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Thread: perceived issues for larger families

  1. #1

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    Default perceived issues for larger families

    Hey there
    I'm just wondering how you meet the expense in terms of larger families?
    Especially if you live in a capital city (like Sydney)? IS it possible to have 3 kids and live in Sydney without wearing sackcloth??
    Childcare costs alone must be prohibitive?
    How do you afford fresh fruit and vegies, when white bread and sausages are so cheap??

    Do you find you get less family and friends support if you have lots of kids?

    What sort of car do you use and why - as in what do you like about it?



    what would you do differently (not in terms of numbers of kids just coping/life strategies)? eg. live somewhere different, have a different career, space them closer together etc.

    How do you do things like go to the beach/pool and keep an eye on them all? How do you try and not make it an expedition or is that not possible?

    And lastly can you leave them alone with say the baby, or is this not an issue for you? I'm sure my 4 yr old is going to squish the baby's (8months) head.

    Do your kids mind sharing rooms (I'm assuming you're not all rich! lol) when other kids don't have to? or sharing things all the time?

    Thanks stax

  2. #2

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    I'm just wondering how you meet the expense in terms of larger families?
    Especially if you live in a capital city (like Sydney)?

    IS it possible to have 3 kids and live in Sydney without wearing sackcloth?? We lived in Sydney until January, but now live in Canberra. I suppose it all depends on your wages.

    Childcare costs alone must be prohibitive? Only one of my kids have ever been to childcare and that was my oldest daughter. I felt that she needed it and she loved it. The rest have been home with me until preschool. Or Kindy in one case.

    How do you afford fresh fruit and vegies, when white bread and sausages are so cheap?? Junk food is more expensive that healthy food, I find. We eat heaps of fruit and have a pretty much preservative free diet. You just need bigger pots and pans, lol. We don't eat white bread at all. I must say though we didn't have bananas for a while though when they were $500 a kg or whatever. I also never buy things like ready made or prepared foods because of the preservative content.

    Do you find you get less family and friends support if you have lots of kids? Anyone that matters to me supports me. If they didn't they wouldn't matter so much, lol.

    What sort of car do you use and why - as in what do you like about it? We have a 98 Toyota Landcruiser Prado because it has 8 seats, but we still can't fit in it. We have toget another seatbelt put in and they can't do it so we're still mulling that one over.

    what would you do differently (not in terms of numbers of kids just coping/life strategies)? eg. live somewhere different, have a different career, space them closer together etc. I wouldn't do anything differently except I would have looked into things like immunisation and preservatives and things with my older kids. Its only been brought to my attention now and I would rather have not learnt the hard way.

    How do you do things like go to the beach/pool and keep an eye on them all? How do you try and not make it an expedition or is that not possible? This is a funny one for us. We haven't been to the beach since Zain was born, but we used to go all the time. DH and I would get in the water and the kids have to stay between us and the sand. We'd have a baby or 2 each and the other kids would swim. When it was time to go, DH would get them out and packed up, while I swim by myself and then while I was goigng to the car he'd duck in. We used to always go to Tallebudgera on the Gold Coast and there are no waves there because its just behind a kind of estuary.

    And lastly can you leave them alone with say the baby, or is this not an issue for you? I'm sure my 4 yr old is going to squish the baby's (8months) head. Not a newborn, but now that Zains a bit older and can interact more they all want to play with him when he's in his bouncer thingy. Thats okay, because he's right near me here. Rayanne who's 10 is allowed to pick him up now, but thats only in the last 2 months now that his neck is stronger.

    Do your kids mind sharing rooms (I'm assuming you're not all rich! lol) when other kids don't have to? or sharing things all the time?
    Mine don't mind. It takes them forever to go to sleep though, lol.

    HTH hun. Good luck!

  3. #3

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    [QUOTE=nickel;643235]Hey there
    I'm just wondering how you meet the expense in terms of larger families?
    Especially if you live in a capital city (like Sydney)? IS it possible to have 3 kids and live in Sydney without wearing sackcloth??
    We're in Newcastle but housing costs are still quite high. Transportation costs are less because the city is smaller. DH drives to work but we walk to most other things (we chose the area for that reason).

    Childcare costs alone must be prohibitive?
    I don't use childcare. I told dh before we married that I wanted to be at home with my children. I have a master's degree and made this choice freely, have never regretted it. DH was very dubious at first about my giving up work, because of the income, but now is very supportive. I would say, on observation, that in most families with 4+ children, the mum ends up quitting work. Exceptions would be if her job is very good (doctor/solicitor) or if she can be very flexible with part-time hours (nurses, for example). In my case DH's job is very full on, time consuming & non flexible, which was also a factor.

