Second-time parents are an excellent resource when it comes to advice on preparing your family for the future. They have traveled the uncharted territory of child number one, and have traversed the slightly familiar, equally challenging route of child number two. They can tell you what you need. They can tell you what you don’t need. And they can show you how to be better prepared.
Rather than tell you about what stuff to buy and what baby items you absolutely need, this article focuses on the best ways to have the highest quality of life possible while knowing costs and maintaining your budget. Out of all the advice we received from second-time parents, here are the top 5 pieces of advice that will help you grow and maintain your family’s health and happiness in the long term. There is nothing glamorous or splashy about these steps. They are extremely practical and completely necessary. Here are steps you can take to prepare your family’s health and happiness:
Many second-time parents will tell you the first thing that you should consider in your preparations are financial costs associated with expanding your family. According to a parenting blog within the Huffington Post: “Now that you have two kids, you start realizing that it’s twice the money for preschool, daycare, sports, lessons, and one day, college! Often this is a major source of anxiety. I mean, you knew two kids would be expensive, but it’s not till you see that little face and start paying co-pays up the wazoo for twice as many doctor’s visits that you realize the extent of your financial ruin.”
If you are looking for advice on parenthood, consider the Payleaf Baby Calculator. It helps you gather all standard expenses associated with having a baby, and displays your categorized amounts and total cost. With the Payleaf Baby Calculator, you can look at specific categories, like preparing the baby’s room, and adjust your budget according to your spending tastes. Additional categories, like diaper products and hospital visit, are included as well. Within the categories, you can select your spending method. Some parents want the best baby furniture, but are willing to economize on disposables, like diapers. You can define your spending preference as economy, mid-range or designer-baby, and watch the budget adjust accordingly.
Several second-time parents on the Payleaf team have commented on the accuracy of the calculator as “scary-accurate”. Designed by second-time parents, for first-time parents, the Payleaf Baby Calculator alleviates fear of the unknown. Once you see a solid number, you can stop guessing. Knowledge is power. With the Payleaf Baby Calculator, you have the power to adjust your financial goals to meet your family’s future needs.
Having control over your finances will make your partnership with your spouse stronger in the long run. Although second-time parents are comfortable doling out advice on parenting, they may be seeking advice on marriage counseling. The title of this article poses a question: Why Is The Birth of a Second Child So Hard On Marriages? It boils down to time and money. Regardless of the number of children, new parents find they have less time for each other and more demand on their finances. “Problems that arise mainly from stress, distance, exhaustion, and resentment over division of labor of childcare and housework are usually the domain of couples with two or more children”, says Samantha Rodman PhD of DrPsychMom.com, Clinical Psychologist.
Often, first-time parents make a lot of assumptions about their child care arrangement. Whether this is your first-born or baby number two or three, you will need time in which your focus is undivided. Having a babysitter or child care scheduled regularly helps you choose where to devote your focus. If you need time with your partner, time to yourself, time with your parents, or time with your newborn, having a babysitter or child care provider (and a backup babysitter!) is critical to achieving “focus time”. Ask yourself some questions: How often do your require “focus time”? For how long? What is the purpose of your “focus time”? Who will be receiving your full and undivided attention?
The answers to these questions will help you define the arrangement of your child care Using the Payleaf Baby Calculator can help you accurately determine the cost of child care. Many first-time parents find that the income they would have generated from working would only slightly offset the cost of full-time child care. The Payleaf Baby Calculator can help you make decisions about where you can best focus your time based on your budget.
The cost of healthcare is variable – it depends upon many factors that are often beyond your control. You may have health complications or your new baby may need immediate care. Many second-time parents emphasize a review of your health coverage because even if “you had coverage or know what benefits you had with your first child, it doesn’t mean things are the same with your second baby. It is a good idea to make sure you know what will be covered and what you may end up paying for.”
In addition to health insurance, life insurance is another consideration for new parents. Because you have the life of a child depending upon you to provide for his or her future, life insurance is important to have. It will give you and your spouse peace of mind. Life insurance should be able to cover the costs of raising your child even if you are, unfortunately, not there to watch them grow. According to the Huffington Post, one of the most common mistakes regarding life insurance is not knowing the amount of money your life insurance plan needs to cover. You can use Payleaf calculators to help define the total amount – from child care costs to college tuition – so that you are prepared to have a conversation with an advisor.
What does this mean? “It’s virtually inevitable that even the best close relationship will involve some degree of conflict, at least some of the time,” says Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D, author of Fulfillment at Any Age. When you are stressed, your feelings are raw. Yet as adults, we have the ability to recognize our feelings and communicate them in rational ways. “When something is bothering you, whether it’s a trivial housekeeping concern or a more serious relationship dispute, it’s only fair to provide your partner with an alert that there’s something you wish to discuss,” concludes Dr. Krauss. Talking through your struggles as an adult with your partner will help you understand your partner’s perspective, and vice versa. Ultimately, this type of communication is a key ingredient to maintaining a long, healthy and happy relationship.
In summary, the advice of second-time parents is solid, because they’ve been through it all and emerged on the other side. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the second-time parents who shared their wisdom and concerns with us to make the Payleaf Baby Calculator as accurate as possible.