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Letter to My Mother: Why I’m Not Ready to Reproduce aka My Uterus is Not Up For Negotiation

Dear Mom,

In the past four years, you have asked me no less than 382 times when I am going to have children. The short answer is: someday, but not yet. But that’s no fun. Let’s go over the long version shall we?

First and foremost, you are way too young (AND young looking) to be a grandma. Grandmas are supposed to be old and I refuse to steal your youth by bearing children. You’re welcome.

Also, I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but having kids cost more than not having kids. And while there are certainly ways to reduce the cost of children and they definitely don’t have to cost $250,000 a year, they are still really expensive compared to being childless.

For starters, let’s talk about the highly controversial subject (in the personal finance blogosphere at least) of lifestyle inflation — namely upgraded homes and vehicles. Now, while most people would argue these upgrades aren’t necessary when you have kids, our situation is a bit different.

We live in a studio and while we currently have a car, we are considering going carless. No gas costs, no car upkeep costs.Realistically, neither of these really work for people with children. A studio is perfect for just the two of us, but before we have kids, I would definitely want to “upgrade” to an apartment bigger than 400 square feet with a separate bedroom. Because sharing a space with a sleeping infant does not sound like my idea of a good time.

A carless lifestyle is also difficult with a child. Portland is walkable but we are not close enough to a hospital. And knowing my neurotic streak, I will definitely have to go to the hospital multiple times a week during the first few months.

And what about health insurance? Ignoring the fact that I am currently uninsured (until January), adding a single child to Steve’s health insurance would cost an extra $3,000+ annually. That’s almost 4 months of rent! This adds up!

On top of that, there’s the startup costs of having a kid — crib, changing table, whatever the hell else kids need — and the ongoing costs of having a kid — clothing, diapers, whatever the hell else kids need. A child’s love may be priceless, but their needs sure aren’t!

Furthermore, I know myself well enough to know I’m not going to cheap out on the cutesy stuff, at least on the first kid. Say what you will, but I am of the opinion every new parent needs to spend too much money on their first child. It’s just a rite of passage for new moms and dads to buy adorable stuff no one needs.

Obviously, I’m leaving out a few expenses applicable to some people like childcare and formula. Ideally, I won’t need either as I plan on rocking a WAHM lifestyle. I firmly believe you can be a baller and a breast feeder at the same time.

Of course, if money was the most important factor in reproduction, no one would have kids. And I don’t for a second plan on letting finances alone keep me from having children. Thankfully, I’ve got a lot of things on my side that make my decision to have children a few years from now totally fine.

First of all, I’m not at an age where I have to have kids immediately. I’m twenty freaking four years old, Mom, I have plenty of time. While I don’t buy into the nonsense that healthy pregnancy can’t happen after the age of 35, I would prefer to have kids earlier than my mid-30s. And I can, I have years and years before my biological clock stops ticking.

Second of all, I’m in a monogamous relationship with someone who also wants kids in the future. If I had kids now, it would be okay, but I am free to have kids later.

Lastly, I still want more time to be selfish. Being a mom is about giving a lot of yourself for someone else. Someday, I will definitely do that. But right now, I really love sleep and the ability to do whatever I want whenever I want to.

And while I’m sure I’ll do the “I never knew love until I had children” spiel once I pop those suckers out, I’ll gladly live in blissful ignorance for now — drinking too much wine and spending full days curled up with good books.

Don’t worry, I look forward to being a mom in the future. I want to have two or three awesome kids who will most definitely be the cutest babies on the block because their parents were the most adorable children ever. And when my debt is paid off and I’ve taken a couple of international vacations, I will totally rock motherhood. Just not now.

So be patient, Mom. There will be tiny half-Ginger, half-Arab babies calling you “Grandma” before you know it. But for now, you enjoy your youth and I’ll enjoy my 9 hours a sleep per night and money in the bank ability to aggressively pay off debt.


Your Amazing Daughter and Money Drain of 18 Years

[Image from BuzzFeed]

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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