but one of many and interchangeable. His parents just didn't notice anything about him. They didn't have time to do anything with just him. They never knew what his talents were (although they did provide extensive music lessons and sports opportunities, it was not individualized. It was piano, violin and soccer for everyone. They sent him to school but they didn't notice if he wore the same thing every day for a week. They took him to the doctor for physicals but they didn't notice he had abnormal fatigue until his teens). He loves his siblings, especially the three immediately older than him that he grew up with and yes, they are close. But he has never, ever wanted a very large family nor does he want that kind of upbringing for our kids. This is part of the reason for the large spaces between our kids. Multiple kids blur together unless they're apart in age, your comment about the baby stage being "over with" is exactly what we wanted to avoid. We want to enjoy/raise each baby and toddler and preschooler, etc separately.

How can you say you want four when you don't even have three yet? Why a random arbitrary number? Kids are actually individual people. You don't actually know what your existing children need from you until you've had them a while.

Just wait. No need to decide anything.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 10:28:31 AM by milla »

Credaholic

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2014, 10:28:16 AM »
SO has always been up for 3. I personally wanted an even number, but DH drew the line at anything that would require a 3rd row of seats in the car, so we settled on 2. I guess I might be open to 3. I do love the even ratio right now. Parenting little kids can be difficult, but it's not that difficult with 2. Parenting 4 little kids (or even 3) - well, that sounds like a lot more chaos!

Still, not everything worth doing is easy...

DH's parents didn't plan any of their children, and didn't have the resources to support them. Sounds similar to the situation described above, minus the homeschooling. Still, they managed okay with 3. The next 3 broke them. I think this might be why DH doesn't want more than 3. He always talks about how the older 3 had a completely different childhood than the younger 3. Financially we're in a totally different position than them and would be able to do it. It's hard to calculate exactly what kids will cost though. I breastfeed for 1+ years, I cloth diaper, all of their clothes and toys have been handed down or gifts. I do work, but transitioned to at home with a mother's helper (my sister right now!) to keep our child care costs lower. Basically, it's hard to guesstimate how much kids will really cost because we do things the Mustachian way, not the average way. Travel is what worries me the most. Travel is very important to me, and we have family overseas (around $2K a ticket) so a bigger family is scary from that perspective. Runner up is how much support we'd have with 4. With two I can leave me kids overnight if necessary, and aunties are always willing to take them off my hands for a few hours. With 4, I'm not sure how much I could really expect.

Thanks MDM, those threads are useful!

ABC123

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2014, 11:10:24 AM »
I always said I wanted 4.  I grew up as one of 4, as did my husband, and it just seemed like a good number.  Then for various reasons my first wasn't born until I was 31.  I never wanted to be changing diapers when I turned 40, so I revised my number down to 3.  Once number 2 was born, and I realized that 2 kids really is a lot more work than 1, I decided that I was done with babies.  If I had the option to be a SAHM, I would love to have another one.  But trying to work a full time job plus take care of kids and do all the work that goes along with that, I just know that for myself I can't do any more and still stay sane.  Financially, the more kids you have the more you will be paying.  No, kids don't have to be super expensive, but they certainly aren't free.  If you are a SAHM, then having more kids means more time before they start school and you could go back to work. If you work and they go to daycare, then more kids obviously means more years spent paying for daycare.  So I guess I say all that just to say that deciding on how many kids to have has lots of factors.  Finances are one big factor, but there is a lot more than money that goes into raising kids.  You make the choice that works for you.

Mrs. The Butler

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2014, 12:08:43 PM »
Although my husband and I like a lot of the advice given on the MMM blog, we didn't really get much out of the post about having only one kid (obviously he's just telling people they don't have to have more, and not telling people not to have more).  We believe that the decision to have kids really is/can be largely separate from your financial decisions.  Yes, having more kids will probably delay retirement a bit, but can you really put a dollar value on your kids (or potential/future kids)?

