Having a child is one of the biggest decisions you can possibly make. It’ll change your life forever. You’ll no longer only be responsible for yourself but also for another human being who will rely on you for everything ..

That’s why it’s important you make sure you’re ready to have a child before you start trying to get pregnant or begin thinking about adoption in South Africa.

Here are three questions you should ask yourself before making this life-altering decision:

1. Are you financially prepared?

Children cost a lot of money. You have to pay for the basics like food, clothing and education for the next 18 or so years. You can’t just wing it when it comes to financial commitments like this. Do you have investments or savings that can cover school fees and possibly university or college fees?

Obviously you want to be able to give your child everything they need and offer them a good life. That means you need to make sure you’re financially prepared to welcome them into the world.

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2. Do you have a good support structure?

Raising a child is not easy and doing it alone is even more difficult. While you don’t necessarily need a partner to start a family these days, it helps to have other people around. Whether it’s a solid group of friends who already have kids, or your parents and siblings, you need to know you’re not alone in this.

Yes, many people have managed to raise a child without anybody else to count on, but it makes everything a lot tougher.

3. Is your lifestyle ready to change forever?

You can’t work every night and every weekend when you’re raising a child. While it is possible to balance a demanding career with a baby, constantly having to stress about both isn’t ideal.

Once you have a child, your life will never be the same again. Are you prepared for absolutely everything in your life to change? From your social life and hobbies, to studying and travel, nothing will be the same again. Your priorities will be considerably different once you have a little one. You need to be okay with that.

Choosing to have a child is a big decision and it’s important that you’re sure you’re ready. You want to go into it knowing that you’re fully prepared, financially and emotionally.