Author Topic: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...  (Read 6584 times)

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #50 on: March 05, 2018, 04:39:12 PM »
My wife and I have a newborn, multiples more income, and less student loan debt at a lower rate.  I think you might be wildly underestimating the work involved in caring for a baby.  We also have the advantage of Mrs.UpwardlyMobile’s parents being our neighbors.  Pay off the debt, a kid is probably not in your cards.   You’d basically be choosing to be poorer, stressed and struggling.

How do you have such huge debt at 40?

You *just* had a baby -- how dare you (a man!!!) tell me 'a kid is probably not in your cards'???? What kind a monster must you be to intentionally come on this board and tell a stranger that ... perhaps while holding your newborn? ... Actually, don't answer that! Hold your baby and your wife tightly! Some of us aren't so lucky!

That "man!!!" is telling you from his own personal experience that a newborn is a lot of hard work. I don't see anything monstrous in his post. He isn't wishing childlessness on you.

Cyanne

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #51 on: March 05, 2018, 05:06:19 PM »
Please think long and hard about this. When I read your posts it sounds like you really haven't considered anything other than a perfect outcome. I became a single mother (not by choice) when my daughter was 2 months old. I moved in with my parents who were able to help me somewhat but I still needed to take a lot of time off of work when my daughter became sick since my own parents worked and were not available for daycare.

When my daughter was 6 months old she got RSV and I had to give her treatments every four hours day and night. My family was out of town so I was on my own. I almost collapsed from lack of rest when they returned five days later. At one point my boss made comments about my attendance impacting my job performance. It is frightening to think how close I came to losing my job.

My daughter had no health issues from birth. Children in daycare settings get sick often and if you are a single parent YOU are the one who will have to take care of your child. I thought my employer would be understanding too since it was an elementary school but you might be surprised how quickly that support evaporates if you start missing work to take care of a sick child.

I understand that you want a child. Please have a plan in place for all of the outcomes that aren't perfect. Make sure you have researched and know what care will cost. When I looked online I found that Washington DC has the highest rates in the country. What will you do if your child is special needs and there isn't daycare available that meets your child's needs? I know people that this has happened to. Even if your child is perfectly healthy he or she will get sick and need care. Do you know where to find back up care? Is your position the type where you can leave at a moment's notice in the middle of the day when you get a call from your daycare that your child is sick and needs to be picked up now?


Eva_Eva

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #52 on: March 05, 2018, 05:11:49 PM »
It's under mustachian community then under journals and it's called baby and pregnancy chat. People there are generally very supportive. What you're finding to be rude on the main form is just the way we operate here. It's not meant to be rude it's meant to be eye opening and to realize that debt is an emergency and you have to fix it. We don't sugarcoat.

I appreciate it - thank you!

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #53 on: March 05, 2018, 05:16:42 PM »
This jumped out at me:
Quote
These are my numbers: NET - 80K/ year, $35K in retirement, emergency $3000. Having a baby on my own + my insurance with Kaiser is about $2K for the fertility clinic and $260 for delivery.

Do you have any other savings outside retirement funds, or is $3000 all you have? After childbirth, assuming all goes well, that will be down to $740. That isn't even a month of living expenses.

Eva_Eva

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #54 on: March 05, 2018, 05:28:30 PM »
This jumped out at me:
Quote
These are my numbers: NET - 80K/ year, $35K in retirement, emergency $3000. Having a baby on my own + my insurance with Kaiser is about $2K for the fertility clinic and $260 for delivery.

Do you have any other savings outside retirement funds, or is $3000 all you have? After childbirth, assuming all goes well, that will be down to $740. That isn't even a month of living expenses.

I plan on starting IUI in Nov/Dec - that's 8 months at $3K savings/ month and if all goes well, I'd have another 10 months of saving at the same rate, until birth. I am not pregnant now!

MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #55 on: March 05, 2018, 07:31:12 PM »
My wife and I have a newborn, multiples more income, and less student loan debt at a lower rate.  I think you might be wildly underestimating the work involved in caring for a baby.  We also have the advantage of Mrs.UpwardlyMobile’s parents being our neighbors.  Pay off the debt, a kid is probably not in your cards.   You’d basically be choosing to be poorer, stressed and struggling.