Our situation is probably about as financially un-advisable as it can be, regarding family size.  :-)  We are in our mid/late 20s and have a 3-year-old and 1-year-old.  The day after tomorrow we will be adding three foster-to-adopt children to our family - ages 1, 2, and 3.  We're not sure how many more biological children we'll have, and we may or may not foster/adopt from foster care in the distant future.  We've decided to tentatively put the limit at 11 kids, at which point we will have maxed out the capacity of our Honda Odyssey and Ford Focus.  :-)

We try to make good financial decisions - even more important with a large family, really, in a lot of ways.  So we're "mustachian" in our investments, grocery shopping, buying used when possible, doing our own repairs, etc.  Our savings rate is pretty good, I think around/a little over 50%.  I enjoy staying at home with the kids and doing everything I can to stretch the money my husband earns - riding my bike/walking whenever possible, using cloth diapers, finding ways to keep the grocery bill as low as we can.

But to answer your question, yes, you're allowed to have more than one kid.  While MMM gives good financial advice, remember that it is just that: advice.  From someone you've never met and whose goals, plans, and desires for life are not going to line up with yours.  As you grow older, I think it would be a really weird (awful?) feeling to regret not having had the children you desired to have simply because some internet stranger (no matter how well-intended) said he liked having a small family, so you decided you should like having a small family too.

NW Girl

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2014, 12:19:28 PM »
"Upsetting the apple cart" isn't so bad.  Our oldest son (11yo) is severely autistic (we have a son 16 months younger with no disabilities).  He is definitely an expensive kid, but he is a joy and we have learned so much and changed our life outlook because of him.  I might even be able to write a "raising your disabled child while preserving your finances" book because of him…. I'm proud that we have provided so many therapies and opportunities for him in a mustachian way.

VirginiaBob

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2014, 12:32:44 PM »
We plan to have 5 eventually.  In the list of life priorities, having kids vs. retiring early, if your #1 dream in life is to have more kids:

1.  Having kids

....


152.  Retiring

Not even close. 

Credaholic

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2014, 12:37:35 PM »
"Upsetting the apple cart" isn't so bad.  Our oldest son (11yo) is severely autistic (we have a son 16 months younger with no disabilities).  He is definitely an expensive kid, but he is a joy and we have learned so much and changed our life outlook because of him.  I might even be able to write a "raising your disabled child while preserving your finances" book because of him…. I'm proud that we have provided so many therapies and opportunities for him in a mustachian way.

That's awesome and sounds like a really useful book for a lot of people - do it!! You know, in all your spare time ;)

teen persuasion

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2014, 01:20:52 PM »
SO has always been up for 3. I personally wanted an even number, but DH drew the line at anything that would require a 3rd row of seats in the car, so we settled on 2. I guess I might be open to 3. I do love the even ratio right now. Parenting little kids can be difficult, but it's not that difficult with 2. Parenting 4 little kids (or even 3) - well, that sounds like a lot more chaos!

Still, not everything worth doing is easy...


I did in-home childcare when my oldest kids were little: I started when I just had one child, added the baby I watched while his parents worked, then I had another, then they had another.  So I was up to four kids all under 4yo.  I found that when the kids were close in age they played together and entertained each other.  My oldest four are each 2.5 to 3 years apart, while DS5 is 6.5 years younger than DS4.  The bigger gap means DS5 is sometimes odd man out, and doesn't have the built-in playmates the others had.  I liked having a house full of little ones.

I'm currently doing the preschool storyhour at the local library, and I've had a few weeks with only three kids; I think it works better with a larger number, 6+.  Maybe I just like all the different personalities.

Overseas Stache

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2014, 01:34:34 PM »
I have always loved kids and been good with kids. It might seem weird for a guy but, when I was younger I was often asked by friends and family members to baby sit their kids because of how good I was with them. When I got married we said we wanted to have around 5 kids, although not all of them biologically ours.
Now we have a 6 month old girl and a 2 year old girl. And I really love them so much and they are so fun to have it makes me want to have more. It is so neat how even at 6  months old I can tell that they have very different personalities. However, the cost of travel is going to be getting pretty steep, and this has hit me hard because we live overseas and just to get back to the states will cost us 8K just in plane tickets once my youngest reaches two. Right now the plan is to wait a couple of years and re asses at that time, but I think we will have more just a matter of when.

Also it might sound hard or uncaring of me, but I don't plan on paying for their college. I worked all through High school and College in order to pay for my education and I was able to do it without my parents paying for anything. Honestly that experience helped me have a leg up on all the kids who's parents were paying for everything. It will be my gift to my children to allow them to have the pleasure of paying for their own education. They will thank me one day (I think) even if they cursing me for retiring instead of just working a couple of more years to pay for their college.

acroy

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2014, 01:36:31 PM »
5 kids here and #6 on the way
It’s a great life. Yes there are sacrifices, yes it is hard work. The best things in life take hard work and dedication,  right? And what is better than raising kids to be successful, smart, productive, independent, moral adults? Raising the next generation? It is friggin awesome.

