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Old 06-01-2012, 01:44 PM   #1
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How much harder/more expensive is it?

So dh and I have two girls, ages 4 and 6. We've wanted to have anywhere from 4-6 kids total ( well I'd have 8 if we could afford it) but we havent been able to get pg so we can't have any mor bio kids. We have been trying to adopt and are being considered for a sibling group of 3 ages 5,3 and 2 so we'd end up with a 6,5,4,3,2, 3 girls 2 boys. I've always wanted a big family but getting all at once scares me. I wonder if I will be able to give everyone the time/ attention they need. We would need. A bigger car for sure and then additional costs for kids such as food, extracurriculars, birth days, etc. How do those of you with large families afford it all? We are a 2 income family and I think we are pretty frugal and I think we could make it all work, but I don't want the kids to suffer because of money kwim? Sorry this is a bit rambling, just looking for advice from anyone who has btdt.

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Old 06-01-2012, 11:03 PM   #2
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Re: How much harder/more expensive is it?

We did not get our kiddos all at once, but the last three were sudden additions. By far the addition of the 3rd was the most expensive because that did push us to buy a minivan (I couldn't deal with all 3 in my Corolla). We looked at the 5 year costs of various used vans and ended up with a loaded Sienna.

We have 4 kiddos currently. YDD has a monthly subsidy (I am assuming with getting a sib group of 3 you will have a subsidy) and it covers her additional costs and WIC is an added benefit.

We do not spend a great deal on clothing or gifts. I spend about $250/month on clothes for everyone. I buy nice new shoes. Clothes are usually used, I buy Hanna or Gap that can go through multiple kids. PJs are gn, so they can go through them all. Dh does business casual when he is working and I have usually found good deals at Costco. I use an Amazon credit card and I use the credit for gifts. The kids will often get used gifts (many times I can find all parts in the box for toys) or what I can get on Amazon.

I can't speak of the time especially since both of you are working. However, you can decide that you will do certain things to make time. About every other month the kids go on dates with me or dh. We have family night once a week. Boys and girls get tucked in separately with stories and songs.

Even with a large family you can still do the things that you feel are important, you may just do them differently. We like to cycle, so we figured out a way to do it as a family. It is not conventional and we get a lot of chuckles, but it works (so does the 7 suitcase train that dh will pull through an airport).

YDD was the only one that came from another foster home and not a newborn, so I spent 2 weeks with her. No one held her and I limited visitors. I stopped going to the gym, so she wasn't in the child care center.
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:22 PM   #3
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Re: How much harder/more expensive is it?

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Originally Posted by britsuz90 View Post
We did not get our kiddos all at once, but the last three were sudden additions. By far the addition of the 3rd was the most expensive because that did push us to buy a minivan (I couldn't deal with all 3 in my Corolla). We looked at the 5 year costs of various used vans and ended up with a loaded Sienna.

We have 4 kiddos currently. YDD has a monthly subsidy (I am assuming with getting a sib group of 3 you will have a subsidy) and it covers her additional costs and WIC is an added benefit.

We do not spend a great deal on clothing or gifts. I spend about $250/month on clothes for everyone. I buy nice new shoes. Clothes are usually used, I buy Hanna or Gap that can go through multiple kids. PJs are gn, so they can go through them all. Dh does business casual when he is working and I have usually found good deals at Costco. I use an Amazon credit card and I use
the credit for gifts. The kids will often get used gifts (many times I can find all parts in the box for toys) or what I can get on Amazon.

I can't speak of the time especially since both of you are working. However, you can decide that you will do certain things to make time. About every other month the kids go on dates with me or dh. We have family night once a week. Boys and girls get tucked in separately with stories and songs.

Even with a large family you can still do the things that you feel are important, you may just do them differently. We like to cycle, so we figured out a way to do it as a family. It is not conventional and we get a lot of chuckles, but it works (so does the 7 suitcase train that dh will pull through an airport)

YDD was the only one that came from another foster home and not a newborn, so I spent 2 weeks with her. No one held her and I limited visitors. I stopped going to the gym, so she wasn't in the child care center.
Thank you for the ideas! I know it won't be easy if we get the kids but I do thik it will be worth the sacrifices. I'm sure it will be a huge adjustment though. We think we can get our current car paid off witin about 6-9 months so we wouldn't have 2 car payments for long ( my car is paid off and we would trade it in)

Btw I see that you are lds, so am I!
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:50 AM   #4
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Re: How much harder/more expensive is it?

I'm so excited for you Amy! As you know, we don't have a big family yet, but both came from big families. I never felt like we were doing without things, but we definitely were not getting the same sort of things that our friends from small families were.

No trips to Disney, or cable tv, or expensive brand name clothes, but we were fed, clothed and happy. We were still able to participate in ballet and piano lessons and active in 4-H and other nearly free activities. I never felt like we were suffering because we had 5 kids in our family.

