Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax: Debt gives parents pause about expanding family


Dear Carolyn: My husband and I want another child, but despite our best efforts to be thrifty, we find ourselves in ever-deepening debt after having our first baby a year ago, buying our first house and buying a (used) car after someone totaled our old one.

We have options for making more money, but we both get so stressed just looking at our budge, we avoid it.

I know this is untenable, and an irresponsible place from which to consider having a second child. Can you help?


Can you help yourselves?

Can you sit down and decide which of those potential new income sources to pursue, how best to pursue them while ensuring good care for your baby, and how quickly you can start? Can you recognize your budget situation is too stressful to face alone, and make an appointment for help through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling ( Can you stick to the resulting debt-management plan? Can you recognize that all this is essential, right now, even if you decide not to add to your family?

If one of you doesn’t budge, then will the other one be strong and proceed anyway?

You framed this as a parenting question — to me it’s more of a self-discipline, financial and marriage one — but the strongest parental element has nothing to do with yea-or-nay on a second child. It’s about doing what stresses, scares, royally inconveniences and (no doubt) embarrasses you, because doing it will keep the home stable and the future opportunities intact for the child you already have.

Will you do that? That “yes” unlocks the door to others.

Email Carolyn at, follow her on Facebook at or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

Linda Bladholm

    A Fork on the Road

    A Fork on the Road: Choices Cafe gives vegans plenty of flavor

    In a sign of the times, a small vegan café has opened a larger outpost, offering meatless burgers, wraps, soups and salads. Choices Cafe doubles as a juice bar with cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices and innovative smoothies such as the Miami Heat with mango, jalapeño, lime, plantain, ground flax and chia seeds and agave.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">RARE TREAT:</span> Robbyns Martinez’s Spicy Lamb Ribs with Abita root beer glaze, toasted sesame and scallions.

    Holiday cooking

    Miami chefs put a twist on Easter classics

    Confit pork belly, chimichurri, root beer give new flavors to traditional ham and lamb.

  • Cook’s Corner

    Cook’s Corner: Behold the new colors of Easter eggs

    Radiant Orchid, Pantone Color Institute’s color of the year, not only is the hot spring fashion color, but it has made its way into the Easter egg parade. Forget the pastels of yesteryear; what’s trending now are vivid colors. McCormick developed these formulas for making vibrant dyes.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category