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Having Kids Doesn’t Make Cents

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Few would argue that America isn’t a capitalist society. Therefore, I guess it was only a matter of time before we began assessing the impact of choosing to have or not have children through an economic viewpoint. Back in the day, it was easy to justify why having more children made sense. As an agriculturally based society, more children meant more hands to till the land or help around the house. If you were fortunate, you might escape the hardships of the farm to pursue work in the city. However, in many cases, you were still expected to send money back to help the nuclear family. Thus, regardless if they stayed on the land or left, it only made sense to have as many children as you could possibly create.

This is no longer the case. In fact, from a purely economic standpoint, many can persuasively argue that having children in 2013 is one of the worst (or at least not best) financial decision a single person can make. For the record, the odds are not much better for married couples. TIME Magazine wrote such an assessment for their recent cover story, The Childfree Life: When having it all means not having children. If you have a subscription to TIME, you can read the full story by clicking here. If you’re cheap like most of us, with or without kids, then you can simply read a similarly themed story by TIME that I’ve highlighted below.

Source: TIME Magazine
Source: TIME Magazine

The Economic Reason for Having Just One Child

One recent night, my daughter Dahlia and I popped out for pizza, and while we were chatting over our slices, CBS Evening News came on the television suspended over the counter. We sat transfixed by a segment on a massive number of homeless families that have settled in a makeshift community in the California desert. Dahlia chewed thoughtfully as she watched a father tell the reporter about how he had worn a tie to work until six months ago, when he lost everything and had no choice but to move there with his three kids. Then she shifted her eyes to me and asked, “Mama, that won’t be us because there’s only one of me instead of three?”

She’s on to something. According to the USDA, a child born in 2011 will cost an average of $234,900 to raise to age 18. If your household income is over $100,000, you can raise that number to about $390,000. Yes, there are some savings after the first child — you don’t have to buy another high chair! — but it’s not as though you get a huge volume discount on subsequent offspring. There are also opportunity costs of a mother’s loss of income from parental leave, scaling back hours or dropping out of the workforce entirely. No wonder, according to the USDA, two-parent households with two children devote over one-third of their income to their kids. Add it all up and there’s a strong economic case for stopping at one child.

And yet the world will tell you — from grandmothers to sitcoms to strangers in the supermarket — that money shouldn’t be a factor in deciding to have more children. If you express concern about how much children cost, then you’ve clearly got your priorities wrong. You’ll make it work, they tell you. Don’t be selfish. (I wrote about this and other stereotypes of parents with singletons in a cover story for TIME.)

There’s a popular theory of economics that contends that there’s really no difference between deciding to raise a child and making any other investment.

Read more at [TIME.com]

Not Having Kids Is Selfish

At least that’s what people tell me. You see, I’m 30 years old. In Internet years, I’m elderly. According to a 2012 survey, I officially turned “old” 2 whole years ago. To some degree, I literally feel like I’m too old to have kids. That ship came, docked, threw a party, then sailed away, while I stayed on land enjoying relative irresponsibility and I made the choice – with God’s help – not to become a parent despite many offers and opportunities. It feels strange to imagine a world where I’ll post photos of my child learning to walk across the living room on Instagram, while many of my friends in the same age group will be posting pictures of their children walking across stage at their High School graduation. I can’t help but wonder if they got it right, and I got it wrong. Should I have had children earlier, even if it would have been more difficult, so I can benefit from having an older child at this age? On the eve of my 31st birthday, I’m no closer to having a baby as I was on the eve of my 18th birthday.

Since High School, roughly every girlfriend I have ever had has expressed interest in wanting to have my kid(s). I always found this strange. I remember one woman in particular. We were in a serious relationship, lived together, and did plan to marry one day. However, we were ridiculously broke. Very broke, like a few paychecks from poor, broke; Ramen noodles and sliced hot dogs broke. Despite our economic woes and check-to-check living standards, all my girlfriend at the time could think about (or so it seemed to me) was when we were going to have children. We had very different views on the subject.

