lifestyle

When a baby wasn't part of your plan.

Staring down at the stick there was no room for error.

We’d purchased the new fancy digital test to be sure. A quick trip to the supermarket. We pulled up home, I dashed to the bathroom and now the longest 3 minute wait of our lives.

We were both 20. I was at university and my partner an apprentice. This had not been part of our plan.

“Do you want me to look first?”

“No I’ll look. No, ok, you look then tell me. Ok, no let’s both look.”

We turned it over. I think he saw it before I did and he turned the stick around so I could read it myself. No doubt about it. ‘Pregnant.’

No denying it. Pregnant.

So many thoughts went through our heads at that moment but the one that sticks with me most was when we sat down, looked at each other and my adorable partner suddenly stood up and, part anxious, part excited, turned to me and wide eyed said “OMG I have to get a new car.”

The rest of the night is honestly a bit of a blur, but I can say that it was those fifteen minutes that changed the course of my life forever. It was such a big change in our lives, and a change that meant we had so many decisions to make.

Where would we live? What car would we drive? Would we both continue our careers paths?

Most people would kill to work from home. Not me. 

Once the shock wore off and the excitement set in I remember thinking, while I was ready for the baby, I had no idea how we would cope financially. This baby would change everything. I was constantly worried about how we would pay for things. Obviously I would have to take time off work. And it was my first child, I’d want as much time as I could off, but I didn’t know if we could cope on one wage. I lost so much sleep in those early days worrying about money and all the big decisions we’d have to make.

Do we rent? Do we buy? One car or two? Would I stay home or go back to work? And all that aside – what about the baby itself? Who knew babies cost so much damn money? (Oh wait, probably every parent in the history of ever.)

Lisa and her baby.

This baby wasn’t just a lifestyle change it was a lifestyle overhaul – emotionally, physically, financially and even on our locality.

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But we made it work. We kept renting for four years while we saved for a house deposit. I started studying from home then too so that I could finish my degree. My partner took extra hours and worked a lot of overtime in the early years. Yes, it was tough. But we made it.

Now, eight years on, it’s funny looking back and thinking that before that moment my life plan had been so dramatically different. I think back and wonder how I would live a life without the things I have now. Strange isn’t it, how something so scary and terrifying can actually be the most exciting thing to ever happen to you? If only I could go back to my 20-year-old self now.

I’d tell her, “Don’t worry you find the perfect home to house your growing collection of baby goods.”
And I’m sure she’d be relieved to hear we both did continue on those careers paths too. But more than anything I’d tell her that everything is okay.

“Were we doing the right thing or would this all be an expensive mistake?”

Because not only did having that baby change my life but it actually gave me so many opportunities. Opportunities I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t fallen pregnant.

These days, I work from home as a freelance writer part-time and also have a second part-time office job in communications. So that career of mine? The one I was so worried about eight years ago? It ended up flourishing, surprise baby and all.

Fortunately for me I am now lucky enough to have a flexible work life where I can work part time from an office or from home. Working from home is what works best for our family and I think a lot of employers are now beginning to understand that a flexible work environment suits so many people.

Of course it wasn’t easy, and yes we had to really tighten our belts for a while, but we got there.

We thought things through and by doing that we made the right decisions for our family.

What’s the biggest unexpected life change you’ve ever had?

Check out some of these pregnant celebs. 

With change comes opportunity. Going from driving to work every day to looking after the children from home could save you a lot on your car insurance with Youi.

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Why not make the switch today? Call 13 YOUI or got to youi.com.au