Can’t be measured in pounds and pence. I’m forever seeing articles going on about how many thousands of pounds it costs to raise a child to 18 years old and mostly it looks like nonsense.
Yes, there are some specific costs. Children do need to eat and drink. They start in nappies and clothes and they grow. A pushchair is useful, a carseat necessary if you have a car, but you don’t actually need the top brand names. Our mothercare travel system is still going strong over 13 years after it was bought for no 1 and has carried all four children. The bedside cot is now occupied by the third child, and hand me downs get lots of wear.
I’m not advocating having children you can’t afford, or disagreeing that times are hard for many people. But a little change to approach is not a bad thing, reusing items is less wasteful anyway, and I love the shared memories when I see an outfit that an older sibling or friend’s child has worn.
The true cost of a child though is measured in your heart. Two nights ago there was a beautiful sunset and I’d have loved a picture. The moment escaped me though as I decided that the small hand clutched in mine was a more important thing to hold. I can remember sharing the sunset as we walked down the lane, and that memory is worth more to me than any picture.