I didn’t want to bring a child in the world until I felt (admittedly arbitrarily, since I didn’t know how much income we would need to make me feel “ready”) I could afford to take care of and provide for our yet unborn child. She, on the other hand, loved me. That was all the justification she needed. Further, in her opinion. the fact that I didn’t want to have a child with her at that exact moment was not a testament to my hesitancy due to our barely lower-income status. No, my not wanting to have a child with her, in her mind, was an indictment of our relationship. To her, it meant I saw no future and/or I did not love her as much as she loved me. Why else – besides, you know, the honest reason I gave her – would I not want to impregnate her as soon as humanely possible if I really loved her and wanted to be with her forever?

I share this story, because I’ve noticed it’s not unique. When it comes to child-bearing, my male-friends tend to take an economic assessment of their current affairs rather than an emotional one. My female-friends tend to take an emotional assessment of their current affairs rather than an economic one. In other words, most of my male-friends prefer not to have kids until they can afford them, regardless of their relationship status; whereas, most of my female-friends prefer to have kids dependent on their relationship status, regardless of if they can “afford” them.

More and More Opt out of Parenting

In a world of infinite resources, this discussion would be irrelevant. However, most of us have finite resources. Given the choice, both men and women are choosing to have less or no children until they are financially stable. Due to myriad factors, it takes each subsequent generation longer and longer to financially establish themselves in this country. This has resulted in a declining birth rate and marriages that occur later in life, or not at all. Similar to college, many young people are beginning to evaluate what was once a an assumed next-step in life through a cost-benefit analysis: is the cost of raising children compared to the benefit of having children still worth it? Are children something you can objectively quantify or is the return from parenting one of those “priceless” categories that we can never accurately measure? These are the questions an increasing amount of childless people are asking themselves. Over time, we’ll learn how our and future generations answered that question.

Is your financial situation a major factor in your choice to have zero, one, or more children? What must occur in your life before you feel “ready” to have kids? Is choosing not to have kids a selfish decision? Have you felt pressured by your family or society to have one or more kids?

Comment(54)

  1. Absolutely not. Emotions don’t pay for diapers, daycare, formula for the children who aren’t breastfed, a bigger house, a bigger vehicle, more food, and other expenses that come with a larger family. Also, there are other issues that should be handled long before the children are even thought about. Just wanting to have a child isn’t a good reason to have one without a legacy plan in place. Don’t bring them here if you have nothing to give them when they get here.

    Children are too big of a decision to enter into with just emotions, for both men and women. You don’t have time when it’s just you two, you really think adding more people to the equation will help? You’re struggling financially now, is adding more people going to help? Doubtful

    1. I think making the choice to have children or not, is fine either way. When you look at it, both sides are making a decision they feel is right for the child.

      For me personally, I wanted to have kids (2), and wanted to have them by age 30. I had my daughter at 25, still finished school. got married 3 years later, had my son right at 30. That was my plan regardless, if I got married or not. If I didn't have kids by the age of 30, I was not having any kids (but that just me).

      I had plans for myself, and I wanted to accomplish them while I was young with a lot of energy, drive, determination. With this, I never looked at it being hard, or broke…I just did what I had to do. We both started with little income, but we grew…together. And it felt very natural to me. My daughter is attending Spelman College, and my son is a sophomore in high school.

      What difference does it make if you start now or later…sh!t is going to happen anyway. And you just get through it. I just knew I didn't want it to happen in my 40's with 2 small children.

      It's really all about choice.

  2. Essentiallly you can’t afford kids or too busy to raise them these days. I hope to have children one day, and while my finances certainly play a role in when, I wouldn’t say it is a deterrent. I never feared not being able to take care of a child more than having one with the wrong woman. I would like a family not just more bills to pay.

  3. Riding off the wisdom and experiences of all my family and close friends, of all different economic levels, who have kids I have learned that you are NEVER truly ready or prepared to have kids. That being said so long as I feel I can put clothes on their backs, food on their plate, pay my rent and keep my utilities on then, God willing, kids WILL happen.

    Personally, I do believe its selfish if a person doesn't want kids because it takes away the excess "wealth" they have. Like to say, "I could technically afford to raise a child but that would cut into my savings and expendable cash. I can't have fun and do all the things I use to do". You are entitled to that feeling but I just think its crap.

