Life Advice


Health & Spirit

When having a second child means adding a soul-sucking suburban commute

Carolyn Hax on

Dear Carolyn:

I'm really, happy with my wonderful toddler son, husband, dream job, apartment, etc. My husband is really happy working for himself, and we both love our adorable, walkable community. We have flexible enough schedules that we get lots of time with our son. When he's sleeping/napping, we have free time to chill or work on creative hobbies that are important to us. And we still also have time for friends and family.

After a lot of research and many, many "let's game this out" discussions, we've come to the conclusion that we'd need to make really dramatic changes to afford another kid. We'd have to move far out, I'd need a higher paying job, my husband would need to give up his business. With working longer hours and a longer commute, I'd have a lot less time and energy to enjoy my kid(s) if I had another one. My husband is pretty sure we'd both be miserable with all we'd have to give up ... and he's probably right.

I'm mid-30s, so we can't just wait a few years.

While I have a deep emotional desire to have another kid, logically I don't think it's worth it -- but I feel like such a spoiled brat because the "sacrifices" we'd make are things most people don't even have in the first place. Most people drive everywhere and work long hours at jobs they feel so-so about, etc. That's just life!

So I'm worried we're going to regret that we didn't just suck it up and grow up to have another kid.


Are we being too self-indulgent?

-- Time to Start Adulting?

So that I'm clear: Your definition of "adulting" requires drudgery and comprises a long commute, a soul-sucking job, forfeited entrepreneurship, sacrificed kid time, driving over walking, and the dismissal of your main pleasures in life as the spoils of the spoiled?

And choosing otherwise is self-indulgent?


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