2. Create a Village
Ditch the negative: “I don’t have lots of family or other support, so I’m on my own.”
Adopt the positive: “I’ll start building a support network now so I’ll have the help I need before I give birth.”
How to make it happen: Pregnancy, delivery and new motherhood are so much easier when you have a “tribe” behind you. If you don’t have the built-in support of family and friends, start working now to put one in place.
“There are several places and ways a pregnant woman might find support and possibly new friends,” says certified nurse-midwife Tina London, C.N.M., a clinical faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh. Open up to people in your prenatal yoga, breastfeeding and childbirth education classes, your neighborhood and church. “Many communities have organizations with spaces dedicated to parents mingling and children playing,” London says. When you find other women who are short on support, reach out and start building a network.
3. Prepare For Parenting
Ditch the negative: “I had lousy parents who were bad role models, so I’m going to be one, too.”
Adopt the positive: “I will be the parent I want to be.”
How to make it happen: If you’re feeling unnerved about becoming a parent, relax—it’s normal. “You probably will be overwhelmed by motherhood—all the best moms are,” says Aga. If you’re not sure how to be a good parent, educate yourself. get trustworthy childcare information from authoritative books and classes, and spend time with the real experts—people whose parenting style you admire. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” Aga adds. “Talk to other new mothers. It’s comforting to hear how others have dealt with the difficulty of being a new mom.”
4. Be Money Wise
Ditch the negative: “I’m broke now. how can I cover the expenses of having a child?”
Adopt the positive: “With smart planning, I will figure out a way to get my finances in order.”
How to make it happen: One of the best money savers is buying or borrowing secondhand baby clothes, toys and equipment instead of new. You can also mix pricey items with more affordable picks. But here’s what you need to do now:
Buy life insurance A 20-year term policy is a great choice, says Liza Weiman hanks, author of The Busy Family’s Guide to Estate Planning (Nolo). “You lock in the best rate when you’re young and healthy.” Aim to buy enough insurance so that the interest on the principal will cover your expenses, make sure both parents are insured and don’t count on workplace insurance because jobs end.
Create a will You need to think ahead and designate guardianship of your child. To save on attorney fees, try using Quicken WillMaker software.
Check out a 529 college savings plan Most states allow small deposits, and your money grows tax-free. For more info, go to sec.gov/investor/pubs/intro529.htm.
Check your insurance policy Read the fine print and don’t assume that your baby will be covered.