Preparing for your child’s birth as a single parent will look different than if you had a partner or husband beside you. Certain things that wouldn’t cross a married woman’s mind are front and center on ours.
Make sure you know what’s coming and start preparing now. I have 4 months to get all this in line, and I feel the time crunch. I can do it, you can do it, and we will be stronger for it.
Put all retirement savings and extra debt payments on hold and pile up cash. Save everything you can and make the minimum payments on any credit card or loan you have hanging around. Pile up as much cash as you can in an emergency fund for any complications or unexpected costs during or after your birth.
A lot of banks have extremely low interest rates for savings accounts. I think my local bank has an interest rate of 0.01%. Eek.
I keep my savings in Capital One 360 online accounts that earn 0.75%. This isn’t huge, but over time it gives you more than if it was sitting in your jar in your bedroom. You can open as many savings accounts at Capital One as you’d like, and your money will start earning pennies/dollars depending on how much you have. Every bit counts when saving for your baby.
They will give you $25 for opening an savings account with a minimum $250 deposit. When I did this, I just moved my savings from my local bank to my online account. I also use the checking account for bill pay and will use the kids savings account option once my daughter is born.
Once the baby is healthy and home, take your pile, and either keep it as an emergency fund and resume retirement savings and paying off your debts, or keep part for an emergency fund and put the rest towards your debts.
Get a Life Insurance Policy. If you’re going to be a single parent, it is EXTREMELY important you have a policy in place to provide for your child in the event of your unforeseen death. Zander Insurance Group is a great company that allows you to shop and compare a bunch of different companies side by side for the lowest prices.
Zander is promoted by Dave Ramsey, who teaches how to get out of debt and get control of your money. I’m sure I’ll do a blog on him soon, he’s taught me so much! Get 20 or 30 year term life. Don’t get fooled by the “whole life/savings account” gimmick. If you want to save, save in a retirement account.
With this website, YOU are in control. You can pick which company to use and which policy. You won’t get hassled into a product you don’t understand. Make sure YOU remain in control of any process involving you and your money, period. Life insurance agents can be pushy, don’t get pushed around.
Get a will. When I was first told that EVERYONE should have a will, I thought it was silly. I’m only 25, why do I need a will? But as I thought about the various parts of my life that would left for my family to sift through upon my death, however small, I realized that it is my way of making my passing a bit easier.
Having a will gives your family a clear directive on how to address your assets and your legacy. Since I’m on a Dave Ramsey kick in this post, I’ll go ahead and share his promotion with US Legal. He gives a discount and lets you set up a complete Last Will & Testament for the price of a pair of shoes:
Get a support group or person who will be there for you during doctor appointments and, if you want, the birth.
Ideally, I’d want the father of my baby to be my birth partner, go to childbirth classes with me and tour hospitals and birthing centers, but this is happySINGLEmomma.com for a reason. Doing it alone sucks but if you have a friend, or maybe a good relationship with your mom or a sister, speak with them and ask them to be your partner as you get ready for the big day. Ask if they would join you for your doctor appointments, hospital tours, and if they would help you with your nursery and organizing baby showers.
Make your birth plan. How do you want to give birth? Remember, this is your choice. You don’t have to do it how your mom did it, or how your friends did it. Do you want an epidural? Do you want a c-section? Do you want to give birth at home? Do you want a natural birth? Do you want some pain medications but not others?
YOU get to decide, and only you. It’s really easy for women to judge other women on what they think others should and shouldn’t do.
Research your options and make an informed decision. If you aren’t swimming in pools of cash, like me, and still want a doula or a birth that may not be totally covered by insurance, most hospitals and centers will either be able to provide you an easy payment plan so you’re not hit with a huge bill leaving the hospital.
Next week, I’m going to check out two options that allow mothers to labor naturally, which is so far what I’d like to do. I’m checking out a hospital that allows water labor, but not water birth, and a birthing center that allows water birth. I’ll report back what I learn, but there are lots of good scientific studies about water birth vs land birth as well as many testimonies. If you’re a momma reading this, I’d love to hear your birthing story in the comments below!
I hope these tips help you become more prepared for the arrival of your child. You aren’t alone and you will get through this pregnancy and birth WELL PREPARED and HAPPY.