Starting a family is one of the biggest and most life-changing decisions you will ever make. How on earth are you supposed to know if you’re ready? Many people are of the opinion that if you wait until you feel ready you’ll probably never have kids, so you should simply go for it if you and your partner are both in agreement about it. However, there are a few important practicalities you should consider before making the leap.
We’re sure you’re aware, but having kids is expensive and planning to start a family when you know that your household income couldn’t support it is probably a bad idea. There are so many elements of this nature to take into account, from big things like medical costs and saving for their education to seemingly small things like clothes, food and diapers which can add up to large amounts too. Before making any big decisions, you’ll want to make some rough calculations. Chat to some parents in your friend group who can help you out with costs, calculate your child care subsidy and take a look at the fees of schools that you’d want to send your children to.
If you find that money might be a problem but you really want to start a family, you can always look into new ways to subsidise your income and remember to start saving as early as possible.
Time and Careers
Contrary to popular belief, having a baby doesn’t necessarily mean that anybody will have to give up their careers. There are plenty of full-time working moms and dads who love their jobs and love their kids too. However, this is an important discussion you will need to have with your partner. If you both want (or need) to keep your jobs in the early years, it will be necessary to employ a nanny or perhaps the help of a grandmother or other family members who live nearby and would be willing to take on this role.
If one of you is willing to sacrifice your job to be a stay-at-home parent for a while (or for always!), make sure to have an in-depth chat with your partner about how that would work in terms of finances, sharing roles and responsibilities and other details. These conversations are important to have to hash out details before decisions have been made and you both realise that somebody is unhappy.
Finally, and probably the most important thing to think about is whether both parties truly want to have children. Not everybody wants to raise a family and that’s okay! This is a conversation that should have come to light in the earlier stages of a relationship, but it’s important that everybody is on the same page with regards to whether having kids is in the cards or not. Talk this out with your partner and make sure you’re both 100% committed. You may never be emotionally ready for this big change, but if you’re all in, the journey will be unlike any other.