smockityfrocks.com Smockity Frocks launched an uproar on her Facebook page and her blog yesterday when she openly challenged Suze Orman’s family budget estimates for a couple that was considering adding another child to their family.

Readers of Monroe on a Budget know I have one daughter. The fact that I raised only one child had nothing to do with any reason you may hear from those who support small families of one or two children. It’s just how my life worked out.

Personally, I love it when those who are raising multiple children stand up to stereotypes about their lifestyles.

Reason: I’m the oldest of seven children.

I know from experience that a home with children has to be furnished differently than a home without children, that diapers do cost money no matter if you use cloth or disposable, and that full-time day care will eat up more of the family budget than rent does.

But I also know that parents who are able to adjust work schedules or have one adult at home so that day care is a part-time or occasional expense, are able to breastfeed the babies for at least a few months rather than rely on formula, and have laundry hookups at home so they are not relying on the cost of coin-operated laundry centers, can erase lot of the potential expenses from the start.

Yes, there are other expenses as the children grow up. But I have never lived in a city where private school was required (an option for families who wanted it, yes, but not a necessity).

My parents had only two vehicles all those years. Shortly after the fifth child arrived, we moved to a neighborhood where it was possible to walk or ride a bicycle nearly everywhere the older children and teens wanted to go: school, theater, sports, band, even the Dairy Queen.

It’s also not mandatory for every child to go to a private four-year college as my daughter did. We knew she could handle the challenge, and she did incredibly well as an undergrad. But look at the college pedigrees for my siblings: We all have college degrees. Two did get master’s degrees. Three of my siblings have two-year community college degrees and those were good choices too.

Anyway, Smockity Frocks is starting a series based on how lively this topic became about what it costs after you have settled into a child-friendly lifestyle and are wondering whether it is financially feasible to have more children. The first piece is “Can we afford another baby?”

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