We’re Having a Girl! Wait, We’re Having a Girl?

its a girlEvery parent knows the moment they find out the gender of their child – whether it be during an ultrasound or at birth – is a monumental occasion. We spend months wondering what’s baking inside that tummy. We’ll take guesses or develop hunches. Lots of time is spent making one set of plans if it’s a boy and another one if it’s a girl. Most of us come up with a list of names for each possibility. It’s a period full of eager anticipation.

When that time finally comes…when you receive the news…it’s huge. After all, it impacts the rest of your life! Well, that moment happened for us last Friday…

So, without further ado, I’m proud to announce we will be welcoming a baby girl about 4.5 months from now!!

Being a Father to a Little Girl

This little guy is going to be a big brother!

This little guy is going to be a big brother!

Many of you might get a chuckle out of this, but I’m not quite sure how to be a father to a little girl. I’ve never been around any in my entire life. There were no girls in my immediate or extended family. My family relocated often when I was growing up (as most military families do) and I never had any close friends that were girls. Even as an adult, I’ve just never been around little girls for anything more than social gatherings with friends who have daughters.

I’m not scared, nervous, or anxious. Rather, I feel at a loss as to how I’ll relate to her once she leaves baby stage and gets older. I mean, I know little boys. I was one. I had a little brother. I’ve got a 1.5 year-old boy right now. I know the mind of a little boy. I know how rough and tumble they are, how they think, and what gets them excited. But when it comes to little girls…? And, sure, I’m fully aware figuring out how to be a father to a little girl and knowing how to relate to her just comes naturally over time. But, right now, the thought is a bit daunting.

There Goes Our Savings!

Who in their right mind would have two (or more) kids these days?! Long gone are the days when kids were assets. We, as parents, can’t put them to work on the farm or send them to the factory to make money. Nope from day 1 until whenever you finally severe the financial ties – kids are a money sucking black hole!

I’ve crunched the numbers and it doesn’t look pretty. When my wife returns to work after maternity leave and our daughter starts daycare (which will probably be at 3-4 months old), we’ll be breaking even each month cash flow wise 🙁 Daycare is ridiculously expensive. The good news is I’ll still be able to contribute to retirement savings by fully funding my 401(k). After that, though, we’ll probably have a few hundred dollars left over during the good months which makes it extremely tough when you’re trying to save for a down payment on a home purchase. I think we might need to start seriously considering a relocation to improve our financial situation!

Anyone have any advice or words of encouragement about raising a girl? Have you struggled with wanting a kid (or additional ones) but knowing it could impede your financial goals (such as retirement) because it’s so costly to raise one?

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26 Responses to We’re Having a Girl! Wait, We’re Having a Girl?

  1. moneystepper March 11, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    I can’t help you with experiences, but I have no doubt that you’ll be a brilliant Dad to a little girl. Huge congratulations to you and your wife.
    moneystepper recently posted…What is the average length of a mortgage?My Profile

    • Mr. Utopia March 12, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

      Thanks! My wife swore up and down she wanted another boy to make things “easier” but I think deep down she is thrilled to be having a girl.

  2. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply March 12, 2014 at 6:44 am #

    Congrats man! I have a 8 month old son so no experience with little girls. I think when they are small…it’s all the same, they just want your love and attention. You’ll be fine. I’m with you about the expense of kids. We live in NYC…still in a 1 bedroom apartment. I’d want 2 kids (1 just seems a little lonely). But while it definitely will be tough financially, I think it is totally worth it. Hey at least there’s a tax deduction!
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Are Personal Finance Bloggers “Pound Foolish”?My Profile

    • Mr. Utopia March 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

      Yeah, at the beginning boys and girls pretty much have the exact same parenting needs. But when girls get to around 3 or 4 years-old and start becoming “girly”, that’s when I’ll be entering uncharted territory. I agree about the 2 kids. Any less and the it’s lonely for the single child. Having 3+ just stretches you too thin. Two is the right amount. And, yes, the extra tax exemption helps…a little.

  3. Little House March 12, 2014 at 6:56 am #

    Congratulations on your news! And I’m sure you’ll be a fine father to a baby girl. In some ways, I think girls are easier when they’re little, they only become a headache (lol) when they become adolescents – lots of drama! I’m a middle school teacher and I have first hand knowledge of this. Luckily, that doesn’t last too long, though.

