Wanting more children but afraid we can't afford them


#1

My hubby and I have 5 children between the ages of 12 and 1. Being a homeschooling mommy and taking care of my kids has been the greatest joy of my life. God has blessed me greatly and I thank Him daily for the love He has given me.

Perhaps it is selfishness on my part, but I would love to have more children, however we are barely surviving on my husbands 40k a year income. We are converts to the faith and are from Protestant families; they are of the belief that you should only have children that you can afford and are not very supportive of us. They believe it was foolish of us to have so many and I'm a little afraid of what there reactions might be if we have more.

Thanks for any advice you can give me and God Bless!


#2

What are your husband's thoughts?
Is there much opportunity for advancement with his work?
What can you do to help out financially?

I certainly wouldn't make a definitive end-all-be-all decision - life circumstances change quickly! But I would do whatever you could (as a family) to improve the financial situation, if that's what is holding you back.
You don't have to live with status-quo... but it does require hard work and prayer for changes to happen!!


#3

This is kind of elementary, but do you have a budget? It sounds so basic, but I've found that the months that my husband and I make a budget in advance and actually follow it, we do much better money-wise than just spending as things come up. If you have debt, can you take a part time job to help pay it off faster? Can you sell anything (an extra car, books on ebay, clothes you sew, whatever) to help make some extra cash?

How much would it really cost to raise another one? I would think clothes and toys could all be hand me downs. Breastmilk is free. Education is the big expense, but you're home schooling, which I imagine saves a lot.

Of course you're responsible for the kids that God has already entrusted to you, and it wouldn't be fair to them to have another if it meant not being able to put food on the table. But the gift of a sibling is of huge value, and though the world sometimes mocks them, big families are a blessing. If it's just a concern that people might look at you funny when your kids are wearing thrift store finds or your parents will make hurtful comments, you can chalk that up to being part of the cross.


#4

Don't think about 5 or 10 more.

Can you be generous and sacrificing enough to accept ONE more? Or is ONE more out of the question, financially?

Are you budgeting? Is there anything you can do to increase your income? Is there anything you can do to decrease your expenses?


#5

[quote="kwortham, post:1, topic:254288"]
My hubby and I have 5 children between the ages of 12 and 1. Being a homeschooling mommy and taking care of my kids has been the greatest joy of my life. God has blessed me greatly and I thank Him daily for the love He has given me.

Perhaps it is selfishness on my part, but I would love to have more children, however we are barely surviving on my husbands 40k a year income. We are converts to the faith and are from Protestant families; they are of the belief that you should only have children that you can afford and are not very supportive of us. They believe it was foolish of us to have so many and I'm a little afraid of what there reactions might be if we have more.

Thanks for any advice you can give me and God Bless!

[/quote]

As someone who has a larger family, I can say two things, both you probably know. Every kids gets a little cheaper than the previous one (this goes out the window when college comes around, but there are other solutions for that). The other thing is, 5 kids on 40K a year has to be a big struggle.

It is not selfish ever to want more children. I can imagine your protestant friends think you are crazy. At least with us, they just wrote off the craziness to us being Catholics our whole life. But as your kids grow up, and you have such a strong and loving family (this tends to happen in large families, as they take care of each other so much); all of your protestant friends will look at your family in awe. A neighbor of ours paid me the best compliment a month ago I could imagine. They had two kids, who spent a lot of time at our house. She said everything her kids learned about being in a good famly, came from being at our house. Now, they are wonderful people, so she was being overlly nice; but it is still ncie to hear.

I will pray. You will figure it out if your pray a lot about it.


#6

budget is a great idea I need to get one too. are you being selfish? it doesn't sound that way. there are different kinds of support? do you need a break? breaks don't last forever thats why I like nfp. each month we talk about our reasons to have or not have another, it only last about 10 days each cycles during the fertile time. anyway talking to our priest always makes me feel better.


#7

We have a large family. (9 children). My best advice to you is to take it one child at a time. By the time you get pregnant have a child, presumedly nurse that child, have your fertility return, so much may have changed in your lives. You don't know what God has in store for you or your dh's career(potential raises etc.)

A good budget, wise shopping, and lots of prayer and "one chld at a time"!


