Your attitude though is very common and I think it reflects a deeper social phenomenon. The reality is that kids do not need that much to become a normal, well-adjusted adult. Food, active and caring parents, and clothes. That’s pretty much it. People believe they need a lot of gadgets and gizmos and various services (e.g., preschool), but the actual impact of these is either very small, unclear, or sometimes even negative. Nevertheless, people suffer a tremendous amount of anxiety over things like getting into a good preschool, Christmas toys, bedrooms for every kid, paying for college, etc. Why?
I don’t think it’s actually because deep down, we believe our kids are failures if we can’t pay for their Yale education, or if, god forbid, they don’t go to college at all. I think there’s something else going on. I’ve been thinking about this for a long while, but I’m not really prepared to formulate it, just to say money is not the real reason. I say this having two kids myself and one income, and a similar financial situation that you describe above, except for having the one income.