I think you said it best, it will definitely be an adjustment, especially to get all 3 at once, but so worth it!

As for spending time, my husband is one of ten and never once has said he felt he didn't get enough time with his parents. They did lots of things together as a family dinner and praying together every night, and then very often playing cards together. And then his parents work very hard at their individual relationships with the kids too, easy things like fishing in the back yard with dad, or a movie night with mom. All 10 of them have great relationships with their parents.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:13 PM   #5
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Re: How much harder/more expensive is it?

Hello. I am hoping/praying you would be able to stay at home if you adopt these children since any daycare at all would cost a fortune for this many.

We have 5 children (stepson 14, son 6, twin sons 4, and 3 week old daughter). My biggest advice would be simplify, get your bills as low as you can. My husband and I have done the nicer house better vehicles, both of us working full-time with the 4 kids, looking back I don't know how we did it and I will never do it again. Now we have an Expedition that seats 8 we paid for in cash as the family vehicle. We are currently living in a townhouse to save money, I would prefer something better, but financially it makes the most sense for now. My husband is a full-time student and I am on maternity leave but had been working 3 days a week. After my leave I am either going to quit or just work 1 day a week. My husband does have a great scholarship, so I know this is not an option for all families, but cutting bills so that one or both parents can be home more makes life better for kids and we both find we are less stressed about the care of having a large family.

On google calendars I like to make a calendar with all the free to low cost activities going on in my area. It just helps having fun ideas for inexpensive things to do and planning in advance. In our area lots of parks have summer free lunch programs and one also has a free art program, plus there are concerts in the park. If you have an android phone there is an app to synch it.

I love having so many children because anything can be fun. I like to buy mark-down after holiday craft/game/activities. So in the summer we might have an easter egg hunt or scavenger hunt. I keep a prize container with small little toys that I use as incentives for cleaning or good behavior when we go some where.

I have a group of moms where we get together for play dates and one of the moms is big on science activities so we try to do things that are educational. One of the mom's likes geo caching so we have also done that.

It sounds like you came from a big family so you know but I honestly believe children in bigger families gain so much by having each other that in some ways their parents role isn't as important as it is in a 1-2 child family. My kids have a built in play group and it is party time all the time, they don't really know what it is to be bored.

Having individual dates as someone else mentioned is a great idea. Dh takes one child a week for a daddy date to go get ice cream. I try to rotate taking kids individually too but usually my dates are running errands with mommy.

You may or may not have a good one in your area but sometimes a gym membership where you can drop kids off is a nice way to get a break. Where I live there is a really nice gym with a huge kid place to play. The gym has a deal that if you volunteer at the kid place you get a free membership, so that is what I do. I'll be honest there are days I drop kids off to play and just find a quiet place to go read a book in the gym lobby.

I can't imagine going from 2 to 5 kids overnight, but make sure you and your husband still make time for each other. My motto is expect chaos and be surprised if things go smoothly.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:23 PM   #6
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Re: How much harder/more expensive is it?

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Originally Posted by SaraElise View Post
I'm so excited for you Amy! As you know, we don't have a big family yet, but both came from big families. I never felt like we were doing without things, but we definitely were not getting the same sort of things that our friends from small families were.

No trips to Disney, or cable tv, or expensive brand name clothes, but we were fed, clothed and happy. We were still able to participate in ballet and piano lessons and active in 4-H and other nearly free activities. I never felt like we were suffering because we had 5 kids in our family.

I think you said it best, it will definitely be an adjustment, especially to get all 3 at once, but so worth it!

As for spending time, my husband is one of ten and never once has said he felt he didn't get enough time with his parents. They did lots of things together as a family dinner and praying together every night, and then very often
playing cards together. And then his parents work very hard at their individual relationships with the kids too, easy things like fishing in the back yard with dad, or a movie night with mom. All 10 of them have great relationships with their parents.
Thanks Sara! I'm cautiously excited, don't know if we will get them or not but we are both hoping we do. It's good tomhear your perspective, my family had 4 kids growing up but they were financially very well off, we do fine but not a high income.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilac0226 View Post
Hello. I am hoping/praying you would be able to stay at home if you adopt these children since any daycare at all would cost a fortune for this many.

We have 5 children (stepson 14, son 6, twin sons 4, and 3 week old daughter). My biggest advice would be simplify, get your bills as low as you can. My husband and I have done the nicer house better vehicles, both of us working full-time with the 4 kids, looking back I don't know how we did it and I will never do it again. Now we have an Expedition that seats 8 we paid for in cash as the family vehicle. We are currently living in a townhouse to save money, I would prefer something better, but financially it makes the most sense for now. My husband is a full-time student and I am on maternity leave but had
been working 3 days a week. After my leave I am either going to quit or just work 1 day a week. My husband does have a great scholarship, so I know this is not an option for all families, but cutting bills so that one or both parents can be home more makes life better for kids and we both find we are less stressed about the care of having a large family.

