Key Questions To Consider Before Deciding To Have A Baby
By Kate Sheppard
Having a baby is one of the most beautiful and natural things you can do in life so it’s no surprise why you might find yourself thinking about it.
After all, babies can not only represent an amalgamation of your love between you and your partner but they are also so darn cute and can take the meaning of your life to a whole new level.
However, before you dive in and get started with the baby-making process, it’s important to consider a few things in advance – from your current personal situation to the reasons you’d like a miniature you in your life.
While choosing to have a baby can transform your life in the best way, it is a very big decision to make and isn’t one you can really undo once it’s done. So, with this in mind, join us as we run through some of the main things to think about before you decide to head off and have a baby.
Are you ready to put them first?
It should go without saying really but choosing to have a baby is a massive responsibility. Therefore, it's absolutely imperative you are 110% sure that you're ready to put somebody else ahead of yourself.
Whether you're choosing to parent alone or with a significant other, you will – in effect – need to revolve your life around your baby, putting the baby's needs before your own and adhering to their schedule – poops included.
If there is any doubt in your mind, you will need to either address this head-on by speaking to the relevant people in advance, or reconsider whether having a baby is for you.
As difficult as it may be to admit, it would only be unfair to have a child knowing you’re unwilling to change your life on their behalf.
Are you having a baby for the right reasons?
Choosing to have a baby should be one of the most exciting decisions you ever make so if it isn’t, ask yourself why that is.
If you and your partner are having issues at the moment, for example, you shouldn’t use having a baby as a solution to your problem – it could only make things worse over the long run.
As harsh as it may sound, if there are already any cracks in your foundation, having a baby could only expose them even further.
Therefore, before fully committing to your decision, it’s important to consider the relationship you and your partner currently have – are you strong enough as a couple to deal with the added stress that a baby can have? Are you both agreed that having one is the best thing to do? And will you be able to support each other emotionally if anything were to go wrong along the way, like a miscarriage or birth injury?
By asking yourself these difficult questions in advance, and knowing you're both in this together, this will significantly help when the baby eventually arrives, giving you both peace of mind that you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Are you financially stable?
While you may feel ready and raring to go with having a baby, if you can't afford it financially, you should think about waiting a little while longer.
Babies can be incredibly expensive, after all. Nappies, clothes, formula milk, health insurance, prams, cots, travel seats – there are so many things you will need to buy when your baby arrives so if you can't afford the necessities on top of your current financial outlays, hold off.
While on the topic of finances, you and your partner will also need to work out in advance how you're going to afford your way of life once the baby arrives.
Ask yourself: who, for example, will take paternity leave to look after the baby? And who will become the main breadwinner for the family during the initial stages?
By planning ahead for the areas you can anticipate, such as your finances, this can help make the transition to your new life a whole lot easier to handle.
Are you ready to parent on your own?
In today's day and age, you no longer need to have a significant other to raise a baby. So, if this is the situation you find yourself in, ask yourself whether you're ready to become a parent on your own.
Being a single parent can be tough, after all, but it's definitely not impossible – there are many single-parent families around the globe who are as healthy and happy as a traditional couple-raised family. Plus, without a partner, you can raise your child to be exactly how you want, teaching them your own values, principles and beliefs.
There are, of course, a number of drawbacks to consider as well though; since you won’t have a partner to rely on, for example, you will need to do everything yourself – from being financially responsible to handling the day-to-day work.
Ask yourself whether you’re really prepared for this, ready to refocus your life around your child and able to handle the pressure of raising a baby alone. If you’re not, consider holding off until you feel you’re in a better position.
Having a baby can be one of the best things you ever do but it’s important to be aware of the impact they can have on your life.
Whether it be your finances, your relationship, your sleep pattern or your social life, babies change everything so it’s really only down to you whether that’s seen as a good thing or a bad thing.
The most important thing is, to be honest with yourself.
Don’t just have a baby because your partner wants you to, or because your family are pressuring you. Likewise, don’t have one if you won’t be able to support it either financially or emotionally. Only have one if you feel it’s the right thing to do.
That way, you can pretty much guarantee your baby will not only be entering your life in the best way possible but at the best time possible as well.
About the author
Kate Sheppard is a mum of two, living in Sussex. Kate enjoys writing about the ups and the downs of parenting and isn't afraid to tell it how it is. She’s passionate about all things families, countryside, children's education and women's rights.