How Much Does Motherhood Really Cost Women?

erin and momMy birth was meticulously planned. My mother, a teacher, and my father, a businessman, strategized their baby-making agenda around my mother’s schedule. I would be born at the end of May, giving her the summer for her maternity leave, during which she wouldn’t lose any wages or use any of her sick or personal days, before returning to work. I arrived promptly in the latter part of May and then screwed everything else up.

My mother, a fiercely strong and independent woman, made what was, for her, a surprising choice to become a stay-at-home mom to raise me (and the younger sister who showed up later). In another previously unpredicted turn, our family moved overseas, making it even harder for my mother to return to the workforce later. For nearly 21 years, my mother sacrificed her career and her earning potential to raise two daughters.

Now, in my mid-20s, I’ve watched my peers struggle with the question of whether or not to have children. Those who decide to pursue the path to dirty diapers, sleepless nights and unconditional love seem to fall into two groups: those who blindly hope they’ll be able to make ends meet; and those who begin crafting idyllic budgets around their fictional child.

Read the rest on DailyFinance.

Posted in DailyFinance
4 comments on “How Much Does Motherhood Really Cost Women?
  1. I read the full article over at Daily Finance. Good job! I look at many of my friends and I can see them basically going broke over children. For my wife and I, we were fortunate enough to have great family and friends to give us all kinds of things. We’re frugal, in general, so our kids haven’t really costs us as much as I had always heard children cost. I know we are in the minority though. Great post!
    Kalen @ MoneyMiniBlog recently posted…What 1% Will Save You on Your Mortgage [Infographic]My Profile

  2. I think the biggest one is the loss in salary due to maternity leave and subsequent workplace discrimination that mothers face. Sometimes fathers can get away with putting their job over their kids, and in most cases it’s because the mother picks up the slack and leaves work on time to pick up the kids and make dinner. I do know many mothers in my work place who are successful but there will always be that question of whether they would have made more if they had decided to have no kids and focus 100% on their jobs. I think the same can be said about Dads who sacrifice a bit at work to spend more time with their family.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…How Mental Accounting Can Motivate You To Make More MoneyMy Profile

  3. My biggest expenses were the hospital bill (over 4K each time) and taking three months off of work each time. This makes me sad because the financial burden of a birth is place disproportionately on women. I am married and we shared the burden, but you have to wonder how fair the system is when men are able to walk away from the birth of their child without taking a financial loss.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…Your Mortgage: Is 30 Years Too Long?My Profile

  4. Jeez, the comments on Daily Finance are ridiculous… But I wanted to say your article was so true. I think the biggest hurdle for women who have children is the setbacks women face in the setbacks in their career, whether its having to start over in their career if they work from home or the fact that when she returns to the office, some workplaces treat her differently as they think she’s not as committed.

    I work in a field (non-profit fundraising) that’s a bit more supportive of individuals and doesn’t have a grueling work schedule but where my brother works, in law, it’s not the most mom-friendly, especially if the woman still wants to make partner some day but still make it home in time for school recitals.
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted…MIA much?My Profile

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