#8

I'm pregnant with our sixth right now - my oldest is 8.

Admittedly we have a bit more money than you, but in my case I'm not a natural nurturer, and I feel like I don't give the kids the time they need - it's something I really have to put effort into. I'm pretty conflicted because I want to raise my children and be instrumental in their upbringing, but I also want to achieve great things and work outside the home. God is teaching me humility and patience, I think. Having said that, I enjoy my children immensely and I do not regret having another one now, even though it's going to hold me back from other things in life for another few years.

My in-laws think we're crazy for having more than two, and will take any opportunity to tell us so. They usually won't look after all of them and tell us they are too old to help out with so many (and if we'd only had two like they told us, they would have been happy to help).

It was my husband who wanted this baby, despite his parents' protests, and I admire him greatly for his courage - he never wanted more than two when we first married.

The only advice I have is to ignore the people in your life who criticise your decisions, and make the decision for yourselves. Hard but worth it.


#9

I'm sorry, but IMHO telling to "budget!" is pretty cold.

OP IS budgeting...she's just told us that $40k, gross, annually IS the "budget" for 7 people...which is betwen "hard" and "weight of the world on my shoulders" depending on what part of the USA OP lives in, and depending on factors like what their rent or mortgage is.

You can't get 103 pennies from a dollar bill.

Nationwide, poverty is up and most foodbanks are emptying.

OP, I can only say that the decision to have another child is between you, you husband, God, and your confessor - no one else.


#10

[quote="kwortham, post:1, topic:254288"]
My hubby and I have 5 children between the ages of 12 and 1. Being a homeschooling mommy and taking care of my kids has been the greatest joy of my life. God has blessed me greatly and I thank Him daily for the love He has given me.

Perhaps it is selfishness on my part, but I would love to have more children, however we are barely surviving on my husbands 40k a year income. We are converts to the faith and are from Protestant families; they are of the belief that you should only have children that you can afford and are not very supportive of us. They believe it was foolish of us to have so many and I'm a little afraid of what there reactions might be if we have more.

Thanks for any advice you can give me and God Bless!

[/quote]

If you're "barely surviving on your husband's 40k a year income," then why on EARTH would you even THINK about having more children right now? :confused:

Not to be harsh or anything, and forgive me if it came out the wrong way. But children aren't collectibles. People can't just go around having a bunch of kids they cannot afford just because they want to. If you're barely surviving as it is, then absolutely NO to more children until circumstances change.

And yes, I do think it would be selfish if you went through with it and actually TRIED having another child under the circumstances you are in. Especially if you had to end up relying on tax payers money.

Definitely wait for your situation to change/improve before actively trying to have another child.


#11

[quote="tafan, post:5, topic:254288"]
As someone who has a larger family, I can say two things, both you probably know. Every kids gets a little cheaper than the previous one (this goes out the window when college comes around, but there are other solutions for that). The other thing is, 5 kids on 40K a year has to be a big struggle.

It is not selfish ever to want more children. I can imagine your protestant friends think you are crazy. At least with us, they just wrote off the craziness to us being Catholics our whole life. But as your kids grow up, and you have such a strong and loving family (this tends to happen in large families, as they take care of each other so much); all of your protestant friends will look at your family in awe. A neighbor of ours paid me the best compliment a month ago I could imagine. They had two kids, who spent a lot of time at our house. She said everything her kids learned about being in a good famly, came from being at our house. Now, they are wonderful people, so she was being overlly nice; but it is still ncie to hear.

I will pray. You will figure it out if your pray a lot about it.

[/quote]

[quote="heart4home, post:7, topic:254288"]
We have a large family. (9 children). My best advice to you is to take it one child at a time. By the time you get pregnant have a child, presumedly nurse that child, have your fertility return, so much may have changed in your lives. You don't know what God has in store for you or your dh's career(potential raises etc.)

A good budget, wise shopping, and lots of prayer and "one chld at a time"!

[/quote]

:thumbsup: ( I liked others too, like krista's but I thought I would just quote two... haha I agree with Missy, we need a like button on CAF).

