Kids are time drainers

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
Jean
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Jean »

Has anyone in your neighbourghood kids? A fair arrangement with them could get you 2 days a week of proper work, in exchange of 2 days of unimportant tasks while supervising your kid and another one.

Fiddle
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Fiddle »

Well done on getting the nanny.

catpepper
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by catpepper »

Some updates. We finally got the nanny's entry permit approved. It'll take some time for the agency to fly her over, and then she'll need to be quarantined for 14 days. So hopefully we get a nanny in 3-4 weeks time.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Hristo Botev »

catpepper wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:31 am
Some updates. We finally got the nanny's entry permit approved. It'll take some time for the agency to fly her over, and then she'll need to be quarantined for 14 days. So hopefully we get a nanny in 3-4 weeks time.
Glad to hear! FWIW, my experience with our kids is that the 6-12 months range is tough. I'm not going to say it gets better as they get older, necessarily, but it does (obviously) get different. And that change and development is enough to keep you going. They just exhaust in different ways.

Relatedly, I think I've said elsewhere on this forum that my anecdotal experience during this pandemic lock down has been its the parents who just have one kid who might just have it the worst. The parents are the kids ONLY source of social interaction; I can't even imagine what that would be like, except that its probably most equivalent to back when DW and I only had an 8-month-old, before our son was born.

Hang in there.

catpepper
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by catpepper »

Thanks. I have heard from some parents that having 2 kids is multiple times more exhausting than taking care of 1 kid though.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Hristo Botev »

catpepper wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:14 am
Thanks. I have heard from some parents that having 2 kids is multiple times more exhausting than taking care of 1 kid though.
The more prolific procreators at my church tell me that 3 is the tipping point--2 is exponentially more exhausting than 1; 3 than 2; but then the 4th actually lightens the load, and so on. We've got some church friends that have 7 in the house, ranging in age from 18 to 6, and apart from the fact that they have to pay to feed and educate all those kids, the parents are living on easy street at the moment.

Peanut
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Peanut »

2 kids spaced closely in age, say within 2.5 years, is indeed much more work than 1 child bc then you essentially have two total-demand charges for a few years. Spacing them out more, 3-4 years, makes it much easier. And my old handyman raised 8 kids and confirmed "it gets easy after 3," I guess because then you are impressing the older ones into the service of looking after the younger ones. But depending on how much caregiving they are saddled with, it seems to put some of those kids off having their own later.

mooretrees
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by mooretrees »

Good to hear that change is ahead for you two! Thanks for updating, it is nice to hear how these situations resolve. Hope they work out!

EricaR
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by EricaR »

catpepper wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:12 am
This might end up as a rant post.

I run my own business, while my wife is a professional. Because of the pandemic, she's mostly working at home, while I have always been working from home. My wife is very resistant to the thought of hiring a domestic helper. My kid is now almost 8 months old, and he needs lots of attention, which is difficult for both of us to give. As my time is more flexible due to me being in business for a while now, I'm now the house-husband, which sucks, because I could be working on my business now and growing my income. If i could grind for about 5 more years, I could probably have my early retirement. Because of this, it is now causing me some costly business mistakes and I'm taking some losses and I'm not sure if my business partners are happy with it, especially with my severely lacking involvement right now.

I love my son very much but this sucks. Hopefully my wife can come around on having someone to help take care of the house and our baby.

As much as I love my son, I'd say if you currently don't have kids, you're not missing out too much if you decide not to have one.

What are your experiences?

Update: Managed to convince my wife about having a nanny. We went through an agency, and found one she's willing to give a try. Hope all goes well. :) :)
I and my husband are planning to be childless.. To be honest, both of us aren't financially stable and we have to achieve several life goals. Clearly, there won't be time to raise a baby or take baby care responsibility..Early retirement would be a dream for sure..After reading your personal experience, it's obvious.. I have a doubt in my mind.. is being childless rude or inhumane?

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

EricaR wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:42 am
After reading your personal experience, it's obvious.. I have a doubt in my mind.. is being childless rude or inhumane?
IMHO, not at all. It's inhumane to have kids when you don't truly want them. I know a lot of parents who had kids because of social pressure or simply failed planning, and bam.....it's obvious.

shemp
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by shemp »

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:50 am
It's inhumane to have kids when you don't truly want them. I know a lot of parents who had kids because of social pressure or simply failed planning, and bam.....it's obvious.
Combination of lack of contraception and teenage hormones (vaginal intercourse to orgasm vastly more exciting/pleasurable to teenagers than alternative forms of sex) is nature's way to force reproduction. Then social pressure stops infanticide.

