Kids are time drainers

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
UK-with-kids
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Location: Oxbridge, UK

Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by UK-with-kids »

jacob wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:36 pm
After all, raising children is not all that hard because they mostly do/believe what you tell them
:lol: I must be doing something wrong!

chenda
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by chenda »

Most developed countries are experiencing plummeting birth rates, sometimes below replacement levels, especially amongst the educated middle classes. Which is creating huge economic problems. So really having as many children as possible could be seen as a patriotic act which the government should be encouraging as much as possible. I recall reading some German states recently tried to provide cash incentives to families to encourage baby making.

Singapore actually established a government dating agency called the Social Development Development, exclusively for graduates to help women find a graduate man to marry. Its sounds like an episode of Black Mirror but it's totally real. Its had mixed success and some Singaporeans were annoyed their taxes were subsidising holidays and social events for highly paid graduates. It's quite a cute idea in some ways, and a vaguely tyrannical idea in others.

From wikipedia:
A census conducted in 1980 revealed that a large number of highly educated women were still unmarried, despite being above 40 years of age. It was also noted that there was an inverse relationship between a person's educational level and the number of children he/she had.[4] The SDU was thus formed in January 1984 to provide opportunities for single men and women to interact socially.

Since it was first established, SDU's target group was limited to university graduates. The government justified this elitist approach by announcing that they had identified graduates—and in particular the females among them—as a group which required assistance in terms of finding lifelong partners. According to the government, non-graduates did not seem to have any difficulty in finding partners.[6] .

Prior to the founding of the SDU, a Great Marriage Debate had been raging. During a speech made at the National Day rally in 1983, then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew alleged that the phenomenon of graduates remaining single would result in a projected loss of about 400 talented people per year...he had promised that tough measures would be taken by the government to curb the problem.
I have to say I've never needed a government agency to find a date, despite been a female graduate. Although I don't have children so maybe they have a point.

UK-with-kids
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by UK-with-kids »

Victor Orban in Hungary has implemented a policy of exempting women from income tax for life if they have 4 or more children. Hopefully there is a sliding scale as that's a lot to ask.

Yes, developed countries have seen a plummeting birth rate. Only the very rich and very poor feel they can afford to have 2 or more children. And adolescence stretches up to about the age of 25-30, leaving little time for it to actually happen.

However, the elephant in the room is immigration. Saying that developed countries now have a low birth rate is a bit like saying developed countries now have very low carbon emissions, whereas the reality is that the job has been outsourced to somewhere cheaper. Back to the subject of this thread - kids are time drainers, and by extension (since time is money) too expensive for many people to afford.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Hristo Botev »

UK-with-kids wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:16 am
Yes, developed countries have seen a plummeting birth rate. Only the very rich and very poor feel they can afford to have 2 or more children. And adolescence stretches up to about the age of 25-30, leaving little time for it to actually happen.
Am I being too optimistic in thinking, just maybe, we're starting to see the cracks of the meritocracy bubble, with middle-class and even upper middle-class parents in the developed world starting to realize that the fancy university pedigree they've been so desperately pushing their kids towards for so long--living in homes they can't afford to be in the "good" school districts, and spending money and time they don't have to get their kids to the tutors, academy sports leagues, enrichment afterschool activites, etc.--just has a really crappy ROI? Perhaps that's just me transferring my own realizations of late to the wider society, but let's be honest, I'm not exactly someone who is in the know. But the more we hear folks like Musk et al. (see, e.g., https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/pol ... 263074001/) talk about how little value they put in college degrees, I have to think (hope) that this blind faith in higher education is starting to crumble; meaning, perhaps, millennial and gen z parents won't be as obsessed with the "affordability" of procreation as my own Gen Z peers.

And to pivot a bit (or a lot), I know there are a lot of folks who, unlike me, equate selfishness with procreation, and I sort of understand the environmental arguments. But just at a fundamental level, any worldview that takes seriously overpopulation theory, and that thinks the government should do something about it, scares the absolute s*#@ out of me.

UK-with-kids
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by UK-with-kids »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:48 am
Am I being too optimistic in thinking, just maybe, we're starting to see the cracks of the meritocracy bubble, with middle-class and even upper middle-class parents in the developed world starting to realize that the fancy university pedigree they've been so desperately pushing their kids towards for so long--living in homes they can't afford to be in the "good" school districts, and spending money and time they don't have to get their kids to the tutors, academy sports leagues, enrichment afterschool activites, etc.--just has a really crappy ROI?
These conversations are certainly happening in my social circle, even amongst the kinds of people I would never expect to start thinking that way. And I'm also seeing the realisation (too late) in 20 somethings doing entry level jobs who have a crappy degree and a big pile of debt. If and when they have kids of their own it's hard to see how they won't pass that worldview down. It's really just the inevitable consequence of a decision in the UK around 20 years ago to turn vocational colleges into "universities" teaching crazy subjects like media studies and to get 50% of all 18 year olds to get educated to degree (bachelor) level. In order to pay for this we saw student grants abolished and tuition fees charged where university had previously been free to attend.
Hristo Botev wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:48 am
And to pivot a bit (or a lot), I know there are a lot of folks who, unlike me, equate selfishness with procreation, and I sort of understand the environmental arguments. But just at a fundamental level, any worldview that takes seriously overpopulation theory, and that thinks the government should do something about it, scares the absolute s*#@ out of me.
It certainly used to be more fashionable to look at ways of reducing world population, but that's become more controversial now and perhaps that ship has sailed. The focus has moved much more towards unequal use of resources rather than the simple fact of there being too many people. And you see solutions like veganism rather than depopulation being lauded as the best way to feed the world.

