I'm pregnant right now. I waited until the last minute to get pregnant (I turn 40 tomorrow), and I ended up feeling like shit for a year (spending a lot more money on fertility assessments than I would have five years ago) trying to figure out whether my old body was going to work. I waited to be as financially secure as possible. I'm probably still not, even though I am in the top 25 percent income bracket, have decent health insurance, and have a decent job. So I give someone who makes choices to expand her family earlier slack. In my state over half of the pregnancies are paid for by Medicaid. I think it sucks beyond the telling that the middle class gets screwed royally over our health care system.
@stuffisthings I'm pregnant with our first, and we don't yet know the sex. I'm half Hispanic and my husband is of Anglo Saxon descent with a Scottish last name. Our children will have a hyphenated Spanish-Scottish last name (best. soccer. name. ever.), and we've chosen Hispanic/Latin names. My Hispanic dad and his siblings all have Anglo names, as the first generation in the English speaking part of the U.S. (We've been in the Spanish speaking part of the U.S. since 1753.) But we don't think there's enough of a stigma on Spanish names on fair skinned kids in Texas that it will scar our kids too badly. My mom chose names for her children that could go either way in English or Spanish (except my brother, whose documentation says "Joseph" but goes by "Jose" to the point he's thought seriously about legally changing the name to eliminate confusion). I was actually surprised that my husband led the charge on the Spanish names, but he thinks that they're very cool.
My aunt and uncle are opera singers. My aunt worked in temp agencies forever and my uncle drove/drives a limo. They both wanted jobs where they could easily step away if they had gigs or needed to go to Europe for a production and/or lessons. My aunt I think is out of the game now, and surprised herself by taking a permanent positions at one of her day job gigs. She's doing quite well at a huge financial firm in New York. Her husband has a pretty specialized voice and is very good, so he's still singing. There were a few years where my aunt wasn't speaking to my parents because they weren't willing/able to support her.
My place of employment is one where employee salaries are listed in the Texas Tribune, and it has certainly changed how salary negotiations are made. We all have a good idea of what our colleagues in our own and in comparable organizations are making.
@orejitasmiamor @pandaonaplane I'm finishing up an MPH as well. I did all my classwork 15 years ago while I was working on my law degree and just came back for the final culminating experience this semester. I'll be done in May. I LOVE my MPH coursework compared to law school. It kept me sane those years. I am a lawyer currently, but my MPH is useful for the area that I practice in.
@hellonheels Oh, I could totally do that one. I am a lawyer, and my husband has been in blue collar jobs most of his life. I spent eight years on my education (a masters degree is in there too). He went to the military after high school and then into the workforce after that. Now, in his early 40s, he's finally going to college because his body is starting to feel the strain of 25 years of physical jobs, and the job market in his field sucks at any rate. We're actively trying to have a kid. I suspect that he'll be a stay-at-home dad for a little while in the early years, and I'll always be the primary breadwinner. He's been working from home mostly at any rate, so he's the one that runs the household in terms of cooking, cleaning, keeping track of the dog's meals and general health. I'm not in BIGLAW, but I do support the bulk of the family expenses, and we live comfortably enough. I do check out the price tags at the GAP, but we can generally afford what we need there.
@MissMushkila I've talked four people out of law school (and one person into dropping out in her first miserable semester). I love my job and I'm very glad that I'm doing it. I also don't get paid BIGLAW money and didn't really expect to. But I am a) lucky, b) went to a state law school and got a partial scholarship in an age where I only had to pay $1000 a semester, and c) knew exactly what I wanted to do with my law degree before I ever started. I am doing a pretty close approximation to what I wanted to do. I also happen to practice law in a University, and I see daily the stress and labor of graduate school. (I'm also finally finishing up a masters after a 15 year hiatus, but that's less relevant.) It's a brutal, brutal thing, and like law, you really do have to love it. I knew a lot of people in law school who were there because they didn't know what else to do. I know a lot of miserable lawyers. The overlap in the two groups is substantial. One of my sisters is applying to graduate school for an MLS, and my academic dad is trying to talk her into the PhD. My sister has no interest at all, and accounts like the one linked in this post are the reason why. I'm with my sister. An MLS seems like a pretty practical, bankable degree. The PhD seems like ego stroking, and unless she falls so in love with her subject (or academia, she like me, works in a University, but not as an academician), I don't see why she should pursue the subject beyond it's usefulness.
@MilesofMountains My parents too. Except there were only two other people there, her best friend and a buddy of his. The only hitch to their getting hitched was that they were supposed to meet at the front door of the court house after work (on a Tuesday). There were two front doors. Oops. My parents wedding reception was at a methadone clinic a few days later. My dad was a doctor there on weekends, and the word got out that the doc had gotten married. Someone sent out for fried chicken, someone else found a record player. Someone went to the corner store for Cold Duck. A party busted out when my mom came to pick up my dad from work. They were the only non-addicts at their wedding reception. There isn't a single picture of my parents' wedding. It sure has hell was remembered well by those who matter the most, though. (My mom had absolutely no idea what to do with my wedding a little over 40 years later, which had 215 people and 478 photographs and was an equally valid way to get married.)
@FreddyRex You do understand what Medicare is, right?