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Dad’s Diary – 6 Months of Fatherhood

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A Look Back on 6 Months of Fatherhood

In June of this year (2017) my wife Sarah and I welcomed our daughter Ava into the world.  Sarah has a wonderful series of posts about her experiences (both the wonderful and the struggles) of life with a baby.  As the year winds down and Ava hits 6 months I decided to take a quick detour from my usual personal finance post and talk about my experience as a father.  When Ava was born I took one week off of work but have been back full time since.  Sarah has been on maternity leave.  The term “off on maternity” is really inaccurate because it makes it sound like a vacation – far from it!  So I’d like to take you through a typical weekday.  I’ll also share my thoughts on this new phase of our life and fatherhood in general.

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Mo Money Mo Pablum

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How we planned and replanned for formula & diaper costs

Hopefully you are aware in June Sarah and I welcomed our wonderful baby girl Ava into the world.  This was not only a planned baby in the traditional sense of the word, but also the money/financial.  Sarah and I did some pretty extensive research and planning for the financial implications of the decision we were making.  We dug through blogs giving lists of must-have purchases.  Math was completed for what Sarah would be getting from her company for maternity pay.  The Canadian government also has an amazing maternity benefit through our employment insurance program for which we are extremely grateful.

During the planning we added several line items to our budget.  We had a line item to cover the drop in pay from the household second income.  A line for purchases we knew we’d need.  Registered education savings plan (RESP) on another and then a separate line to cover formula and diapers.  This was the most stressful line to figure out as the requirements were loaded with variables.

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How Being Debt Free Allows Me To Be A Better Parent

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Debt FreeWe Worry Less About Money Because We Are Debt Free

We are fortunate to be debt free at this stage of our lives. I’m grateful to be debt free as a new parent and I know that it is makes me a better parent than if I was not debt free.

Recently we had a baby.  She is a wonderful baby and makes us look like we are already at Level 1000 in the parenting game.  She slept through the night at 7 weeks and is a really happy baby. We are over the moon in love with her and I’m finally starting to get a hang of the staying home thing without it impacting my views of myself and worth.

(Another topic for another time – I need some more distance to gather my thoughts).

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Buying for Baby

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Buying for BabyBaby Gear:

As Des from Half Banked put it wonderfully, babies are tiny expensive humans.  When we decided we wanted to expand our family we knew that would come with a great many expenses.  Buying for baby was going to cost us a lot of money since we were starting from scratch.  While we knew that we still wanted to make smart money decisions to stretch what money we did set aside as far as possible.  We set aside $3000 to support the baby gear and clothes we needed for Ava’s first year.  We thought of this as startup costs.  Should we be able to expand our family further we will not have to purchase the same items again and hope to re-use them to get even more wear out of them.

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Get A Job: When Should You Let Your Child Work?

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What is a Good Age for a First Job?

As a new parent there are so many questions that I am starting to ask myself.  Some of these questions are for right now: Do we get optional immunizations or just the mandatory ones?, Do we buy this outfit in size 6 months or 12 months? *based on when she’d be wearing it* or Will she ever go to sleep? etc).  Then there are other questions. Questions we have quite a few years to figure out that still creep into my mind.  Yesterday I started to ask myself – what is a good age for a child to start working their first job?

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How We Planned for a 15 Month Maternity Leave

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Maternity LeaveAs I mentioned when we announced that we were expecting a baby earlier this year, I am taking a 15 month maternity leave.  Now almost 2 months into it (as of writing) I wanted to share how it is going financially and how we planned for it.

I want to call out at the top that we saved up a very long time for this amount as having kids was a priority for us.  It took us over 4 years to save this kind of money before we had Ava.  How the “Baby Fund” was funded varied over the years.  Sometimes it was my overtime, sometimes it was part of our budget and sometimes it was Scott’s pay when we thought he was going to be out of a job.  Either way it was something we knew we wanted to do in order to help reduce the amount of financial stress during one of the most stressful times in our lives.

Also note that this is above and beyond what we saved for diapers, formula and baby gear. This was 100% to support our income while on maternity leave.

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Hello World

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Hello WorldLast Sunday, June 18th 2017, our daughter came into the world.  Her name is Ava and we are over the moon about her arrival.

There was never a plan to get a Father’s Day card for Scott but her arrival at 6:05am was one of the most exciting moments of our life.  We are all tired and sleepy but oh so happy.  Our hearts are full of love and excitement but we know that there is a lot to do to keep this little one alive and thriving.  Our first night at home was nice because there wasn’t a whole bunch of people coming or going into the room whenever they pleased.   As can be expected it was full of emotion and chaos of night feedings and figuring things out as we go.

It was a tough delivery that ended in a C-section.  I’m still recovering from that major surgery and it has been tough.  Not being able to do some of the things I normally do, like drive, have been difficult.  Laughing and coughing are rough as well and having a new baby around the house makes you laugh a lot.  We are all from the same humble beginnings.  What I do know is that things will get better over time.  Every day I feel more and more like a normal person which is making me feel better as whole.

We are clearly very biased but she is so pretty (and smart and funny – since girls are more than just their looks).  She looks exactly like Scott as a baby except her hair is brown like mine.  It’s funny how nature works to let dad know “hey – this one is yours”.

One of the biggest changes to our lives is that things are a lot slower.  As “list” people who deal with a whole bunch of things day to day things with a 1 week old aren’t that predictable or easy to manage.  We knew that we would be slower getting to places but what I didn’t know is that you can’t really rush an infant into a schedule or routine that they are not ready for.  We are just taking things a day at a time and learning as we go.

We will still be around with regular content coming but forgive us if we are slower than normal on some stuff.  We are trying to figure life out and we look forward to getting into the groove of this new life we have.  And yes I fell asleep at the computer just before I scheduled it.

Thank you for your support and love.


Sarah, Scott and Ava