This is how much money you can save on your taxes by having a child. And while that is a lot of money, it doesn’t come close to mitigating the impact that a new baby has on your finances. And when it’s your first child, you haven’t figured out that the expensive diapers aren’t any better than the cheap ones.
But hey, it’s better than nothing.
Admittedly I was a little anxious as I sped towards the hospital. It was New Years Eve and my wife was in labor. My car seemed to steer itself as a million thoughts flooded my mind.
Did I grab all of our bags?
Am I going to be a good dad?
I wonder what he’ll look like?
Are we going to get that tax credit?
It was already evening when I had gotten the call. My wife is a nurse and happened to be working when her water broke, so she just waddled down the hall to be admitted. My most sincere prayer was that our child would be healthy. But a close second was that he’d be born before the new year so we could cash in on the tax credit.
The hour hand inched toward midnight, and we did controlled breathing exercises as the ball dropped in Times Square on the TV across the room. And as my concerns about tax credits and diaper bags faded, my attention turned toward my wife and the way that our life was about to change.
When I held my son for the first time early that morning I felt the weight of the journey that lay ahead. Excited but unsure. Determined yet daunted. Like someone taking a deep a breath before diving off the cliff.
January 1st is a day for fresh starts; for new beginnings. Sometimes we know we need to make a change and New Year’s Day is our opportunity to draw a line in the sand. And there are other moments when you’re sitting in the delivery room and life just hands you a new beginning. No matter which situation you’re in, seize the opportunity to blaze a new trail this year. Take a bold step. Try something new. And hopefully somewhere down the line the IRS will give you a tax credit for it.