    And lets be real, people living with $100K+ salaries aren't out here living like they are making $40K. They are living close to or at their salary range. So kids are always going to eat up that left over. So this idea of making enough money first is really an illusion

    1. +cosign

      I will say I think there are points in life where depending on the situation you shouldn’t have or think about having kids. But for the most part as long as I can give them what they need (not always what they want), emotionally, financially and mentally, I would like to have a child/children. There are a lot of single/ couples with no children living paycheck to pay check, while I know people with children who handle finances responsibly.

      Now I’m not looking to have 5 or 6 kids. I’m realistic I know how much I am willing to deal with and I also understand that God forbid my partner dies, or is unable to care for our children with me, that raising the kids I put on this earth will be a solo job, therefore I can only see myself having 2 maybe 3 . (But I’m Happy even if God gives me one).

      I also don’t think it’s selfish for someone not to want/have children. How can a village help raise a child if everyone in the village have their own children to worry about?

      1. Calling them selfish is just a personal opinion I have. But everyone has the right to whether or not they want to have children.

    2. Yup. …specifically to the first and last paragraph.

      I don't hate on people who opt not to be parents. If you're too selfish to be a parent, then you've done society and the poor kid a favor.

      1. But why does not wanting a child always equal selfish. Why can’t it just be the right choice? There are plenty of people without children who give to damn near everyone and everybody they come in contact with. I don’t think not having children automatically makes you selfish, some people just never pictured their life with a child (baby to adulthood).

        1. I really don't hate on people who opt not to have children, like I said. And although I don't believe everyone who doesn't want children is selfish, some are too selfish to have them (too self-absorbed, unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices, etc.), correct?

          I was just making the point that, IF you are too selfish to have children, then you shouldn't have them…cause you probably will struggle with parenting where sacrifice is not optional. So why hate on those people for choosing not to do something they'd be horrible at? That's all I'm saying here…

    3. That being said so long as I feel I can put clothes on their backs, food on their plate, pay my rent and keep my utilities on then, God willing, kids WILL happen.

      Interesting. Do you think it's sufficient to only provide for the basics? I recognize your list wasn't all inclusive, but for example, you don't mention – paying for college, providing for them after death (life insurance, etc), leaving them assets. I bring this up because, a recent study showed that white households account for 19 times the wealth of blacks. Most times, this is because each subsequent generation of black families essentially has to "start from the bottom," no Drake. I wonder is it only enough to provide for the basics? Should we, as a community or whatever, strive to provide our children with more than just food and water? That's how legacies are built. The mindset/cycle we're in now will just create more lower to middle income families, which is fine, if that's all we are seeking to strive for in America.

      1. That's why I feel that financial stability is important. I have life insurance…its about $60 a month…deducted right from my check.

        Eh…to paying for college, lol. Maybe I'm too optimistic here but I push academic/extra-curricular excellence on my children. We have them in one of the top public elementary schools. My 9 year-old just started a STEAM after-school program where they will learn animation design and coding. He's also taking drum lessons and my 6 year-old is playing soccer. My baby boy's reading level exceeded all his other kindergarten classmates.

        So, although I don't have the cash today to pay for their college education out of pocket, I'm equipping them not to have to worry about that. They also have savings accounts to help them when they're ready to start life on their own. With proper planning, you can still give your children the best, trust me.

        1. That is optimistic, but not unreasonably so. There is actually plenty of left over scholarship money that goes unclaimed each year.

          Now, I'm more jaded than the average bear when it comes to debt, given my own personal struggles. However, I brought up college, because the avg student leaves with $25k in debt. If you pay the minimum on that amount – not even accounting for personal debt you might accrue – you can easily be paying off that debt into your 50s. Fairly or unfairly, that's a heck of a burden for a roughly 22 year old to overcome from the jump. If I can, I plan to pay for my (future) child's college education – within reason (I'd like retire before I die). I'd also like to leave them some kind of nest egg, whether it be enough to pay off the remainder of their debt or put down on a house or whatever. I don't want my child to have to "fend for self" beyond reason.

          More importantly, I'd like to have on-going discussions about financial management and investment planning with my children. This is one category I feel our country – and by extension, parents – fail our children miserably.

        2. Not that I am a fan of debt, but I believe that debt is dag near unavoidable to a degree. To me, what is more important is the ability and wisdom to properly manage (and minimize) debt.

