Monday, November 15, 2010

The Best Things In Life Are Not Free

Tummies! Tummies! Tummies! If they are not growing, they are popping. It's baby fever, baby, and I'm a little worried it's contagious.

Deep breath.

No, No, No - I'm (emphatically) not preggo. Dear lord, no!! I'm hemorrhaging as I type. But, for the first time today when one friend reminded me of those first butterfly kicks and another of seeing her tummy pulse as a limb bulged...just for a moment, I was well, envious.


I'd heard that this happened. Mothers lose brain cells or have to give up precious archive memory space to make room for remembering all that other daily stuff. Diapers? Check. Cheese sticks? Yep. Garbage bags? Got 'em! Milk? Oh crap - back to the store. They forget the lack of sleep and the lack of sleep and the lack of sleep. Anyway, I'd heard that you start to romanticize pregnancy and then POP, before you know it you are pouring away half a bottle of white wine...well, most of it.

So, I'm on the subway and I catch myself thinking about it. And I think about it. And then I'm distracted by the thought of the boots that I tried on at lunch, that I really need, but I didn't buy them because we can't afford it. Back to thinking about babies - wait, what? I can't afford a pair of winter boots yet I am actually wondering about having a child? (for the record I do have a husband that this would be discussed with before I yank out my paragard).

Oh yeah, i'd forgotten - that having a baby thing is so expensive! Actually, it's not just when they are babies - it's never ending - I think I actually owe my mum money at the moment and I'm 31. So, if we're so in debt now, how can we logically afford number 2?

(insert stomp of foot here) BUT I WANT ONE...maybe.

Now I've heard what people say... 'it doesn't matter how much money you have, you just make it work' - but in that case, can I go back to Nine West tomorrow? I know you can't compare boots and babies. Boots are actually useful. Boots give something back. Yes, but babies give you love. Babies are for life, not just for Christmas. Yeah, are dogs. And cats. And I can't afford one of those either.

The sad reality is, our generation is now set to work until we are 72. This giant national ponzi scheme called Social Security is going to cripple a country before long. If you thought Madoff was bad, wait till it's us.

And yet past generations had more than one or two children. Perhaps it was because they had the rest of the family around them for support. They would live in the same house they grew up in until they married? Family would help family and family businesses were literally that. I mean, I have heard my parents and grandparents talk about being poor and working their way up the ladder. Here's the difference, we not only have no money - we have negative money! We are the debt generation.

The generations above us may look at our generation as not having the same traditional family values. "Our priorities are mixed up". Fact is - we can't afford to. These days, it's more common that both parents have to go to work. College debt crucifies us before we get out of the gate. We have to go where the jobs are and often that is not where we grew up or near the retirement villages our parents have gone out to pasture in. Sadly, grandparents can't always save us a killing in childcare. We can't pay back into our own family because we are trying to survive ourselves.

I think that that is why our generation isn't the 2.4 children that our parents were. More and more parents are perhaps asking those same questions - can we afford another child? Especially when 80% of the week is spent away from them working to afford them and ourselves a better life.

Plus - if we are going to live until we are 92 (Lord willing) that's 20 years of retirement to have to save for. Oh God - I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Anyway, before I schedule a hysterectomy (think of the tummies, the tummies, the tummies) I just wondered if in any other part of your life, would you encourage getting something that you can't afford? Probably not.

Except for boots from Nine West.

(And probably a second child - who am I kidding?)


  1. Boots? Baby? Boots? Baby? Boots? No sleep? Boots!!!
    A lot of my friends are on baby number 2 and while it makes my uterus twitch, I know it's not a good time for us. When we decided on our first, we both were ready. I think that's what matters. Money will always be an issue. You have to go with your heart!

  2. For God sakes, get the boots and scratch that itch. Think twice, is all I'm sayin'.

    No, Go for it. Having kids is great, if you like chaos in your life and have a whimsical British mum.

    Before you do it though, go to as many movies as possible, drink whole bottles of wine, without any help and read as much as you can, not that you can really do any of that with one child, one, two, three, it really makes no difference, when you have em' life changes it as you once knew it...oh..and...have lots of safe sex with your hubbie, unless you're that type who likes to do it in closets of public places.

    So hows that for confusing you? I am definitely going to check in more often with you. You and I...we need to talk...more!

  3. I just wrote a really long comment and I hit post and it lost my comment. So too bad. Not doing it again. :) But I love you and miss you! And my thoughts? (But what do I know, I am not a mom and I have no money or take it for what its worth) Boots are just crap that get thrown out next year when you need the next pair. Its easy to get caught up in that "need/want" but whats the point? More debt so you can say you have more stuff? No thanks. (You can see what I am struggling with these days ha.) Plus, I know I need more than one kid so I don't have a spoiled only child like my husband. :) ha kidding (about the spoiled husband part, not about the kid thing)

  4. Great blog! I'm your new follower from MBC.
    I hope you'll follow back.
    Mayra's Secret Bookcase

  5. Great post, that's a hard one. More kids = more money but it also means more chaos and more love. We hope for a second, but there are no guarantees.

  6. Do it! ;) No you make some excellent point, but we have three and "can't" afford any of them either. Besides, because we are living differently than our parents, our kids really are our retirement plan. I totally plan on living between the three of them in my old age, so I'm really doing them a favor by spreading the love of mama visits. Now on a more serious note: we were unable to have baby number three until we sold our house, paid off all our debts, and then moved next door to my parents. They make it possible for me to manage the three I have: taking my oldest to school, watching my youngest while I help at the preschool etc. Yep, I could never do it alone.

  7. I just saw you on MBC and am your newest follower! This is a great post! Wouldn't it be great if we lived close enough to grandparents to help with babysitting! We just had our second...I think you just have to make sure it feels right to both of you and then you find a way. (Our "way" has included giving up a lot of "boots"--I think the last time I bought a NEW pair of shoes was over a year ago!)


  8. If it makes you feel better, my daughter isn't even 4 months old yet and I am already thinking about doing it again.

    PS: Following from MBC


Go on...say something.