How do you have such huge debt at 40?
You *just* had a baby -- how dare you (a man!!!) tell me 'a kid is probably not in your cards'???? What kind a monster must you be to intentionally come on this board and tell a stranger that ... perhaps while holding your newborn? ... Actually, don't answer that! Hold your baby and your wife tightly! Some of us aren't so lucky!

That "man!!!" is telling you from his own personal experience that a newborn is a lot of hard work. I don't see anything monstrous in his post. He isn't wishing childlessness on you.

Thanks.  As you saw, I wasn’t wishing childlessness on someone.  Moreover, gender has nothing to do with the topic as you keenly pointed out.

Raising a child is a ton of work.  I felt like a monster leaving Mrs upwardlymobile for a business trip for a single night.  There is tons to do.  Even with her mother helping during the day during maternity leave, it’s busy stuff. Babies need and require full time attention. It’s unbelievably exhausting.  A few nights with little to no sleep will literally make you a zombie at work.

I won’t go into the medical issues relating to pregnancies after 40.  There are smarter folks than I that know far more than I.   Suffice to say they exist and it’s a serious consideration.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 07:38:38 PM by MrUpwardlyMobile »

Eva_Eva

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #56 on: March 05, 2018, 07:56:27 PM »
My wife and I have a newborn, multiples more income, and less student loan debt at a lower rate.  I think you might be wildly underestimating the work involved in caring for a baby.  We also have the advantage of Mrs.UpwardlyMobile’s parents being our neighbors.  Pay off the debt, a kid is probably not in your cards.   You’d basically be choosing to be poorer, stressed and struggling.

How do you have such huge debt at 40?
You *just* had a baby -- how dare you (a man!!!) tell me 'a kid is probably not in your cards'???? What kind a monster must you be to intentionally come on this board and tell a stranger that ... perhaps while holding your newborn? ... Actually, don't answer that! Hold your baby and your wife tightly! Some of us aren't so lucky!

That "man!!!" is telling you from his own personal experience that a newborn is a lot of hard work. I don't see anything monstrous in his post. He isn't wishing childlessness on you.

Thanks.  As you saw, I wasn’t wishing childlessness on someone.  Moreover, gender has nothing to do with the topic as you keenly pointed out.

Raising a child is a ton of work.  I felt like a monster leaving Mrs upwardlymobile for a business trip for a single night.  There is tons to do.  Even with her mother helping during the day during maternity leave, it’s busy stuff. Babies need and require full time attention. It’s unbelievably exhausting.  A few nights with little to no sleep will literally make you a zombie at work.

I won’t go into the medical issues relating to pregnancies after 40.  There are smarter folks than I that know far more than I.   Suffice to say they exist and it’s a serious consideration.

Please, let's stop. Yes, it's hard but is it impossible????? You and your wife did it, didn't you? Did you not think it was gonna be hard??? Do you regret having a child now??? I truly feel like some people have ganged up on me to dissuade me from doing this. Gender has a lot to do with this - you aren't a woman to have to right to even offer your opinion because you don't know how it feels to want a child. Kinda like with voting on women't rights. Have a chat with your wife and see if she'd understand. For some money isn't everything. I wish you all the best to you and your family!

I'm a red panda

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #57 on: March 05, 2018, 08:06:22 PM »
Men have no idea what it is like to carry or birth a child, but they absolutely can know what it's like to want a child or to parent one.

I hope you have an easy time getting pregnant, staying pregnant, delivering the baby, and then raising the child. But it doesn't always go that way. My first pregnancy basically destroyed my life as I knew it. I don't regret the daughter I have, but she really complicated things while I was working to recover. You can't go back. Life will never be what it was. I'd be a much happier person if I never decided to have kids. Of course, I couldn't have known that, and all my life I've only ever wanted 2 (living, healthy) kids. Which probably won't happen. 

Just make sure you plan for the unexpected that people are telling you about. It's not unexpected for things to not turn out perfectly at your age, no testing can tell you that you will have a healthy child. It is emotionally and physically draining to go through assistive reproduction. How many times will you try? What about losses? Are you prepared? Pregnancy is hard, and adverse outcomes harder as you get older. Can you do 3 months of bed rest? 5 months? Fetal outcomes are worse for older mom's. Can you deal with months in the NICU? A lifetime of special needs?