          I intend to guide them and give them the necessary tools to decrease the debt as much as possible. And, of course, I'm positioning myself financially so that I will be able to do as much for them as possible. But, since I had grants my first year of college and a job to pay for 75% of the rest of my college bill, I know there are multiple ways to skin a cat.

          My point is, there are ways to give your children the best without having it "all" up-front. If you are at least married and financially stable, I believe that you can, with proper planning, give a child a great life.

      2. Come on man….seriously? Is it really necessary for me to itemize? What sort of parent would say, "So long as I give them the bare minimum I'm good"? I'm expecting everyone here to be intelligent enough to understand that my statement doesn't mean "so long as they have a couple shirts and a sandwich". Smh

        1. No.

          You do realize that within my comment I said "I recognize your list isn't all inclusive," right? I was opening a dialogue not beginning an attack. To answer your question, "What sort of parent would say, "So long as I give them the bare minimum I'm good"?" A LOT of parents think exactly like that. Namely the exact ones I'm talking about today. The parents least likely to plan for children are probably the parents most likely to feel some type of way about their kids getting in the way. As I said, I was opening a dialogue not attacking you, personally.

          All good.

      3. Yes we should! We can get nowhere unless we stop making it a requirement for our offspring to "start from the bottom." Starting from the bottom often keeps us at the bottom or at the middle.

      4. Totally agree with your comment. I think that’s one of the main thing facing the black community. The foundation of good community starts with a stable family structure, by achieving this the black community can fix one of their problems.

    4. "And lets be real, people living with $100K+ salaries aren't out here living like they are making $40K. They are living close to or at their salary range. So kids are always going to eat up that left over."

      True, which is why people will choose to wait (whichever number $$$ they have in their head) to have kids. My daughter was planned.. we were financially able and ready when we had her because we we wanted to make sure we were at that stage in life where we could still enjoy little extras while at the same time providing for her as well. We made that sacrifce by putting off having kids all willy nilly so we wouldn't have to sacrifice later on.

      1. Can I ask this….when y'all had your daughter was it after you two decided you were well enough in your career, with enough income, to do so or was it because you decided that you wanted to have a child within a certain time frame and you prepared yourselves financially specifically for that life changing event? I know those are two very different things and I think a lot of people out there fail to realize that.

        1. We decided we were ready after getting to where we wanted to be in our careers. I was 3 years in on my job to the point i was able to take extra time off and stay home after baby was born and his business was booming. All of this was carefully thought/planned out when we decided it was time to have a child. Babygirl was planned down to a T. *lol* I kidd you not..

    5. I am also of the mindset that no one is really, truly ready. Oh you can plan all day, but life has a way of just happening. You can plan for the normals and that may not be what you get. What if I am planning, but my child develops health issues? This is an unforeseen event. Life is just like that. You can make 200k a year, but a child with health problems (developmental/physical/mental/etc) can and will eat at that money.

      On the college thing, my parents paid for some (only some) of it, but they weren't required to do so and I knew it. I didn't grow up with a mentality that my parents HAD to pay for my education. I see so many parents these days digging into their 401k and savings accounts to pay for their kid's college. Yeah, but what are you going to retire on? If you can do it, that is great, but I don't think someone is a bad parent because they can't pay for their college education.

      1. I don't think someone is a bad parent because they can't pay for their college education.

        To be clear, I'm not saying nor did I say that.

        I recognize you can't plan for everything. But the idea that you can't plan for anything doesn't sit well with me either. I just can't see the no plan plan being justified as a good enough plan in itself.

        Lastly, if we're going to keep it 100, most black (and minorities in general) parents tend to take a "you're on your own" approach to their children's life. In some cases, it's by circumstances. But, in most cases, it's because we don't preach a community of legacy and generational wealth growth. Most parents in "our" community are perfectly fine with their kids "starting from the bottom" because they did it and "turned out fine."

        1. I don’t think having something to pass on to your kids should be a consideration. Sure it’s nice and everything, but if that is a prereq to having kids, then what does that do specifically to “our”birth rates since you already acknowledged that it is taking longer for younger generations to establish themselves? White people should enjoy parenthood because they have most of the wealth and transformative assets while blacks don’t just to catch up economically? I don’t know about that.

