Post # 1
So, when DH and I had our first child we were broke – going to the food bank broke. We did what we could for a little guy, but it wasn’t much.
Now that we’re thinking about having a second child, I feel guilty because this baby would have a much different experience (both financially and with my presence as I would be working less) as a young child. We would be able to offer this child more as a newborn but, also, I feel like a new child would take away from what we could offer our son (college, cars, etc.).
I think I’m tainted because my sister (younger) always had…more…than I was able to have.
Post # 3
How old is your son? When my bestie had her first baby she was also in a tough spot, relying on family a lot and she couldn’t afford classes and other luxuries for her kiddo. However, her babe grew up happy and healthy and is now enjoying all sorts of fun activites, classes and preschool. She just had her second baby, and even though she was able to start this baby in classes at 6 months, her first loves the new baby and isn’t resentful at all because this is the new normal, they both go to their classes etc.
If you’re home more with the new baby, you’ll be spending time with both your kiddos, not just one. Are you able to provide fun extras or something special for your son now? And for the future, you can start planning now, two kiddos usually means a little more financial aid for college, and used cars (if they’ve earned it!) aren’t too expensive and they will have lots of practice sharing which will make dorm living easier on them 🙂
Post # 4
@aliavenue: I wouldn’t worry about the fact that your first child did not “get” as much in material things as your second child, sometimes the first child actually turns out better for it. When I was born, my parents were on welfare and we lived in some pretty horrible neighborhoods. But I think it made me be very appreciative when I DO receive something, whether it is a new toy, piano lessons, an apartment complex that felt safe enough to play outside. When my brother was born, we were living a good middle class existence in the suburbs and my mom only worked part-time, similar to you. He definitely had a lot more: chess lessons, piano lessons, summer camps.. etc. Even though I love my brother, he was definitely spoiled and takes all his opportunities for granted. I’ve always worked really hard in school because I know it is important for my future, and I know how expensive college is given my parents are paying for it. My brother always had trouble buckling down to study. I’m also very budget conscious, my parents will never have to worry about me not being able to support myself, but they constantly have to send my brother more money because he seems to be short on cash every month.
Post # 5
Your first child will have no memory of what he did and didn’t have period, much less in comparison to his younger sibling. Is saving for your first child’s college education more important than having a Bjorn to match every outfit? Yes. I’d concern myself more with making sure your financial priorities are balanced rather than wondering if my first kid will remember that he wore the same PJs every night (he won’t ;)). I especially wouldn’t feel guilty if you can afford to have the seond child- it would be a different story if you were financially secure for the first one, and asking about having a second child when you couldn’t afford it.
Post # 6
For me this depends entirely on how old your son is. My mom was a single mom my whole life and we never had anything. I had to beg for money to take to away games for dinner – I didn’t want to be the only kid who packed a meal. I had to pay for half my prom dresses and all of my SAT preps and college entrance fees. I started working at 14 to afford the luxuries I wanted. I only got nice senior pictures taken because I was recruited as a model and we couldn’t afford the prints. She couldn’t help with my modest car – that I needed – and we ate like crap because we were on food stamps. She only worked part-time, voluntarily (she always volunteered to be one of the ones laid off in the winter and summer to collect more assistance) but always had her nails done and lattes. When my mom got married my senior year, when I was 17, we moved half an hour away from my school and I had to pay for gas to drive to my school, otherwise I’d have to switch schools in the middle of my senior year. My mom never “was able” to help me with college expenses so I worked all the way through school and took five years to finish my degree, which she disapproved of and complained about. She whined that I didnt drive the three hours to come home enough but didn’t help with gas and I couldn’t take the time off work. Partway through college she had a baby with her new husband. I was 21. Now she is contributing $0 to the wedding but trying to control a lot of factors and making me feel guilty about how much we are spending. Now that she has this new baby and husband she has tons of money to spend on furnishing baby’s two rooms and buying nice pictures and taking her to things. Every time they talk about her college fund or about how they can’t help with the wedding because of the new house they built and baby expenses, I have to bite my tongue. I’m pretty bitter about it. she is so spoiled and while it’s not like I had absolutely nothing, whatever my mom helped me with (which was very little) she made damn sure I felt horrible about asking. It’s better now, but at first I was so, so, so angry that my little sister and I had the same mom but her mom (and overall life) was going to be so much better.
If your son is in high school or college and be old enough to remember and compare the way his sibling is raised, I’d urge you to think really hard about providing as much as you can for the child you have before having another.
Post # 7
@aliavenue: I know what you mean. My mother LOVED my little sister and I was left out in the cold. I mean literally. Anyway, I did all sorts of different things with my kids because I was always in a new stage of life. When kids are real little they don’t really notice what they do or don’t have. What matter is now. Start today and treat them the same. That’s what they’ll both remember.
Post # 8
This is why as soon as my fiancé and I decide to have our first child, we are wanting to have the rest one after the other. Luckily, we will be able to afford them but I also want my future kids to be around the same age so they grow up together and whatever one has, the others have as well. There won’t be a big distinction.
Post # 9
With my first daughter, her dad left when she was 3 and things were tough for a while. She had to go to day care and I worked a lot. We always had clothes that fit and food on the table, but I have guilt about the time I couldnt spend with her. Now I am a stay at home mom with our 2nd daughter while the older one is in school. I do feel guilty that the younger daughter will have a more “ideal” childhood. But I don’t regret having a 2nd child at all.
Post # 10
@aliavenue: Babies don’t know what material things they “have.” They only know how much love they get.
Give them both love and enough “things” to keep them happy, healthy and well-adjusted. You’ll (and most importantly, they will) be fine.
Post # 10
Would you rather have your sister, or the things your sister had?
I’m the oldest in my fam, and if my brother and [constantly hospitalized as a child] sister hadn’t come along, I would have gotten a lot more stuff/attention as a child/YA.
But I’d WAY rather have siblings! Family > $$$.