Or post a case study of your finances, which this site is good at, and ignore all the threads you've started about life advice. It's clear your mind is made up.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 08:09:36 PM by iowajes »

charis

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #58 on: March 05, 2018, 09:06:31 PM »
I am really shocked by the number of posters that seem to be telling a stranger that she shouldn't try to have a child. Yeah, it's very hard, even when you have a healthy baby with two dedicated, present parents. But the OP is no stranger to hardship. Millions have babies while single, working, and/or not affluent.  It might not be ideal, but of course it can be done, and it is often done well.

Having children is flipping hard but the best things frequently are.  There will likely be loss, illness, pain, and suffering at some point. That is life.  Good luck.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #59 on: March 05, 2018, 09:28:47 PM »
At 40, you're pretty much on the brink of the fertility abyss. If you're going to have a baby, it will have to be now. You may find it very difficult even now. If this is something you will always regret not doing, please do it!

You'll be in a difficult financial position. Millions of people are when they have a baby. That can be dealt with. Don't let anyone talk you out of it with a solely financial argument.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #60 on: March 05, 2018, 09:39:27 PM »
When people post on these MMM forums with their case studies and they state their debt to income ratios, food costs, etc. etc. and list their family members, no one says "have you considered giving your children up for adoption so that you could cut on food/housing costs?".  No one says that.  But essentially it's the same thing as people telling you not to have a baby if that's one of your life goals/THE life goal. 
People will request advice on these forums who are in DIRE financial situations and they will mention that they also have a newborn at home... people will say "congrats on the baby" and then dish out financial advice that does not otherwise relate to the existence or non-existence of that baby.
Those are not comparable situations.

If that newborn has already entered the picture, that's it, there is no alternative. Ethically, the only path forward is helping parent and child achieve the best possible life possible, and that almost always entails keeping them together. Needlessly hurting the parent about past decisions does nothing. But in OP's case, that child isn't conceived, and that proposed conception will come at significant expense on the financial and interpersonal fronts.

Single motherhood is fraught with poor outcomes, but that's on a macro level. OP has a good income and has a few good things going for her, and a few bad things. She may buck the trend and raise a fantastic child who will go on to lead a deeply meaningful life. Or it may end in disaster, or anything in between. We don't know.

expatartist

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #61 on: March 05, 2018, 11:21:59 PM »
OP, like others here, I was perhaps misled by your title and first post in the thread. It sounds like perhaps you were a "parachute kid" who had to make it alone in the US without much support from immediate family on the ground. That maybe you became a support for your family at a young age without much guidance, and have done really really well for yourself after a couple decades of hard work. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm not trying to negate anything you've said here, just sharing my experience. Have you spent much time helping people raise their children when you were growing up, say babysitting for siblings, neighbors' kids etc? Because for me, the experience of taking care of babies and young children from age 10 upwards left me forever ambivalent about having kids of my own, and my 30s were essentially a war between urges from my biological clock and the knowledge that many things I enjoyed in life - primarily my independence and the work that shaped my identity - would be impossible.

In the end, I remained child-free for many reasons (though I work a kid-friendly job and a theoretical kid could have a wonderful private education from ages 2-18 with the ed foundation I work for) and though I sometimes wonder what life would've been like with one, it was the right decision for me. I'm much healthier physically, financially, and emotionally than I'd have been if I'd had a child (though everyone's experience is of course different!)

There are also times when I'm working with a group of kids on a huge scary (for them) public art project and I feel this intense love for all of them that is a version of and in a way satisfies  that maternal instinct. I'm able to do more and give more to the society I live in because that energy isn't devoted to one person. So what I'm trying to say is, even if on the off chance things don't go as hoped, there are many ways you can still be a mentor, a nurturer. There are many ways to love children, even if you don't live with one.

felixbf

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #62 on: March 06, 2018, 12:10:57 AM »
My wife and I have a newborn, multiples more income, and less student loan debt at a lower rate.  I think you might be wildly underestimating the work involved in caring for a baby.  We also have the advantage of Mrs.UpwardlyMobile’s parents being our neighbors.  Pay off the debt, a kid is probably not in your cards.   You’d basically be choosing to be poorer, stressed and struggling.