Children have always been something of a burden, but under primitive conditions the burden is light. Teenage mothers expect half their children to die, but they have nothing better to do than care for babies, in between getting pregnant, so care for them they do, in a haphazard way. Perhaps half die, but then another half live. If the mother pops out a new baby every three years (would be every ten months except breast feeding interferes with pregnancy), that's enough to cause population to grow. Babies that survive are typically abused, but no one cares and the children grow up normal. Nature's law is that the strong do as they wish and the weak suffer what they must. Children who are abused under primitive conditions merely develop a desire to grow up strong, or at least become the ally/lieutenant/girlfriend of someone strong, so they can abuse instead of being abused.

Everyone, especially children, nowadays is neurotic because we are divorced from nature. In particular, we aren't regularly exposed to physical danger and early death. Snowflake sensitivity is the final result. Snowflakes soon die out in favor of sturdier types.

Those of us who are not snowflakes, but have intelligence and self-discipline and access to money, will also die out, because children currently reduce happiness to most rich people. By rich, I mean by absolute historical standards, so most people reading this are rich. To the poor, children are a resource: free labor, boys constitute a private army in cases of disputes with neighbors, girls can be sexually abused or pimped out or traded as wives to make alliances with other clans. If poor but living in a rich society, children can be used to get welfare money.

Living selfishly, so as to maximize personal happiness, is the only sane and natural way to exist. If you think children would increase your happiness, have them, otherwise don't. What's truly inhumane, in the sense of not befitting a mentally healthy human, is to make the decision on the basis of what's good for society or the environment or children's happiness, etc. You can be sure your distant ancestors didn't think that way.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Hristo Botev »

Goodness @shemp, relative to your take on procreation, peak oil and civilization decline are downright uplifting.

catpepper
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by catpepper »

@mooretrees
Thanks!

@EricaR
I think before you and your husband plan to go childless, it's important to ask what are your life plans? Would you regret not having a child or are you okay to not have kids as part of your life? In the past, I'd think that a married couple not having kids would be kind of weird, but after having my own kid, I don't really judge anymore.
Kids really do make you happy but they do take up your time, money and energy. I don't regret having my son at all. And seeing him smiling at you every morning when he wakes up, you'll want to love him.
I think that not having money is a good reason to not have more than 1 kid but definitely not a reason to not have 1 if you do want 1.
I might not have a second kid, but I wouldn't not want the son I have now.
Just make sure you and your husband discuss this topic truthfully, and search deep down within yourself if you're okay with not having kids as it's not something you can still want when your opportunity is over.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Hristo Botev »

I'll just add, if only to provide perhaps a slightly more traditional viewpoint, that I'd say the only real regret DW and I share thus far in life (we're both in our early 40s), is that we wish we'd have started having kids sooner, and we wish we'd had more. We were told by parents and society generally that we were supposed to establish our careers before having children; in hindsight that was ridiculous advice (obviously, as applied to us). As for money, my anecdotal experience is that if you and your spouse can afford to feed and house yourselves, you can "afford" a baby. I suspect there's probably no situation where extreme lifestyle inflation is more on display than it is with having kids; I don't think even weddings can hold a candle.

UK-with-kids
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by UK-with-kids »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:26 am
I'll just add, if only to provide perhaps a slightly more traditional viewpoint, that I'd say the only real regret DW and I share thus far in life (we're both in our early 40s), is that we wish we'd have started having kids sooner, and we wish we'd had more. We were told by parents and society generally that we were supposed to establish our careers before having children; in hindsight that was ridiculous advice (obviously, as applied to us). As for money, my anecdotal experience is that if you and your spouse can afford to feed and house yourselves, you can "afford" a baby. I suspect there's probably no situation where extreme lifestyle inflation is more on display than it is with having kids; I don't think even weddings can hold a candle.
I'd second everything you say here. If you don't start having kids until your mid to late 30s then chances are that you'll only have 1 or 2 max (bearing in mind time to conceive with lower fertility, potential miscarriages, time between each one). And you'll also be pushing 60 by the time the youngest turns 18. You're also going to discover the reason young people are pre-programmed to be so good at being awake at all hours ;)

And I definitely agree that having kids doesn't cost much money - in fact, the lifestyle adjustments you make will drastically cut your expenses (less going out at night, less international travel, and so on). What makes having children hard is the "unnatural" set up of a nuclear family which divides the world between people with kids and people without kids - contrary to every other society in history where it was a shared endeavour and they would hang around in gangs looking out for each other and relieving the parents. And of course the financial implications of having to suspend your dedication to a career.

