Every year in Canada, close to 400,000 babies are born, and their families change forever, in many different ways. If you’re expecting a baby, adopting or considering what parenthood might look like, here are five ways a bundle of joy will rock the world as you know it.
1. Watching the clock
Is it time for the baby to eat, sleep, have a diaper change? Newborns have some very basic and straightforward needs, but it may surprise you how much you end up adjusting your schedule of activities — running errands, meeting friends, eating meals — to match their daily routine. If you find this stressful, it will be helpful to find a routine that works for your family, and remind yourself that this precious time doesn’t last for long.
2. Leaving the dishes
If you’ve had an interrupted night of sleep, napping while the baby naps is more important than anything else so that you get the sleep you need. Parents often expect their priorities to shift when a baby arrives — and sometimes that shift has to be toward keeping yourself healthy. You may need to remind yourself it’s okay to let dishes and laundry pile up so you can get the rest you need.
3. Finding the cash
Babies are little but they can be expensive, and you may be managing the early months on a reduced income if you, your spouse, or both of you, take parental leave. Make sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to through government maternity and parental benefits, as well as workplace top-ups. It can be helpful to practice living on your post-baby income for a few months beforehand. Having a budget while planning a family can provide you with a reality check for expenses so you know what you’ll need for your baby and to live on during any parental leave.
4. Paying the bills
You’ll have your hands full — literally — with a baby. Consider ways to simplify your finances. The more you can put on autopilot, the better. If you need help figuring out how to do this, an advisor can help.
5. Planning the future of your family
The future comes into sharp focus with a baby. Suddenly, you’re responsible for caring and planning for your child from birth to age 18, and that could cost you more than $250,000. Save a little at a time to keep it manageable — and keep in mind that an advisor can help you plan for tomorrow’s costs within your budget today.