If every toy ad on TV didn’t remind you already, let me state the obvious.
Kids are expensive!
I am in no way complaining about this and every dollar I spend for my kids is well spent.
But that does not change the reality in my family - there are limits to those dollars. Halfway through last year, I was laid off from my job and after some serious conversations with my husband, we decided that I would not return to work full time, at least until the kids were in grade school.
That led to some big changes for our family, including a move away from our New York City suburb to my childhood home where the cost of living is significantly lower.
I’ve also had to accept that for right now, my best parenting is going to be through presence and not presents. I say no a lot while shopping. We are happily middle income, like the majority of families across the United States.
We don’t whisk off to Palm Springs, London or even Miami every other weekend. Weekends away are to locations we can drive to in my Mazda minivan. We stay in hotel rooms bought on Priceline and when we do fly, it’s on Frontier because they fly out of a close airport and have super low fares.
We don’t have designer wardrobes. I do the majority of our clothes shopping at Target, Marshall’s and the local consignment store. I pack lunches each day, not only for the kids but also my husband. I get excited when the big container of Whole Wheat Goldfish is on sale.
The thing is, I have never been more content in my life and I think it’s important that new gay dads and potential gay dads and even existing gay dads to know that!
Being a gay dad does take some money ... but being a gay dad takes one more important thing, heart.
If you want to be a dad, you can and will find a way. Gay fatherhood, like the gay community at large, is not defined solely by those living in glamour but by a range of financial and social means. Know that the community of gay dads includes those with plenty, those with just enough and even those struggling to make ends meet.
Photo credit: 2bgr8stock