Let me start off by making it clear, I’m not pregnant!
Now that that’s out the way, on to the good stuff. Babies! Some of us love them, some of us like them, and some of us rather not be bothered with them. They take a while to come into the world, and they bring joy to the people around them. They can be fun. They can bring stress. One thing’s for sure: babies cost money!
Even though I’m 20, technically “grown”, engaged, have a roof over my head, etc., my eyes still bulge when I hear that my peers are pregnant or parents. We were just in school, and now they’ve got offspring. Some of my peers didn’t even wait to graduate; we had a few mommies to be at prom. Actually, at my 8th grade graduation, 2 girls walked the stage with bulging bellies (scary, I know). The fact of the matter is, even if society doesn’t think you should bare children at such a young age, once your body hits puberty, you’re available to be someone’s host for 9 months.
One of the reasons I get surprised, even frightened, when I hear about people my age or younger/older is because of the thought of the costs! If I went through my Facebook friends now, I would probably find 30 parents or soon-to-be out of almost 900 friends. Sure that’s only 3% but it’s alarming to know that all but a few:
- Are not married or in any long-term relationship
- Don’t have a job or only work part time
- Don’t live on their own
- Don’t have health insurance
There’s so many things a baby needs, and some of those are crucial in the growing up process. Besides the emotional aspects of the full time job as a parent, there are many financial responsibilities that come with having a child.
- Housing: A baby needs a place to stay to grow healthy and strong. I understand housing isn’t cheap, but having a roof over your head and theirs will be a great relief.
- Food: First there’s formula or breast milk, then there’s soft baby food, then on to solids. Babies need food to survive just like the rest of us, but since you probably won’t be eating the same things in the first few months, that’s more food to buy for the fridge.
- Clothes: Can’t have the baby running around naked all the time now can you? The most amazing thing I’ve seen with babies is how fast they grow. My 2 year old cousin has grown incredibly fast, and outgrew some of the clothes we bought him before he could even get to them! Onesies, socks, little booties. They’re more than cute; they’re essential!
- Diapers: The big D word. Diapers are known to set parents back hundreds of dollars a month. Like clothes, babies outgrow diapers and pampers pretty quickly. Even if you stock pile, you could easily be stuck with boxes of unused diapers. They’re not cheap either.
- Baby furniture: Babies could use furniture like a crib, a car seat, a stroller, a walker. These things last a bit longer than clothes and diapers, but they also cost more. A great idea for these items is to get hand me downs or gently used equipment. This can save a lot of money.
- Health insurance: There are so many diseases out in the world, and sometimes we forget babies can catch them as well. Having health care can ease the stress if your baby catches pneumonia or colic or any other scary conditions.
There’s so many other things. What are some you can think of?
- Wendy Litner: Baby, Baby, Baby, No? Getting To The Bottom Of Motherhood Anxiety (huffingtonpost.com)
- How much money do you spend on a baby per month (wiki.answers.com)
- Ready, set, poop: Parents attempt diaper-change world record – CTV.ca (news.google.com)