Considering the economical crisis...are we being selfish parents?

Annelise - posted on 11/04/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I’m a 23 year old mom with a 4 year old son & I’m constantly being asked when is the next bundle going to come along & how there shouldn’t be such a big age gap between kids.

Truthfully speaking we really don’t want another child for many reasons one of which being the enormous cost factor, apart from short term necessities like formula, diapers & sorts there are the long term commitments like school, extra curricular activities so on & so forth.

The long & short of it is that with the unstable economy I don’t want to be in the position where I have two children & have to limit them due to financial constraints whereas I have my little man & I’m able to afford him every opportunity to pursue any dream his heart desires…are we being selfish parents for not wanting to give our son a little sister & brother?

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I think you are mature enough to realize the financial hardships of raising children and the happiness you have with one child. You are very much like me in terms of simply being happy with one child and knowing the limitations. Raising an only child by choice (or by chance) is not selfish at all. What I would consider to be selfish is to cave into the presures of adding more children to your family becasue society thinks it's best.

Traci - posted on 11/05/2009

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I think its up to your and your partner how many kids you want to have, and it's really no one else's business. You're the one who's ultimately responsible for the kids, so you do what you think is right. Just be sure you won't have regrets later on in life and you'll do fine.

Esther - posted on 11/05/2009

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Annelise - My husband and I are thinking the exact same thing and therefore we too are sticking with only one. There are other reasons too, not just financial, but the financial reason is a VERY big one for us. My husband and I both have a younger brother and because both of them have serious psychological issues, neither one of us has a close relationship with them and growing up our brothers took up a lot of our parents time & attention. We both love our brothers and grew up just fine, but in our experience, having a sibling doesn't necessarily guarantee family bliss either. I'm sure there will be challenges in raising an only child, but I'm more comfortable facing those than the challenges of having a second one. So we reached the same conclusion you did.

?? - posted on 11/04/2009

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I think having children is selfish, period. Whether it's 1 or 6 or 19 like the Duggars. I don't think it's a bad selfish though, there is a limit though before it does become selfish and/or irresponsible. I think that as long as you can provide for your children to your own expectations, then it's no one's business but your own how many you have.



By expectations, I mean regarding your comment;

"I’m able to afford him every opportunity to pursue any dream his heart desires."



I have 3 full siblings and 2 half siblings, and my parents were always ready willing and able to afford us every opportunity that we wanted to pursue. But we also learned that we had to earn 'frivilous' things in order to be able to afford the 'bigger picture.' We all had chores, an allowance, and our parents had a savings for each of us. We didn't get everything we wanted, we earned everything we wanted... and in turn they were able to afford to give us every opportunity that we wanted when we were adults.



I travelled, my brother became a doctor, my sister is a mother and my youngest sister is a hockey fanatic that is pursuing an incredible talent in photography... our hearts desires were fulfilled on many levels by our parents regardless of how many of us there were... and we were given many life skills, saving, earning, learning, etc etc etc that many of our single children or even 2 children families never learned and are still whining and begging thier parents for frivilous crap while their 'dreams and desires' continue to be a distant dream...



Sorry, if I went off track there........ the way I see it is, it doesn't matter the economic status... having children is selfish, having children and being responsible about it is vital to your childrens upbringing....... single child or not... that isn't really relevant as long as you are true to yourself and your parenting and are truly giving your child everything they need to be successful in life, alongside the monetary value.

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Charlie - posted on 11/05/2009

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Like i have said before to you in Young mums , i find your decision to be incredibly selfless and responsible .

Many mums dont think AT ALL about their decision to have kids and the repercussions weather its financially, environmentally , mentally and physically they just continue to have more and more for selfish reasons others because they have the ways and means to provide for more without sacrificing the happiness of others.

You are doing what is best for your family and that's what makes you a wonderful mother , you are selfless and smart enough to think about the needs of others not just your desire to have a child .
It shows great maturity that you can think beyond and see into the bigger picture good for you !

Just want to add that doesn't mean that everyone should have just one child , each family situation is different to the next some can have 2, 3 , 4 children and some people i'd hate to say shouldn't be having any at all , each to their own .

Jenny - posted on 11/05/2009

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I think it is very admirable to only bring the amount of children into the world that you can support emotionally, finanicially and physically. I got fixed after two because we are at capacity. Anyone who tells you different is welcome to contribute to supporting them for you lol.

Amie - posted on 11/05/2009

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Everyone has an opinion. Whether you have one child or more is ultimately up to you and your husband. No one can answer the question you put forth but yourself. You know your situation the best and you know what you can handle.

It is not just money that puts a strain. Children take a lot of time and dedication. Some people can not cope with multiple children, some can not cope with only one though either.

Equating parenting with being selfish though is a far stretch of the mind. Being selfish implies you are only thinking of yourself. I have 4 children and the only thing "selfish" about my parenting is that I wanted them. I didn't have them for any other reason than I wanted to be a parent. I don't think any parent has a child, barring unexpected pregnancy, for any other reason.

However I would not offer up excuses as to why you only have one child. A simple, We only want one so that is all we're having, does suffice and people will eventually get the picture and leave it alone. My SIL has chosen never to have children, she prefers her career and spoiling all the nieces and nephews. That is fine, that is her and her husband's choice. Family and friends have come to accept that.

Don't fret over what others think or say. As I stated, everyone has an opinion. What matters most when it comes to having a child (or more children) is your own opinion. You are the one who will be there every day to raise the child, they won't.

Jodi - posted on 11/04/2009

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I believe how many children you have is a personal decision, and I don't think anyone should judge whether you are selfish or not for the decision that you make, providing that you can adequately provide for the children you have, both financially and emotionally.



I'm 40, and I still get asked if I'm having more. No thank you, giving birth at 36 to my youngest was quite enough!!! And is it selfish, for me to say I want my kids grown up and out of college at some time during my lifetime and before I get too old so I can also enjoy retirement? Of course it is - but you know what? As long as you are selfish in a responsible way, who's business is it anyway?

Maleasha - posted on 11/04/2009

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If it's what you want, then you need to do what is best for your family. We have two kids and I still have people asking us why we decided to only have 2 kids. We knew as a family, that we could support that. Anymore than 2, and we might not be able to give our kids what they need and want.



I grew up in a family where we were lucky if we got the things we needed. I decided at a young age that I would probably only have one or two kids, that way I could give them things that I didn't get when I was young. I want my kids to have more opportunities than I got.

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