Was having a baby a bad idea for anyone?

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
Post # 2
Member
9688 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

We don’t have kids yet but we are also thinking about TTC next year. We’ve both always wanted kids, we’ve been together almost 9 years, we are married. But we aren’t exactly rolling in money. My husband started his PhD program this year and while he does get a stipend he took a big pay cut when he joined the program. I teach college courses but only as an adjunct so I don’t get paid a lot either. For financial and practical reasons (we have to move when my husband finishes his PhD) it doesn’t make sense for us to buy a house right now and probably won’t for 6-7 years!

But we know we can provide a stable and loving home for a baby. Our budgets will be tighter but we have almost no debt, plenty in savings, and thanks to my husband’s PhD program garunteed health insurance for the next 5-6 years. Are there people who are more financially prepared for a baby than us? Absolutely! Do I worry about the costs of having a baby? Yup! Are we still going to go for it? Yes!

People have babies every income level and make it work.

Post # 4
Member
355 posts
Helper bee

I know babies are expensive & I’d be delusional to think we could have a baby for cheap or anything, but Darling Husband & I sat down and made a promise to each other not to go broke when we found out I was pregnant. We have a decent savings and not too many bills, so we should be ok, but had we gotten pregnant a year or two later it would have been much easier. 

A lot of things people buy for babies simply aren’t needed. I’ve been looking at minimalist lists for baby gear and it has completely eased my mind with how much baby gear is really not needed. Another thing I keep seeing is that most people buy way too many clothes and then are gifted even more clothes. Babies grow so fast and even though they go through a few outfits a day,  most parents end up having unworn clothes they give away bc the baby has grown out of that size. I think if you just do some reading from moms who have been there you can really cut out a lot of unnecessary expenses. 

Post # 5
Member
973 posts
Busy bee

In my entire friend circle, only 1 of us wants to have children. We’re all in a very tough position because we have huge student loan debts, which makes it very difficult to afford any big expenses before we turn 35. But what it really comes down to is that we don’t have money for both the “nicer” things in life (vacations, dinners out) and a baby. And we would prefer those nice things. However, it seems like you feel that having a baby is worth living life on a budget for the foreseeable future. In that case, as long as you have a stable income and can come up with a budget where it seems feasible, I don’t see why you shouldn’t. 

I grew up in a family with a very tight budget- I remember my mom counting up groceries on a calculator every week, and things like strawberries were a treat we got for special events. But we never truly wanted for anything and were very loved. I didn’t even realize that “normal” families went out of town for vacation or shopped at the mall until I started dating someone from a wealthy family. My family just valued different things and I wouldn’t have traded that for the nice first car and the absent parents of my SO’s childhood.

I will say that having 0 savings towards a college fund put me in an extremely tough situation when it came to affording college, which has in turn impacted my own future in terms of having children and buying a house, etc. But I also could have been smarter about choosing a state school and applying for scholarships. So as long as you can guide them in that regard it should be fine. 

Post # 6
Member
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Having my son is the best decision I ever made. We struggled with infertility and didn’t want to wait. I went through treatment and losses to have him. We don’t have decent savings and honestly live paycheck to paycheck most of the time. Of course it will be more expensive when he’s older (by which time, we will be much better off financially) but it’s honestly not that bad right now. He’ll be 2 in May. I buy most of his clothes from consignment stores or sales and always get excellent condition or new for super cheap. We spend maybe $30 on diapers every two weeks. If you breastfeed, that’s free. If you don’t, you would probably qualify for WIC which will pay for most of your formula (I had issues breastfeeding and did a combo and this is the only assistance we ever used). Now that he drinks milk, it’s only $1 something a gallon here and that lasts us a while. We live in a two bedroom apartment and we’re about to start TTC #2 this year. My son is still in our room but will be working on transitioning out this week actually. Baby 2 will be in our room for a while and by the time we’re moving them out, we’ll be looking to get a house. You honestly don’t need a lot. I can’t lie and say we haven’t struggled sometimes or that there were never rough times, newborns are HARD. But it’s so worth it. I can’t even describe the love.

