Hi, meet Olivia, my sweet neighbor. She is a mother of two and in her early forty's. She will share with us her journey from singlehood to date and how she has transitioned financially.
Follow me as I engage her.
Olivia, you are so calm. Have you been like this all your life?
Me? Calm; am not. I don't think I am. Is there a calm mother?
I think you are. Would you like to share your journey to motherhood?
Oh yes. I would love to.
It started a bit late, I got my first baby when I was twenty-seven, I was a casual employee at a summer school and was dating a missionary. It was crazy, unexpected and shocking.
I conceived during summer, never had any issues with morning sickness and only learned I was pregnant when I missed my third period. Nothing seemed different, only I felt happier.
Things changed when I confirmed that indeed I was pregnant and told my boyfriend. He was a ‘churchy' person, how would he confront the clergy and tell them he had a baby out of wedlock?
He refused to own the baby, started blaming me, we argued over and over, till I let him go. It was hard.
So sorry, how did you cope? Especially financially…
I looked for another job. At a coffee shop, I had a six-hour shift every day and I would end my day at the summer school where I lived. My expenses were few then, all I needed was to supplement my diet and prepare for the baby.
I started saving, every tip; every gift was turned into saving. I also started shopping for my baby on the second trimester. I knew this is the only way out.
Going home was not an option for me. I don't have that kind of relationship with my parents.
My advice to every young mother is, own up the pregnancy, take full responsibility and plan early. Life will be so much easier.
A friend of mine used to tell me am too cautious, when it was her turn, she kept saying she has time. Unfortunately, she had complications during the third trimester and the baby came at seven and a half months. She was forced to take a loan to start her motherhood journey.
Never take chances with motherhood. Better be safe than sorry.
Some people have a family and friends who take care of most of their needs, to them I would say, have some savings on the side, always know that things could change. Don't be overly dependent on others. Accept and appreciate the support but also take charge of your life.
Cool. You didn't finish your story…
Oh yeah, I had a full term pregnancy. I attended every clinic and did exercises alongside my tough schedule. I would walk a lot and do simple exercises in the house. I could not afford a gym then.
My baby came a little late, on week 41, it was an emergency CS. I did not dilate as required. I hated that it was not a natural birth. It was so expensive I had to add money to my insurance cover. See why you need to save?
I do. What was your budget like?
Let me write it for you:
- Child care: - I had to hire a nanny.
- Diapers: - we used at least 30$ daily.
- Feeding: - I bought lots of fresh food and supplements to build immunity.
- Clothes: - my body size doubled. I had no choice but to shop.
- Savings: - I kept on saving. I never let go of the discipline.
- Medical: - I added the baby in the cover and increased the amount.
- Toiletries: - there was definitely more washing and bathing happening.
- Toys, child proofing, photos and other fun stuff just to make the house baby friendly.
I think those are the most basic. I got two months of paid leave both at the coffee shop and at the school which was awesome.
Of course, it was different with my second born. I realized much of the shopping wasn't necessary so I was a bit preserved.
Being a single mom taught me to be strong and diligent. Even after getting married and having lots of support. I still save and work as hard.
One of the things I did was to quit my job and work from home. It allows me to be a full-time parent and also to manage my expenses as I am the one budgeting.
Thanks, Olivia, very inspiring.
What's your story? Share with us in the comments section. We will be glad to hear from you.