The first kid is hard, real disruptive.

Second kid, hey you’ve seen this before, bit better prepared now.

Subsequent kids? Easy. You’ve got a system now. Not gonna see anything new. Now we are very blessed everyone (thus far) is 100% healthy and no special needs – this would change the story. Though we did get a curve ball in that Kid 3 was Kid 3&4 – identical twins! And they are SUCH a blast. After twins, ‘singles’ are piece of cake!

Positives:
-Life is awesome. Invest in running a good family and the payback is 100-fold. DW stays home and is full-time mom & teacher. I make sure to travel for work little as possible. We have SO MUCH fun as a family and would not trade it for, well, anything. Life would be empty in comparison.

Negatives:
-Discipline & fortitude: takes a lot of this to get things going smoothly and keep them going smoothly. Good efficient routine is mandatory for everything from baths to laundry. Laundry monster won’t exorcise himself.
-Monetary and Time investment required: yep, lots. Money is nowhere near as much as some folks make it out. Hand-me-downs, homeschool is darn near free, etc. Time, yes. But what else you gonna spend it on, that’s MORE valuable than family?
-Loss of independence: DW and I can’t take spur of the moment snowboard trips any more. Dates take planning. 

You can tell where I come down on this.

I saw MMM’s “only one kid” post and I thought “MAN, MMM, you poor sucka, are you ever missing out on one of life’s huge opportunities”.

VirginiaBob

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2014, 01:38:51 PM »
I have always loved kids and been good with kids. It might seem weird for a guy but, when I was younger I was often asked by friends and family members to baby sit their kids because of how good I was with them. When I got married we said we wanted to have around 5 kids, although not all of them biologically ours.
Now we have a 6 month old girl and a 2 year old girl. And I really love them so much and they are so fun to have it makes me want to have more. It is so neat how even at 6  months old I can tell that they have very different personalities. However, the cost of travel is going to be getting pretty steep, and this has hit me hard because we live overseas and just to get back to the states will cost us 8K just in plane tickets once my youngest reaches two. Right now the plan is to wait a couple of years and re asses at that time, but I think we will have more just a matter of when.

Also it might sound hard or uncaring of me, but I don't plan on paying for their college. I worked all through High school and College in order to pay for my education and I was able to do it without my parents paying for anything. Honestly that experience helped me have a leg up on all the kids who's parents were paying for everything. It will be my gift to my children to allow them to have the pleasure of paying for their own education. They will thank me one day (I think) even if they cursing me for retiring instead of just working a couple of more years to pay for their college.

It is not uncaring to not pay for thier college.  Once they are college age, they are adults, not kids anymore.  It is also not uncaring to not pay thier mortgage, utilities, groceries, insurance, cars, etc. once they are adults.

AJ

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2014, 01:39:15 PM »
I've always said I wanted 4 older kids, but I don't want to raise 4 babies!

How "older" are we talking? If you were up for the challenge, you could wait util your two are in late elementary school or older and adopt from the foster system. There is always a need for forever-families for children over 6 years old. I believe if the kid is over 8 they are considered "special needs" just by virtue of their age, and you get a big tax credit plus often a monthly stipend until the kid is 18*. A lot of the older kids will age out of the system without ever being adopted.

*If the stipend and tax credits sounds too good to be true, they are: foster kids are a special kind of challenging, and it would never be worth the effort if you were only in it for the money. But the money helps folks who otherwise would want to adopt and couldn't afford it, since there is such a large need for loving forever-homes.

hodedofome

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2014, 08:18:14 PM »
MMM is not God, just because he believes something doesn't mean you have to.

I personally don't think you will ever regret having more kids. Ever. (Assuming your marriage is good and kids are a blessing and not a curse) I do know people that regretted not having enough though.

hodedofome

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2014, 08:22:56 PM »

I've always said I wanted 4 older kids, but I don't want to raise 4 babies!

