I hadn’t been married two minutes and yet the first question asked of me was… “When are you going to have kids?” This question popped up even more the last few months, especially at family gatherings and work functions. My husband and I have already discussed an ideal time to start a family, but for some reason, I’m really not interested in sharing it with the world. To make matters worse, I’m not a person who even appreciates kids, although I’m told that will change when I have some crumb snatchers of my own.
But all the questions about when folks expect us to have kids got me to thinking…when is a good time to have kids? Is it within the first year or two of marriage? In my case, my husband and I dated for the last ten years, so I could hardly say I need this time to spend with him before kids entered the picture. Our planning has everything to do with trying to make sure we can give our future kiddies the life they deserve.
Having kids is a major adjustment. I’m not just talking about the sleepless nights and the feeling that you’re a bad parent because Junior’s belly button fell off on your watch. Junior represents a lot in terms of time commitment, emotional and financial challenges. Most expecting parents do not prepare adequately for a child or only refer to the standard dollar amount associated with raising a child which is somewhere in the neighborhood of $250,000 from the time they are born until they turn 18. This is not taking into account the hospital bills you will incur before your bundle of joy is born!!! According to Redbook Magazine, the average copayment for services associated with a normal delivery is $2,000! If you have a complicated birth, that figure could inch closer to $6,000 or more!
So you’ve already spent $2,000 (I’m hoping you have a safe and uncomplicated delivery) before Junior is even placed in his car seat. And, that $250,000 estimate is a national average, so if you live in a Metropolitan area (like I do), that figure is likely going to be much higher for child care, groceries, and medical expenses. Keep in mind, this does not include any “extras” you may want for your child like moving to a neighborhood with an excellent school district, causing you to buy a more expensive house. And what about all the responsibilities that can’t be quantified like laundry, cooking dinner every night, helping Junior with his homework, taking him to football practice and paying his tuition bills?
Given all of these factors, don’t be afraid to answer the question of when you’re going to have kids with a simple no time soon!