How do you have such huge debt at 40?
You *just* had a baby -- how dare you (a man!!!) tell me 'a kid is probably not in your cards'???? What kind a monster must you be to intentionally come on this board and tell a stranger that ... perhaps while holding your newborn? ... Actually, don't answer that! Hold your baby and your wife tightly! Some of us aren't so lucky!

That "man!!!" is telling you from his own personal experience that a newborn is a lot of hard work. I don't see anything monstrous in his post. He isn't wishing childlessness on you.

Thanks.  As you saw, I wasn’t wishing childlessness on someone.  Moreover, gender has nothing to do with the topic as you keenly pointed out.

Raising a child is a ton of work.  I felt like a monster leaving Mrs upwardlymobile for a business trip for a single night.  There is tons to do.  Even with her mother helping during the day during maternity leave, it’s busy stuff. Babies need and require full time attention. It’s unbelievably exhausting.  A few nights with little to no sleep will literally make you a zombie at work.

I won’t go into the medical issues relating to pregnancies after 40.  There are smarter folks than I that know far more than I.   Suffice to say they exist and it’s a serious consideration.

Please, let's stop. Yes, it's hard but is it impossible????? You and your wife did it, didn't you? Did you not think it was gonna be hard??? Do you regret having a child now??? I truly feel like some people have ganged up on me to dissuade me from doing this. Gender has a lot to do with this - you aren't a woman to have to right to even offer your opinion because you don't know how it feels to want a child. Kinda like with voting on women't rights. Have a chat with your wife and see if she'd understand. For some money isn't everything. I wish you all the best to you and your family!

Bottom Line, which never really occurs to everyone.
You only get/have ONE life. So do what YOU want Eva :). Take everyone's "advice" as just that, ADVICE.



Bee21

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #63 on: March 06, 2018, 03:00:08 AM »
I think having or not having a child is a deeply personal decision. No internet stranger should tell a woman what to do.

On the money side, I suggest trying to stabilize your finances asap. Refinance those loans. Build up a 6 month emergency fund BEFORE you get pregnant. You never know what sort of pregnancy you have, you might need to take time off work if you are on bedrest etc, etc. That money will also come in handy after the child is born. It is highly probable that childcare will eat up a large proportion of your income, so not much will be left (talking from experience). There were 2 years when I was working for 30$ a day (plus retirement contributions).It is not the fancy prams and cute little outfits which are expensive, it is the childcare. And I don't even want to talk about the quality of those childcare places. The first 2 years are hard. Babies are hard. Toddlers are harder. My career still hasn't recovered from the zombie years (my kids didnt sleep until they were 4), the first 2 years they were always sick because they picked up all those germs in daycare and generously shared them with me, so I had to take a lot of sick days...I have a very family friendly job, but still. It will take an other round of bosses until I can rebuild my professional reputation. No matter how good I am, they still remember those years when I was sleep deprived, useless and unreliable.

So, start paying off the debt and piling up cash agressively. You will be better off outlining your finances in detail here than asking for baby advice, people will have some actionable plans of optimising spending, saving money, investing etc. That will be more helpful in your current situation than the single mother horror stories.

And the last bit: when calculating costs, always work with the more expensive version, not the optimistic lowest possible version when running possible scenarios. Like, you will need the expensive baby making version (if not, great), your mum won't be able to help much with childcare, so you will have to fund it all yourself,  there are no spots available in the cheap childcare, so you need to book the bub in the more expensive one etc, etc. (I am paying 30 dollars per child more a day for a better quality afterschool care, because the cheap place was simply so horrible that I couldn't leave them there).

I wish people would stop saying that children are not expensive. Maybe not if you are a stay at home mom who comes from a large family with lots of hand me down baby gear, breastfeeds, uses cloth nappies (hand washed in rainwater heated by solar power), feeds the bub organic vegetables from own garden and of course homeschools. But for the rest of us, they don't come cheap. (I am extremely bitter about childcare fees, you can tell)

I'm a red panda

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #64 on: March 06, 2018, 03:18:43 AM »
Don't let anyone talk you out of it with a solely financial argument.

I'm in complete agreement here. If she wants a kid, she has to do it now. I think people are using the financial argument because of the title of her post, which is kid or student loans. People are also trying to tell her that being a single mom is harder than she appears to think it is, and she needs to be resume for that.

