Can I be really, really transparent? I am personally ready to have kids. I am 30, I have matured immensely over the last few years and I realize that it will probably happen in the next few years.
But honestly, we can not afford kids. It sucks saying that but it is 100% true.
I hope my wife’s mom doesn’t see this post because I know she is itching for some grand children, but we can not make it happen….yet. Between the cost of daycare and just child expenses in general we are not in a financial position to have a little one.
Sure we could make it work if we were blessed with the opportunity, but the struggle would be real. My wife and I are not the only ones in this position. With more and more Gen Y’s staying in college longer and focusing on their new careers, the average age of first time parents is increasing.
(Really good news! This NPR link shows the one of the factors, besides college, resulting in the average age of parents increasing is teen pregnancy rates are decreasing)
30 is the new 20.
You hear it all the time – I don’t feel like I am 30. For better or worse, I really don’t feel 30, or look 30 for that matter. Heck, as recent as three years ago I acted like I was 16. What I find even scarier than being 30 is that financially we are not ready to have kids… at age 30/29.
Blame student loans, blame careers, call it more responsibility – the simple truth is more and more young American’s are waiting to have kids. Women want to minimize career losses and with an emphasis on higher education degrees people are delaying having kids.
Do you have kids ? Here is a great post by Linda over at She Climbs the Ladder discussing maternity leave for women without killing their careers!
College, coupled with a live free while you still can millennial mindset, has made the urge to have kids even seem less appealing (this is not a fact, more of an observation). Knowing a lot of changes occur once their is a child in the picture, I think you will see more and more young adults delay on having kids.
Security or Siblings?
My wife and I are at a crossroads. Do we choose having kids and putting our financial security goals on the back burner? Or do we keep crushing debt and delay for another 2 years? You can read my most recent post about paying off $109,000 since February 2016 here!
Our intentions are to have a few kids pretty quickly so they can grow up together, however, daycare throws a wrench in that plan. The going rate for daycare where we live is about $250-300 a week per kid, depending on their age. I am sure the national average is right around there, if not more. Read about the Absurd Costs of Daycare
So with the crazy amount of debt we are focused on paying down each month, we could afford one kid, but a second would significantly impact our financial security.
What does money determine so much of our lives?
Money once again determines how we live. Whether we (or anyone for that matter) want to believe it, money is often the determining factor in most of our life choices. Think about it, money tells us where we can live, what we can drive, what we wear and in this cases how many kids we can have.
So when people say money isn’t everything I politely agree and disagree. Yes, money is not everything, but not having enough to live a happy life is.
I wish that wasn’t the case but money is the reason we don’t plan on having kids for a few more years. Money is the reason we get up every day and go to work (Teaching and doctoring do have tons of rewards). And MONEY is probably why you are reading this post… chances are you might even be at work.
But money does not have to be the determining factor forever. We used to think that money, and not the abundance of it, would always dictate how we live. However, over the last few years we have learned to really focus on paying off debt and saving for the future.
When we accomplish our financial goals we can travel and have kids with money being an afterthought. Learning how to delay gratification and put things on hold was a challenge at first. Delaying has become easier, but delaying on having kids is not so easy.
We know the restless nights and early mornings are not far away, but for the next 2-3 years we are bearing down and attacking our financial goals so that we can provide a great life to our kids. I am not usually super open about sharing this because we typically hear, “You can never be too ready when having kids,” but with so many people in our situation I thought sharing might help others.
There are a lot of people in our position because of college debt who have to make big decisions about kids. Not forgetting, there are still a lot of people living college 2.0 and haven’t even thought about kids. If that’s you, save this for when you are ready. If you already have kids this post is not a volunteer-ship to babysit. However, if you are like my wife and I and you are wondering if waiting is worth it I feel your struggle. I have learned to make our future kids the driving force behind everything we do!
I hope this was an greatl read and feel free to share as there is many young adults facing this very dilemma. Thanks for reading as always and I would really like to hear comments on what people think!