Can You Afford to Have a Baby?


I was born in the last century. Many people didn’t even ponder this. In America , many people thought (& still think) that they just come—you don’t prevent them from coming…that birth control/family planning is a sin…..& the community (it takes a village, after all) will assist you.

In fact, that’s why we don’t teach anything about birth spacing or family planning to teenagers.  It’s up to their parents/guardians to decide what they should know. The thinking being is that if they don’t know how to prevent pregnancy, they won’t engage in sex.   Great logic, eh? As though this thinking has ever prevented teenagers from engaging in sexual activity!

The irony is that those who know how to prevent pregnancy engage in less sex or have fewer unwanted kids. What a concept.

But in these days where liabilities are called toxic assets, it’s easy to understand  how a high school—or even a college graduate —would not be able to  DO THE MATH &  be able to decide if she could afford to  raise a child.

I know people will think the analogy is gross, but I know hobby dog breeders. They only breed when they plan to keep at least 1 pup from the litter for themselves, and can afford to keep the entire litter indefinitely. Really.  & when they breed the bitch, they start collecting newspapers.   You know, to line the puppy pen.  The gestation for a dog is about 2 months, and then you  have to keep the pups for at least 2 months (it is ILLEGAL to sell or give them away before they are 8 weeks old anywhere in the USA), so …they have newspapers to raise the pups on. They ask their friends to give them newspapers, too.  & they purchase vaccine, and do all the preparatory work.

Sounds like a good idea, doncha think?  So, wondering if you can afford a kid? These days, people don’t wash diapers. You can, and you might want to go online and find out how many diapers a baby at various ages goes through in a day…& then…start either collecting enough cloth  diapers for 2 weeks at a time (you will want to wash an entire load at a time) or—-start buying disposable diapers…because you will need them until the kid is at least 2 years old.

& diapers are only about 10% of the cost of having a baby.  Think you will go on public aid, or get food stamps?  That kind of existence is just that—an existence. Not much of a life.

My advice would be to manage a household for about a year.  Learn to budget what you have.  Check out what  health insurance will cost.  & check out the cost of diapers.  Set aside time, now, while you don’t have a kid, to do an extra three loads of laundry a week.  Think about how much extra time you will need  to find day care, get to work, and return to pick up your child—& oh, by the way—how much does day care cost?  Hey—what do groceries cost?  I used to go to 2  grocery chains—Dominick’s  & Jewel in Chicago. Bioth USED TO HAVE great prices. I  now  know that Aldi’s & my local small markets have better prices on the staples.  I have not found Walmart or Target to offer  great values unless they have what I want on sale.  Probably COSTCO might—but I am not shopping for 5, just 2.

Who is going to pay for all this, and how?  Your partner? Your parents?  The state?.

The information you need is not top secret.  You can even go online & find out how many diapers you need, & what diapers cost.  & rent in various parts of the USA, ans figure out how much income you need,and how you are going to go about earning that income when many  highly skilled people are out of jobs.

And while you are at it, start thinking about whether you want to have more than  one child, and why.

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