        2. Omg. I thought I was the only one who peeped this. This is NOT how you create legacy. I'm trying to create legacy and I really feel like if more poc took this approach, it would be better for us on the whole. I guess you can lead a horse to water…

        3. I recognize you can't plan for everything. But the idea that you can't plan for anything doesn't sit well with me either. I just can't see the no plan plan being justified as a good enough plan in itself.

          This right here sums it up for me. I'm tired of seeing people shirk their responsibility to have a plan in life especially when you're talking about children. The truth is that there are too many people who can't see off of the tip of their nose out here making babies, and have nothing to leave them in terms of a legacy, and a legacy is more than just money; it's laying the foundation for them to build a mansion themselves instead of them having to lay the foundation again and trying to build on it themselves. After all, there is only so much time we have here on this earth and we'll never get ahead by having to repeat the exact same steps that lead us to the point where we got stuck. If life is a relay race, it's unfair to expect our children to run all four laps and then turn our noses up at them for not doing better than us. It's about being the foundation that allows them to reach for heights you never were able to reach yourself in your lifetime, it's about creating something that will outlive you.
          My recent post Life doesn't give you what you deserve; it gives you what you can recognize.

  4. I don’t subscribe to the idea that someone is selfish because they choose not to have children. The same logic can be used against those who choose to have them for reasons of “love”, keeping a partner, self-fulfillment, or religious (this is God’s plan), etc. In short, if those angles can be taken toward child rearing, then an economic angle against child bearing is just as valid.
    To be honest, my life is 100% about me and I gotta say it’s pretty sweet. Conversely, my intentional childless-ness is predicated on more complexities than my above statement.

    1. Fear of the wrong “baby-mama” …cosign Tristan
    2. Always seeking the next endeavor/ education
    3. Frugality- I bought diapers for my friend last week….that ish cray
    4. Marriage or relationship plus child divided by failure = child support (see #1)
    5…the perk of being a man (knowing that I can produce well into my 50s if I wanted to)

    …..ever hear your friends say something like, “I love my kids, but if I had it to do over……” ?
    …and then I think to myself,…yeah…life’s pretty sweet without 'em.

    1. “I love my kids, but if I had it to do over……” Yes, yes I have. To be fair, I hear people make similar complaints about roughly every state of life. "The clarity of hindsight…" if you will. Like, for example, I hear "happily" married people talk about the single life and wishing they waited and blah blah blah, but just a couple years earlier these were the same people on the verge of tears because no one had put a ring on it, yet.

      I was talking about this with the misses the other day. Basically, I think people as a whole are bad at aligning their expectations with reality. There's a simple formula for this: Reality – expectations = dissatisfaction. The further reality is from your expectations, the greater your dissatisfaction will be. I try to keep this in mind when managing my expectations, which I think I'm pretty good at (perhaps to a flaw). Generally, I hope for the best and plan for the worst. People have labeled me pessimistic for this quality, but I think it makes me a realist. I'm also pretty content with most of life's outcomes. Is what it is – also another quote I use all the time that gets me in trouble with folks.

      1. "Generally, I hope for the best and plan for the worst. People have labeled me pessimistic for this quality, but I think it makes me a realist. I'm also pretty content with most of life's outcomes. "

        I think it depends how you attack it. If everytime you go into shaky waters and when you see a wave you think oh i'm going to give up, then yes that pessimistic. That wave could be pretty small and you gave up or didn't think it would have a good outcome. However, if you wear a life jacket when you go into that water, you are still brave enough to try it, you just would not like to drown. I can get with that thinking.
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  5. I'm with larnelw on this for the most part. As with anything, you adjust to your circumstances. I was married, owned a home, had two cars and savings when we decided to have our first child. Being a parent is a sacrifice…period. You have to give up all of your extras…time, attention, focus, money…all that. You'll never have enough not to feel the sacrifice. Look at celebs…even many of them slow their careers down at some point to focus on their children/families. Sacrifice.

    For me, I need a husband and financial stability in order to have children.

    1. Aww, my close friend's oldest daughter is a Temple freshman! We sent her off a few weeks ago. She's the first of our kids to leave the nest. *tears*

      Best of luck to your son… 🙂

  6. "Have you felt pressured by your family or society to have one or more kids?"

