Sooner or later, your biological clock is going to start ticking. Before you give in to your natural urges to start a family, there are some things to consider. Becoming a parent is a great joy, but it’s one that comes with a variety of responsibilities. Here are some things to consider before becoming a parent, so that you can enjoy this experience.
You Will Never Be the Same
You will never be the same once you have a baby. Your life as you know it is gone. Everything. What you eat, how you look, the way you dress, your schedule – everything changes. If you are particularly vain, prepare yourself for stretch marks and flabby skin. If you like to go out and party really think about which you’d rather have.
Your Partner’s Feelings
Your partner will have an equal role in this whole miracle as well, so make sure that he knows what he’s getting himself into. Don’t force the parenting thing down his throat, and really listen to his fears. He may just have something in mind you didn’t think about.
It Will Cost Twice What you Think
I’m a dollars-and-cents kind of gal, but I never dreamed that having my son would cost twice what I thought. I had every intention on breastfeeding, and it didn’t work. Powdered formula – the least expensive kind you can get – is upwards of $30 a box. It only lasts a couple days. Diapers are expensive, too, and if you don’t want to do laundry every day you will need an endless supply of baby T-shirts. Do the number crunching, then double that figure. That’s what you will end up spending on your family, so prepare for it.
The logistics of childcare should never be overlooked. Who’s going to watch the wee one? We were blessed that my husband’s schedule is flexible, and allows him to be with the baby while I am at work. I have a dependable friend who is a SAHM who would love an extra $20-$50 here and there for emergency childcare.
Be sure to have this lined out BEFORE having a baby. If you are scrambling around trying to find a daycare with a month old baby, you may be shocked to find out that you can’t get in any reputable centers for months.
Where you Live
Consider where you live before starting a family. Is it suitable for children? Is it easy to lug around a baby in a carseat (trust me, it’s harder/heavier than it looks) up to your 5th story condo when the elevator is out of order? Is it a safe neighborhood? Are there children? Is it big enough? Will baby have to room-in with you for a couple of years? Consider where you live and the possibility that you will have to move when the child gets a little older before starting a family.
Having a baby is a big blessing, one that should never be denied anyone who wants to experience it. However, being realistic, honest, and looking over a few key measures before settling down to have a baby will ensure that you are truly able to enjoy the entire experience from start to finish.