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2nd child?

October 19th, 2006 at 10:56 am

As I creep closer to 35 I continue to ponder whether or not to have another child. DH definately wants one. I am on the fence.

First of all, let me say that I was one of 'those' women that was really into my job and I never wanted children. Really, I NEVER had any maternal feelings or desires to have child. My DH knew that when he met me and knew that my feelings were the same when we married. Well, things happen and I got pg. After the initial shock I was thrilled and have never looked back. I love my son with every fiber of my being and wouldn't change a thing.

I am also a different type of mother than I ever thought I'd be. I work full-time but dread every minute of it and would love to stay home. I thought I would happily run off to work and cherish the time to be a grown-up and then go home and cherish my time to be a parent. THere is nothing wrong with that scenario except that I found it doesn't fit for me. The problem is that I'm the bread winner and carry the benefits for our family. I was always secretly proud of the fact that I make significantly more money than DH but now I hate that we are so dependent on my income (and health benefits). What to do?

Well, DH has been on and on lately about having another child. Since we are scheduled to have all debts except our mortgage paid off by next fall we are in pretty good shape financially. But of course another child will change the shape of our financial future dramatically. Yes, I realize that you can't make the 'child decision' solely based on finances. My heart is telling me that I DO want another child, but that I have to be able to be the parent that I want to be.

What does this mean? Well, we absolutely cannot afford to live on DH's salary without major sacrifices. I'm not talking about not eating out or cutting vacations. I'm talking about selling our house. We have a nice house on a lake that is appreciating nicely but we also have a 205K mortgage. We could afford to have another child and keep the house if I continue to work full-time. There is no way to make it work if I don't.

There is also the question of health benefits. We can get them through DH's work but they are about $500/month for family coverage and they aren't even all that great. This is a major problem for us and something we will really have to consider.

SO...my solution is to sell the house and buy a more modest home with a more modest mortgage (or better yet none at all). That will solve most of our problem right there. I could work part-time nights and weekends to fill in the gaps. That way I can be home with the kids during the day and still bring in some $$ and get out. Will it be enough? I don't know.

The problem is convincing DH this is a good solution. He loves to fish and our house is pretty much his dream home. I doubt we'd ever have the opporunity to live somewhere like that again. He also has a good argument that our house could be worth some bucks as property values rise. Right now I think our house is worth around $350K. Do we just turn our backs on any additional money we could make from it? If we hold onto it, we will surely make more $$.

Personally, besides the investment value, I don't care about the house. Yes, it's a nice house and it's lovely to live on the lake but I'd rather have the freedom to stay home with my children. I've told DH that I will not work full-time if we have another child so I know the seed is planted. I guess I will have to wait and see if he's willing to make this sacrifice. He can't wait too long because my clock is a-ticking....

6 Responses to “2nd child?”

  1. miclason Says:

    ...I know what you mean!...I look at my DD and something tells me I want another child... but, in my caes, I'm struggling just to get by, so that may never come to pass (oh, yes, and there is this little issue about finding a father for the new child...one that is actually willing to BE a father, not just a sperm donor!)

  2. campfrugal Says:

    I can say that from my perspective, when I see my three children hanging with each other, watching a movie, playing the piano or playing a board game, I couldn't imagine just having one child. The interaction between children is so amazing. And, they are so funny. It took me almost seven years to have my second child, but, when my son came home from school one day and said "will I have any brothers or sisters", I knew it wasn't abuot me anymore and ended up having two more. Good Luck in your decision, but also keep in mind that, your child may not want to be an only child. Just my thought.

  3. kashi Says:

    It sounds to me like your husband needs to find a better paying job with better benefits if he wants another child, wants to stay in the lake house, and you want to stay home with the kids. Is that a viable option?

  4. Broken Arrow Says:

    This is a very fascinating insight for a guy. Thank you for very much for sharing this.

    First of all, I am very glad that someone you are well-grounded here. Plenty of people want things out there, but they don't want to make the appropriate sacrifices to make it work. I'm glad that you know what's at stake.

    One positive way to look at this is that, in the end, it's a win-win situation. You can have a beautiful house, or you can have another child. Both are wonderful things, and again, I'm very glad that you can see that, sometimes in the real world, we can't always have it both ways either. But whatever you end up with, I believe it will still be a good thing. I suppose it's only a question of what is better from your perspective, and it would appear that the child is.

    Another thought, while I'm at it, is that-- with proper financial management-- you can always buy another nice house later on. This, however, is not necessarily true for children. Not that I suppose you need any outside input on this. Apparently, you already agree on what you really want out of life. It's just a question of whether your husband is ready to pay the piper for it, eh?

  5. monkeymama Says:

    Could you live on his paycheck if he paid no income taxes???? I throw that out because people often oevrlook the tax ramifications of going down to 1 income. If he makes so little it is likely you could go down to having no income tax withhold. There may be another few hundred - thousand a month you overlooked, depending if you take big tax refunds at the end of the year, etc. I have helped a lot of people to see that it isn't as big of a leap as you think once you consider taxes. Plus you will be saving money on work expenses, etc.

    Overall if a more modest house is all you need, sounds like a good choice. Good Luck!

  6. cashqueen Says:

    Thanks for your thoughts everyone! DH LOVES his job (would give up the house before the job). He still couldn't make enough by changing jobs to keep the house so I don't see the point of doing that (he'd literally have to DOUBLE his salary). The mortgage is (by far!) our biggest expense.

    DH hasn't said 'NO' to selling the house, he's just shown reluctance. From a purely financial perspective, it's worth it to keep the house just for the money we will be able to pull out of it someday. But...no amount of money or pretty views will give me back the time that I missed out on with my children. KWIM?

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