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  #41  
Old 09-09-2019, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by CuriousGeorge View Post
Once you are outnumbered, there's not much difference adding one more.
There's a huge difference if you're paying for daycare. We pay more for child care than we pay for our mortgage and groceries combined.

At a certain point you need to go from a normal car to one with a third row, which can be a big expense.

I'm in awe over how much food we go through. A lot of my cooking style has had to change, since one skillet or frying pan full of food is no longer enough. We had to buy a second refrigerator to keep in the basement (in addition to the freezer) because we couldn't fit the milk and produce for a week in the normal fridge.

Our water bill went from barely a blip in our budget to being larger than our internet bill.

The dirty dishes, the laundry, the trash and recycling that needs dealt with ... all increase proportionally, there's no real economy of scale there. Ideally the older kids start helping out at some point, but in my experience getting them to do their chores is about as much effort as going them myself.

There is some savings by holding on to clothes to hand down to the next kid, but my kids more often than not destroy their clothes so that they aren't in good enough condition to save. Also it's common for the clothes of a certain size to be the wrong season. Hand me downs fill in some chunks of their wardrobe but never all of it!

If the kids do activities, they get super expensive very quickly and any "sibling discounts" are pretty minimal. And the logistics of handling those activities get complicated fast - think Traveling Salesman problem. There are many way to deal with this, but it does limit your options.

And finally.... I absolutely could not handle my current responsibilities if I were to get pregnant again. It would be 9 months of hell for everyone.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:15 AM
wally world wally world is offline
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Today is the day that I no longer have five teenagers. My oldest turned 20 today (unfortunately, we were 12 hours away from having his birthday be 9/9/99 which would have been kind of cool).

So, yes, we had five kids and the oldest wasn’t in kindergarten yet when a set of twins arrived. They are now 20,18,16,14,14. Boy boy girl girl girl.

Wife was/is a SAHM, so we never had child care issues thankfully. When our kids were young, they were all pretty good in terms of going to bed/sleeping pretty well. We were a little lax with the twins letting them sleep in our bed when they came in in the middle of the night. We were just too tired to put them back. My wife was pretty good about keeping them on a schedule until the oldest got to be about 10 or 11. Then they sort of went to bed when they wanted.

We are a big sports family. Our kids have done pretty much everything. Baseball. Softball. Basketball. Soccer. Volleyball. For a while gymnastics. When my twins were 8, we had baseball,softball, and soccer tournaments the same weekend with all 5 kids in action. I think my record for a 48 hour period was 17 (or was it 19?) games. We had to rely on other parents at various times to watch our kids during times like this. I have coached all of my kids in something at one point or another. Glad that is over.

Through their teenage years so far, the boys have been harder to deal with than the girls. Just more laziness. Getting out of bed etc. They are both in college now and mornings are much easier for my wife.

I don’t subscribe to that zone vs man-to-man stuff. It’s stupid. Watching kids isn’t hard. It’s hard only because it is constant. And 7 days a week. You never get a break. That’s why it is hard.

Our biggest problem was that our oldest son was a dick to his siblings. Intimidated them. Overpowered them. Then the younger 4 never wanted him around because it always turned into a fight. Of course, then oldest would complain that they didn’t play with him. Too immature to figure out that being a dick meant being excluded. And I was pretty hard on him at times mostly out of protecting the other ones. It wasn’t like he was just wailing on them, but whenever he got involved out of our eyesight, someone was running to us in tears within 5 minutes. Obviously, they grow out of that and now they all get along really well.

Parenting is a lot of just what you are used to. If you have 0 kids and go to 1 it takes time to learn. Same going from 1 to 2. Or 3 to 5. After a short time, you just develop a new normal. With the boys off to college now, my wife has already remarked how she feels like she isn’t needed anymore. And we still have 3 kids at home. I am ecstatic. Things have slowed down a bit. But as crazy as it has been at times, she misses parts of it.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:49 PM
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I donít subscribe to that zone vs man-to-man stuff. Itís stupid. Watching kids isnít hard. Itís hard only because it is constant. And 7 days a week. You never get a break. Thatís why it is hard.
I either 100% agree and 100% disagree with this statement, I can't decide!

It really depends on what you are trying to accomplish - just let them play while you do your own thing within age-appropriate proximity? Not hard. Although there are limits to what "your own thing" can be depending on age of kids (I have a 14 month old, I have to follow him around the house. But this phase is short.)


Trying to get them all to put on shoes and weather-appropriate clothing to leave the house and get to a place at a particular time? All buckled into their car seats correctly and bringing all the stuff they should have with them? SO HARD!!!!!

But yes, that "zone vs man to man" thing has never really resonated with me, it all depends on what's going on.
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