Starting a family is life-changing and exciting, but it is different for everybody. However, making this decision requires you and your partner to make careful considerations and hold discussions about it. Often, couples rush to stock up and decorate on baby supplies instead of making essential plans. Whether you’re planning on getting married or having children, ensure you consider the following.
If your partner is ready and if the relationship is stable
Take a close look at your partner and your journey together. Ensure you ask the right questions regarding starting a family. Many people assume that starting a family will cure a bad relationship. However, it only gets worse if you’re both not on the same page. When a relationship is unstable, moving to the next level without solving existing problems will only make things worse.
Assess your partner’s emotional and mental state to avoid problems like divorce, neglect, and stress due to rushing into something. If you’re a newly wedded couple, you might consider enjoying your honeymoon period a bit longer. When a baby comes into the picture, many changes can take a toll on your marriage if the relationship is unstable.
Before you decide not to take the morning after pill, consider the changes that will come with having a baby. Parenting seems fantastic, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. More time is dedicated to parenting, figuring out who does what and when. If you have a great job, a full social life, and you’re generally enjoying life, a baby may bring in more changes than you’d like.
Starting a family is a full-time job that comes with numerous responsibilities. It means taking a maternity or paternity leave, giving up some freedom to attend to your child and partner, experiencing body changes, cutting down on some social activities, or even taking a career break. Consider if you’re well-prepared for these lifestyle changes and how to deal with them.
Image by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Analyze where you currently are regarding your financial status before starting a family. You may be ready in all other aspects, but the responsibilities that come with having a family are long-term and cannot be paid off at once. There are many household expenses to take care of, such as clothing, food, bills, and other unexpected costs. Health care and education are long-term costs you have to consider.
Consider if you and your partner have a stable income to sustain a family. Also, be clear if it will be a two-income or single-income family to avoid future disagreements. Put your finances in order by clearing any debts, coming up with a savings plan, ideal retirement plans, set aside an emergency fund, and get life insurance. Having a baby might affect your career, and this will affect your finances. Therefore, ensure that you give this a lot of consideration and come up with measures to overcome it.
Starting a family can be emotionally draining and stressful, not only during pregnancy stages but throughout your entire life. The added responsibilities cause you to lack time for yourself like before to attend to your family’s needs. Although babies are bundles of joy, they are delicate and require constant attention. You will lack enough sleep and use a lot of energy daily to get things done.
Before starting a family, ensure you are emotionally stable to raise your child with love and care. If you have other depressive and stressful issues to deal with, you might want to delay starting a family for you to resolve them. You can discuss with your partner and visit a health physician to guide you.
Move into a bigger house
Starting a family requires you to have a home with enough and spacious rooms for you and your children to live comfortably. If you live in a one-bedroomed house, start saving for a bigger one that can accommodate a nursery, extra bathrooms if you need to get a babysitter or nanny, and a backyard for your little one to play and for you to spend time together in the sun.
Consider any other aspect that will make your life more comfortable, for example, the location. Consider amenities like schools, hospitals, malls, the neighborhood, and your workplace. Also, consider the future of your family. If you plan to stay in a home permanently and get more children, save up for a house that can accommodate them without you having to move.
Hereditary possibilities and fertility
When you are financially and emotionally ready to start a family, discuss the possibility of passing on some hereditary genes to your baby. These possibilities include having twins, and that would mean more money and less time for yourself. Visit your doctor to find out possible disorders that you could pass on to your baby and your blood groups’ compatibility. Some diseases and hereditary conditions would require specialized care.
Have your doctor determine you and your partner’s fertility to avoid frustrations like waiting for years to get pregnant. You might require to try other methods such as IVF, surrogacy, or adoption in some cases. This could also mean that you need to freeze eggs when you want to have other children. Your doctor will recommend a suitable treatment when there is a problem to start your family soon.
Come up with a new budget
Starting a family means you will need to consider some additional daily expenses. A baby will require diapers, a car seat, baby food, a crib, formula, and extra accessories. Come up with a new budget to assist you in transitioning smoothly into parenthood without uncertainty. The new budget may require you to change your daily habits like eating take out daily to making a home-cooked meal. You will also have to learn how to stick to your budget and avoid impulse buying.
A new budget will help you approximate your income flow and how to make it work for your new family, mainly if you depend on a single income. It will also help establish if you need an extra source of income to fit your future lifestyle. However, you can always revise this budget in the future.
Although it may be the last thing in your mind, consider that anything could happen to your spouse and that you might not be around to take care of your children. Discuss with your spouse, and visit an attorney to write your wills. Even before your bundle of joy comes into the world, you can establish who will be the next of kin and the beneficiaries. If you and your spouse encounter a problem, you want to be assured that your child will be protected and provided for.
An attorney will draft your wills and provide other documents such as living wills, healthcare proxies, and power of attorney. Accordingly, you can start a trust fund and name a trustee in case of anything.
Starting a family is exciting and even better when you have a support system. Friends, extended family, and discussion forums are all support systems that you should invest in at an early stage. They guide you and reassure you that you’re doing a great job. Also, support systems provide a platform for you to unwind and air out problems you might be facing freely concerning starting a family.
Starting a family is an exciting part of life. However, it comes with its own needs and stresses that require you to make careful considerations. Ensure that your partner is ready and that your relationship is stable, come up with a new budget, be prepared financially, establish your fertility and hereditary possibilities, and deal with any emotional strains. Having a support system that supports you is a sign that you’re cared for.