Before I became a mom, the things that filled my head had almost nothing to do with the things I started to think about when I was a mom – choosing what restaurant to go to, what movie to see, where to go on vacation, were some of the child-less thoughts that I had, but wow, how things change when you become a mom! Here are three key things that suddenly become important when you become a mom:
1. Health Insurance – When my husband and I were single, health insurance was just something to have. But after you have kids, the first job benefit you think of is family health insurance. And then, you start becoming an expert navigating it as your kids get bigger and need to go to different specialists – case in point, my son has to visit his allergist at least once a year for follow up since he has severe nuts and peanut allergies. My daughter needs to go to the eye doctor. During flu and cold season, I have more frequent flyer miles at my kids’ pediatrician office than American Airlines.
Out of Pocket, deductibles, co-pay, emergency percent coverage, well you get the picture; you become an expert on what these terms mean. You think health insurance covers everything, the answer is a No. We learned this the hard way when we started getting bills for everything. My advice to you is get out all the insurance papers or go online to the insurance’s website, and educate yourself on what is covered and what’s not before you get hit with a bill you were not expecting and maybe you don’t have the cash to pay right away.
2. Education/Schools – You never think of schools, or preschools, or daycares for that matter when you are childless and even when you have plans to have kids. It doesn’t really become a major issue until you need to find a good preschool, daycare or school for your kid. And the distance from your home to the school becomes super critical also. And even after you found a good school for your kid and you are happy with it, education for your kids never stops being a major worry – You think about middle schools, high schools, college, can you even afford college? Can they a get a scholarship? Are they going to go out of state or stay living with you? After your kids start school, education will never leave your thoughts.
3. A New Social Network – I’m lucky enough that my friends and our kids have roughly the same ages so they can play together and we can still hang out. It’s a win-win for us. But even if I didn’t have my old friends to hang out with, I would still need to find a network of moms. As in any friendship, you hang out with people that share similar interests as you, and in this case you would look for moms with children the same age as yours.
I’m lucky enough that I have my friends from high school and our kids are more or less the same age. But if you have not kept in touch with your old friends, or maybe they don’t have any kids that are the same age as yours. Then, find yourself some friends with kids.
One of the funny things that will happen when you meet up with your social network of friends is that you will end of talking about health insurance and schools a lot of the time. But you will also talk about a life when none of these things made sense to you, and you will laugh at how life really changes when you have kids.
It changes completely. Subscribe to our mailing list, and send me your thoughts, and I will share them. Thanks!