nomadscientist
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by nomadscientist »

UK-with-kids wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:16 am
Yes, developed countries have seen a plummeting birth rate. Only the very rich and very poor feel they can afford to have 2 or more children. And adolescence stretches up to about the age of 25-30, leaving little time for it to actually happen.
This is a very real consideration for me. I have no interest in young children, but would like to have adult children I can interact with or at least follow their progress from a distance. Having six children 18-25 would be interesting. I would only be 45 when the youngest is an adult. The idea of having one child at age 38 is much less interesting. Being at odds with the current social preference reduces the return on the whole thing, making the probability of any children much less lower.
Yes, developed countries have seen a plummeting birth rate. Only the very rich and very poor feel they can afford to have 2 or more children. And adolescence stretches up to about the age of 25-30, leaving little time for it to actually happen.
If you're ERE and want many kids in the UK, why not just go on welfare by choice? It covers ERE level expenses.

chenda
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by chenda »

UK-with-kids wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:16 am
However, the elephant in the room is immigration.
Well that's true, although of course the low birth rate and ageing population is driving demand for migrate workers. And it becomes a bit 'blood and soil' esque encouraging procreation.

And its social taboo and financially costly for middle class girls to have children young and/or have lots of them, so they rarely do. Whereas the working class girl has little opportunity cost in career advancement or social stigma, indeed her social status as a young mum might rise. So if we see a shrinking middle class, or just a value shift away from mass higher education and the like we might see a modest increase in birth rate.

Aspirant
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Aspirant »

Catpepper: Thank you for this thread. I have been thinking about this stuff for the last 5 years. I had the same complaints during covid restrictions about getting uninterrupted brain time.

Everyone said the stuff better than I could have, but a few points.

Even with a nanny, I would negotiate less working hours for both parents. Shouldn't be difficult with a 8 monts old in the house. Now it's the time to fully experience the "joys of parenthood" (or something).

Also do take time for your relationship. It doesn't seem high priority now, but imagine next 17 years stuck with a disfunctional relationship. I am stuck in a couples therapy now for not taking regular date nights with DW. Dating would have been more fun (and cheaper).

Hristo Botev
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Hristo Botev »

Aspirant wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:56 pm
Also do take time for your relationship. It doesn't seem high priority now, but imagine next 17 years stuck with a disfunctional relationship. I am stuck in a couples therapy now for not taking regular date nights with DW. Dating would have been more fun (and cheaper).
Golden advice.

DW and I make it a point to remind ourselves, and our kids, that as levels of relationship priority our concerned, spouse trumps kid. Kids benefit when their parents make each other their primary priority.

Frita
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Frita »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:25 pm
Golden advice.

DW and I make it a point to remind ourselves, and our kids, that as levels of relationship priority our concerned, spouse trumps kid. Kids benefit when their parents make each other their primary priority.
One of my favorite professors taught a marriage and family course in the sociology department. I took the extra elective for no reason because he was simply dynamic, the type of guy you know you need to learn from. He had a huge Morman family, literally 12 kids. He said the best thing for kids is the parental bond. This is so true. Do they trust and respect each other? How are differences resolved? Parenting is hard work. If one can’t adult and work as a marriage team, the kids suffer.

Biscuits and Gravy
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Biscuits and Gravy »

To OP's time-draining statement: I've got two kids under two (20 months apart--what was I thinking?), and initially it did feel like the kids took up every free second of my life. However, somewhere along the way I made the mental switch from "man, these babies are an endless time and energy suck" to "man, I really appreciate and intentionally live the moments I get to myself" and that switch has made things easier. Pre-kids, I wasted my downtime on normal American things (Netflix, drinking, Fight Club-ing). Post-kids, I savor and suck the marrow out of every moment I get to myself. It's weird, but now that I have very little time to myself, I make more time for myself and enjoy that time more.

As to the taking time for your relationship advice, I'd just point out that, in my experience at least, self-care is probably paramount to partnership-care at this early stage. New parents don't make enough time for themselves and feel so much pressure to give and give and give. But everyone, spouse and baby, benefits when you're well adjusted.

P.S. Babies are the absolute worst, but it gets so much better (sometimes even fun!) at around 18 months. Hang in there.

enigmaT120
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by enigmaT120 »

18 months they're falling around and sound like they're talking... They can consent and withhold consent. They are finally interesting. I have two beloved friends who have twins who will be two in December and.

I never wanted kids. I still don't, now that it's way too late. But I love those two. I still love their parents more.

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