I remember the night my wife told me she was pregnant — part of me was excited but a larger part was in a state of panic. I didn’t tell my new wife this, but to be completely honest, I would have waited much longer before having kids.
It’s not that I didn’t want children, in fact I always have, but the responsibility and the idea of taking care of another human being was overwhelming. Most of that pressure was financial. I just didn’t feel financially ready to be a parent yet. We had both started our first real jobs out of school, which didn’t pay much. We had student loans and a mortgage from the small two bedroom condo we recently bought. We had borrowed money from family and put everything we had into it. To make matters worse, the real estate market was starting to fall and we were upside down in the home’s value already.
So the thought of having a child, and the thought of how much money it would take to raise him plagued my mind. However, we decided that we wanted to build our family no matter how or when it happened. We would need to have faith that we could afford it. This was one of the best decisions we ever made. I’m so thankful we didn’t look for options to remove the financial responsibility. As scared as I was, I knew this child was ours to care for, no matter how small and early in the process — and that is worth more than any amount of money. I also realized that if we waited until we felt “financially ready” we might never feel that way. It turned out that we were even less prepared than I thought. About three months later there were some complications and my wife had to be put on bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy — which meant she would be out of work much longer than we expected. Despite all of this we made it through. Taking it one day at a time. we made the best financial decisions we could, trusting that we were investing in our family.
It’s been about twelve years since that exciting and panic stricken night. Now we have three amazing kids and a family that blesses me every day. It hasn’t always been easy, and we’ve had to make many sacrifices, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat! I am extremely glad I didn’t let the fear of money control my decisions. I could not imagine life without my kids. And you know what, we’ve always have enough to eat, a roof over our heads and even extra things we didn’t need. Our culture today is telling us that success and money are the most important things we can have, but this is simply not true. Family is the most valuable thing we have in this life — and our children are gifts from God. Don’t believe the myth that you need to be financially ready. If a baby is on the way, then you’re ready. You will always find a way to support your child and you’ll be glad you did. I would choose a my wife and kids in a small shack, over no kids in a mansion every time.