Sunday, April 22, 2012

When is the right time for baby #2?

When is the right time to plan for a second child? That's a question that has been roaming around the corridors of my mind lately. Perhaps it's the influx of new babies that I see every Sunday at our church. Or the fact that I'm turning 30 in two months. Or maybe it's because my son is now 2 years old, going on 25. Whatever the reason, it's definitely a question that I've been contemplating for the past few months. The thing is, my husband and I are trying to get out of debt, and eventually buy a house. We're currently doing Dave Ramsey's 7 Baby Steps to Financial Freedom:

■Baby Step 1 – $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
■Baby Step 2 – Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
■Baby Step 3 – 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
■Baby Step 4 – Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
■Baby Step 5 - College funding for children
■Baby Step 6 – Pay off home early
■Baby Step 7 – Build wealth and give!

Right now we're on Baby Step #2, and we'll be at this step probably for the next 10 years - if you figure in student loans along with credit card debt, and the car note. So at what point would we shift gears from hardcore payment of debt, to financially planning for a baby? I went onto the Babycenter site and found a Baby Cost Calculator. After a few calculations, it looks like we'd need to save about $3000 for baby's first year. On top of that, we still haven't purchased a home yet, and my husband is still a college student. It's tough because in a perfect world, we'd pay off debt first, then buy a house, then have a 2nd child. But life doesn't work out that way most times. And let's face it, as women we all feel the clock tick tick ticking away at our youth and child-bearing capabilities.

I remember, when I was younger, and wished for 4 children. No. Not just wished for them, but was completely adamant that there would be no other option, because I wanted a big family. My husband felt the same way. I have two brothers and no sisters, and he has two sisters with no brothers. So we both shared a common yearning for that type of same-sex sibling connection. With 4 kids, it would be perfect. Two boys and two girls. Each would have siblings of each gender. Perfect perfect pefect. Of course when we met, I was 21 and he was 23. Both of us, kids. Knowing nothing about love, life, or babies. We were sweet... but naive.

Now is the time that reality sets in. Babies cost money. Houses cost money. Goodness me, the amount of money we pay in daycare alone would make a grown man cry. ::SIGH:: Let's take a moment to reminisce about the good ol' days. The days when people could get married right out of high school, and buy a new house immediately, or very shortly after. The days when dads could go out and work, moms could stay at home, and no one felt like they were hitting the poverty level by making this decision. Ahh, those were the days alright. Of course, I've only heard about them through word of mouth.  As if it were some old time fable of a time long lost.   

Which brings me back to my original question: how do we {responsibly} plan for our next little one? Only God knows when or if it'll happen. Maybe I'm over thinking things, and need to "let go and let God". Wait, how does that work again? Is there a chart for that? Ya.. didn't think so. Whatever happens, at least we're moving in the right direction with our finances and career goals. Eventually we'll get where we want to be. And hopefully we'll also have a few more sets of little feet to enjoy it with.

1 comment:

  1. I thought it was just about that time for baby number 2. Until I actually sat down and visualized it. And realized that two in daycare would be more than my mortgage. And that mentally, we're not ready! It was a hard decision, but we need to wait.