Our Biggest Life Transition Yet Is Due this Summer!

As I anticipated when I founded this blog, our major life transitions are now coming fast and furious!

 

2014:

 

2015:

 

2016:

  • We are expecting our first child!

 

The Roberts family: established May 2010, expanding July 2016.

The Roberts family: established May 2010, expanding July 2016.

 

We have been extremely fortunate that both getting pregnant and (so far) being pregnant were easy, smooth experiences. We conceived after only a few months of trying, and I’ve only had a small number of mild pregnancy symptoms. In fact, it’s all happened so quickly and easily that my intense planner personality hasn’t really been activated yet with respect to the baby. Usually I am all over thinking about the future and running different financial scenarios and so forth, but not in this case, at least not yet.

 

I’m sure I’ll post about becoming parents quite frequently in the future, so for now I’ll just give a few financially-related highlights of the process to date and our thoughts about the future.

 

1) Conceiving our child was a frugal process because it didn’t go on for very long. We practiced the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) after I went off the Pill using Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, an inexpensive basal body temperature thermometer, and a free app for tracking (Kindara). In total, we bought pregnancy tests only twice. If we had gone a few more months without conceiving, we probably would have started buying some additional products to help us with the FAM such as ovulation predictor kits, so I’m glad we didn’t have to start down that road.

 

2) Our insurance through Kyle’s job is fabulous for pregnancy and birth, which was a happy surprise to us because of how terrible his 401(k) is. I mean, the premium is expensive for sure, but Kyle’s employer pays 90% of it and the deductible is quite low. As best I can tell from talking with our care provider and insurance company, we can expect to only pay my deductible for the prenatal care and birth – $200 in 2015 and $200 in 2016. The insurance company is picking up 100% of the cost above the deductible! Oh, and our top choice care provider was in network, so we didn’t have to compromise there. Even the childbirth and parenting education classes we plan to take are 100% reimbursable expenses!

 

3) I haven’t spent much money on maternity clothing, but that’s more out of laziness than frugality. We did buy a few small items early on to help me keep wearing my regular clothes for a while, but then Kyle’s cousin gave me some of her old maternity clothes so I’ve just been wearing those for the past month or two. I basically only put on proper maternity clothes when I leave the house for social reasons or errands. I’m still wearing baggy workout clothes when I exercise outside of the house and the rest of the time I’m in my regular exercise clothes or pajamas. I might buy a few more maternity pieces in the coming months (maybe a swimsuit!), but I’m not anticipating a whole new wardrobe or anything.

 

4) We’re not planning to make any career changes in the foreseeable future. Kyle will continue to work at the start-up. I will be the baby’s primary caregiver during the day, but I plan to keep part-time hours with my business and travel on a limited basis. (Part of the motivation for me becoming self-employed was to have this flexibility.) We will likely pay for babysitters on a limited basis after Kyle returns to work to allow me to travel for speaking engagements and have some uninterrupted time for work. We’re kind of flying by the seat of our pants in this area because we don’t know what the baby and our relationship with the baby will be like yet.

 

5) As you might imagine, I won’t have any kind of pay for my ‘maternity leave’ (except for passive income). As of now, I plan to only keep up with my business email for about six weeks after the birth and hold off on traveling for about twelve weeks. Kyle was initially told by his employer that he would receive no additional paid time off, but thankfully they revised that policy so that he can take up to twelve weeks off at half pay plus their part of the health insurance premium. (Half pay doesn’t sound great but having anchored us at zero leave we are happy about it.) He also has the option of working half-time for a transition period, but once he returns to work full-time the parental leave benefit ends. We haven’t yet decided how much time he will take off – perhaps four weeks of full leave and two to four weeks of half-time. A work-from-home option was also brought up but I’m not sure how much that would benefit us without detracting from Kyle’s work given that he has a 3-minute walking commute.

 

6) We have bought next to nothing for the baby yet (only secondhand onesies). Again, this is my aversion to shopping (and spending) rearing its head. We have been researching products (diapers, sleeping spaces, breastfeeding accessories, dressers, carriers, strollers) but haven’t pulled the trigger on any yet. Somewhere along the way I got the idea that we had to hash out our parenting style before committing to any stuff, which of course requires me to read ALL THE BOOKS. I also keep telling Kyle that newborns need next to nothing, and he keeps telling me that eventually the baby will need stuff or we will want stuff so we should at least research and decide on it now. The shopping moratorium is pretty ridiculous and needs to stop soon!

 

That’s what’s been going on for us over the last six months or so! We’re extremely excited about entering this next life stage and meeting our child.

 

What changed in your finances when you had your first child? How much paternity/maternity leave did you take and was it paid? Do you work from home and care for your child(ren) simultaneously?

 

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19 Responses to "Our Biggest Life Transition Yet Is Due this Summer!"

  1. Leigh says:

    Congrats!!! That is super exciting and not a bad deal for Kyle really as far as paternity leave goes in this country. Do you have sufficient space in your current rented apartment for the baby? Is the second bedroom going to be turned into the baby’s room?

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks!

      We had higher hopes (not quite expectations) because of the generous paternity leave offered by other big local employers – not that start-ups can usually match those benefits anyway – but as far as the country average goes it’s way above. We’re not sure what caused the change of heart, if there was one – maybe the founders looked at how that benefit has evolved over the last few years.

      Yes, we think there is enough room in the apartment (of course I’m saying this BEFORE we acquire stuff). We’ll move some/all of the furniture in the second bedroom to our (large) living room and put the baby’s furniture/stuff mostly in there and probably some in our bedroom, too. We might move on from this apartment before it really becomes a room the baby spends much time in, though, so we’re not getting too invested in the idea/decor of a nursery. We’re trying to take a minimalist approach to baby gear acquisition, motivated by money, space, and the desire to avoid waste.

  2. Michelle says:

    Congrats! Love the family photo 🙂

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks, Michelle! Seattle is beautiful, especially on the sunny days, so we were happy to have it as a nice backdrop.

  3. Nicoleandmaggie says:

    Congrats!

    1. Emily says:

      Thank you!

  4. Money Beagle says:

    Many congrats! Can’t wait to hear updates after the baby is born. It’s always such an exciting time in life filled with lots of ups (and sometimes a few downs).

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks! I’m sure there will be a lot more baby-related financial talk here as things progress.

  5. Congratulations Emily! So happy for you two.

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks, Jayson!

  6. Wooohooo .. thought it would be this type of news 😀

    Really happy for you, guys. We have a 2 year old who’s driving us nuts every day, but we couldn’t see life without her.

    Keeping fingers crossed for you.

    1. Emily says:

      Yes, we are of an age/stage…

      Thanks! We’re looking forward to all the new challenges and joys!

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  8. SP says:

    Congratulations!

    1. Emily says:

      Thank you!

  9. Erika says:

    Congrats, Emily! That’s wonderful news!

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