I’d seen it in the movies a hundred times–the scene where the young wife reveals to her unsuspecting idiot partner that she’s pregnant, and he just stares blankly like a deer in the headlights. Like his brain just got unplugged. Recently, I learned that’s exactly what it feels like.
However, once the initial sheer excitement subsided, the full gravity of the situation settled in. We were getting ready to pay off my next solid chunk of my Sallie Mae student loan. Now what? After marinating in the news for a while, here are some of the thoughts that have been ricocheting around my brain since then:
- Holy crap, we’re going down to one income!
- Holy crap, I’ll be the only income earner for our whole family! For how long?
- Oh snap, my wife currently earns more than I do!
- Can I double my income to compensate?
- How much can we cut down our expenses?
- How much time do I have to get prepared?
- What about paying off my student loan debt?
- Holy crap, I’m going to be someone’s DAD!
Not much can rock your world like finding out your wife is pregnant. We’ve been praying for this for some time, and I’m convinced it’s going to be more awesome, positive and joyful than we expected. Everything is going to be just fine. Still, some of my brain cells are freaking out about the questions above. In some ways I feel really prepared, in some ways, not so much– mostly financially.
At this point, I think I know what the solution will be, but I’m not positive. Here’s what I’m thinking I’ll need to do:
- Increase my personal income as much as humanly possible.
- Decrease our expenses as low as possible without my wife murdering me.
- Press pause on paying down Sallie Mae, and divert all extra money to savings.
Once new mom and baby are home from the hospital, and our cash flow is consistent and under control, then we might just press “play” on smashing Sallie again, and put the savings right onto the loan balance.
Step #1 scares the daylights out of me. It feels like, “Jake, you have six months to more than double your income. Ready? Go.” So, I’m churning through ideas and plans, and I’m sure good things will happen, just hopefully not at the last minute.
Ultimately, this is even bigger than the student loan. There will be huge changes in the coming months; we will re-calibrate and find our feet again, then continue on with our plans to smash Sallie. What about upgrading the car? Buying our first house? Also on pause. Argh. Yay! Argh. Yay! Mostly yay.
Have you been through this before? I need input and wisdom from the dads (or moms) out there who have had their lives rocked with a baby. Please comment below and share!