How "older" are we talking? If you were up for the challenge, you could wait util your two are in late elementary school or older and adopt from the foster system. There is always a need for forever-families for children over 6 years old. I believe if the kid is over 8 they are considered "special needs" just by virtue of their age, and you get a big tax credit plus often a monthly stipend until the kid is 18*. A lot of the older kids will age out of the system without ever being adopted.

*If the stipend and tax credits sounds too good to be true, they are: foster kids are a special kind of challenging, and it would never be worth the effort if you were only in it for the money. But the money helps folks who otherwise would want to adopt and couldn't afford it, since there is such a large need for loving forever-homes.

My sister (who absolutely didn't need any financial assistance) adopted 2 siblings from the foster care system a few years ago. They were 2 and 4 and received money for the adoption, plus monthly stipend plus free healthcare plus free state tuition. Incredible deal here in TX. I believe it was because they were in the system more than a year and they were siblings, which are harder to place.

The first year was tough but now you would never know they came from the environment they suffered through. Amazing kids. My wife and I plan to adopt for our 3rd kid.

Credaholic

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2014, 09:33:01 PM »

I've always said I wanted 4 older kids, but I don't want to raise 4 babies!

How "older" are we talking? If you were up for the challenge, you could wait util your two are in late elementary school or older and adopt from the foster system. There is always a need for forever-families for children over 6 years old. I believe if the kid is over 8 they are considered "special needs" just by virtue of their age, and you get a big tax credit plus often a monthly stipend until the kid is 18*. A lot of the older kids will age out of the system without ever being adopted.

*If the stipend and tax credits sounds too good to be true, they are: foster kids are a special kind of challenging, and it would never be worth the effort if you were only in it for the money. But the money helps folks who otherwise would want to adopt and couldn't afford it, since there is such a large need for loving forever-homes.

My sister (who absolutely didn't need any financial assistance) adopted 2 siblings from the foster care system a few years ago. They were 2 and 4 and received money for the adoption, plus monthly stipend plus free healthcare plus free state tuition. Incredible deal here in TX. I believe it was because they were in the system more than a year and they were siblings, which are harder to place.

The first year was tough but now you would never know they came from the environment they suffered through. Amazing kids. My wife and I plan to adopt for our 3rd kid.

That's wonderful to hear her positive experience, and good information. 2 and 4 seem like ideal ages to me. I have considered adoption and am open to fostering to adopt, but of course would be nervous about consequences of coming from negative situations. DH has not been particularly open to the possibility of adopting when I've brought it up. I still feel like there's room for a conversation though.

I also strongly agree that you don't have to pay for your kid's college! As someone who had the "benefit" of my college paid in full by my parents, I wasted that time in my life. When I later went back for a useful degree (although ironically still not used, but that's a different story...) and paid for it myself, I was a much more conscientious student. We will likely help, but expect our children to contribute even if we can cover in full.

And to those letting me know MMM isn't god, don't you know the first rule of being in a cult is always listen to your cult leader?!!

VirginiaBob

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2014, 09:39:30 PM »

hodedofome

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2014, 05:40:13 AM »
I feel like some on this site, even though they won't admit it, believe that being mustachian as defined by MMM is they way of life and you have to go by his rules. He's a great guy I'm sure and he always has good reasons for his decisions, but I wouldn't say he's found the formula that works for everyone. If you want 8 kids, have 8 kids. If your marriage is good, more kids are a blessing.

It took a few years for my sister to accept she couldn't have more kids (they have 1 biological), so it took them a bit to come around to adoption. I never considered adoption until about 8 years ago. It took a few years for my wife to come around to the idea, and seeing my sister's experience has helped her a lot. If your husband isn't into it give it some time, he may come around.

VirginiaBob

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2014, 06:49:11 AM »
I feel like some on this site, even though they won't admit it, believe that being mustachian as defined by MMM is they way of life and you have to go by his rules. He's a great guy I'm sure and he always has good reasons for his decisions, but I wouldn't say he's found the formula that works for everyone. If you want 8 kids, have 8 kids. If your marriage is good, more kids are a blessing.


Agreed - I actually think the term mustachian is a little weird (cultish).  It is called being frugal and a lot of us lived frugally long before we found this website.  You have 4 types of people (probably more than 4 in reality) on this website:

1.  Those who think MMM is not extreme enough.
2.  Those who think MMM is too extreme.
3.  Those who want to emulate everything MMM does exactly, and any deviation from this is wrong.
4.  Those who were always frugal and skim this site along with several others for some frugal tips and tricks.

