Last updated on Sep 1st, 2020 at 04:09 pm
It’s about that time of the relationship when you and your partner are talking about starting a family. It really is an exciting time and discussion to have: you both just need to consider a few things before making the decision.
Are all your friends having babies and are your parents on your case about becoming grandparents?…
Remember, at the end of the day, YOUR lives will be the ones changing drastically, forever, and there are things to think about and prepare for:
1. Personal journey
Consider where you are in your life. Have you done everything you’ve wanted to (that doesn’t involve having children)? Have you experienced the self-discovery journey that comes with travelling?
Would you ever want to study further? And, if yes, would you be able to do it with the added responsibility of a family, or not?
Are you happy with where your career path is headed or are you looking for a change?
There will never come a perfect time to start a family because no one knows what will happen in the future. But if you feel you have a decent grip on what’s happening in your life and you’re happy with who you are, then it’s time to get busy.
There will never come a perfect time to start a family because no one knows what will happen in the future. But if you feel you have a decent grip on what’s happening in your life and you’re happy with who you are, then it’s time to get busy
2. Partner relationship
Once you’ve taken a closer look at your personal journey, you can turn to your partner and look at your relationship together. Have you done everything you’ve wanted to as a couple? Things that are a lot easier to achieve without lugging around a baby bag? Are you both on the same page regarding this family step?
Once a baby comes into the picture, the dynamics of your relationship will change – it’s only natural.
Do your research and make sure you both understand how it will change and whether that’s something you’re willing to go through now or if you’d prefer the honeymoon phase to last a little bit longer. Which is also okay.
You need to get into the mindset of “I’m going to be a parent” and the parenting schedule that comes with that. Life will be hectic, exciting, scary and amazing all at the same time. But you shouldn’t stress about this too much.
You and your partner will figure out who does what, when and how to sneak in some quality time together while the little angel sleeps. But you’re more likely to use that time to catch up on sleep yourself. So, cuddle time it will be.
3. Financial situation
Then you need to realistically analyse your financial situation and whether you can afford to have a baby right now. They’re not a once-off payment. And not only being able to afford them in the short term. 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.
You need to seriously look at life insurance options (now more than ever) and budget that into your monthly financial spendings as well. And if you don’t know where to start regarding a policy that suits your life, African Unity Life can sort you out.
4. Hereditary possibilities
However, if you feel you’re personally, ‘togetherly’ and financially ready for this adventure, there are some serious realities to consider as well. It’s important to look into the hereditary possibilities from both sides of the family.
If there’s a possibility of having twins, it’s double the trouble from the word go, which means even less sleep and more money.
But you also need to consider the possibility of hereditary conditions and disorders being passed on to your baby and whether you’re okay with the risk and the added responsibility of specialised care.
If you aren’t 100% sure what your parental responsibilities are, this should give you some idea of what you need to provide for your child:
- A safe environment
- Basic needs
- A set of morals and values
- A sense of respect
- Emotional nurturing
- Your best
Simple enough? Together, you and your partner will figure it out, don’t worry. And also, you’re not alone.
6. Support systems
Before you start a family, build your support system as early on as possible. Friends, parents, discussion forums – wherever you find a connection in the parenting world with people who can give you advice and reassure you that you’re not ruining your child’s life because you took a five-minute-longer-than-you-should-have nap.
The greatest adventure of parenting is working it out as you go along.
Yes, your support system and parenting books are a great guideline, but none of that advice will ever be accurate for your family. Because it’s your family, which is new and different from the rest.