Women In Consulting

I might be laid off soon. Given the job market, I'm thinking to take a career pause and have a baby. Only have finances to support self for 1.5 year though. Assuming no baby daddy, is this a bad idea?

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Look. Everyone on here is being really negative but please take some advice from a woman who is too old to get pregnant, been a workaholic her entire life, and has never paused to think about starting a family – if this is important to you then don’t procrastinate. I share the concerns on here about financial support. In any case most consulting firms are WFH for the rest of the calendar year so you’ll have plenty of mental space to interview elsewhere and find an industry job where you can continue to draw an income and have the requisite WLB (and funds to lock up healthcare, childcare, etc.) to have and raise a child.

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Aside from the overwhelming "no" advice here, I would suggest coming up with the worst case scenario plan to see if you can pull it off. There are a lot of risks with doing such a major change; however if you prepare yourself and if this is something you want to do, it may not be as bad. 1) Healthcare costs. Important because they are unpredictable and can be really high esp if the baby is born with some sort of a condition or if you have a complicated delivery. Invest in HSA if possible and find a reasonable insurance plan. If you're unable to have insurance to cover pregnancy, delivery and then pediatrician visits, look into financial assistance programs offered by county hospitals and some private hospitals. 2) Childcare. Being with your own kid around the clock is exhausting. You will need to have someone you trust to leave the baby with or find a daycare. I can not emphasize enough how big this is. For you to get back into the workforce, you will absolutely need childcare coverage. If you have family nearby, it's fantastic. Otherwise, build the cost of childcare into your budget. 3) start looking for some freelance gigs now or establish your network and maintain it for the next 1.5-2 years to have it ready and live when you decide to come back into the workforce. 4) see if you can stretch your savings into 2 years or better consider investing into something bringing you income on day 1 (bonds, preferreds etc.) Or have a combination of both. This way you'll be able to keep the principal of your investment while generating a few hundred bucks a months. Any of these options would absolutely require you to minimize the costs (moving in with family, cutting extra spending etc.) 5) Consider if this is really something you want to do, I didn't realize how hard motherhood was esp mentally until after delivery. and still don't think I'm well suited for it. The last thing you want is to make this drastic change and then realize that you don't like being a mom or that you hate your new life and want to get back to the old lifestyle. Hope this helps.

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But we can't discount her desire to do it. It's an option she's considering and someone has to help her see all the challenges she might face instead of saying point blank no.

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No. You need two incomes, and a stable home for a baby.

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What makes you believe she doesn’t check out on both counts?

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How old are you?

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I know this is slightly off topic but I hope those shows women who aren’t working how hard it is to financially carry a family single handed. I know there are several women who single handedly support their families, and it is no joke how difficult things can get.

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Nooooo!

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1.5 years is only 9 months post birth, plus the medical costs of the baby (will you have insurance? Cobra is damn expensive) and the other things you need to buy (crib, clothes, stroller etc get expensive). So likely only 6 months post baby... and that’s if you get pregnant now. Also what will you do for care if you go back to work? That ain’t cheap either ...

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Does the 1.5 years take into the account the cost of insemination ?

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It feels like a suitable time given my age (the clock is ticking) and potential time availability when unemployed.

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You don’t need to go the IVF route btw. You can do insemination depending on what your doctor tells you!

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Personally, I think a child needs a two parent family and stable income. This is coming from someone who grew up with neither.

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A less stressful career / lower growth role could be a reasonable step to give you space for thus dream. Is that an option? Personally I wouldn’t be comfortable with unemployment and baby - too much risk on unexpected costs, especially around healthcare.

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OP- how old are you? This really depends also on your age. 1) Are you 35 with industry experience who is an associate since new to consulting? 2) Or in your early 20s? If in early 20s, I’d suggest focusing on your career - the leaps you make it those first few years are critical to setting yourself up for higher salaries down the line that will have you financially stable to make whatever decisions you want.

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Go back to grad school is a better idea

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I kinda love how bold this idea is to just do you. But it’s very risky. You’ll probably be fine though as long as you have a plan for worst case scenario.

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Are you 35? Can you lower your standard of living and stretch out your savings further? Would you have a job lined up after that 1.5 years? Do you have support from your parents? Just things to think about. I totally don’t agree with the people above who blindly say no.

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If you get laid off, try to find a job that has flexibility and continue the next steps to have a child (saving, doctors visits, ivf, etc). As others have pointed out, it could take a few months to get pregnant and then approx 10 months before the baby is born. Prenatal visits can be expensive and it would be good to have health insurance for that, which you could get through a new job. If you decide to wait and realize you run out of money in 9 months instead of a year and a half you would be job hunting pregnant which could be tougher. If you get a new job and continue to aggressively save it could be less stressful in the long run. You could always take an unpaid leave, or not come back from maternity leave if you want time off with the child and then you won’t have used up your whole savings and can actually spend time with your child not being pregnant. My advice would be to evaluate what you want. If you want a child, go for it, but make sure you have stability and focus your job search in a career that would allow that. Best of luck!

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Hey OP! It’s exciting that you want to have a baby! I think it’s really important to do some research and come up with a plan! Analyze the responsibilities and how much it costs to take care of a baby for the next year to 5 year map. And create a plan for how you can support that and/or get the support needed via family and friends. The world is yours - just make a plan!

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Sounds like you want to have a kid, which is great. The timing sucks with the job market, but if you can wait a bit longer until you can get a new job (tech companies often have great maternity benefits) you can set yourself up to give your kid and yourself more financial security

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What about health insurance? Not sure if you’re US based, but I’d be hesitant to have a baby without insurance. Even with insurance, you can pay thousands to have a baby.

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Hi OP! I’m in the same boat. Except, I think I’m older and think this is the end of my options. Don’t create regrets, and don’t crowd source your heart. Happy to chat if you want to ask, “how can I do this? How can I make this work?”

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