Post # 7
Member
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Bee, please don’t think you’ll be any less of a wonderful mother because of your financial situation.

you don’t have to be able to spoil the baby, just provide what it needs to be safe and healthy!

i recently got pregnant (unplanned) and before this hubby and I tried to think about when a “good” time would be to have kids.. and realized you can’t really plan life that way. 

If you know you guys are emotionally and financially ready for baby, then go ahead! Life is short. Don’t wait for a promotion or more money that might not come.

Post # 8
Hostess
3890 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

My Dear Daughter was born when I was 19, so not a great example. Unplanned, but so so wanted. We struggled over the years, but she has always been clothed, fed, and loved. She has had a million adventures and (IMO) a great upbringing. She’s college bound in just over a year and while we can’t pay for the whole thing, we are contributing but she also will be getting a significant amount of scholarship money. Kids are born in less than ideal circumstances all the time. I often feel bad on the Bee because so many women talk about how awful it is to bring a child into the world when you can’t afford to give them every luxury in life. I don’t think they NEED every luxury or thst you’re doing them any favors by handing them everything. Having to go without or having to work for something doesn’t damage your kids. If you want babies, I say go for it.  

Post # 9
Member
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Meglin :  As they say: there is never a good time to have kids.

I waited until postgrad finished and almost wished I didn’t. You start getting nervous about infertility…. it’s a big issue. If you both want kids just go for it 🙂 you both have jobs, you don’t live under the bridge, I take it you aren’t addicted to illegal substances :p lol

You can buy most stuff second handed or in discount stores. There is plenty of advice on what babies actually need on the web.

Kids need your love and time, not money 🙂

Post # 10
Member
799 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

My parents were field workers. My mom eventually switched over and got a job in a auto parts store. Neither of them finished high school. My dad is from Mexico and got his work visa at 18. They never went to college nor had great paying jobs but they made it work. they raised 4 daughters and gave us everything we needed. I’m the baby and by the time they got pregnant with me they had enough money saved to buy a house. Now they own 2 homes and are in the process of buying a 3rd. They never had college funds for us, but they did help me pay for college. My mom got cancer in 2013 and stopped working since. My dad know makes enough as a manager in the fields to support both he and my mom and pay off his 2nd home and buy a 3rd. I don’t think there is ever a perfect time to have a kid. but as long as you love your child and provide what you can. We never got brand name clothes but we always had clothes and shoes. We were always fed and had plenty of food. 

Post # 11
Member
319 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I understand you want to feel financially prepared to bring a baby into the world and that’s fantastic, but you also have to remember people’s situations change constantly. Someone that is 100% financially set to TTC might be set back with a financial burden after the child is already here. People make it work…don’t worry life is too short 🙂 

Post # 12
Hostess
9633 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

desertgypsy :  “I don’t think they NEED every luxury or thst you’re doing them any favors by handing them everything. Having to go without or having to work for something doesn’t damage your kids. If you want babies, I say go for it.”

All of this!!

I am childfree, so I can’t weigh in too much on the issue – but I will say the vast majority of people are not 100% ready for children when they have them. They make it work, they adjust their lifestyles and their children still grow up happy and healthy. The idea that because people don’t have $100k for college in savings when they bring a child into the world or before the child turns 18 bothers me as being classist, and I feel as though it poor shames women who really want motherhood but aren’t as financially stable as they’d like to be. My opinion is to have the family that you want. 

Post # 13
Member
145 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Make the decision that is right for you.

Personally, I DID wait until I was financially stable, and I don’t regret it at all. Babies are expensive even if they don’t have a lot of toys/gear. For instance, delivery can be $5-10k even with insurance, daycare is about $1k/mo if you work, formula can be a few hundred a month if you can’t breastfeed. Our ped visits are about $110 each time she gets sick.

You definitely don’t need to be wealthy to have a baby. That said, having a baby is very stressful, and I am glad that I didn’t have financial stress on top of everything else.

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