For anybody new, I’m 20-21 weeks pregnant as of right now. I’ve been blogging about personal finance, budgeting, and my life in general here since February 2010. And I just joined a few mommy Facebook groups in the last few weeks to help myself prepare for what is coming and to start building support networks since only a couple of our friends have kids.
Main New Mommy Group Topics
Here is what I’ve figured out by just looking around the mommy group posts every day:
1. Sleep is HUGE. Sleep training versus just holding them versus whatever is like THE TOPIC, always. I’m leaning towards a steady routine so they get used to a process, but obviously, there are dozens of ways to handle sleep time and you do whatever works for you, boo boo.
2. Lack of partner support is sadly also one of the top topics. Like depressingly prevalent. For the record, I’m with anybody who says that partners don’t babysit their own kids while a mom takes a break. It’s called taking care of your kid. I get that we pregnant women have the breast milk and whatnot. But that doesn’t mean the entire raising process of this tiny human is on us! Thankfully, if how he is treating me while pregnant is any indication, my hubby is going to be an excellent baby-raising partner. I just have to accept that he’ll be the pushover between the two of us. I’m okay with that mostly, lol.
3. MONEY! So many parents have money problems and questions. Ranging from the general, “How do you make it work on one income?” all the way to some horrific examples of the only employed partner deciding to quit their job and not looking for another one. Oh, and don’t forget the 1-2 weekly posts from an abused mommy or mommy-to-be with no way of getting away because they have never had control over the money at all.
Man or woman, you need to have access to cash and credit in some way.
The person managing your household purse strings could die, leave you, become an abusive hellion, etc. In order to protect yourself, here are some suggestions for absolutely everyone.
1. Have access to cash. I highly suggest keeping at least a few hundred dollars of cash socked away for emergencies. Do you need to hide a whole second life from your significant other? NO. But each of y’all having access to cash is just safe. If my husband and I were physically separated during the power outages of Hurricane Ike or Hurricane Harvey, we could at least pay our way for the supplies and gas we needed with cash.
2. Know the passwords to your joint money accounts as well as any individual one(s) of your own.
3. Unless you have hundreds of thousands of dollars saved in liquid assets, stop telling me that you don’t need to build your credit score because you won’t use it. You don’t know what you may need in the future for sure! How do you rent a car, buy a car or house, open accounts, etc. if you’re an adult that doesn’t exist in the credit world? It’s REALLY hard. And totally avoidable! Open a credit card in your name, charge a little thing on it every month, and pay it off every month. No interest paid, no real problem, and you will at least exist in the world for future lending or accounts!!!
4. Don’t isolate yourself! I love my husband. He’s my best friend. He’s the first person I want to share good and bad things with, and we call each other first with all sorts of news. BUT WE EACH HAVE OTHER CLOSE FRIENDS AND FAMILY. If my husband loses his damn mind, gets a brain tumor that changes him, dies, or whatever, I have others I can rely on to help me. Ditto for him. It’s just a good idea! It’s part of that whole theme…don’t leave yourself at one person’s mercy since you never know what life will throw at you in the future.
And it’s not just women. No one should be completely at someone else’s financial mercy on purpose!!! Male or female, be prepared!
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!