Honestly at 40, if she wants a kid, she needs to start today. Her chance of a biological child gets slimmer every month.  And if she plans to go to adoption I'd that fails, there are places she is near to aging out of.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 03:22:18 AM by iowajes »

Villanelle

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #65 on: March 06, 2018, 03:32:00 AM »
I agree that it you want a baby more than nearly everything else, you should have a baby.

But "wanting it more than nearly everything else" means you want it more than you want to not live in a mediocre-at-best studio apartment, and than you want to not eat beans and rice 5 days a week, and to not drive a 2008 Toyota Corolla with a dented door and broken radio, and to not eat any meals out pretty much ever, and to not exchange gifts with family for holidays and birthdays, and to not have cable, and just about everything else.

So, do you want a baby that badly?  If so, great, go for it.  But then be the responsible adult and give up all those other things to.  If you can't then clearly you want those things more than you want a baby, which is fine, too.  You can responsibly have whatever you want.  Just not everything you want.  So pick what it is you want, and then readjust everything else to align with that priority. 

It is grossly irresponsible to choose the kid but then not do pretty much *EVERYTHING* within your power to get your finances in order.  And "in order" means not only addressing the debt, but also addressing future spending, and building up a substantial emergency fund, all on top of being able to pay for childcare and other expenses, and additional time off for days she is sick (if you don't get PTO) and other possible work implications of having a child that often needs care and attention during the workday.  That doesn't mean it is grossly irresponsible for you to have a child.  It is only so if you aren't willing to make the other sacrifices in order to get what you want and still have your financial house in order.  From the sounds of it, it is going to take some extreme sacrifices for a few years, all while you want to be adjusting to new motherhood (at time during which you are likely to often want to throw money at problems when you are sick, tired, unappreciated, exhausted, and stressed).  For you, just ordering in or going through the drive through, or not shopping thrift because it is faster than a trip to Target, or wanting to pay a housekeeper for even just one time because you are exhausted and can't deal, or wanting to hire a lawn service, or whatever, are not going to be in the cards.  Unless you want to be irresponsible, have your child grow up in financial uncertainty, and never get ahead.

So, if you want to do it, do it.  But know what it will cost (and I don't mean just the numbers), carefully assess that, and be honest with yourself when deciding if you are truly willing to make those adjustments. 

Eva_Eva

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #66 on: March 06, 2018, 06:04:08 AM »
Thank you everyone!  I'm on that path with savings and correcting other things as much and as quickly as possible. Yes, I'm 40 and I have been in perfect shape and health my entire life - in the gym all the time, eating only healthy stuff, always watching my lifestyle. So, I look and feel 30 - inside and out and better than many 25-year olds. I get a lot of dates but I'm picky because I worked hard for everything in my life. Could I just have any man that comes into my life, actually YES - I have many of those options but for what? -Just to have a mediocre sperm donor that's lukewarm about how he feels about me, isn't super healthy, mediocre looks and finances, and also looking for a second mother - NO THANKS! I have friends that have those kinds of men in their life - no thanks!  This may sound selfish, yet again but here it is: - I look great and I will say life is easier as a beautiful person. I want a gorgeous child and I get to choose that. With money, I can do enough on my own without a deadbeat man-child around. I don't have the time and energy to raise a 40+ year old man that never wants to grow up. ... anyway... thanks everyone for your input. The experience on this forum has been quite eye-opening and terrifying as to how evil some people can be. Oh and I know many women that got started in their 40's - my mom had me late as well, so no health concerns here, as others are pointing out relentlessly.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #67 on: March 06, 2018, 06:27:41 AM »
Now that is the voice of humble, emotionally mature woman who knows what she wants.

mbl

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #68 on: March 06, 2018, 06:31:22 AM »
Eva_Eva. 
The best to you as you begin this journey.

Please, going forward, reconsider posting threads that detail your personal life and asking advice.
Not everyone is going to agree with you.   Take what might help and of course, dismiss the rest.


FrugalToque

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Re: Have a baby on my own or pay off student loans...
« Reply #69 on: March 06, 2018, 06:50:18 AM »
[Okay ... we're just going to lock this thread before it gets even nastier.]