Fruitful: Kid Poor

When Nicole and I first bought our house, we heard the phrase "house poor" a lot.  That mostly had to do with all the things we needed to fix in the house, not to mention all the things we wanted to update.  One of our neighbors actually warned me not to end up "house poor."

The general concept behind being "house poor," as I understand it, is that you own a really nice house and that's it.  You are flat broke in all other respects, perhaps even underwater, but you have a beautiful home.

So far we've managed to avoid being "house poor," but I think we're on the verge of being "kid poor."

We're getting a lot of stuff from friends and family (in fact, this blog post is late because of a busy weekend that involved a baby shower where we received an unbelievable amount of gifts from our insanely kind family and friends).  It's incredible the amount of money we're not going to have to spend because of the things we're getting from everyone we know.  One of the upsides of waiting this long to reproduce is that everyone has already been through it and they're dying to get rid of stuff.  And the stuff we're not getting used it being given to us brand new by very generous family members.

We would be even more stressed out by the cost of having a kid if not for these gifts.  It would be impossible to overstate that.

But all of those items don't pay for day care, which is crazy expensive.  It's almost prohibitively expensive.  They say there are a lot of costs associated with having a child that you don't even realize and clearly I didn't realize day care would cost so much.  It is the single biggest expense, and will be for years to come.

I've heard the joke a few times now when I tell people we're having a kid: start saving for college now!  That seems to be a knee jerk response for some people.  But forget college, we're saving for day care now.  At least our kid could end up getting a scholarship for college.

The cost of day care is particularly brutal when you consider what you're paying for -- you're paying for
people to take care of your child for you.  There is no amount I'd be unwilling to pay to make sure my child got the best possible care, but the thought of leaving him with people who are not us just kills me.  This little guy isn't even here yet and we're already making plans to leave him with strangers!  How can that not break your heart?

My pipe dream has been, for a long, long time now, to get paid to write, which is something I could do from home.  Even if I made half of what I make now, we'd still break even because we wouldn't have to pay for day care.  Yes, that's right, day care is going to cost half my salary.

I feel like I should be able to make that happen.  I feel like I should be able to find a way to write for a living, for half of what I make now, not even that much of a living.  It's the kind of thing that would be amazing for everyone involved.  It's the kind of thing you work your whole life for.

Funny enough, the sticker shock of day care has made the idea of paying for the things our son needs in the future much easier to handle.  I feel like we're going to be able to provide him with everything he needs and then some once he starts going to school.  But, man, does that seem like a long ways off.

And that's assuming we don't have another one.

I really hope he gets a college scholarship.

Week 33!