Deciding to start a family is very exciting and probably the scariest decision one has to make, but it can also be filled with anxiety and ambivalence. It is basically a dive into the unknown a deep pool of the unknown that is. It truly is the only major irreversible decision you and your partner will ever make in each others life.
Expect huge changes in your relationship you have with each other and each others families.
Below is a list of Top 10 Things To Consider Before You Decide On Becoming A Parent:
1. Are you and your partner on the same page?
You both need to speak honestly and openly if you are ready for a child at this particular time. You need to be emotionally and mentally ready and mature about the decision you’re about to make. You need to consider if you and your significant other feel secure enough in your relationship to become parents, together.
Are you satisfied with most parts of your life and your relationship—enough to take on this new role and be there to support each other all the way through? Some hesitation and ambivalence is normal but if you are feeling turmoil, it may mean that this is not the right moment. You may need to figure out what else needs to happen or get resolved before you take this huge step together.
2. Are you ready financially?
Having a child carries with it many new expenses, tons more than what you may be dealing with right now. Do you need to move to a bigger apartment or house? Another important consideration is whether you will be a one income or two-income family, someone is always has to take on most of the responsibility. This is an issue that can potentially create conflict and one that both of you must be in total agreement about with not much room to wiggle or be unstable after the baby comes. There are pros and cons to both arrangements, but the main issue is that you are on the same page or at least have an acceptable compromise regarding finances.
Another issue that is related to the money talk is how raising a child will effect your career(s). You must be very realistic about this and really give it a lot of consideration. All this depends on whether one or both of you will continue to work, what will be the hours, is there flexibility, maternity/paternity leaves, the possibility and reality of promotions, etc.
3. Making things work on a daily basis.
It is important to talk to other new parents to try to realistically picture what life will be like day to day. It is totally impossible to think of all possibilities, but if for example, you opt to be a stay-at-home mom, are you going to be lonely? How will you feel about being home with a baby all day, how will you have time to exercise, get your manicures and hair done? What about drinks with friends? Are you going to feel resentful doing all the household chores? If you will be working, how will household chores be handled? You will have to share domestic tasks with your spouse or would you rather delegate all or some of these to the person taking care of your child?
4. Time alone with your partner.
The biggest problem in most relationships, when the baby comes the fun in the bedroom takes a pause or even stands still completely in some cases. Having a baby means that your relationship with your partner—now, more than ever—must become a priority. Yes, that’s right. Most couples are aware of the multitude of problems that come into a relationship with the arrival of the little one. Please remember that your relationship with your partner is of the utmost importance and a good relationship is the best thing you can do for your child. That means you must create time and space for just the two of you. Whether it means a few hours after the baby goes to sleep, or asking a friend or family member to watch the baby so you can step out for a bite. Or even leaving the baby with a trusted grandparent or babysitter for a weekend away.
5. Dealing with the uncertainty and surprises of being a parent.
Having a child is really a leap of faith of a huge one. For those with major control issues, this really is the most challenging part of being a parent. Some women try to control the baby by obsessing what they eat and drink while pregnant, trying to figure out what kind of childbirth experience they want to have, etc. All this is well and good, but the fact remains that this is the most unpredictable experience you will have starting from pregnancy, childbirth and certainly all that comes after.
6. Can you be their teacher?
Will you be able to spend time to teach them about life, friendship, future, relationship, and SEX? Will you be able to teach them to become someone who is kind, polite, considerate, strong, fair, and respected? Or will you hire a tutor? Or will you wait until they go to school to learn all those things? Sure teachers have their own children too, how much more will they bother about your child’s personality and personal life? They teach certain subjects, not the entire meaning of life. Being a parent basically becoming the teacher of life, it’s best to teach a child “life lessons” at home first before letting the world teach them. Rather safe than sorry. Be prepared to be an unpaid teacher for your whole life.
7. Will you depend more than you should on your house helper?
Maybe you will be able to afford a house helper to help you with house chores and to handle your baby when you want her to, and maybe not when you need her to. But how much and how far will you depend on her? If you are going to depend on your house helper until sleeping time in the night then you may as well give your husband and your baby to her! Okay that’s a joke, but honestly would you want to be one of those women who lost their husband and child (because the child learnt that the helper is the one who provides things they need – not the real mother) to their helper? The best way to be a part of your family is to be hands on about everything that happens in your household.
8. Will you be able to provide safety to your child?
To provide safety does not mean physically only but also emotionally, so how much do you think you can provide to your child? Will they become a victim when you have a fight with your partner? Will they be a victim of your impatiences? Will they be a bad reason to your unproductive days? You need to be ready to have bad days and try not make your child your punching bag or blame certain failures in your own life on them. You need to prepare yourself to stand up for them but also prepare them to become their own source of safety with growth.
9. Can you let them go?
And one day they will grow up and become an adult to finally claim their right to pursue their life on their own with someone you barely know. Will you let them have it the way they want? or will you accuse them for neglecting your feelings and claim that your happiness is not considered? A part of loving something is being able to let it go they say. Being a parent is also in allowing your kids to go become parents themselves, cry and learn from the mistakes they make on their own.
10. And will you be able to always be a step behind them without interfering?
Maybe one day you will feel unimportant after all the things you have done for your child. After all the time you gave up to provide, to love, and to care, your big child still claims a separation (separate houses, separate lives) and specifically wanting to live on their own. Will you be ready and open for your child’s decisions to stand on their own? They will occasionally fall, fail, get frustrated, and even cry, and you will be the first one for them to approach and get a hug from. So will you stop sulking and stay away?
There is no way to anticipate how you will feel when your child is born, when you see the first smile, step, hear the first word. There are also the potentially difficult trials and challenges along the way that no prenatal testing can predict. The best you can do is to try and prepare yourself for anything and everything and be totally open to the experience. So after all that, are you ready to be a parent? Are you ready to give most of who you are up, to bring someone else into the world?