Raising a child is one of if not the most rewarding jobs that you can have. I really do hope so as the ones I’ve had to date haven’t been that inspiring.
My wife and I are quickly heading towards our 40s and don’t have children, whilst those around us are popping them out like Pez dispensers.
We have spoken about children and we often get asked when we are going to have them, but for numerous reasons we haven’t yet made a decision whether we want them or whether nature will mean that we can have them. Come on I here you say, time is a ticking.
We understand that there are risks having children later on in life and we run the risk of being mistaken for our kids grandparents at the school gates but there are so many considerations that we must make personally about such a life changing decision.
#1 It’s expensive
This wouldn’t be a personal finance blog if I didn’t first mention the cost. Apparently it costs £230,000 to raise a child, if you believe everything you read in the papers. These costs include food, childcare, education related expenses and food to name just a few.
I appreciate that some will say that this is at the extreme end of the spectrum but how many have actually stopped and calculated how much having kids has actually cost in real terms.
It’s no secret that a lot of young people are finding it near on impossible to get themselves onto the property ladder and as a result are having to dip into the bank of mum and dad to raise a big enough deposit for the smallest of places to call home. It’s a long way off bearing in mind that children aren’t on the horizon yet, but I don’t feel at that I want to have to re-mortgage whatever property we are living in to finance a bricks and mortar that we won’t be living in having worked to have a home eventually without a mortgage, eventually.
#2 My wife and I have a great relationship
My wife and I have been together for some years now and our relationship is great. We get each other.
I know that some people will have children believing that it will improve their relationship, though this so often isn’t the case. The sleepless nights and the differing opinions on how to raise the child can only make that couple drift further apart.
Will we start to resent each other if one feels like that the other is not pulling our weight, will we begin to start arguing about money or the lack of it or will our opinions differ as to which grandparent should babysit when a babysitter will no doubt be needed.
#3 It’s a scary thought
If we were to have a child in my 40s by the time he or she gets to 10 I’ll be in 50s. Will I be able physically capable of doing all the activities that a child will want to do, I sometimes moan and groan just getting up from a chair, so what am I going to be like when I’m in my 50s.
A few years back David Jason had a child at 61 and Ronnie Wood, has recently had a child at 68. Hats off to you gentleman but I certainly won’t be having children in my 60s, having them in my 50s would be a push.
There are a number of other things that are not in your control when you have children, their health and wellbeing for one. I have nothing but admiration, praise and respect for those that are the parent of a child or children that are sick or disabled, their strength of character knows no limits. The thing is I’m not sure that I have the same strength of character, but I guess that is something that no one knows that they will be able to deal with unless the situation arises.
#4 I’m unhappy with my current financial situation
For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be financially independent and at the moment I’m certainly nowhere near what I would consider financially independent.
I consider every purchase I make no matter how big or small. I rarely impulse buy researching purchases for a month or more before deciding whether it is something that we need in the house. My 9 to 5 pays little for what I do and don’t see that changing anytime soon no matter how many times I bring it up. As a result I always have my eye out for new opportunities to move into a position that offers the potential to grow and make more money.
In 2015 I completed a HND in Business Management in the hope that this would improve my job prospects, but it hasn’t as of yet. Maybe I’m looking for inspiration in all the wrong places, but I know that I’ve got a number of skills that can be transferred into different roles. I’m under no illusion that some positions might require me to take a drop in wages, something that might be unrealistic if we have children.
#5 I can be selfish
I like to do what I like when I like and I worry that having children might just put an end to my selfishness.
My wife and don’t live a rock and roll lifestyle by any stretch of the imagination but we try to enjoy everything that we do together, whether that’s a Friday night curry, going to watch a musical in town or just catching up on TV shows we’ve missed. Will this all have to stop when you add children into the mix?
I’ve spoken to parents that say that having children doesn’t have to change your life and they just fit around you and but I’ve spoken to some that age just talking about their children and the stresses that parenthood puts upon them.
So what next?
I know that nothing in life is certain and sometimes you just need to step outside your comfort zone and take that leap of faith. I know that we’ll get it wrong sometimes but we will learn from these mistakes and be the best parents that we can be, we aren’t daft and know that a lot of parenting is just commonsense, which sometimes seems to be a thing in short supply.
It is going to be a scary but rewarding chapter in our lives, which I’m sure we will relish and do our very best to ensure the happiness of any child or children that we do have and I guess that is all that can be asked of anyone that decides to bring a child into the crazy world which we live in today.