On google calendars I like to make a calendar with all the free to low cost activities going on in my area. It just helps having fun ideas for inexpensive things to do and planning in advance. In our area lots of parks have summer free lunch programs and one also has a free art program, plus there are concerts in the park. If you have an android phone there is an app to synch it.

I love having so many children because anything can be fun. I like to buy
mark-down after holiday craft/game/activities. So in the summer we might have an easter egg hunt or scavenger hunt. I keep a prize container with small little toys that I use as incentives for cleaning or good behavior when we go some where.

I have a group of moms where we get together for play dates and one of the moms is big on science activities so we try to do things that are educational. One of the mom's likes geo caching so we have also done that.

It sounds like you came from a big family so you know but I honestly believe children in bigger families gain so much by having each other that in some ways their parents role isn't as important as it is in a 1-2 child family. My kids have a built in play group and it is party time all the time, they don't really know what it is to be bored.

Having individual dates as someone else mentioned is a great idea. Dh takes one child a week for a daddy date to go get ice cream. I try to rotate taking kids individually too but usually my dates are running errands with mommy.

You may or may not have a good one in your area but sometimes a gym
membership where you can drop kids off is a nice way to get a break. Where I live there is a really nice gym with a huge kid place to play. The gym has a deal that if you volunteer at the kid place you get a free membership, so that is what I do. I'll be honest there are days I drop kids off to play and just find a quiet place to go read a book in the gym lobby.

I can't imagine going from 2 to 5 kids overnight, but make sure you and your husband still make time for each other. My motto is expect chaos and be surprised if things go smoothly.
Sadly I cant quit working though hopefully soon I can work part time. I'm a teacher so I'm off summers and my 6 YO and the 5 YO would be in full day school and then my 4 YO isin half day preschool and the 3 YO will go to either head start or preschool with dd so itmwoukd be half day daycare for both of them and full daycare for the 2 YO, but only for 1 year until he goes to preschool. So it's not much different than 2 years ago when my kids were both in daycare. I'm hoping we'd get enough of a subsidy to help out with daycare a bit.

Those are all great ideas, thank you!

I am feeling much better and feeling like this is the right thing for us. I think having a big family, however it happens for us, will be worth all the sacrifices.
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:13 AM   #7
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Re: How much harder/more expensive is it?

The way we can afford it, is I'm a SAHM, so I know you can't do that right now. Even when I'm done with school (Nursing), I will try to get overnight shift so I'll be gone during the night 2x a week, and DH works his day job, so no daycare needed!

I feel when it comes to parenting, you can make it as pricey as you want! We do Disney (not as often as I'd like) and eat out sometimes! We probably won't once they get off the kids menus!
We shop clearance, hand me down, thrift stores. Only buy food I KNOW they will eat.

The best thing you can give them is quality time! I do 5 minutes with them ALONE daily! I do whatever they want to do. They LOVE it! I'm very close with my kids!

Good Luck with your growing family!
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:14 PM   #8
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Re: How much harder/more expensive is it?

What is your work situation? I would imagine that childcare for that many kids at those ages would be an issue to consider. Even the school agers may need before/after school care option plus what about school breaks?

I think that instantly doubling the size of your family would be hard for anyone to imagine that has not been there. For us, it is about money but it is more about time and other resources (like energy, enthusiasm, patience, etc). Sometimes, a group of kids is actually easier than fewer because they keep each other busy....but that is assuming that they get along well.

I wish you the best of luck! Its going to be a lot of hard work but bless you for being willing to keep some siblings together.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:48 PM   #9
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Re: How much harder/more expensive is it?

That will be tough having to work but hopefully at some point you will be able to go part-time. And at least as a teacher you have summers and the holidays off. Definitely look in to the difference in tax brackets and if you qualify for any kind of assistance by becoming a larger family. A couple years ago when we took the leap from 2 incomes to 1 we found the difference in income was really going to be less than we thought. Between not having to spend money on gas, clothes for work, day care and that we ate out less, really the cost of working took up about 1/3 of the income. Plus instead of paying thousands on our taxes we instead got about 5,000 back. We also were able to qualify for WIC, health insurance for our kids and food stamps. At first my husband didn't work, now I work part-time and he goes to school.

I hope that if you get approved the transition from 2-5 kids goes smoothly. I was worried with having another child and my kids love their little sister and can't wait for her to share a room with them.

Kids at younger ages are usually pretty resilient, so I'm sure they will all just be excited to have more playmates. Take care and good luck.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:10 PM   #10
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