Baby Makes Eight: Raising Six Kids – Part 1

By Leo Babauta

Last March, my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Noelle Cayce. She became our sixth kid, and within the space of a few years, our house had suddenly become very full.

A little background is in order: my wife and I came together six years ago with two children each from previous relationships, and after we got married in 2003, we had a son (Seth Isaiah) in 2004, and now Noelle in 2006. We each went from having two kids to having six within three years.

Raising so many kids at once has, of course, been a financial challenge, as well as a scheduling and organizational challenge. It’s also been an amazing blessing, and I’m planning to do a series of posts on what it’s like to raise so many kids, and some of my best parenting tips. This is the first of the series, and it will deal with finances.

The Finances of Raising Six Kids
When my son was born in 2004, my wife and I made the decision that she should stay home to take care of him. When my daughter was born in 2006, we decided she should continue to stay home. It was an important decision, and we are both very glad we made it. She’s the best caretaker by far for our two babies, and she’s been able to breastfeed and do all kinds of other stuff that only a mom could do.

Of course, it’s also harder for us financially, but it’s worth the sacrifices, in my opinion. We’ve cut out a number of expenses to be able to live on my salary (see How I Save) and the decision has forced us to learn to live frugally. We actually struggled for awhile, but I believe we’re hitting our stride now.

I’ve also been working as a free-lance writer on the side, to give us some extra income on top of my regular salary.

Here are the keys to being able to survive with six kids, with only one spouse working:

Other parts of this series: