Today, J is 5 months old. Every day, he looks more and more like his father. Apparently, his behavior and development are a lot like his father too…. in that he has a voracious appetite, is an early teether (both bottom teeth had appeared by 21 weeks, and I suspect he is working on the upper two now), and is already showing signs of trying to figure out how to crawl. Thankfully, his crazy quick weight gain has slowed down (by our bathroom scale, today he is 19lb 9oz) or else we’d have gargantuan baby in a few weeks time.
These days, J is an absolute delight to hang out with; he grins, he coos, he laughs up a storm. I have absolutely no regrets about deciding to have a baby while in grad school. However, our finances are not exactly so happy. While I was applying to grad school and pondering the question of why there are so few women in academics past the ph.d., I think I was accurate in pinpointing the whole baby question as a huge culprit. What I did not consider, however, is the immense financial strain a kid is in a metropolitan area. Infant daycare in the bay area is just insane. What we are paying for 5 full days a week of daycare is more than the rent on our first 1 bedroom apartment in Palo Alto, well over half my grad student stipend. When you consider that most grad students who are coupled off are with other grad students, I don’t know how anyone has kids while they are students. The only way it can be afforded is if grandparents are in the immediate neighborhood (free daycare) or one is independently wealthy. Robin has a good job, and we’re just barely staying in the black.
I guess I answered my own question there. My schedule is flexible enough that I can be home for J when I need to be, but Robin and I will be packing our lunches and not eating out much until he gets a decent raise…. and in this financial environment, that won’t be for awhile.