The short answer is: No.
I scored a 2, which means:
0 to 2 points: You may want to consider taking further steps to prepare financially for a baby.
By no means am I baby crazy, oh, no no no. To be honest, as a teenager, planning and dreaming about my adult life, I didn’t even think I would get married, much less start leaning toward having kids! And I don’t even dislike kids (ahem, Sam, ahem). But that’s all an entirely different blog post.
Photo lifted from JillStanek.com
Anyway, I got to thinking about the original question, can you afford a baby? As if a baby is akin to a car or a house. I realize the article is about financial preparation, and that’s all well and good, but I think college-educated professionals (like those who read U.S. News & World Report) tend to oversimplify things that really aren’t simple at all, like having a child. I mean, if we’re talking strictly financial sense, having a child is probably the worst thing you can do. In fact, one of my coworkers once told me that having a child is devastating to the environment. But having a child is not about paying for it or doing (or not doing) good things for the environment.
A baby is a person, a human being who will in the first few years be the most vulnerable anything or anyone you will ever have to care for. Later on, they will look up to you and try to emulate you (warts and all). And as they mature, they’ll have their own ideas and opinions, even if they differ from your own. And in addition to all that, you are going to love that being with all your heart, even if you disagree, even if you don’t speak.
Well. This is my theory. Obviously, I do not have a baby, so I’m sort of going on what I’ve seen and read and witnessed.
A baby is not like a car that you might one day pay off (although I’m sure many parents kind of hope this might be the case). There is no value you can put on the emotional roller coaster you’ll feel when having a child and the relationship you will, hopefully, have with him or her. You can’t sell a child after all (well, you shouldn’t).
Besides, is there really any way to really prepare for a child? I don’t think there is. Anyway, my point is, if you’re not necessarily financially ready to have a baby, but its your heart’s desire — just do it. It’s more important, in my opinion, to be emotionally and physically prepared for a child. The finances will follow. At any rate, I don’t really think there’s any way to be financially prepared for everything in life — you might just shorten your life if you try.
(It also bears noting that kids born to wealthy parents are some of the rudest, ill-mannered, messed up kids. So, maybe being financially unprepared could actually contribute to your child’s upbringing.)
I think this post is also perfect for sharing a note an old high school friend, Melanie, posted in Facebook a while ago.
Swollen fingers, swollen ankles& feet, morning sickness (I had it quite bad throughout the day in the 1st trimester), funny cravings, excruciating back pain, agony of childbirth-contractions, needles, and indescribable pain. The hubster wouldn’t understand it if he could…Knowing all these things, you would think “why?” “Why would ANYone want to get pregnant?”
Funny thing is…I miss that feeling. The feeling having all the contours and curves of my body change. The feeling of shiny, shimmery hair. The feeling of a precious life kicking and tumbling inside of me. The 9 months happened so quickly if I think back even though each and every waiting moment seemed to last forever. (Ethan didn’t want to come out)
It’s really a beautiful thing being pregnant. For some it may be harder to get pregnant, for us, it happened within a month of planning…too soon, too quickly and unexpected, but it was an exciting moment. I remember going to an Infant CPR Training only several months after Ethan was born and seeing all these pregnant women in the class. That’s when I first had that feeling that I couldn’t explain. I wanted to be pregnant again…but I just had a baby!!
People have already asked when our next one is. And no, I’m not pregnant..=P