Can I Afford To Be a Parent?

By Stacy Rucker

One of the most common concerns with women facing an unplanned pregnancy or thinking about becoming a parent is about finances. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you think of the costs of everything you’ll need to buy (clothes, diapers, food, toys, etc) or read news articles that give hefty price tags and a list of requirements you should meet before having a child.  However, the idea that there’s a certain income level you need to reach to be a parent is a myth. Keep reading to learn more, then contact Embrace today to learn more about the free pregnancy services available to you.

‘I’ Becomes ‘We’

Yes, raising a child means your expenses will increase, but the key thing in all of these articles and thoughts focused on “can I afford this” or “this is impossible for me to do right now” is the “I” and the “me.” On your own, the expenses can pile up, but you’re not alone! There are more resources and sources of support around you than you may be aware of. Raising a child brings more changes to your life than just your finances, and to truly thrive and succeed, you can’t do it alone. You need people in your life that will support and encourage you, changing the “I” and “me” into a “we.” When that happens, you’ll find that it becomes “we can afford this” and “this is possible for us to do.”

Resources Available To You

At Embrace, we are dedicated to helping you get connected with the resources that are suited for you and your family and can provide you with the support you need. By taking our free parenting classes, you can receive material support such as diapers, wipes, formula, and clothing for your baby. Prenatal healthcare coverage can be a challenge so we discuss options and help you get off to a good start.

Maternity clothes are also available at no cost through Embrace as you grow throughout your pregnancy. If you need additional assistance, our resource manager is dedicated to answering your questions and connecting you to the right place. Here’s a list of just some of the areas where she can provide assistance:

    • Employment
    • Childcare
    • Food Assistance
    • Furthering Education
    • Insurance

In addition, if you have a church family that you know well, you can ask them for their support as well. Help is all around you; you just simply have to ask.

Adjusting Your Lifestyle

When you’re becoming a parent, adjusting your budget can be difficult at first glance. You can’t magically grow your bank account or your monthly income, but instead, focus on what you can control. Simple things, such as cooking at home rather than going out to eat, or renting a online instead of going to the theater, can have a bigger impact on your finances than you think. It’s simply a matter of adjusting your perspective of what you need vs. what you’re used to.  

Money Isn’t Everything

There’s a mindset today that you have to be rich to be a good parent. That if you can’t buy the toy that your child wants, or have a fancy stroller, your child will love you less. That’s what society says, but it’s a different story if you look at what children are saying. Their creativity and imagination are priceless to them. Those boxes that you wrapped their presents in suddenly become drawers to store their toys, or a makeshift time machine, or a pre-built dollhouse.  The blankets on their bed become the walls and ceilings of the perfect blanket fort. Life for them is more about the experience with those they love and less about the price tags.

Love is the Best Gift

In the end, it’s your presence as a parent that they will remember; the memories of you paying attention to them and spending time with them, of simply being present. Those are the memories that they will cherish and carry with them the rest of their lives, not the expensive toys that they’ll outgrow or lose interest in. They don’t need you to be perfect, they just need to be loved the best way you know how. At Embrace, we are here to give you the tools and resources you need to not only succeed at being a parent but to thrive. Call us today at 316-945-9400, text 316-530-1009, or stop by our center at any time. With help from your community, you can afford to be a parent and we’d love to meet with you to talk about it more.