While starting a family is often the next step to take as a recently married couple, it’s not a decision to be made on the whim — especially since once your bundle arrives, there’s a no return policy.
The world is filled with uncertainty – jobs can be unstable and healthcare costs are high, so careful planning is essential! Check that you fulfill these requirements:
Can you afford it?
Raising a child is expensive. Look long and hard at your finances and work out how you’ll manage. It might be better to wait and try to save, or you might decide to go ahead and manage somehow. There is no right answer.
While it’s not possible to set aside money for all your child care needs, reviewing your financial situation allows you to decide if you need any financial assistance.
It is also important to speak openly and honestly about your thoughts and motivations on choosing to have a child. If you don’t see eye-to-eye on this matter for whatever reason, you should hold off on making a decision. Nor should you be pressuring — or worse, resorting to emotional blackmail — to force each other to make a decision to have children when either party isn’t ready.
Assess your maturity level. Are you an adult? Not only in terms of physical maturity, but also of your emotional, intellectual, and spiritual development.
- Do you feel you can move beyond all-night parties?
- You must be prepared to put the needs of others before your own, and willing to make sacrifices that can be painful.
- You must also be able to take care of yourself, not be dependent on others to care for you. That means that you should not count on relatives and parents.
How strong is your relationship?
Some people have children to repair an ailing relationship but this doesn’t always work. Ask yourselves if you’re ready to commit to perhaps 20 years together as parents. It’s a big question.
Is life just too good to change?
If you’re really enjoying life and have a great job and a full social life, a baby might change things more than you’d like. It’s not selfish to remain childless; it’s your choice.
Have we got a room?
Is your home suitable for children? If it’s a one-bedroom studio apartment, you might consider trading up first. How far are you from schools and other facilities you’ll need? You will look for different things from your neighborhood when you have children.
Are you ready for a career break?
Having a baby means taking maternity leave. Many couples also decide to then work part-time and share childcare responsibilities. How does it fit with your career plans?
Once the baby comes along, your priorities will change. This is likely especially if you’re planning to care for your kewpie without any additional help from your parents, in-laws or a domestic helper. Can your savings take care of such a change?
Decide how much you want children.
On an emotional level, do you really want to be a parent? Do you feel you would miss out if you don’t have a child?