Starting a family is a big step and something that many couples agonize over. There are many considerations before you embark on this new journey. How do you know if you’re ready?
Some women are aware of their desire for a family their whole life. For others, it is a feeling that has developed over a number of years. Many women when asked how they knew, answer that ‘they just did’. It’s not something that is easy to describe or quantify. Often it is almost a physical feeling of wanting a child. Some couples decide on a natural birth. Others go down the Domestic Adoption Services route. Both are equally fulfilling and rewarding. Whatever you decide, there are several practical things to consider.
Are You Being Pressured?
Is this something that you want to do or are you being pressured? It is natural to want to please your partner, your parents and family. But raising a family should be something that is right for you. Don’t base your decision on what other people think.
Can You Afford It?
Children can be expensive. Can you comfortably afford the additional costs? Go through your finances and work out your current position. Are there areas you can make changes? How might this look in a year or two years?
Are You in a Stable Relationship?
Some women and men decide to raise a family alone. Not all families are a traditional mom / dad set up. But if you are in a couple and planning to do this together, how stable is your relationship? Are there unresolved problems that you need to work out with your partner? Having a child to fix or reinforce a relationship never works.
Do You Have Space?
Do you have space in your home for another person? Babies are small but they grow up quickly. They need space to move around and space for their stuff. And there is a lot of stuff. Would it be worthwhile moving to a larger place before you start your family?
Do You Live in a Child-Friendly Area?
The desire to protect your children is strong. Is your home safe for a baby or young child? Are there steps you can take to make it safer? And what about the area you live in? Are there adequate amenities and schools?
Have You Thought About Childcare?
When your child is born, or if you adopt, who will look after that child on a day-to-day basis? Are you at a time in your life when you’re ready to take a break from work? Or would the main responsibility for childcare fall on your partner? Do you have a strong support network and family who may be able to help? Or will you be seeking professional childcare support? If so, can you afford it?
There’s Never a Perfect Time
No matter how much you plan or whatever resources you put in place, there’s never a perfect time to have a child. There will always be something that you feel is not quite right. Though you have to be practical, don’t worry about it all being perfect. This is rarely the case for most families. As long as you have the basics in place and you feel it is right for you, there is no perfect time.