Article written by Daniel Sherwin email@example.com DadSolo.com
Raising a child to age 17 costs an estimated $233,610, according to a study by the USDA. The newborn and toddler years add up with the cost of delivery, diapers, and clothes they outgrow quickly. Make preparations for a budget-friendly pregnancy to start saving money early.
Staying Healthy on a Budget
Going into the pregnancy as healthy as possible can reduce complications and make the pregnancy easier. You don't need expensive prenatal exercise classes to stay healthy. Simply walking or swimming on your own is effective.
Prenatal exercise benefits include less back pain, decreased constipation, better sleep, and shortened labor, according to Mayo Clinic. Check with your prenatal care provider to ensure exercise is safe for your situation.
Check on prenatal vitamins from different sources. You can get prescription or over-the-counter prenatals, so compare the costs to find the cheapest option.
Choosing Affordable Providers
The mean out-of-pocket expense for childbirth in Colorado is $2,300 for people with insurance, according to the Health Care Cost Institute. Your costs may vary based on your insurance coverage. Call your insurance company to verify your coverage amounts and find preferred providers, which can lower your costs.
Midwives can often provide a more cost-effective option if you have a low-risk pregnancy. Total birth costs are typically about $2,000 cheaper with a midwife.
Writing a Birth Plan
Planning the birthing process can help you deliver how you want. This planning also helps control costs by deciding where you want to give birth. If you use doula labor services, your doula can help write your birth plan
Sorting Out Your Finances
Reworking your budget to account for things like childcare and diapers should happen now. If your current home isn't big enough, consider moving. Research the loan options and practicality of buying a new house on your current income. Use a mortgage calculator to determine your options based on your down payment and the current average mortgage rates. Another option is a home improvement loan for an addition or remodeling your current home if moving isn't feasible.
Stocking Up Early
Ongoing expenses add up quickly. Expect to spend about $75 monthly on diapers and wipes and $70 to $150 per month for powdered formula if you don't breastfeed, according to New York Life. Stock up now to spread out the costs, but check expiration dates on formula before buying.
Joining Mom Groups
Becoming active in Denver mom groups helps you meet other local parents who can give you advice and share affordable parenting hacks. Some groups, like locally-based Moxie Moms, offer discounts at local retailers and schedule free events with other parents.
Maternity clothes are expensive and you don't need them long. Shop consignment stores for affordable maternity clothes, or connect with other moms to borrow maternity clothes. Consignment shops also save you money on baby clothes and gear
Affording a Baby
Pregnancy preparation gives you time to find the support team you need while sticking to a budget. Whether you want a home birth, birthing center, or traditional hospital setting, having experts to help you along the way makes it easier. Explore labor doula services from Love in Motion if you're planning a pregnancy in the Denver area.
Working remotely has its benefits for parents. Balancing parenting with work while your little ones are around, though, can feel like a tightrope walk. Liz Foster offers these tips for how to better manage remote work with children.
1. Perfect Your Workstation
Having the kids in the home while you try to work is going to be distracting enough, even if your partner or another caregiver is watching them, so you need to have a workstation that is set up to limit distractions as much as possible. If you’re able, establish your office in a separate room or area of the house. Consider putting up a screen or room divider if you need to be in the same area so that you aren’t visually distracted.
Invest in a quality pair of noise-canceling headphones. If your cellphone isn’t necessary for work, keep it put away so that notifications won’t steal your attention away from work. Likewise, you should remove any apps from your computer that aren’t work-related to limit distraction.
2. Commit to a Schedule
Adults working from home benefit from a schedule, as do kids, according to the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center. Establish one early on and don’t deviate from it unless absolutely necessary. Plan activities that are engaging for your kids that aren’t noisy and can be self-managed. Make “quiet time” part of your schedule so that kids know there are times during the day when they need to be particularly quiet to accommodate any meetings you must attend.
Incorporate breaks into your day for the benefit of both you and your kids, and consider eating lunch together when possible to give your children some face time with you. This will help everyone recharge for the remainder of the workday, as well as help lessen distractions. If children know they will have scheduled time with you each day, it can minimize their desire to interrupt your work as they'll know they can talk to you later.
3. Plan for Emergencies
Even the best-made plans fail sometimes, so it’s important to have contingencies for when things go awry. Have emergency childcare in place in case you or your regular childcare provider are unable to watch the kids. When that isn’t available, have an emergency “bag of tricks” with ways to entertain and engage your children safely that can allow you to still work. This might include a movie you know the kids would love to see, a special art project that can be self-directed or a new toy that can entertain them for a few hours while you finish your work.
4. Adjust When Necessary
If your current setup isn’t working for you, consider going back to school online to earn a degree that can get you closer to your desired job in business, healthcare, education, and other industries. Many of these can be completed at your own pace so that you won’t have to worry about school getting in the way of your current job or caring for your children. If you want to continue working from home, there are many options in high demand, including website building and design and digital marketing. Do your research to see what profession will give you the opportunity to work and parent in a way you can be proud of.
Parenting while working from home can be tough, but the difficult bits can be managed with the right practices implemented and strong backup plans. Do your best, knowing at least your children will see you working hard to give them the life they deserve.
Written by Justin Bennett firstname.lastname@example.org