Mesmoiselle

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2014, 08:34:40 AM »
If you can afford it, do what you want.

But I was going to add my 2cents. My mother had 6 kids. She has openly regretted having six kids. She said she devoted herself to raising them, they have been stressful, and she never accomplished anything she wanted to. She was a single mom with boyfriends for most of the raising. She got governmental assistance all the way. Now in her 40s with COPD with her youngest now 20, she is helping to raise a grandchild 100% (my sister is having post partum connection issues she won't seek help for). The way her finances are, she'll be a wal-mart greeter at 67 to subsidize her cruddy SSI or equivalent. She's horribly disappointed with that whole aspect of her life.

I had a tubal at 23 with zero kids. I may consider fostering to adopt when I'm financially independent. I don't see a point in having a child around if I have to work 40+ hours a week to raise them properly.

Not naysaying your plan. Just adding a different perspective to the "you never regret having too many" idea

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2014, 08:58:03 AM »
I'm not even at the point of family planning yet, but echoing the adoption bit...

If you'd love four older kids, and you're not sure for right now, go back on birth control or maybe arrange a reversible snipping - and the door will be open at a later date when the kids get a bit older to also consider adopting one or two younger - but perhaps not infant - siblings. You get the big family for yourselves and your existing kids, and can potentially avoid the most traumatic part of sleepless squalling and the pregnancy experience all over again, as well as ensuring a loving family and good home for someone(s) who didn't already have that available. A kid who got out of a "negative" situation at a young age and into a healthy one has plenty of capacity to learn healthy habits - children are incredibly resilient once they aren't in an actively unsupportive environment.

hodedofome

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2014, 11:42:42 AM »
If you can afford it, do what you want.

But I was going to add my 2cents. My mother had 6 kids. She has openly regretted having six kids. She said she devoted herself to raising them, they have been stressful, and she never accomplished anything she wanted to. She was a single mom with boyfriends for most of the raising. She got governmental assistance all the way. Now in her 40s with COPD with her youngest now 20, she is helping to raise a grandchild 100% (my sister is having post partum connection issues she won't seek help for). The way her finances are, she'll be a wal-mart greeter at 67 to subsidize her cruddy SSI or equivalent. She's horribly disappointed with that whole aspect of her life.

I had a tubal at 23 with zero kids. I may consider fostering to adopt when I'm financially independent. I don't see a point in having a child around if I have to work 40+ hours a week to raise them properly.

Not naysaying your plan. Just adding a different perspective to the "you never regret having too many" idea

Good perspective. I agree - like I said "if the marriage is good." If it's not good, or if it's a single parent, more kids are going to be extremely difficult. There's no way I could do it well on my own.

VirginiaBob

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2014, 11:52:23 AM »
One other thing to consider on delaying having kids until you are more financially stable is that the risks of autism, mental instability, cerebral palsy, etc. all go up substantially.  From a child health standpoint, it is best to have kids between 24-32 years old.     

MrsPete

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #34 on: October 29, 2014, 12:06:40 PM »
When we were contemplating marriage, I wanted four children . . . he wanted two. 

I agreed that having four wasn't absolutely a #1 priority in my life, and he agreed that he could possibly see a third.  So we married without having a firm answer, but we both felt a little flexible about it.  We agreed that we'd have two . . . and then decide whether to continue. 

When we had our first, we both felt "not done".  We always considered, "We have her, and when we have our second _____".  I carefully purchased clothing in gender-neutral colors and packed things away "for the next child".  But as soon as the second was born, we both felt DONE.  We felt our family was complete -- I'm just glad we agreed upon it.

At some point when both were in school, and our lives were no longer filled with all the work that comes with having toddlers and small children, we briefly considered a third.  It crossed my mind that I had loved those early years, and I wouldn't mind "doing it all again", and he had wanted a boy.  We didn't actively TRY, but if we'd had an "oops baby", we would've been fine with it. 

About the time we hit 40, we knew we DID NOT want any more.  At that point, our children were entering their teens, and we personally were not willing to have such a large age gap between them -- we felt they wouldn't really "be friends".  Also, we were not willing to be "old parents". 


hodedofome

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #35 on: October 29, 2014, 01:32:50 PM »
The folks that have told me they regretted not having more, only realized it once the kids had moved out of the house. Not that they wanted more kids living with them, but they just realized that they had a lot of love in their hearts but not enough kids of their own to love on. If that makes sense.