I wanted to add that I do not agree that it is selfish for families that are tight economically, or downright poor, to be open to receive more blessings. Here is something Pope Pius XII said:
Pope Pius XII

An Address to the Directors of the Associations for Large Families of Rome and of Italy January 20, 1958

...But God also visits large families with His Providence, and parents, especially those who are poor, give clear testimony to this by resting all their trust in Him when human efforts are not enough. A trust that has a solid foundation and is not in vain! Providence — to put it in human words and ideas — is not a sum total of exceptional acts of divine pity; it is the ordinary result of harmonious activity on the part of the infinite wisdom, goodness and omnipotence of the Creator. ....

BTW, this doesn't mean we are off the hook for trying to do our best and provide the best we can for our family, but in conjunction with that, we need to trust also.

A couple can look at their own circumstances and prayerfully discern what to do for their family, but I disagree with assuming that adding a new member to an economically tight family is selfish. Trying to create your own baby using artificial means is selfish, lovingly accepting and raising a new blessing from God, when He sends the child to you, a loving family, is not. Precisely the fact that children aren't goods or property is what makes a difference. Adding a child to a family is very different from adding a new car or a fancier home.


#12

[quote="VonDerTann, post:9, topic:254288"]
I'm sorry, but IMHO telling to "budget!" is pretty cold.

OP IS budgeting...she's just told us that $40k, gross, annually IS the "budget" for 7 people...which is betwen "hard" and "weight of the world on my shoulders" depending on what part of the USA OP lives in, and depending on factors like what their rent or mortgage is.

You can't get 103 pennies from a dollar bill.

Nationwide, poverty is up and most foodbanks are emptying.

OP, I can only say that the decision to have another child is between you, you husband, God, and your confessor - no one else.

[/quote]

I am pretty sure most people weren't demanding she budget. We were saying, "Do you budget?" We were offering support and advice. It's why she came here!

I agree with you that the decision to havea child is between her, her husband, GOd, and her confessor. I hope she knows that. But SHE came here expressing desire and frustration with not being able to have another child for financial reasons. Sometimes, God places that desire and frustration on our heart because He is asking us to be open to another baby he has planned for us. SHE came HERE asking and seeking advice. We were only responding.

I think your anger is grossly misdirected. We were only responding to her query.

And there ARE a LOT of things you can do to reduce your expenses or increase your income. Maybe one of us know ssomething she hasn't thought of yet. Maybe someone could opt to not have a cell phone or cable TV (not that the OP does, but just as an example) so they can be more generous with God. It's all about learning detachment from worldly things and learning to be generous with God even when it hurts.


#13

[quote="Debora123, post:10, topic:254288"]
If you're "barely surviving on your husband's 40k a year income," then why on EARTH would you even THINK about having more children right now? :confused:

Not to be harsh or anything, and forgive me if it came out the wrong way. But children aren't collectibles. People can't just go around having a bunch of kids they cannot afford just because they want to. If you're barely surviving as it is, then absolutely NO to more children until circumstances change.

And yes, I do think it would be selfish if you went through with it and actually TRIED having another child under the circumstances you are in. Especially if you had to end up relying on tax payers money.

Definitely wait for your situation to change/improve before actively trying to have another child.

[/quote]

WOW! That is a really horrible thing to say to someone! "Not to be harsh..." How is that NOT harsh?

You know what... sometimes being generous with your fertility and responsive to God means taking risks. It means being humble enough to ask for help. It means deciding exactly WHAT a 'financial reason' to avoid having more children means. Does it mean we need to move to a less expensive area to live? Does it mean we need to look for a better job for DH? Does it mean we need to consider additional sources of income? Does it mean we need to find more ways to cut corners? If the OP feels strongly that God is calling her to more children and she can figure out way to make it work- even if means embracing a new level of poverty (which is a very virtuous thing, btw)- then WHO are YOU to tell her that she is being selfish?

FWIW, my husband only makes slightly more than her DH. We are expecting baby #5, joyfully. We know that will mean some additional sacrifices. Not too many, but a few. We know we can care for our family and that there are more important things than material possessions. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, we might resent some of the sacrifices we have to make, but that is our failing.


#14

[quote="kwortham, post:1, topic:254288"]
My Thanks for any advice you can give me and God Bless!