    How do you afford fresh fruit and vegies, when white bread and sausages are so cheap??
    I don't buy white bread. I don't have any problem with the cost of fresh fruits or fresh veg, or frozen veg for that matter. The problem now that the older two are bigger, is keeping caught up on quantity. I think quality in food is of supreme importance.

    Do you find you get less family and friends support if you have lots of kids? No.

    What sort of car do you use and why - as in what do you like about it?
    I have a Hyundai Trajet. It's a year old. I'm not thrilled with it. It drives well (very carlike) and has enough seats, but there isn't enough add'l space--for bags or the stroller. I had a hired Tarago for a week before that, because I was thinking of buying one, but was VERY disappointed with that (just didn't seem like a quality car).

    what would you do differently (not in terms of numbers of kids just coping/life strategies)? eg. live somewhere different, have a different career, space them closer together etc.
    I like that mine are spaced two & two. I think that a little closer together would have been better, though. Also, I wish I had bought a bigger house earlier on. I would have liked that anyway, even with just two children, because I like having separate spaces and ample space in general! I always advise young couples not to bother with a two bedroom house, to get a 3 BR if at all possible.

    How do you do things like go to the beach/pool and keep an eye on them all? How do you try and not make it an expedition or is that not possible?
    With the big two it's not a problem. Someone has to keep an eye on no.3 who is only two. Usually one adult at a time will swim. The older boys can watch no. 3 for 10 minutes on the beach if we need them to, as long as we're generally around. The baby is not mobile yet. I don't think it's any more or less of an expedition than when we had two.

    And lastly can you leave them alone with say the baby, or is this not an issue for you? I'm sure my 4 yr old is going to squish the baby's (8months) head.
    The big two are fine with the baby. No. 3 can be left with the baby for a couple of minutes (I can leave the room to get something). He loves her. My bigger issue is that he disturbs her when she's sleeping; wants to wake and play with her! Unfortunately if I leave her in a travel cot, he can climb in. The only way to keep him apart from her is to gate off the room.

    Do your kids mind sharing rooms (I'm assuming you're not all rich! lol) when other kids don't have to? or sharing things all the time?
    No. 1 & 2 shared a room for a long time. Tricky at times because no 2 is very talkative. We had a 3rd BR and tried a couple of times to separate them, but until no 1 was about 10, they missed each other too much! Then 2 & 3 shared. This worked very well. Now we're in a different house, & b/c of the layout, the big two each have their own small rooms. We're getting ready to have the last two share. The only problem I see is that no 3 loves the baby so much, he will be all over her! Not sure how that will work out, but it has to. Sharing things hasn't been a problem. The first two had to share things too (b/c they were both boys & interested in the same toys).

    One friend asked me if it felt any different in terms of my energy, etc, than it was with two. It feels the same. What is different now is that, with school aged children, I have more of a timetable to meet. Some things must happen at certain times because of their needs. When the first two were small, that was not the case. I love having 4 children and I think they all like it too! HTH.

  4. #4

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    Oh more about the car....one reason we chose the Trajet is the configuration. We wanted a car/minivan with two seats in the middle row ("captain's chairs" I think they are called) and three seats behind. This was to make it easy with the two car seats. The capsule takes up a lot of space. The big boys have a clear space inbetween them, to get into the back seat. We had a Pajero before that, which I LOVED, but it was a two-three-two configuration, and no easy way to get in the back without putting down a seat. Also, on the Trajet, the seats are all modular so you can take any of them out. Very handy.

  5. #5
    tiggy Guest

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    I'm just wondering how you meet the expense in terms of larger families?
    Especially if you live in a capital city (like Sydney)?
    IS it possible to have 3 kids and live in Sydney without wearing sackcloth?? We lived in Beecroft (renting) and built a house on the coast with our then 3 children and I think we dressed accordingly for the Sydney culture. We had a few really nice outfits for all of the girls and then just the daggy stuff for home. I don't know though, the last time I went to Sydney, sackcloths were all the fashion!

    Childcare costs alone must be prohibitive? I've had all of my girls in care at some stage or another and must admit that it was expensive. Now I don't use care at all but I will again when it comes time for preschool. I think that it's important before school. I guess I'll wear those costs as they come.

