It’s a beautiful thing to create a family, the moment you hold your baby for the first time is a moment that is never lost on you. The amazement of 9 months of growing a mini-you and being able to hold them is priceless. So how do you know if you’re ready to start this journey?
There are many out there who wait for “the right time” or wait until “things are in place” and here are a few questions I’ve heard people asking:
- Finance. Do you have the money to raise a child? Will you have enough to live and provide? Now we all know that babies aren’t cheap. They are a money drain for the next 18 years of your life. Clothes, carseats, toys, bedding, food…the list is endless, but it doesn’t have to be expensive or top-of-the-range stuff! Many now try their luck at selling their unwanted/no longer needed items online, or at carboot sales, or maybe you’ll have friends who can pass things down to you. Either way, yes children are expensive in the long run, it just depends if you’re willing to sacrifice your current luxuries, and whether your wage will stretch to pay the bills and provide for the family.
- Housing. Is where you’re living an appropriate place to raise a baby? Are you where you want to be? Is there space? It’s not easy to save money for a house whilst raising a baby (it’s doable, depending on your wage again I guess), but realistically, it would benefit to be in the right accommodation you’re wanting before bringing a baby into the mix.
- Childcare. Will you be able to afford childcare if you have to return to work? There are government funding schemes for children aged 2-4 to get free nursery hours (in the UK), but is 2 years too old for you? Will you have to return to work before then? Childcare costs aren’t cheap, and I’ve seen many parents having to leave work to take care of their children at home simply because they cannot afford to work and pay childcare.
- Going back to work. Will you go back part time/full time? Once your child is here, as a parent it can be hard to leave them. Are you prepared to go back to working 30-40hrs a week and missing some of your baby’s milestones?
- Time Limit. Is your biological clock ticking? We know there is an “optimal” time to have children, it’s usually between the ages of 20-35 (give or take!) so for us ladies we only really have 15 years…Although it has been known for older ladies to conceive too! Go Mamas! Kudos to you all!
- Are you ready? Probably one of the biggest questions out of all of them. Are you mentally and physically ready to start/expand a family? Is your relationship stable enough to go through the hormonal changes and share the love with another human being? Are you prepared for the reality that babies aren’t always just beautiful little smushy cute things, and that sometimes they make you want to cry in a corner and pull your hair out?
And then, forget about all of these questions. Or at least don’t let them define when the best time to have a baby is. There is no “right time.” If both you and your partner are emotionally ready, and have agreed this is what you want, go for it. Don’t let anyone stop you. You will never tick all of these boxes at once, perhaps over time you will, but in todays world certainly not as a young couple! For some, being a parent is all they want from life, and that’s fine. “But you haven’t lived your life yet!” So? Having children early allows for those who “haven’t lived” to still be able to do things they want to, just later in life! Your life is exactly that, yours. No one can tell you how to live it, so if you want to have a baby; go for it. (provided it’s not just on a whim and you have at least considered the next 18 years!)
This Post first appeared on www.meetothermums.com