I realize that every familiy has different priorities in life, but for me, I could not fathom purposely bringing a child into a situation that was financially challenging. I personally equate it to bringing a child into a family that is not emotionally stable.
When I was a child, I was born into a family which was very financially secure, but also not responsible in saving money “just in case.” My dad lost his job and my parents separated when I was 8 and we instantly became the family on welfare, assistance, and were struggling to make ends meet. I had to grow up SUPER fast, becoming “mother” to my other sibling while my dad worked. It was so hard to be the kid that was getting charity lunch and school or wearing my dad’s old sweaters because we couldn’t afford new clothes. I never had the chance to participate in activities. Going through that experience really makes me sensitive to those who choose to bring kids into the world when they are already financially struggling. It’s so unecessary.
I get the strong urge to want to have kids, I absolutely do. I waited quite a number of years before we became financially stable and were in a good place to have kids. It was tortuous, but my goodness, I am so glad that we waited until then. Yes, the first year of life for a baby is relatively low-cost if you breastfeed and cloth diaper, but there are so many unforseen variables. I have a cousin whose baby was allergic to dairy/lactose and could not be breastfed. The special forumla he had to eat was enormously expensive.
I have an (almost) 3 year old now, and I can tell you that the costs are just mind boggling sometimes. I feel like I am forever needing to buy things for her, and I am not somone who buys a lot of stuff “just because.” She grows out of clothes and shoes so fast. She needs a new bed, bedsheets, pull ups, potty for training, foot stool for hand washing, toys to play with for outside, medicine, jacket, bathing suit, etc etc. It all adds up (and even with our comfortable earnigs, I still shop majorly at consignment shops!) This isn’t even taking into the fact that she also goes to daycare so I can work (which is $150/w) and the fact that we have “free” healthcare in this country and most health costs are not something I need to consider (we do still have to pay $250 for a drug/dental plan).
There are so many unknowns that we could never be prepared for in our life, but there are just as many that we can be prepared for. Health insurance, Life insurance, savings for emergencies, etc, are necessities in my opinion. <br />Bringing another human being into the world, for me, is just as much about them as it is for me. I get the joy of being a mom, but also the responsibility of giving them the best life possible (filled with love and experiences). Furthermore, I want to make sure that they have the means to attend college (if they choose) without undertaking the enormous financial burden that I had to, because my parents never saved anything for me. I don’t want them to have to worry about looking after me and my husband as we age, and once we die, I actually want to have something to leave to them.It would be selfish, in my opinion, to not be able to provide my kids with more than just the basic needs for survival.
Yes, you can absolutely make things work on a small wage, but you need to take a good look at whether that is fair to your future child.