5 Things to Consider Before Starting a Family
Deciding to start a family can be exciting, yet overwhelming. Bringing another life into the world is important to think about carefully.
Before making a decision, consider the emotional and practical aspects of life that accompany the act of creating a new human being. Therefore, a little planning goes a long way. Here are a few things you should consider before making the decision.
1. Be on the same page with your partner
You both need to speak honestly and openly if you are ready for a child at this particular time. It’s vital to be emotionally ready. You need to consider if you and your significant other feel secure enough in your relationship to become parents.
Ask yourself if you are satisfied with most parts of your life and your relationship—enough to take on this new role? Some hesitation and ambivalence are normal but if you are feeling turmoil, it may mean that this is not the right moment. You may need to figure out what else needs to happen or get resolved.
2. Financial situation
Then you need to really analyze your financial situation and whether you can afford to have a baby right now. Are you able to afford them? In a few year’s time, they will need to go to school and university even, and it could be a long time before they get a job and start taking care of themselves.
Another important consideration is whether you will be a one-income or two-income family. This is an issue that can potentially create conflict and one that both of you must be in total agreement about with not much wiggle room after the baby comes. There are pros and cons to both arrangements, but the main issue is that you are on the same page or at least have an acceptable compromise.
Another issue that is related to this one is how raising a child will affect your career(s). You must be very realistic about this and really give it a lot of consideration. All this depends on whether one or both of you will continue to work, what will be the hours, is their flexibility, maternity/paternity leaves, the possibility and reality of promotions.
3. Lifestyle changes
Having a baby comes with plenty of changes to your lifestyle. Smoking and drinking must completely stop during pregnancy, and sometimes this is simpler when your partner stops as well.
This is just the tip of the iceberg; some issues are more serious. You must discuss topics like religion, discipline and even diet before arriving at a decision.
4. Your personal journey
It’s safe to say your life schedule and priorities are going to shift dramatically. Those impromptu drinks after work on Friday may not happen quite as often. Even though you’ve always wanted to travel, that may have to be put on the back burner.
Of course, you may always have life goals that will pop up from time to time, but you’ll want to make sure you’ve gotten your big plans out of the way first. Whatever you have planned on your life’s journey, do it before you start having children.
5. Time alone with your spouse
Having a baby means that your relationship with your spouse—now, more than ever—must become a priority. Most of us are aware of the multitude of problems that come into a marriage with the arrival of the little one.
Always remember that your relationship with your spouse is of the utmost importance and a good marriage is the best thing you can do for your child. That means you must create time and space for just the two of you. Whether it means a few hours after the baby goes to sleep or asking an in-law to watch the baby so you can step out for a bite. Or even leaving the baby with a trusted grandparent or babysitter for a weekend away.
Have A Leap of Faith
There is no way to anticipate how you will feel when your child is born, when you see the first smile, step, or hear the first word. There are also potentially difficult trials and challenges along the way that no prenatal testing can predict.
Try and prepare yourself for anything and everything; be totally open to the experience. It all boils down to whether you feel ready. Figure out what you want and slowly start making plans to make it come true.
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