Becoming Fully Ready When a Baby is on the Way
Finding out that you’re about to become a parent is an exciting milestone that should be cherished. It’s a particularly nerve-wracking time for first-time parents, while it could be an interesting period for a growing family. Although having a baby on the way should call for a celebration, it could also mean undergoing a series of endless changes and adjustments for the couple concerned.
The last thing you should expect when you’re expecting is to get stressed about everything around you. Being a parent can be a challenge in itself, but with a little bit of planning ahead, you can put this major event in your family life under control.
Here’s how you’re supposed to prepare when you’re expecting a new bundle of joy in your life.
Prepare for reduced income
If both parents are used to working, having a baby would mean that the mother would have to quit or pause working at some point during or after the pregnancy. The couple would have to transition into being a single-income family for several months (if not years), which also translates to generating less income. You need to be fully prepared for when this time arrives.
Take a good look at your current income and expenses and start planning for living on a reduced budget. Adjust your expenses and stick with your plan. The savings you’ll incur when you change your spending habits would probably help you down the line when the baby arrives. It’s always good to have some buffer to cover all the things you’ll be needing for your newborn child.
Stretch your employee benefits
There are several services that private and government employees are eligible for when this important family milestone arrives. You can take a parental leave and still get paid. Mothers would usually quit after having a baby, but some would opt to just pause working because of this entitlement.
Read the exact rules about maternity leaves on the SSS website to learn more about these schemes and how much you would get. While these government benefits don’t guarantee you your full income, they do go along way in helping families cope with having a single income source.
Also note that fathers are now entitled to a number of paid leaves when their wives give birth, so it would be wise to use these leave credits as well. Additionally, a new mother should also save her sick leave and vacation leave days to further stretch her paid days off.
Be ready with baby expenses
Aside from the hospital bills, ultrasound, pregnancy supplements, food cravings, and other incidental expenses, you’ll need to prepare money for other important baby gear such as a crib, feeding bottles, baby clothes, nappies, and milk. It might sound expensive but if you’re smart enough to navigate this aspect of having a baby, you can save a lot of money.
A good move would be to reach out to experienced parents and ask them what’s really required and then go from there. Skip the shopping and borrow or ask for some old baby gear if you have friends and family who have been through your current phase.
Take good care of yourself if you’re an expectant mother because you’d want to save your precious breastmilk for when the baby arrives. Not only it will nurture your child and provide a good motherly bond between you and your baby. It can also help you save on buying formula milk.
Get help from family members
Because life is hard, a lot of people would resort to immediately returning to work after having a baby. This is where your close family members should come in! Instead of hiring a live-in babysitter who would require a salary, why not let your supportive mom do the job for the meantime? A single younger sister who has no commitments might also be able to help while you try to cope financially.
This is not to say that you should turn a relative into a full-time nanny. When you have a baby, the cost and effort required to do your laundry, your housework, and your cooking will change exponentially, so any form of extra help will be beneficial.
Protect your family at all costs
You might not have considered paying for an insurance plan for your family before the baby arrived, but now would be the best time to get one. It’s not anymore just about the husband and the wife. A new life has been brought into this world, and the best step would be to ensure the safety and security of your growing family.
It would be best to get a health or life insurance plan for your family. If you’ve already done this before you had the baby, you might need to extend your insurance policy to cover everyone in the family.
It would also be practical to nominate a legal guardian for your child if something happens to you. If you own a business or are currently financially secured, it would also be wise to set up a trust fund or something that would ensure that your child’s future is secured.
Preparing after the baby’s birth
It might not come as a surprise that giving birth or starting a family is just the beginning of a series of lifelong commitments that you have to make. After the hospital bills have been paid and the baby gear has been bought, you need to brace yourself for more. Saving up for the child’s education, expanding your budget to supply food, clothing, and shelter for more than two people, and generally preparing for the life ahead involves a lot of preparation and continuous hard work. It’s literally preparing for the future in its purest form! You need to be ready to face this head-on.
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