8 Surprising Costs of Parenthood

8 Surprising Costs of Parenthood

Your pre-parenting self could never have anticipated the crazy costs of having kids.

By Kelly Bryant

There are certain expenses we automatically expect when we become parents – diapers, clothing, food, and child care. But then, there are those expenses you face that seem so random (because they are) that your pre-parent self could never have seen them coming. Take a look at these – do any sound familiar?

1. Greeting cards
That’s right, I said greeting cards. Let’s use Mother’s Day as an example: Your pre-child self would send a card to your mom and grandmothers – easy peasy. But now you have a kid. You’re looking at cards for each of the important women in your life from you, and now also cards from your child. You have doubled your greeting card budget, and have you noticed the prices on those things these days?

2. Organic groceries
When it was just you and your partner, regular old milk and produce suited you just fine. Now? It’s organic everything! You’re thrilled your children love fruit, but they’re eating enough of the organic stuff to sink you into the poorhouse. Seriously, how many pounds of grapes are they wolfing down?

3. Dance costumes or sports uniforms
Hooray for extracurricular activities! But hold on, you’re not just paying for the lessons and league -- you’re also paying for the attire and gear. The amount you spend in dance recital costumes each year may be more than you paid for your wedding dress (and at the time you considered that a splurge).

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4. Birthday gifts
No, not birthday presents for your own offspring, gifts for the army of children who invite your kids to their parties. So. Many. Parties.

5. Fundraisers
It seems like your kiddo is coming home with notice of a different type of school fundraiser every week. If you’re not hitting up friends for donations, you’re shelling out the cash yourself. And even if you are inviting your inner circle to make contributions, you’re then paying it forward by supporting their kids’ school fundraisers. But we want them to have a good education, right?

6. Gas
Yup, the kind that goes into your car. Schlepping children to and from school, and to and from activities will drain your tank lickity split. If you find yourself filling up constantly, you’re not alone.


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7. Art supplies
I’m all for fostering my child’s creativity, but have you ever noticed how quickly the art supply stash needs to be replenished? Crayons vanish, paints dry up, glue sticks lose their adhesiveness – it all adds up to one thing – the need to buy more art supplies.

8. Birthday parties
It seems like no one simply throws on some party hats and sings “Happy Birthday” around a homemade cake anymore. Now, birthday parties have grown by epic proportions. Even if you keep it small, you’re still hosting a lot of people, because every one of your child’s classmates tends to have one or two parents in tow and sometimes even siblings. A preschool class of just 12 kids pretty quickly turns into a party of 50.

What has been the most surprising cost of raising kids for you?

Kelly Bryant is a freelance writer and pop culture junkie. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and their two sons. Follow her on Twitter @MsKellyBryant.

Image ©iStock.com/goodynewshoes

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