As you now know, my wife and I are having another baby. We are leaving the two child paradigm and entering into a new phase of family life. The idea of three children is a little daunting, but I think it will be good for us. The question becomes, “How do we maintain a lifestyle of selflessness, giving, and simplicity while bringing more children into the world?”
I must admit, the message that we get is “Well, this is alright for you now, but just wait…” Is it pointless to even attempt an intentional lifestyle once you are at a certain age or different family size? Of course I believe that things get harder and that we will have to continually revisit our values and our commitments, but is it inevitable that the cost of child raising will grow exponentially as the children get older? The implication is almost apocalyptic; just wait until they all start playing sports and having sleep overs and you need bigger cars and bigger houses. Well, then what? What am I waiting for?
I recognize that these things will happen and that they will require resources, but should we give up thrift store shopping and creative party throwing because our kids are older and it is getting harder? Convictions require long term commitments and hard work. Lifestyle changes are long term projects, as with exercise or eating differently or changing our spending habits. We want to live on less money and with less stuff. Can we still do that and increase the size of our family? If we say that we need a bigger living space, what does that mean? We can go from 900 square feet to 1100 square feet and everyone will have the same amount of space, we just add a person.
I am not trying to be flippant, I know that there is a long hard road ahead of us to continue to grow our family and to evaluate our lifestyle at the same time. I find, though, that I encounter more frowns and scowls than words of encouragement this time around.