    How do you afford fresh fruit and vegies, when white bread and sausages are so cheap?? Fresh fruit and vegies are very important to us and so they are a top priority.We don't use white bread either, only multigrain or wholemeal. It's just part of our budget to have good food, although we do have sausages and there have been times when I have done lots of imaginative things with mince. My kids are all ok though, not overweight or undernourished or anything although recently they complained they were sick of chicken and salad!
    Do you find you get less family and friends support if you have lots of kids? I think DH's family feels overwhelmed sometimes but they and my Mum have always been supportive of us. We don't go out very often but that's ok. I'm happy to be with my kids, that's why I have so many. They bring me immense joy. Last year, when Ivy and Noah were 10 months old, my mum took them all for the weekend and sent David and I away for our anniversary. It was weird for us and I was worried that mum wouldn't cope but she took it all in her stride! I work night dutY atm so I don't have to rely on anyone to babysit.

    What sort of car do you use and why - as in what do you like about it? We have a Ford Transit (looney) bus. We have it out of need. It was the only vehicle big enough for all of us. I don't like it at all.It's white and large and It drives like a...well, a ... BUS but it works and fits us in nicely and has room in the back for two prams or one pram and all the groceries on food shop day.

    what would you do differently (not in terms of numbers of kids just coping/life strategies)? eg. live somewhere different, have a different career, space them closer together etc. I think the only thing I would do if I had a choice would be to have them closer together. There is an eight year gap between Lily and Ivy and Noah, which seems very big atm. She will be in High school when they start infants, so they won't have anyone older to hold their hands on their first day.

    How do you do things like go to the beach/pool and keep an eye on them all? How do you try and not make it an expedition or is that not possible? Everything that we do is pretty much an expidition!
    The key for us is plan, plan, plan. Also, everyone has to pitch in, that's just the way it is. Even the little foster boy, who is developmentally delayed, has to help.
    When we go out we have a buddy system. Everyone has to look out for each other, everyone is responsible for keeping us all together (although ultimately it is David and I who are responsible) it just helps to keep good family dynamics in that everyone has someone who cares about where they are. It works really well. I also give my kids plenty of warning. For example, if we are at the beach and one comes up to the towel area, I might tell her that we will be going in ten minutes and to pass the word. They are all pretty good when I say it's time to go, because they know that if it doesn't all go like clockwork, it probably won't happen again for a long while.
    The other big thing for me is trust. I trust that my kids will do the right thing, although I am watching them at all times, I give a little and reap the rewards.

    And lastly can you leave them alone with say the baby, or is this not an issue for you? I'm sure my 4 yr old is going to squish the baby's (8months) head. In the beginning I felt nervous because I&N were so little but again, the trust factor came into play. The big girls and even the eldest foster boy are all fantastic with them, Lily too and Mal knows not to pick them up. I guess they are all older than toddlers though but even when the big girls were two and Lily was newborn, I still felt ok to leave them for a short time.

    Do your kids mind sharing rooms (I'm assuming you're not all rich! lol) when other kids don't have to? or sharing things all the time? My kids don't mind sharing at all, in fact they all admit to feeling lonely when they are on their own. Maddy and Lily do talk alot at night but they settle down after a while and Maddy is getting to the age now where she realises that if she doesn't sleep she doesn't function well the next day.
    With sharing 'things'. Everyone has some special stuff that are off limits unless permission is given, everything else is to be shared. Sometimes there are fights, I won't lie but most of the time, they play really well together and I think, being in a big family teaches you to be good at sharing and teaches you skills in compromise.
    Last edited by tiggy; February 26th, 2007 at 03:07 PM.

  6. #6

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    This is an interesting topic. We just moved to Sydney and I have four kids (and am far from rich) lol.
    I had one (wierd) woman stop me at Town Hall station and interrigate me about whether or not I was rich and how I can afford to have four kids and some wierd stuff like that.

    I don't know the answer to all your questions above as we just moved here three months ago, but I'm learning about where cheap shops are that have regularly reduced fresh foods - meet, produce, dairy - that is definitely helpful.. plus budgeting carefully.
    My kids are at a public school. A lot of their clothes have been hand me downs or gifts which helps too. As for room sharing, they actually prefer to share a room - they are still young though. I cook most of our food rather than eating out.
    As for cars, can't really answer that - right now I'm borrowing a Toyota Echo - tiny little car LOL I hope to buy a second hand mini van of some sort soon though.

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