I was once asked if I would have more children near the end of my 3rd pregnancy. I thought it a strange questions at the time, but since then I can see for many families 1-2 kids is the max. His response to my willingness to have more than 3 kids was this: “but can you afford them?” I could tell that in his eyes children were one of the most expensive thing in the world. I think he was fearing poverty for me in that moment. He couldn’t understand how a one income family could afford more than 3 children.
My answer to him was: “You can afford what you want.” I have learned if you want something bad enough you will find a way to afford it. I have wondered how smokers or alcoholics can afford their addiction. I don’t have money for cigarets or alcohol. Having a family was important to me, a big priority; I made sure I could afford children. The reason why is not because I was rich, it was because I wanted them. Yes I went without some things (and still do) but I wouldn’t change it.
What is the cost of being a parent?
I say the biggest cost is giving yourself. To raise good children you don’t need expensive toys, or a big house, or lots of money. That is is cop out. I have had plenty of people in my life give money or things to me to try and help. Sad thing is that I didn’t need those things, and they don’t usually help. Sometimes a call on the phone, a listening ear or an arm around the shoulder would have been more helpful. Giving money is easy, giving of yourself is hard.
Toys and entertainment
Yes we have toys and electronics for entertainment in our house. But we are not big on gift giving or entertainment. Probably because I had plenty of adults who primarily showed their love by giving things and not by showing their love. Gifts can be good and fun. We should have them in our lives. Lets just make sure that the kids in our lives know why we love them, know that we love them, and can feel that love. Toys can keep a child quiet and out of our way (and sometimes it is necessary short term), but to much solitary entertainment can make a child feel unwanted, isolated, and alone. No amount of money can buy peace, happiness, friendship, or love.