So I do think it's sad if people make their choice based on purely financial reasons, just as I think it's sad that people miss out on anything because they're closed off to the idea due to their current situation and limited experiences. It's also a very personal decision and there shouldn't be any 'shaming' one way or the other. However, it's good to remember that nobody on the planet would be here unless their own parents had decided to have kids :D

Hristo Botev
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Hristo Botev »

Agree with the "unnatural" western, nuclear family thing. And in the US, it seems like the problem is exacerbated by the sheer geographic distance between people. Woman grows up in State 1; Boy grows up in State 2; they meet at college (or in their mid/late 20s) in State 3; and they ultimately have 1-2 kids in State 4. So you've got a situation where you've got a family of 3-4 people stuck on an island with most or all of their "community" of family and friends from past lives spread out over an entire continent. And we've all learned from the COVID lockdown, virtual relationships just aren't the same thing as in person ones.

Then add in the societal pressure (to which I definitely fall victim) to stick your kid in every expensive extra-curricular activity that the kid shows interest in (or that the parent is interested in). And you're hemorrhaging money as you frantically run from soccer field to piano practice to math tutoring, etc.

jacob
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by jacob »

It's clear that many cultures and eras have had very different perspectives on "the little ones". For example, "childhood" wasn't a thing until recently. By extension, "adulthood" wasn't either. Instead children were just "humans-in-training" and treated according to their value (=essentially accumulated training), usually in a society based on scarcity.

We only need to go back a century. Or consider some other continent.

As such the "childhood"-concept can be seen as a modern day framework that is affordable as a middle-class consumer luxury or walmart equivalent. This fits well with the idea that "children cost as much as you can afford". People are moving away from the concept of seeing having children as a substitute for retirement savings although that still exists as a strong tradition in many places.

I think it's normal to measure this cost in dollars only and make decisions accordingly. However, there's also time available/affordable. And also interest or priority. Which can easily make up for paying someone else to provide these qualities! After all, raising children is not all that hard because they mostly do/believe what you tell them. Raising adults is much harder :-P

Since I don't see it expressed all that often, in general, I wish there would be greater overall emphasis on understanding that procreation empathetically results in another human being who is going to live a full life until they die at age 50 or 70 or maybe 90. Whereas most parents (still) either don't think about that at all (unplanned pregnancies) or procreate for selfish reasons because they want to have a baby, experience parenthood, or are simply looking for the default retirement plan that having offspring might provide. However, since the latter is the human norm, I think future humans (being children of parents) should eventually come to forgive/understand such motivations.

In particular, prospective parents should have a good explanation at hand for when they're eventually asked why they "had you" ... because that conversation will most likely happen. And the answer will have repercussions as determined within the framework of the child.

nomadscientist
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by nomadscientist »

Uncontacted tribes commonly separate childhood and adulthood, often by formal ceremonies, though sure the idea that childhood is meant to be useless is recent (like, past 20 years or so) and also localised in particular classes in particular countries. It's not just conspicuous consumption, because elite conspicuous consumption is older than mass wealth, but conspicuous consumption of an unpragmatic, probably dying elite.

Without further comment, I simply observe that jacob and shemp's posts form opposite poles of a spectrum you'd probably only find at all on some board like this. And both utterly confident of their correctness.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Hristo Botev »

jacob wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:36 pm
For example, "childhood" wasn't a thing until recently. By extension, "adulthood" wasn't either.
I'm definitely far from an expert on this, but hasn't pretty much every civilization ever had some sort of coming of age, introduction to adulthood ritual?
jacob wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:36 pm
In particular, prospective parents should have a good explanation at hand for when they're eventually asked why they "had you" ... because that conversation will most likely happen. And the answer will have repercussions as determined within the framework of the child.
I don't personally know a single parent that would have any problem, at all, answering this question.

Some things really aren't economic decisions.

tonyedgecombe
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by tonyedgecombe »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:35 pm
Some things really aren't economic decisions.
I remember when we decided to have children, we made all the calculations and decided we couldn't afford them but had them anyway.

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