    However, about relocating, California is stinking expensive! Mr. LH and I have also thought of relocating as well. It’s just ridiculous trying to find a reasonably priced home on our moderate income. Decisions, decisions.
    Little House recently posted…Do You Need a College Education to Make a Decent Salary?My Profile

    • Mr. Utopia March 12, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

      Thanks for the congrats. I wasn’t even thinking about the adolescent stage – I hadn’t gotten that far. That’ll be a headache for sure. I was thinking more along the lines of princesses, dolls, tea time, etc. You know the stereotypical little girly stuff.

      I don’t think there are too many “reasonably priced” homes in California! At least not in the major metro areas. The high cost-of-living is one thing, but when you throw the state income tax, sales taxes, vehicle registration, etc. (which are all high) it get’s downright absurd. Add in Federal taxes, Medicare, and social security taxes and the government takes ~50% of what our family earns. Absolutely ridiculous!

  4. EL @ Moneywatch101 March 12, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    I’m the opposite as I only have daughters, and I will tell you it is totally different from raising boys. (So I’ve heard) I agree kids are expensive but not as bad as the media suggests. Congrats and remember this, most boys leave with their wives for the holidays, while girls stay. They take care of their older parents better than boys do for the most part.
    EL @ Moneywatch101 recently posted…The Last Hundred DollarsMy Profile

    • Mr. Utopia March 12, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

      I hadn’t thought about the “leaving the nest” effect. I’m not even sure that’s the right thing to call it, but I’d hope that our son would still want to be involved with his old geezer parents after he’s on his own…maybe his younger sister will pressure him to stick around!

  5. DC @ Young Adult Money March 12, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    I had an older sister and a few of my friends have girls (one is almost 2 and the other is in first grade) and to be honest at this point I have no preference as to which one we have. I think it does help that I grew up with my sister who is very close in age to me so I feel like I have some perspective/insight into their thought process as young adults/teenagers, though I totally hear you on having difficulty relating to them versus a boy. I think you’ll do great!

    Besides increasing income is there anything else you can do to increase your net cash flow each month? I mean, obviously you have a blog that should generate some money eventually if you stick with it. I would say $1k/month isn’t an unrealistic goal to go after. Additionally if you don’t coupon for things like groceries and toiletries I would start asap. We save $150-$250 a month, and that’s just for two of us. I imagine the savings would multiply as you add children to the equation.

    My wife and I are putting off having kids because of the financial and time responsibility that comes with them. We both have a relatively high level of student debt that hurts our cash flow each month and we both have some time-consuming goals that we want to go after before then (masters, travel, small biz, home renovation, etc).
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…4 Things You Need to Do To Become Self EmployedMy Profile

    • Mr. Utopia March 12, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

      Thanks, DC! As to your question about increasing income, no, there’s not anything we can do to immediately increase it. There for a while I thought I might land a promotion at work, but ended up settling for a lateral transfer. So, I’m locked in for about another year unless I completely leave the company. My wife works for a state entity and there isn’t much income potential growth there. Other than this blog, there really isn’t much opportunity in the short to possibly intermediate term. We are pretty thrifty by nature, but we could probably stand to pick up couponing. That’s something we don’t really do at the moment. The challenge would be trying to make time for couponing since we both work full time and will soon have 2 kids less than 2-years old.

      You and your wife definitely have your priorities straight. We delayed having kids until our $140k of students loans were paid off (in fact, my wife became pregnant about 3 weeks before the final payoff!). And getting an advanced degree before kids come is highly advisable. That’s what I did. It would have been extremely challenging to have had kids first.

  6. krantcents March 12, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    As a father of a boy and a girl, parenting a girl is not really that different from a boy. You want to pass on values and teach them how to be come good adults. Both my children are exceptionally successful. BTW, there no girls in y immediate family (3 boys) too. It is most common sense although some choices must be adjusted. For example, my son played football and my daughter was a swimmer. She also earned the Girl Scout Gold award. Congratulations and good luck.
    krantcents recently posted…Four Steps to Improve your MotivationMy Profile

    • Mr. Utopia March 12, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

      I agree – passing along values and morals is paramount irrespective of gender. Raising exceptional children will be our utmost priority, just like you’ve done. I’ll still probably have troubles relating to her when she’s in the young girl stage though. Then again, that might actually be easier than trying to connect when she’s older and wants to be independent from her parents!