Not saying this will be everyone, but it's a perspective to think about.

Dicey

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #36 on: October 29, 2014, 02:37:49 PM »
My brother married a woman from mainland China recently. At the wedding, when my sister mentioned to some of my SIL's Chinese friends (as in they grew up there and came here as adults) that she is the mother of four boys, their eyes got wide. They exclaimed that she must feel so rich to have been allowed to have FOUR boys! My sister, who is not rich, said it gave her a new appreciation for all the wonderful freedoms we take for granted. FWIW, she and her DH wanted seven kids. After four, her husband said "enough". Methinks my sister would have kept trying until she had a girl. I console her that she will have four daughters-in-law and hopefully a few girl grandbabies to spoil one of these days.

The right answer is listen to your gut. Nobody other than your spouse has any say at all in your decision.

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2014, 09:13:56 PM »
I have 3 kids that I love to pieces, but all of them were oops. Planning such large families on purpose just blows my mind, knowing what I know now about sustainability.

I don't want to turn this into another unproductive overpopulation thread, but please, please consider adoption or fostering before punching another winning ticket in the ovarian lottery.

RFAAOATB

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2014, 11:49:36 AM »
I have 3 kids that I love to pieces, but all of them were oops. Planning such large families on purpose just blows my mind, knowing what I know now about sustainability.

I don't want to turn this into another unproductive overpopulation thread, but please, please consider adoption or fostering before punching another winning ticket in the ovarian lottery.

As someone with fertility problems, please do not remind us to consider adoption.  The cost of domestic adoption is comparable to IVF.  I still place a premium on my future children sharing my genetics.  The burden of unwanted children should not fall so heavily on those with fertility issues.

My wife and I are planning to have a very expensive and financed baby through surrogacy and IVF.  She said it could get up to $25,000.  Looks like I won't be getting the Lexus this year.

Forget only one or more than one kid... are you allowed to have a kid if it costs more than a car to bring it into the world while nearly everyone else gets it over and over again for free?  Obviously we decided yes.

VirginiaBob

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2014, 12:14:40 PM »
I have 3 kids that I love to pieces, but all of them were oops. Planning such large families on purpose just blows my mind, knowing what I know now about sustainability.

I don't want to turn this into another unproductive overpopulation thread, but please, please consider adoption or fostering before punching another winning ticket in the ovarian lottery.

As someone with fertility problems, please do not remind us to consider adoption.  The cost of domestic adoption is comparable to IVF.  I still place a premium on my future children sharing my genetics.  The burden of unwanted children should not fall so heavily on those with fertility issues.

My wife and I are planning to have a very expensive and financed baby through surrogacy and IVF.  She said it could get up to $25,000.  Looks like I won't be getting the Lexus this year.

Forget only one or more than one kid... are you allowed to have a kid if it costs more than a car to bring it into the world while nearly everyone else gets it over and over again for free?  Obviously we decided yes.

I don't think the previous poster was referring to fertility problems, but what you are saying is true.  Adoption is different from having your own biological kids.  Both infertile couples and fertile couples both have the option of adopting kids, but that probably does not influence whether or not you desire to have your own biological kids.

Credaholic

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2014, 12:30:17 PM »
Overpopulation issues are one of the reasons DH and I considered only two, and why I would consider adopting a 3rd or 4th (personally have no desire to go larger than that.) However, I have NO judgement for those who feel a strong need to have a biological child. I *think* I'm one of those people who could love an adopted child as fiercely as my genetic children, but don't expect that this is some kind of universal trait everyone should possess.

Also, 3 oopses? Come on, man. Birth control is just not that hard.

Spending $25k on IVF and surrogacy just goes to prove what most in this thread have said: kids > $$$. I wish you luck RFAAOATB!

We are back on birth control, not rushing out for the snip, and will evaluate a 3rd child in a year. 

PloddingInsight

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Re: But are you allowed to have more than one kid?!
« Reply #41 on: October 30, 2014, 01:31:53 PM »
Just want to chime in and say that going from 2 to 3 is not a big deal.  Your reasons for wanting another kid are good reasons!  Go for it.