[/quote]

don't know if I am qualified to give advice, but most of our child-rearing years we lived at defined poverty level income or very little higher. But one thing I do know which is absolute fact: if you wait until you can afford children you will never have them. They will suck up all available resources if you let them whether you make 40k or 400k


#15

[quote="kristacecilia, post:13, topic:254288"]
WOW! That is a really horrible thing to say to someone! "Not to be harsh..." How is that NOT harsh?

You know what... sometimes being generous with your fertility and responsive to God means taking risks. It means being humble enough to ask for help. It means deciding exactly WHAT a 'financial reason' to avoid having more children means. Does it mean we need to move to a less expensive area to live? Does it mean we need to look for a better job for DH? Does it mean we need to consider additional sources of income? Does it mean we need to find more ways to cut corners? If the OP feels strongly that God is calling her to more children and she can figure out way to make it work- even if means embracing a new level of poverty (which is a very virtuous thing, btw)- then WHO are YOU to tell her that she is being selfish?

FWIW, my husband only makes slightly more than her DH. We are expecting baby #5, joyfully. We know that will mean some additional sacrifices. Not too many, but a few. We know we can care for our family and that there are more important things than material possessions. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, we might resent some of the sacrifices we have to make, but that is our failing.

[/quote]

One thing to point out is that the poster you are responding to here openly supports ABC use in this forum, so she is coming from a contraceptive attitude, rather than an open-to-life mindset.


#16

[quote="GracedUpon, post:15, topic:254288"]
One thing to point out is that the poster you are responding to here openly supports ABC use in this forum, so she is coming from a contraceptive attitude, rather than an open-to-life mindset.

[/quote]

Thanks for letting me know. I didn't realize that.


#17

Something else to think about, fertility is a gift that only lasts a certain amount of years, money can come and go, but once those years are gone, they are gone.


No more kids due to gravity of parents ages?
#18

The people who are suggesting you budget are way off base. At 40K a year you are in a position to start working towards a more lucrative career and not towards budgeting. A budget can not fix every problem, and at 40K with 7 people you are obviously doing ok if you even manage to scrape by.


#19

[quote="kristacecilia, post:13, topic:254288"]
WOW! That is a really horrible thing to say to someone! "Not to be harsh..." How is that NOT harsh?

You know what... sometimes being generous with your fertility and responsive to God means taking risks. It means being humble enough to ask for help. It means deciding exactly WHAT a 'financial reason' to avoid having more children means. Does it mean we need to move to a less expensive area to live? Does it mean we need to look for a better job for DH? Does it mean we need to consider additional sources of income? Does it mean we need to find more ways to cut corners? If the OP feels strongly that God is calling her to more children and she can figure out way to make it work- even if means embracing a new level of poverty (which is a very virtuous thing, btw)- then WHO are YOU to tell her that she is being selfish?

FWIW, my husband only makes slightly more than her DH. We are expecting baby #5, joyfully. We know that will mean some additional sacrifices. Not too many, but a few. We know we can care for our family and that there are more important things than material possessions. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, we might resent some of the sacrifices we have to make, but that is our failing.

[/quote]

Ok?

This is what I said to the OP:

  1. If she's "barely surviving," as she said, she should wait until circumstances change before purposely TRYING to have another child.

  2. YES, in my opinion it is selfish. Specifically and purposely trying to have another child when your family is "barely surviving" is, I think, selfish. I only said it because she asked.

  3. Losing your family's home or having to depend on government money due to a person PURPOSELY having more children than they can feed/shelter (when they do so knowingly), is irresponsible.

You don't like what I said, that's fine. She asked for my opinion, and I gave it to her.


#20

[quote="GracedUpon, post:15, topic:254288"]
One thing to point out is that the poster you are responding to here openly supports ABC use in this forum, so she is coming from a contraceptive attitude, rather than an open-to-life mindset.

[/quote]

Talking about me publicly on a thread like this is uncalled for, rude, and against forum rules.

PS- It has nothing to do with "having a contraceptive mentality" or not, and don't claim to know anything about my mentality. With all due respect, you don't know me. She said she was "barely surviving" as it is. I told her she should wait.
Now please refrain from defaming my character.
Thanks.


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