Top Five Ways to Save Money as a New Parent

765500e0739c9b82c56108534584887c.jpgAhhh, kids. So cute and cuddly (and frustrating sometimes, let’s be honest), but oh my goodness, do they cost a fortune!

A few friends have recently given birth, and I shared with them my tips for saving money the first few years, so I thought I’d share them with you too!

  1. Resale shops, consignment shops, clothing swaps, and hand-me-downs are life (and budget) savers. Kids grow so fast, there is no reason that you need to break the bank buying new clothes. Most of these also have gear and toys too!
  2. Speaking of kids growing quickly, Car seats are a thing that has to be replaced too. Between September 16-30t, 2019, you can trade in an old car seat at Walmart and receive a Free $30 Walmart Gift Card to use on the purchase of a new car seat or other baby gear item. Target sometimes holds similar events.
  3. Mom support groups- Hear me out. Mommy groups get a bad wrap on social media, but it’s nice to know that there are people out there that know what you are going through. You can find mom groups via Facebook and Meetup.
  4. Free Stuff. There are so many companies that cater to parents and kids, everyone is giving away something, you just need to know where to look. Formula companies give away samples and send coupons (I won’t get into the whole debate of breastfed vs. formula fed. If you’ve read my blog long enough, you know about my struggles with IGT– FED IS BEST). Kabrita has a great offer. And as your kids get older, companies like Enfamil/Enfagrow have transitional formulas- and they offer samples and coupons too. I post freebie offers that include stuff for kids and babies each week!
  5. Stores like Walmart and Target usually run free gift bag deals when you start a registry. Right now you can order a Free Walmart Welcome Baby Registry Box when you start a registry.  Huggies has a “Made By You” free sample kit right now as well.

If you aren’t a new parent but know of one, here are a few ways you can help them out (and a recipe, because really, I love cooking!).

 

Parents: Give Yourself A Break

DSC06725.JPGA friend posted this article from Motherly this morning about how self-care isn’t enough and parents (especially moms) are burnt out.

I can completely understand. As the mom of a kid with ASD and ADHD, and well as a neurotypical firecracker of a 4-year-old, I feel like I am always going going going. And really, I feel like it’s not enough.

This summer I’ve said NO a lot. No to racing off to an activity each morning, no to lunches out, no to 5 playdates a week, the craft dates, all-day zoo adventures, and sojourns to the beach. Oh, and this would have been just 1 week of summer activities in the past. Imagine that for 8 weeks. Are you tired now?

This is something I want everyone who reads this to take the heart: NO IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE. 

Plus, I still need to do household chores, cook, laundry and make sure the big kid gets to therapy twice a week, I need to exercise at least 4 times a week.

In saying no to all of these activities, the kids are able to relax, which means they are in a better mood, which mommy is in a better mood. We are still doing stuff, but it’s more things that the kids can do at home or in a small group of friends.  We’ve been swimming at our community pool each day in the late afternoon, playing at the local park. We’re going to the YMCA a few times a week in the afternoon so the kids can play while I exercise. Stuff that is low stress.

Why is parenting harder? Why are we burned out? This article gives us some ideas. The increase in activities for kids (If you want to go to an Ivy League school Little Timmy, you need to start your extra-curricular activities at birth!), social media expectations (It’s like Keeping up with the Joneses on crack), the constant barrage of information and data being thrown at us (pics of our kids, nanny/daycare cams being sent to us, text messages, chat apps, always being connected to people and media). It’s overwhelming. It’s tiring. Being expected to be Instagram-ready or Insta -Perfect is frustrating and exhausting.

For special needs parents, it’s harder because, for the most part, our kids aren’t  “like everyone else”, so frequently we are ostracized from activities. It’s the truth, and it sucks. and it hurts. To shield my kids from this hurt and keep myself sane, we’ve stepped back from activities this summer.

I’m not going to give you a list of self-care activities that will help you de-stress. You already know what works for you, your family, your budget.  This is what I do.

What I want you to know, moms and dads that read this post:

You are not alone. There are other parents and caregivers out there that are feeling the same way you do. You don’t have to keep up with everything you see online. You are doing the best you can for your family. YOU ARE ENOUGH!

I found this shirt on Amazon and I had to share it. 

Planning for Pregnancy with Sharp Hospitals

My sister-in-law is about to have her first baby. Some months ago, we loaned her husband, my brother-in-law a copy of The Expectant Father.  While he was reading the book, he discovered that we had left a set of our oldest’s ultrasounds in the pages of the book.

She texted me a few days ago to let me know that they were mailing them back.  I received the ultrasounds today, and it really took me back to when I was pregnant with my oldest. I had no idea what I was in for. He was unexpected, and so neither myself nor my spouse knew what to expect beyond what modern media tells us (and what I’d experienced babysitting family and neighbors growing up). Reading the books we had purchased blindly at the bookstore (so many books on being pregnant and birth are available!) were helpful, but learning about what we needed to know first hand from professionals would have been so much better. I wish I had known about Planning for Pregnancy Events from Sharp.

CORP00264-Planning-for-Pregnancy-B-1080x1080.jpgComing up July 23-26 at 5 different Sharp locations throughout San Diego County is a free Planning for Pregnancy event where you’ll meet doctors including a Sharp-affiliated reproductive endocrinologist, OBGYN and other experts.

 

In addition to getting your questions answered about pregnancy and preparing for pregnancy, you will learn more about:

  • Preparing your body for pregnancy, including diet, birth control and what to avoid
  • Having a baby later in life
  • Choosing an OBGYN and pediatrician
  • Reproductive planning
  • Determining your natural fertility schedule and optimizing your ability to get pregnant
  • Fertility challenges and treatments, including how common conditions — such as endometriosis and fibroids can impact pregnancy
  • Support groups and classes at Sharp HealthCare. We used a lot of these support groups after our oldest was born. I had a lot of challenges with breastfeeding and PPD.

What I really like about these classes besides that they are free and open to ANYONE, regardless of which insurance company you have, is that doctors and specialists are there to help you on your journey to parenthood. Wherever you are in your journey, even if you’ve just gotten married or are thinking about kids someday in the future, this class at Sharp can help you.

I’ve taken a lot of classes at Sharp- all of which were free, and easy to sign up for. If this Planning for Pregnancy Event sounds like something you are interested in, you can learn more, and RSVP here.

This post was sponsored by Sharp, however all opinions are my own. You can read my disclosure policy here.