    Mannnn Listen.. If i had a dollar for everytime someone used to ask me and ex hubby "when are you going to give your daughter a baby brother or sister??" sheeeitttttt. we used to look at them and laugh because it always came from family members who had 2 or more kids but yet they was always talking about their financial struggles, looking at our family members and what they were going through while trying to raise 2 or more kids while barely getting by showed us what NOT TO DO..

    1. Everyone keeps asking me about having a girl cause I have two sons. I guess my being unmarried…not even in a long-term rela is a non-issue for them, lol…smh.

      Plus, the older they get…the closer I get to not paying before/after care fees, the less likely it's looking that I'll be having another child. I'd like that $500 a month back in my pocket! Daycare fees are not the business, lol. I'm good, lol…

      Now, if these grandparents would pick up these kids and keep them, that's a different story, lol. These new age grandparents need to talk to the old school grandparents and get with the program!

      1. Lmao @cynical, I feel u on those child care fees, I’m so glad my son is 9 now lol. I agree 100% with @edwin azel, having kids does impact your hustle, I’m always at work it seems like lol , but my son reaps the benefits so I’m good!

        1. Man, all I know is that I NEVER went to daycare cause there was always some family member available to watch me. I had aftercare for 1-2 grade. By 3rd grade, I was a latchkey kid.

          An old school grandparent would be a godsend right now! Lol! These new one's didn't get the memo to retire and watch their grandchildren!!!

      2. ."These new age grandparents need to talk to the old school grandparents and get with the program"

        LOL For Real!!! My momma was never about that grandparent life. She would babysit here and there and then say "Don't make this a habit, I already raised my kids" o_O smhlol

      3. I wish for old school grands. I could have bought a Porsche for what I paid for daycare for two kids. First day of kindergarten is a holiday

    2. Yeah, it was interesting that the same magazine, TIME, wrote articles championing for having one child and no children. But, I guess this is reflective of conversations in society. The "peer pressure" never ends. If you don't have any kids, you HAVE to have one. If you have one kid, you HAVE to have two. lol

  7. I may have missed it, but it is saying $235,000 a year? or for the lifetime of that child? Does it take into account that over 18 years you can make up in the millions? Kids do cost, which is why it is important to use birth control if you are not ready or abstain completely. If one does not want to have kids that is awesome! However, I do not think you should let fear that you wont be able to buy a new playstation when i first comes out or go to the bahamas every year. With children you can still live you just have to be mindful of our finances. So that means not eating McD's every day or not caring about finance charges from revolving credit. Money is nice, I agree, but being a parent from what i understand is so rewarding. I think it's where your overall priorities lie.
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  8. This topic could easily branch off into some other ones. Simply put, the word for today is RESPONSIBILITY!!!! Sadly, these days its in short supply. Having kids financially is no different than owning a home, or a car. I love my son, but I wish I had waited till I was married and in a better financial climate to give him more of what I didn't have growing up. That should always be the goal for any parent, The socioeconomic times we live in are not favorable to just having kids without some kind of planning, unfortunately more and more kids are being brought into the world irresponsibly.

  9. Be patient WIS, you are not too old. 32 and 36 for my two kids. You'll look back and realize you really enjoyed your twenties more so than those with kids. Kids cost and are a lifelong investments. I agree with you "our community" should invest into the next generations i.e. pay for college, assist in home purchase, life insurance, pass down assets/portfolios, etc.. Learn the word sacrifice before having children

  10. "Is your financial situation a major factor in your choice to have zero, one, or more children?"

    i'm working on being married, and both of us in a financial framework, teamwise, before kids happen.

    i personally believe having children and raising them…is worth it.
    i also believe that's it's not for everyone; there's levels to this life. some people aren't for the sacrifices like that, and that's cool. someone humans should not have progeny, either. it is what it is.

  11. I am with the men on this one. As a woman, the #1 reason why I don't want to have children is because they simply cost too much. Women get into their emotions too much sometimes & don't understand that a REAL man needs to feel financially secure before spreading his seed. Women want to pop out babies, but then they better not complain when there's no money for family vacations every year or money to buy a nice home to raise the family that she wanted so badly in.

    I don't know what the magic dollar amount would be, but I think a good indication would be to see how responsible a man is with his finances prior to marrying him.

