Can you afford to have kids - financially, physically and emotionally?

According to MoneySense.ca, the average cost of raising a child to age 18 in Canada is a whopping $243,660. In the U.S., it costs an estimated $241,080 for a middle-income couple to raise a child.  That’s over $1,000 per month. And that's before you send them off to university.

I don’t know how the experts come up with that figure, I guess they assume your parents and in-laws are taking care of the kids while you work.

Daycare alone is around $1,000 a month, and grocery is at least $100.  And I haven’t even added expenses for clothes, dining out, swimming classes, going out on the weekend (Wave Pool and bowling), dental and medical.  I guess I spend roughly $1,500 a month on each kid, and that does not include travelling.

Well, everyone has a different lifestyle.  You may spend a bit more or less than me.  Actually, the financial part of being a parent is only half of the story. 

When you become a parent, your life totally changes.  Mine did for sure, and unfortunately, it changed for the worse.   If yours changed for the better, please let me know how you do it.  I certainly need some advice.  I can’t really afford to see the therapist anymore. 

Well, the lack of sleep problem is over.  Now, it is just lack of freedom.  I have been enjoying solitary all my life.  I am an only child and am quiet and sort of anti-social.  I moved out from my parents’ house when I was 22.  Well, I was lonely sometimes but most days I was fine.  I needed a companion, so a partner would be good enough.  But no, I decided I wanted a big family, so that when I get old, my house will be filled up with grandchildren.  Yes, that was the reason, I was inspired by my first mother-in-law.

But now, I wonder if I can survive to that age when I will have grandchildren.  I have 3 kids now, ages 13, 4 and 3.   

Okay, so much for my babbling.  The reason I am writing this article is that I want to warn young and not so young women before they decide to have kids.  Having kids is a lifelong commitment, it is not like having puppies and then regret your decision and give them away.    Surely, kids can be cute sometimes, but that is not a good enough reason.  They won’t be cute after they turn 6 years old anyways.   You are hoping that somebody will take good care of you when you are old and sick?  Well, that is a gamble.  If you don’t have kids, you will have saved up a lot of money by that time to stay in an upscale nursing home or even hire a private nurse.  So, that is not a good reason either.   Well, are you deciding to have kids because your partner wants one, or that your girlfriends keep posting hourly pictures of their babies and you think they are so cute?  Well, think twice, no, double that.  If your sole reason to have kids is to reproduce, then I don’t want to comment on that.  One of my cousins said God made men and women so they can reproduce and human race won’t extinct. 

Kids consume 70% of your time, and that 30% of freedom is because you are at work, and they are at school.  After work, you barely have energy to breathe, but you have to make dinner and give them a bath (if they are still toddlers).  If you have older kids, you have to help them with homework.  Well, actually, you have to make them do homework first, right?  That itself is a struggle.  The list of tasks when you get home is endless. 

The last I want to mention is that it will put a strain on the relationship between you and your partner.  Things won’t be the same again.  I will talk about this more in my future articles.

For those readers who have considered all of the financial, physical and emotional stress, and still decide to have kids, I wish you the best of luck. 

 

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