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Should you have kids?

I saw this article about the decline in babies on the Washington Post website, to which I have a subscription and wrote this comment:

A topic close to my heart. We loved having our son and daughter 30 years ago. Kids forced us to cut back a little on rock climbing, but we still found ways to get out. Kids love to play outside! My wife did licensed home daycare during the 9 years they were young and not in school. Her daycare earned enough to pay our mortgage payment each month, and she was able to be their parent full time while I worked swing.

When they were both in school, she was able to return to her old job (COTA at a school), and that gave her the same summers off as the kids. This allowed her to be home when they got out of school. We never put our kids in day care. We also had two sets of grandparents within easy driving distance who would watch the kids on weekends to give us a break.

My blue collar income was never very much…but we lived frugally. I see so many young people now spending vast sums of money on really dumb stuff…like motorhomes, boats, hotels and exotic fly away vacations. We still car camp in little backpacking tents, as do our kids…it is possible to live cheaply…and make kids work.

They both got after school jobs in high school (dry cleaners, barista, planter nursery) which helped when they needed to buy their own transportation. They kept those jobs all the way through college. It was impossible for us to save money for college while raising two kids, paying our mortgage and keeping 3 old cars running.

Amazingly, our local community college had a scholarship program. It was called the “First Generation Grant”. If neither parent had a 4 year college degree, you could apply, and they granted about a dozen a year. We were surprised when they both qualified and were awarded the grants. They both work as nurses now and have money to burn, and zero college loans.

I don’t know if they will have kids…I know they kind of want them…but they are having so much fun they don’t want to slow down yet. I’m hoping they have them. My parents made sacrifices to have me and my siblings  I’d like to return the favor to the next generation. Kids are a bucket list thing….and besides, what could be more natural?

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