There comes a point in most women’s lives where they believe they are ready to have a child. But are they? These feelings come about for various reasons. A friend had a baby, you being around many children and that maternal feeling kicks in; your parents want a grandchild, and sometimes it’s the way you believe you can keep your spouse. Let’s face reality though. Having a child is not an easy task. As it is said by many, “It changes your life.” Therefore, you have to ensure that you are completely ready yourself for this new beginning.
According to a 2011 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the drop in birth rate since the end of 2007 is consistent among teenagers, those in their early twenties and thirties, and unmarried women. — Susan Newman Ph.D.
With that said, there are many factors to consider before deciding to have a child. You have to think about if your spouse is also ready, if your environment is conducive for a child, if you are mentally, socially and financially stable to bring a new being into the world. Believe me, these are just a few factors, but may be the most important of them all. Let us go deeper into these factors and see if we can have a better understanding of the matter.
Is your spouse ready?
One of the most important things in making this decision is to ensure that you and your spouse are on the same page. By all means, if you’re a woman who decides to get a sperm donor and raise your child on your own, that’s fine. This factor will not apply to you, but for those who intend to raise a baby with their significant other, he needs to be ready as well. “The last thing you need is for you and your spouse to fall out because he never wanted to have the baby in the first place,” says Sarah Nolan in her book; Important Things to Consider before Having a Baby(2014). Studies have shown that couples who did not plan for a child together, typically gets divorced or separated by the child reaches the age of six. Starting out as a nuclear family and then to regress to a single parent home is not something any new mom would want to go through. So ensure that both you and your spouse are ready for a baby and that both of you plan out the ‘nitty-gritty.’
Workers who take time off, go part time, request flex-time, or make a “lateral move” to a position with fewer demands in order to invest in their own young families should not pay a heavy price in the workplace. — Denise Cummins Ph.D.
Are you financially stable?
Money isn’t all, but it does play a significant role. When considering a child, you have to think about how much you earn (both mom and dad). Will your time off from work create a big gap in the income coming into the home?Are you financially capable for the education for your child (planning can never be too early)? Do you need a larger home to accommodate the new addition to the family and the necessities you will need for the baby? “Raising a child is estimated to cost between $8,000 and $20,000 per annum for a family in the United States,” says Sarah Nolan. At this point, that amount may even be more. Can you afford that? Believe me, between a baby and household bills; your monetary funds will be very slim to venture into other things. So unless you are completely sure that you are financially stable and can provide for your baby adequately, maybe you should hold off on having a child.
Are you mentally prepared?
Mental Preparation takes into account your maturity. Now, this factor is about you being honest with yourself. Are you a selfish person? Do you think about yourself at all times before others? What are you willing to give up and what you will not? Having a baby is all about putting that child first. You have to give that baby the undivided attention, care and nurturing they need from their mom. You have to be sure that you can choose to stay home with your child over going out late nights with friends. It’s a sacrifice you make for your baby that no one else can. So you see, having a child is not only a financial issue but being mentally prepared that you now have a responsibility to care for another life.
By remembering to take time out, find balance, and sometimes put our own needs for sanity first, we give ourselves a reset that allows us to have a renewed outlook. — Megan MacCutcheon, LPC
Is your environment and social life conducive for a baby/child?
You need to consider where you live; your home and your community; the people you have around you. Do they have a positive or negative influence on your life? When a child is in the picture, there is a particular lifestyle that is expected to ensure that your child grows with the right morals and core values he/she is expected to have. Mind you, being religious is not it, because there are persons who are not religious but have a certain standard that they live by. Becoming a new parent means your baby becomes your priority. So safety is a must and safety encompasses having a baby-proof home. Baby-proof home means sockets are covered, keeping sharp object out of reach as well as any substance that may harm your baby.
At the end of the day, it is what you want to do with your life and your decisions to make. Certain consideration though is a must and to ensure that you and your baby live a fulfilling life, keep in mind these things.