of this writing, I'm am eagerly awaiting the world debut of our second
baby, Thing 2.
It's fairly common knowledge that
parents are better prepared and more relaxed by the time their second
kid arrives. (There were even some hilarious commercials
recently that showed the difference between parents of first and second
children). Of all the ways I feel more ready for Thing 2 than I did for
LO, the finances of having a baby is a big one
Now, I'm not
talking about the enormous insurance copay we're going to owe the
hospital after Thing 2 is born, which could be its own post. (And I
remember a friend telling me about how long it took her grandparents to
pay off the bill for her father and uncle's [twin] birth. The boys were
about 7 when their parents told them they were finally theirs, free and
clear). No, I mean the costs associated with having a baby that no one
ever thinks of. Things like:
The Mohel Okay, this is only
an issue for Jewish parents of sons, but it was still pretty surprising.
Our mohel charges $700 for a bris (circumcision ceremony), which feels
like paying someone a large amount of money to punch you as hard as he
can in the stomach, after which you all eat bagels and smoked salmon.
(That's not to say that covenant of brit milah is not a beautiful part
of my religious tradition. It's just that no matter how many times I
might go through this, it's never going to be easy seeing any part of my
tiny son's anatomy in close proximity to a sharp knife).
Clothes for Mom
Before LO was born, I knew that I would still look about six months
pregnant as we were taking him home from the hospital, so I knew that I
could just keep on wearing my maternity clothes for a little while. What
I didn't anticipate was the in-between phase when I hadn't quite gotten
back to my pre-pregnancy weight but the maternity wear was hanging off
of me. (And this is where the stereotype of the mom in yoga pants comes
from, of course). I think life for new moms would be a lot easier if it
were socially acceptable to wear bathrobes in public. In any case, I
found that I had to make several unplanned clothing purchases in the six
to nine months after LO was born, just to keep from running errands
Food There are two sides to this. First,
there's the fact that cooking while parenting a newborn is a
nearly-impossible task--which is why good friends and family bring over
meals for new parents. But eventually those meals do dry up, and cooking
generally hasn't gotten a great deal easier by the time that happens.
So you end up eating a lot of takeout.
The other part of the food
issue is the unrivaled sense of ungovernable hunger nursing moms will
often feel. Plan on Mom eating like a truck driver, and adjust the food
Batteries As an infant, LO lived in his
baby swing, because the stubborn little cuss would not otherwise
consent to naps. We ATE batteries. We finally bought some excellent rechargeable batteries, pretty much just in time for LO to outgrow his swing.
Laundry Detergent/Bleach I don't think I need to elaborate on this one.
Always Buying the WRONG Product
It took a bunch of trial and error before we figured out what kind of
pacifier/bottle/swaddler/soap/ointment/baby grand piano/etc LO would
tolerate. And if you know of a new, sleep-deprived parent who is capable
of holding onto (and then finding) the necessary receipts for returning
the WRONG product once it has become clear that the child is moments
away from declaring international war over just how WRONG the particular
product is, then I would like to know where you live and if the
unicorns are as beautiful as has been reported. Basically, I made
regular pilgrimages to Goodwill to drop off the WRONG products that I
Even though I feel more prepared for all of this
for Thing 2, I also know that he's going to be his own person and this
experience will be different and unique. Which means I will certainly
discover other financial stumbling blocks that simply haven't yet
occurred to me.What financial issues took you by surprise when you had a baby?