    (And it would be a horrible thing to only have 1 child & have that child grow up all alone. So, to me the minimum should be 2.)
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    1. Yeah, I'm also an only child to both my natural parents. I had step-bros and plenty cousins though. Worked out fine, lol.

      Wasn't horrible at all…

  12. In my world yes finances play a big part. Also, I am not married. There is a certain lifestyle I like to have and I don't think having children out of wedlock, and/or with a man who can not provide for his family will give my offspring the best head start in life. I have no interest in being a single mother and I don't think that type of lifestyle does the child much good. Sure, single parents are good parents, it's just not the life I want for any hypothetical children or myself. I too need to have my career in a place where I can provide for my children and myself. Right now I am still trying to pay college debt and stuff like that. I like babies, but I would be doing myself and my child a disservice by bring them into my life right now.

  13. most parents don't have a bunch of disposable income because not only is raising kids a full time job its also expensive and people that are focusing on money will usually avoid children by any means necessary if you get my drift

  14. My financial situation is not a major factor in my choice to have zero children. The lack of maternal yearnings in me is the most major factor. However, if I ever had said yearnings, I'd still have zero children because I've never been in a financial position to provide the basics for a child. The best I've ever done financially is live one step above paycheck to paycheck as a single woman. There's not enough left over to feed and clothe another person. My stepmother seemed stunned when I explained this to her back when I was around 26 and in a long-term relationship. Just because we weren't homeless, didn't mean we had anything to support a child on. I'm not the type of person that's going to create a life I'm wholly responsible before and half-step on it.

    I always want the people who describe my choice to explain how it's selfish. I honestly don't think they understand what that word means. If they do, I don't think they understand that whole oxygen mask thing. I'm still waiting on the day when the majority of people will realize that they cannot properly care for someone else without caring for themselves first. This is why there are so many damaged people walking around. People need to mind their own business. Thankfully, I come from intelligent people who are well-adjusted enough to deal maturely with my choice no matter what their own feelings are on my decision.

  15. I'm in a relationship similar to that of Wisdom: long-term, living together, hoping to get married one day (soon). I am not as pressed to have children as his girl seemed to be, but I am highly interested in the marriage.

    A ring, wedding and honeymoon cost money and I get that. But it's not ABOUT the money. My dad got my mom a star opal for her engagement ring that was probably less than $300. They got married in some botanical gardens in their town and went to see Star Wars for their honeymoon. If I did the exact same thing I wouldn't be mad at all because it's not about the wedding. So the money issue and the wedding don't go together when I think of my wedding. I could go bigger than that and still not break the bank, so that's really a non-issue.

    Kids cost money. It's true. I went to every dang summer camp available for kids my age. I was a gifted over-achiever, so I went to art camps, sports camps, even FAT camps ('cause I had a weight problem back in the day). I was in band, choir, theater, and pretty much every extra curricular. I required private lessons, and gym memberships and new reeds and color guard uniforms and payments for the marching band to go to Hawaii and the the Latin club to go to Italy and ALL of that. And then I went to an Ivy League. I had some scholarships, but they don't pay for all of an Ivy League tuition. And unfortunately, my parents made too much money to get financial aide, but not enough to not hurt when it came time to write that $40,000 check. Yep, the sacrifice is real.

    But I feel like having kids is like learning to drive. In high school, I was too busy (with all the stuff you read above) to get my license. I didn't get it during college because I was going to college and working, and summers were for internships and working. Then I moved to NYC and didn't NEED a license. I got my license in a horrible trip to Miami, but by this point, I must say that I worry more about the downsides of driving than the benefits. All I can think of are the accidents, the car insurance rates, the car payments. It's just one big list of cons that don't outweigh the occasional inconvenience when my destination isn't near mass transit.

    My point is, if you wait too long, I think having kids could be like that drivers' license was with me. After a while, your excitement turns to fear and all you can see is a long list of cons that's enough to talk you out of it. I'm less excited about having kids now than I was when I was 25 and nowhere NEAR having a solid relationship, all because I was just more optimistic about what kids entailed.

  16. When I was a child, I wanted 5 kids (they were all going to be tall, go to the league and be my retirement plan). Then I grew up, started working, making money, and became….. selfish.

    I have places to go, people to see, and things to do! I work with children, both young and older…they provide me with plenty of fulfillment.

    Do you know how many trips I can take with that kind of money!?

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