Thursday, September 2, 2010

my answer

'Tomorrow' became the end of the week. Time is flying by and the busyness of Spring is intoxicating.

Che just put liquid soap on my toothbrush and brushed hs teeth. And swallowed it. "Yuk," he said. Hmmm. At least it was organic.

I was a little surprised about your responses. So many of you became mums in your early twenties. Inspiring!

I always thought I'd be a young mum. I had no doubt in my mind that before I was 25 I would have a little one in my arms.

And so when my doctor told me that yes, I was expecting, I was a little surprised but not shocked. Almost three years and nine months later I wouldn't change a thing.

And yet the one thing that seems to be the deciding factor in becoming a parent is money.

When Daniel and I discovered we were going to be parents we didn't even own a toaster. And we survived. We flourished even.

I have been watching One Born Every Minute weekly since in started screening on SBS and regardless of the kind of births (and birth support people which, although shocking, represents the stereotype of the typical support person, scary, I know) shown, one subject that keeps popping up in interviews with new parents is money.

The young couples seem to comment on their complete lack of cash. The older parents who are financially stable and well established say that nothing, not anything, can compare to the joy of being a parent. Consciously, I'm sure, the editors have put these clips together, one after the other, a perfect juxtaposition.

We cannot deny that we live in a world largely dictated by money. And I know that if I had four teenage boys who inhaled a loaf of sourdough and a bottle of milk like Daniel does, there is no way I could afford organic food.

Which leads me to my next question: will you/did you let money affect your choices regarding children?


  1. I think since becoming parents my partner and I have definitely put a stop to our frivilous spending which is probably a good thing.
    When it comes to my son he never goes without, us ourselves sometines go without the things we may need or want, bills sometimes get paid after their due date and nights out are a thing of the past. But we are both okay with that as our little boy is more than worth it.

  2. I was a mum in my early twenties and don't regret one minute of being younger. When we decided to have a baby we had recently gotten married and we made a choice to have a baby rather than buy a house. We knew we couldn't afford both at the time, two years later and an hours drive from the city we found a house we could afford and renovated it together. You just seem to manage somehow, having your needs met but not having too much.

  3. I became a mum at 27 - we planned on having a baby but were told it may not be possible - 2 weeks later I was pregnant. Because I worked in a risky job & was a high risk pregnancy i had to quit so for the last four years we have lived on one wage. I was always thrifty but more so now. I would love another baby but the Mr wont as he feels we can't afford it - I think everyone just does what they have to in order to get by. We try to live organically which can prove a little expensive but health is worth it!

  4. Money? Hmmm yes and no.

    We're stopping now that we've two because three would mean we'd need to move to a bigger home, and I'd probably have to quit working part-time, and then money would be stretched.

    BUT, if, when the time comes in a few months to make a final decision, I really want a third, we will push on and find a way to manage.

    Although, at this point we have enough money to live with a little bit of luxury (not have a super strict budget)and that makes parenting a little less stressful...

  5. How good is One Born Every Minute!! I laugh out loud and cry (sob) every single week...

  6. We didn't factor money into our decision at all. Of course, it helps to be 'comfortable' but more important for us was the fact that our relationship was at a beautiful point, that we were both physically and mentally ready and that we felt we had done what we needed to without a baby, before embarking on such a seismic shift.

  7. I becaome a mum at 26.I always wanted to be a young mum & I know many friends who would have liked to have done the same, but for many reasons were not in a position to.

    Money does play a part in choices we make for our kids & in the size of our family. I am lucky to have stayed at home with my kids & I wouldn't have things any other way, but that has meant missing out on a few things along the way.

    Before we had kids we talked about waiting until we had a bit more money in the bank before we had kids, but then we thought, how much is enough?

  8. I'm 27 and not a mum yet but over the last year I've been thinking about it more and more. I think I'm just trying to pluck up the courage to actually do it now... I spend ages worrying over the issue of money, how to pay the mortgage on one wage (and my partner is self employed so it can get scary!) But at the end of it all I can't imagine *not* having kids so I guess it will have to work out. All you need is love right?!

