Things No One Tells You: The Financial Aspect of Parenthood
While pregnant, I researched and tried to educate myself as much as I could on what to expect before the arrival of my son. To my surprise, I found very little information on how one should prepare financially before the umbilical cord was cut. I managed to find sites that were all too eager to show the expectant mother how to be in style with the latest maternity wear, or what the most modern nursery out was.
Not much centralized on how first-time parents should save for all the costs before and after the baby is born.
Let’s begin with all the mommy related things such as; maternity clothes, prenatal vitamins, oh, and shoes for when the feet swell like balloons. Then, for baby; furniture, clothing, diapers, formula (for those who decide not to breastfeed), more diapers, and any other baby necessity that is needed for those crucial first months. Not included are the expensive hospital costs that are incurred. Costs that include; delivery, medicine (epidural, pain management, etc.is difficult for), the hospital stay, and the wellness check-up and any necessary exams for the baby (to name a few).
For me, my primary concern while I was pregnant was the fact that our household income was going from two to one. During this time, the company that I worked with did not offer paid maternity leave. I needed to start saving money, not just for a rainy day, but be prepared for any impromptu that was sure to happen.
So I started doing a little research and discovered that in a country as developed as is the United States, is not typical for in large companies to offer paid maternity leave. As a matter of fact, very few companies offer paid maternity leave - this is a very sad reality. With the cost of living on the rise, couples now need to have two sources of income within the household. But it is hard for many new mothers to stay home with their children and are forced to put their babies in daycare, a cost that in some major cities can reach a maximum of $ 1800 per month (a mortgage payment some).
For this simple reason, I think it is critical to inform parents of all financial implications that arise once the baby is born. Be sure to save beforehand; it is the best way to stay with your head above water especially once a mom goes into maternity leave.
It is always better to be informed of every situation – it’s better to be safe than sorry.