How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Anna Your Own Question
Anna, Social Worker
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience:  29 years experience in addictions & mental health. I'll tell you my honest opinion.
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Anna is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello my name is Mike, I have a somewhat long but interesting

Customer Question

Hello my name is Mike,

I have a somewhat long but interesting situation...

My girlfriend and I are having a baby next January. We're at a point in our leases where we have to determine where we are going to live from August 2010 and on. We're faced with 2 options.

Our first option is to find an apartment to rent, somewhere in the neighborhood of $550 or less. Typically, this kind of price range would put us in place that wasn't too fancy or in a great location. Factor in cable and utilities and we'd be looking at around $800 or so per month as our base. This doesn't including things like credit card bills, phone bills, loans, car insurance, gas, food, clothing, things that a new apartment needs, covering emergencies, doctors bills, upcoming baby purchases (baby furniture, food, clothing, etc.) Easily this could jump past the $2000 per month. (That's with me estimating on the low end) I'm currently full time, and sad to say it, but the job market hasn't been the best so I make $11 an hour, she's part-time making minimum wage and has scholarships and grants from being a fulltime student to help with our expenses. After doing the math, it's possible for us to pull this off but I feel like we'd be scraping by month to month and putting away a few dollars here and there to savings, if we get a chance to save at all. Plus, she will want to take some time off from work so I'll be the sole bread winner from January until she feels ready to re-enter the workforce.

Our second options is to move in with my parents (my idea, no theirs) for a short time, perhaps six months or whatever goal we set for ourselves. This goal is to insure that the baby doesn't have a condition that requires advanced medical care and so that after he or she is born, things have a chance to settle down. ON top of that we would have the front half of their house to ourselves, the master bedrooom and bath, 3 stocked freezes and refrigerator, cable, highspeed internet, my father that cooks dinner every night, my mother that could provide free baby sitting (if we ever asked for it), baby stuff is already there since my mother has been raising a girl for the past 3 years, and we'd have one bill per month of $250 for the cel phones. Factor in our current salaries, her financial aid/grants/scholarships and subtract all of our expenses and I have estimated that month to month we could save nearly $700. She'd be closer to work (10 minutes vs 35), we wouldn't have to buy as much food, no rent, utilities, cable, etc. Our earnings would go towards the things we need and our upcoming baby needs. Plus, the savings that we'd get would cover emergency costs for ourselves, pets, and the baby and would allow us to pay down debt much faster. If it didn't go to that we could use it towards a down payment on a house eventually. Additionally, she could take as much time off as she wanted to raise our child, which is what I'd prefer. The downside to this is that my parents live out in the country 45 minutes away from the major city (versus living in that city) and 10 minutes away from a smaller city. Also, she's worried that we can't establish ourselves as a family if we have roommates or live with others.

When I proposed the second option to her she flat out refused. Even after explaining the benefits to her and the financial security gained. She said that we would drift apart and she'd be miserable and that couldn't start a real family with our own rules and traditions. I assured her that my parents were very hands off, a fact that she even agrees with, and they would give us the privacy she desired. I said I really feel like the money will come in handy especially given the fact that you want to take off time from work and that I'll be soley responsible for all of the bills and financial support. And that it felt like the right thing to do. She said that if I decided to do that she would find a place of her own for a semester, have the baby and move back in with her parents that live 2 1/2 hours away...

So I'm stuck because she will not bend on this. I could cave in and rent causing us to potentially live pay check to pay check, on welfare (which isn't a bad thing necessarily), while maintaining our "sense of independance" and "establishing our own family" or move in with my parents, live pratically free compared to the alternative, but risk breaking up and having her move away from me.

What can I do to fix this situation one way or the other, if at all possible?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and helping me out...
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Anna replied 7 years ago.

I can tell that you're a smart person and that you've really looked at this very realistically. Every question I had in my head was answered by your attention to detail, so this is the biggest factor in the whole situation: you're thinking it through and not in denial about the task at hand. Especially that you've factored in if something doesn't go right with the baby and there are extra expenses. Good call on that one.

Unfortunately, that doesn't mean your girlfriend has the same ability or is at the same place as you. I wouldn't assume that she won't come around to the practical plan that you've outlined, but I don't think she's there yet. Everyone operates on their own timeframe when it comes to adjustment. You've got the financial issues at hand and she has the new mom thing.

New moms are usually pretty fragile in the ego department, and want the privacy to make their own mistakes and figure things out without people who know more about parenting looking over their shoulder. Even if you want help and the family around...there is still this little thing inside where you're afraid you're going to do something really stupid, everyone but you will know it, and no one will tell you. This stuff is much bigger in your mind than reality, and it usually fades soon after birth. Being with your parents instead of her own might be touching upon this fear.

I think that your plan is good, but that she won't go along with it....this year. How about getting a lease on an apartment together and get everyone settled. Then next year maybe you can move in with your folks and get your feet on the ground. She'll have a much better understanding of the reality of life with a baby and the expense involved, and how nice it is to have help around. Your family will be established and you won't have so much to loose. She does have a point about having your own space to bond as a family together...that will be easier in your own place. You'll both have a better understanding of what your needs as a family are. Things will be tight, but maybe not as tight as've planned for the worst, but all the worst things won't line up and fall on you.

So, to sum up: I'd try to work on the apartment together for a that out and give it a chance. I think you'll both have a much greater appreciation for what your family will need in all areas.

My best to you.

If you would, please fill out the feedback form after accepting. I appreciate this opportunity to help you out today. If I can be of further service to you, just put "for Anna" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it.