What To Consider Before Having Kids, Part 2

Financial Concerns

The Multi-Million Dollar Baby

If I were to raise a child in the city of San Francisco and send that kid to private school (which is exactly what I would do because public schools in SF are substandard), then the estimated cost of supporting it until the age of 18 would be around $2.5 million. This estimate is based on figures released by the US Department of Agriculture with child care, increased housing costs, and private school (30k plus per year in SF) added on.

San Francisco is now more expensive than New York City, so it’s not surprising that raising a kid here is prohibitively expensive. Most of the city-dwelling couples I know who are starting families end up moving outside the city limits.

It’s possible that my husband and I could manage the costs of raising one child in SF if we changed our financial priorities, but that doesn’t make the total sum of my hypothetical child’s financial burden any easier for me to stomach. Just think of all the shoes I could buy!

Having A Kid Is Not A Good Investment

There is no guarantee your child will take care of you when you are sick or dying, and why would you want them to? They will not do a better job than a professional nurse, and they may resent you for the burden. Also, it’s cheaper to invest in end of life care than a child.

My husband’s parents are South Asian immigrants and believe that their son owes them everything and that it’s his duty to take care of them at the end of their life, or else he is a bad son. My parents are American and believe that I owe them nothing. Currently I have a satisfying adult relationship with my parents with appropriate boundaries and autonomy. In contrast, my husband has decided not to have a relationship with his parents.

I think that if you are raising your kids in America, you should not expect too much in return. You cannot expect them to obey you, honor you, immortalize you, or take care of you. All you can hope for is a healthy and lasting relationship with them once they’re adults. They are not an investment that guarantees a return, but they are individuals that you have a good chance of having a loving bond with if you don’t screw it up.

Continue reading “What To Consider Before Having A Kid, Part 3.”