It's a conversation I have most weeks β if not most days. This time, it happens when my 2-year-old daughter and I are buying milk at the supermarket. The cashiers fawn over her pink cheeks and applaud when she twirls for them, and then I endure the usual dialogue.
"Another one coming soon?"
"Nope β it might be just this one."
"You'll have more. You'll see."
"At the moment, I'm not planning on it."
"You wouldn't do that to your child. You'll see."
I offer no retort, but if I did, I'd start by asking these young minimum-wage earners to consider the following: the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the average child in the U.S. costs his or her parents about $286,050 β before college. Those costs have actually risen during the recession. The milk I'm buying adds up to $50 a month, and we're pushing toilet training just to drop the cost of diapers β about $100 a month β from our monthly budget. It's a marvel to me these days that anyone can manage a second kid β forget about a third.
I highly recommend reading the WHOLE article (even if it is a bit lengthy). Because while money is one reason discussed, it's not the only reason by far. The article also goes into studies on the effects it has on the children and helps to clarify for those that won't leave us 'parents of one' alone just how good it can actually be to be a single!
Anyone else proud to be a mommy of ONE?! (with no plans or desire to have another)
When it comes to the money issue, I'd like to point out that the numbers given are an average based on MANY different things. What many people tend to forget to account for are things like an increase in utilities, rent due to needing more space, gas costs for taking them places (which is up a ridiculous amount right now), medical costs, etc. Also, those averages are typically based on the assumption that each child will participate in at least one sport or artistic endeavor. Also, the cost of education, even public school incurs costs. Yes, it's possible to spend far less (I know, couponing is all the rage these days), but it's still money that many simply do not have, especially in today's economy. The second child is often cheaper because of hand-me downs, but those tend to last only so long AND often doesn't work well if you have different sexes. Also some things like car seats have life spans based on safety. That said, this article is in defense of the one child home, it's is not an offense against multiple child homes. Remember where the thought is coming from.
Cost of living also varries from state to state. While you may spend only $3 on a gallon of milk in WA, in HI they're spending nearly $8 (making an average between the two $5.50, see how that works?). And I know this personally because I was just over there in Feb. SO, telling me what YOU spend personally does not make your argument nor break that of the articles, it simply shows that some of you are a) living in a place with a lower cost of living and b) likely a little more frugal and smarter shoppers. This is not the only article containing numbers on the subject, there are many more, and for the most part, they don't vary that dramatically.