  7. Kylie Ofiu March 13, 2014 at 2:06 am #

    Congratulations! I have 2 daughters and as babies/toddlers it was easy. They are now 5 and 6 and WOW! So different. My 5yr old is every bit the tom boy, whereas Miss 6 is a princess.

    I am sure you will be a great dad.
    Kylie Ofiu recently posted…House deposit savingsMy Profile

    • Mr. Utopia March 13, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

      I hadn’t thought about the tomboy aspect. That’d probably make it easier on me as a father. The 5-6 year-old age range (or maybe slightly before) is what I’m talking about when I say I’m kind of at a loss in knowing how to relate.

  8. Holly@ClubThrifty March 13, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    Awwww…..congrats! That’s awesome!

    We have to girls and it’s so much fun.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…How Would You Spend $6,500?My Profile

    • Mr. Utopia March 13, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      Thanks, Holly. I have no doubt girls are fun…and probably quite stress inducing too! 😉

  9. Peter March 13, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    Congratulations, I know how you feel. I have 4 year old and 2 year old and we thought that 4 year old was a girl for for 8 months… yeah… and you know for your first kid, you buy everything new, so we went and bought everything pink… LOL.
    Peter recently posted…Getting back on the budget groove – I gotta talk to my wifeMy Profile

    • Mr. Utopia March 14, 2014 at 9:43 am #

      That’s rough – completely planning for a girl and then getting a boy or vice versa. If we did that, I think we’d just let the baby go with lots of the stuff we’d already purchased!

  10. Ryan @ Impersonal Finance March 14, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    Congrats man! That’s totally awesome, and I’m sure soon enough you’re going to know how to relate and handle her and everything like that. As for the money, that is a tough spot. I’ve always advocated relocating to a place with familial support, or just a lower cost of living. If only we were still an agrarian society where kids were employees as much as family, right (totally kidding)?
    Ryan @ Impersonal Finance recently posted…the classics of personal financeMy Profile

    • Mr. Utopia March 14, 2014 at 10:09 am #

      Thanks! Our conundrum is that the family support is soon to be located 100% here in money draining California. So, if we were to relocate (and I’d love to), it’d be a pure decision between moving to a location that was more financially viable or keeping the family support here in CA. That’s such a tough decision to make.

  11. Kay @ Green Money Stream March 14, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

    Congratulations! I have one son and we don’t plan on having more kids. Kids are definitely expensive, daycare being a huge cost. But that’s not our reason for not wanting more. I wouldn’t let that hold us back.

    At least you’ll get that extra tax exemption!
    Kay @ Green Money Stream recently posted…Rattlesnake Wrangling and 5 Other Side HustlesMy Profile

    • Mr. Utopia March 15, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

      Thanks! Yes, the daycare cost is brutal. We could probably find a cheaper alternative, but that might come with reduced quality of care and we just aren’t willing to risk that, you know? And, yes, the tax exemption is nice even though it’s really only a drop in the bucket!

  12. Suburban Finance March 16, 2014 at 7:29 am #

    Congrats! I don’t know any advice on how to be a good father, but I think you’ll learn it along the way! I was once a little girl and I think I liked it when my Dad spent time with me and tried to be involved in a little girl’s world haha. Just curious, are you planning her as your last child?
    Suburban Finance recently posted…The Stag ‘n’ Doe: Just Another Wedding Event or Just a Money Grab?My Profile

    • Mr. Utopia March 16, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

      You’re right, I’m sure my daughter won’t be judging me at all especially at such a young age. Yes, she’ll definitely be our last child. Of that I’m certain!

  13. My Money Design March 17, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    Being a father to a little girl is awesome! They are the best. There is nothing quite like the love of your daughter and how she thinks there’s nothing in the world you can’t do.
    My Money Design recently posted…How Do You Really Want to Make Money With a Blog?My Profile

    • Mr. Utopia March 17, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

      That does sound awesome. I’m looking forward to experiencing that for sure…

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