  9. There's never a right time, as far as I'm concerned. If you let money dictate your family planning, then where do you draw the line? What's "enough money?" Also, we live in a society that has convinced us that having children is expensive but it doesn't have to be.
    I think the more important criteria in making the decision to have a child is being emotionally ready and prepared to accept the responsibility no matter what happens.

  10. I gave birth to my son when I was 28 and my daughter at 30. I always wanted to be a mother and thought it would happen before then but it didn't, not through lack of finance but for the lack of someone who I wanted to parent my children with.
    We wanted children and finances were not a huge concern. We live in London. It is an expensive city for a one income family (my husband works full time and I care for our children)especially in the current economic climate.
    We have had to make a few compromises along the way but I try to be ethical and sustainable in the choices I make for our family. It is hard sometimes but we try hard not to make money or the lack of it the focus of our life.

  11. i love this photograph...very sweet indeed x

  12. I had my first daughter at 25, my second at 27. I always thought I'd have had at least one child before 30, so I was lucky to find the right man and father for my babies when I was only 20 years old. (I'm not quite 30 yet!) I've never been career focused, I always wanted to be able to stay at home with my kids, so I have been lucky. I find joy in op shop bargains, bake our bread, make our soap, grow veggies, fruit and herbs, and sew a lot of our children's clothes. I find it so satisfying, this is the best life for my family and I.

  13. We waited until we felt at the right place in our relationship, but always knew money would be tight once children came along. Waiting a few years wouldn't have made any difference financially.
    We have one, and she more than makes up for the things we miss out on. We will have another but number three would be a big decision - my husband thinks we can manage, but I hate that we have to factor money into the decision and not just let be what may be.

  14. hey Jodi, not all of your readers are yonguns! I had my son at 37. I hope to have another but who knows. I never established a career (oops) and we've never been flush with cash. It doesn't matter. Anytime someone mentions money and children to me I always tell them that poor people have happy kids all the time.

  15. I would have loved to be a mum in my mid twenties. I remember having a real desire to become a mum around that time... But when my husband and I were 27 we moved to the other side of the world (to Australia) and it took us a couple of years to settle and that all pushed the schedule... I had my daughter at 32 and would LOVE to extend our family soon. x Flavia

  16. Although I earned more than my Fiance, I left my job after 13 years. My health was deeply affected and my employer was not sympathetic at all. This was right after the Global Financial Crisis which saw almost 65% of our department put their hand up for redundancy! I loved being at home
    that first year with our eldest child, preparing him for Kindy and seeing how much he loves school now, is a small triumph. My health improved (med free after 4 years) and today we have a 6yo and 4 month old. Although we haven't had a family holiday or wkend getaway in a year we are looking forward to 3 overseas trips in the next 6 months and finally getting hitched!
    I make sure my kids go without while we shop at thrift stores, leave the car at home etc.
    In the case of my Fiance's sister, with her partner have been saving feverishly for their first home deposit. Last month they visited their father, recently diagnosed with cancer, and now she wants a child before their father passes away. If you allow money to be a deciding factor in your family makeup, then no time will be the right time.

  17. The only thing that factored in to my decision was school. I decided to go back at 27 after dropping out earlier in my twenties. It was right about that time that I felt like I really wanted children but I wanted to finish school first. I finished at 30 and became pregnant immediately. We had no money, less than ideal job situations, a tiny apartment, and no idea who would look after the baby once she was born. But in those 9 months, everything fell into place. A new apartment, new employment for me, self employment for my husband and enough flexibility that child care was not needed. I think that no matter when you have kids, things just work out because they have to. If I had known that I may have become a mother sooner. But I did enjoy the carefree days of my twenties so I have no regrets.

  18. Great topic might I say! I became a first time mum at 27, and then had my second just before 30. For years I agonised over whether we'd ever be able to afford children. I earned more than my husband and he is self employed so it was a great worry. But in the end the heart wins over. If we waited until we were financially ready, we'd still be waiting. Somehow we made it thus far. But I must admit, money is a factor in deciding to go for a third. :)