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Cost of raising a child
Ask any parent, the cost of raising kids these days is staggering.
The latest government figures put the cost of raising one child from birth to 18 years old at just shy of a quarter of a million dollars.
That doesn't even include the cost of college.
Wendy Suares found out what's causing the spike and how parents are managing.
No one ever said raising kids would be cheap but shelling out 241,000 dollars is now the average per child.
Lena Moralez/Mom of 3 "I'm not amazed by it. I know it's true!"
Many parents have seen that cost climb over time.
Roger Baker: "Over the last couple of years, I've seen just how much a gallon of milk has gone up."
The USDA statistics also show we're paying 45,000 dollars more to raise one child now than we did 50-years ago.
What are we spending it on?
Mostly child care and education followed by health care.
But before you go wishing for the way it was, OCU Economics Professor Russell Evans says not so fast.
The statistics for 1960 left out one important and unknown cost category.
"There was a cost to the homemaker of staying home and providing childcare to the family, and the cost was the foregone income they could have earned if they were working."
Along with "source: Child Care Aware"
In Oklahoma, full time care for an infant averages around 7300-dollars a year.
Single-mom Anitria Wright relies on family members to watch her four children so she can work full time.
She says without them, affording child care would be impossible.
Anitria Wright/Mom of 4 "It would be hard enough with one or 2 kids. But especially not with 4. I couldn't imagine doing it 100% myself".
With child care costs out of reach for so many, Doctor Evans says we could eventually see a return to more stay-at-home parents.. perhaps more *dads.*
"I have to wonder. I read these stories about more men choosing to stay home. And I have to believe maybe that's a reflection of maybe the daycare model is not sustainable."
Even as parents struggle to make it work.. they tell us it's worth it.
They say they wouldn't change a thing.. even if it meant all those hundreds of dollars back in their pockets.
Roger Baker/Father of 8 " It wouldn't make a bit of difference. When you truly love your family, there are no exceptions to the rule. They're your family."