Being a parent is a full time job. Think about it. Once your child is born into the world, you are then responsible for keeping them alive until they become an adult. You’ll have to feed them, bathe them, comfort them, and teach them about the world. There will be prenatal classes, obstetrician appointments, and long, sleepless nights.
And not only will parenting take up all your time, it is also expensive. You have to spend a huge portion of your hard-earned money to buy them food, clothes, cribs, pushchairs and all the other paraphernalia that a baby needs to survive. Once they get older you’ll put them through school and after that, you might even pay for college and help them buy their own house. Having a child is a huge commitment and you need to be sure you’re ready for it.
If you are considering having a child, you might be in two minds over whether it’s the right choice for you. You love the idea of having a little one to love and cherish but maybe your career is just taking off or you want to go travelling in the future. Being a parent is not something you can do halfheartedly. If you go for it you’ll need to put you all into the task and give your child the undying love and attention it needs. So how do you know if you’re ready?
To help you decide if now is the right time to bring a child into the world, here are four questions you should ask yourself.
Is having a child in line with my life goals?
Perhaps you have aspirations to progress in your career, or maybe you wish to spend a few years travelling the world. Having a child can make it a lot more difficult to achieve goals like this, so you need to be sure that parenthood is compatible with your life plan. If you feel like you would be giving up an essential part of who you are to care for your child then maybe you need to wait a bit longer.
Do I have a support system?
Are there other people around you who can help you with the duties of parenthood? Friends and relatives can help you look after your baby and provide a lifeline when you’re finding it hard to cope. If you don’t have a support system of people who are willing to donate their time and energy to help you, you need to figure out whether you can make it by yourself.
Can I afford to have a baby?
Having a baby is expensive, and if you aren’t financially ready to do so then you risk harming your child’s quality of life. It might be better to wait until you have saved up a lot of money or you are earning more in your career.
Are my partner and I in agreement?
In some relationships, one partner is desperate for a child and the other is not keen. Even if you are certain you want to be a parent, you can’t go ahead until both of you are certain. Discuss the situation in detail and you may be able to come up with a plan that works for everyone.