Babies are squirmy, poopy, crying creatures that will demand ALL of your time and energy, plus a little more that you never even knew was there. And this is just when he’s a baby, because as he grows older, the demands and corresponding expenses in feeding, sheltering, clothing and educating him, likewise grow as well.
The wise decision is to have your tubes tied and live the life that you want sans responsibilities. But it seems like thousands of years of evolution usually trumps rationality, because even if I knew what being a parent entailed, I still dove into it headfirst. Bloated feet and sore nipples be damned.
For the first year of our married life, my husband and I were steeped in wedding related debt; had zero savings and had no idea what sort of parents we would be, but we knew that we wanted to have children. End of story.
If I were to lay out our financial situation to Suze Orman, with having a baby as our ultimate goal, she probably would say: Girlfriend, you can’t afford to have a baby!
And she would be right. But the thing with wanting to have a baby is that it’s a visceral need that cannot be rationalized. I want to have a baby and so I will make myself be ready to have one.
You can take all the parenting or birthing classes that you can find, but theory is no help at all when you’re faced with a screaming infant who simply refuses to calm down. You can come up with all sorts of lists to get your baby stuff ready, or set up a trust fund for your spawn’s future, but for me the best preparation you can make is to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for it. Know that life will never be the same again, and that you will be expected to give up some of your dreams and aspirations for that red-faced screamer. And even if you have conditioned yourself to a life of willing martyrdom, there will still be numerous times when you will find yourself wishing that you didn’t pay attention to your natural programming and just went ahead and had your tubes tied.
So how did we know we were ready to have a baby? I never said we were ready.
While I am writing this, I have about a month and a half before my firstborn makes his appearance and we are still woefully unprepared. But despite all the hand-me-downs from my family that still need to be washed and inventoried, and our oft-postponed plans to renovate our condo unit to make it baby ready, we are raring to meet our little bub. With the knowledge that my hubby and I both want this tiny person in our lives and that we would do anything for him, we know that even if we are not ready, we will make things work. And really, as with everything in life, that sort of willingness is oftentimes all you need.
Photo used under Creative Commons from PublicDomainPictures.
Jill Sabitsana works for the judiciary where she is paid to meddle in other people’s business. A blogger way before bloggers were deemed cool and influential, she writes about her take on personal finance over at Frugal Honey. She also holds fort at Mom Exchange and Kikay Exchange, niche blogs on parenting and beauty finds, respectively.