This is one of the questions that many couples face at some stage in their relationship. While many people will give you many different answers of when you should start your family, one of the most important things to remember is that the correct answer lies only with you and your partner. Before you listen to others who have an advice on this, you and your partner need to understand the basics that involve being a parent, the new responsibilities and the new changes that will occur. So, no matter what others may tell you, the first step to starting your family is to have an understanding between you and your partner and then decide what’s right for you both.
For many couples, the best time to have a baby is as soon as they are settled in a relationship. Some couples believe that the next step after getting married is to have a baby and start a family. Some believe in giving each other some quality time and then starting a family. Others believe in giving themselves time to achieve their professional goals and then start a family. Some couples might have other points on the agenda like purchasing a house first and then having a baby. There are factors at play in every couple’s life that decide which is the best time for them to start thinking of having a baby.
Here are a few points that may help you in making a decision:
1. Financial stability: While this may sound materialistic, the fact is that money is important. Having a newborn in the family needs to be backed up by some financial stability. Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you will be spending as much time in the doctor’s office and lab as much as you spend in your own home. You dont have to be the richest person around, but it is always better to have your finances in control, rather than be in a situation where you are in a long debt or are in-and-out of jobs. The innumerable tests, the doctor visits, the medicines, the hospitalisation, not to mention other miscellaneous costs, all this will result in a big fat bill. Of course one of the first things you need to also check is to talk to your medical insurance guy. So one thing you always need to ask yourself and talk with your partner is whether you are financially settled to take the responsibility of a newborn.
2.Time is important: A newborn requires ALL your time and attention, not to mention your constant love. Will you be able to devote the time and attention that a newborn requires? If you need to be away from home for some time, will your partner be ready to take the responsibility of the baby? If you are a working woman, will your job profile allow you to be away from work for two-three months? How much time will your partner be able to devote to the baby? Is there an elder in the family who will be able to take full responsibility of your baby in your absence?
3. Getting professional care for your little one: Have you thought of any outside help for your baby if you or your partner are both occupied with something? If you are going to keep some help at home for the baby, have you checked the kinds of nannies available in your area? Are they reliable? Are they safe and hygienic? Will you be comfortable leaving your little one alone with this person? If you need any extra help, do you have family or friends who can help? If you are planning to become a working mother, are there good day-care centres near your home or work place?
4.Check your own health first: Are you medically fit to have a baby? Before you plan a baby, it is mandatory that you and your partner run a series of tests. Check with a gynaecologist who will refer you the tests that need to be carried out. Talk to your respective parents to know of any illness in the family and any illness that you may have had as a child.
5.Check your emotional compatibility and your thoughts about when to have the baby. Are you and your partner both on the same thought level here or is it only one of you who wants a baby? Never rush into having a baby just because your partner wants it. You need to want to be a parent as much and this holds true for both the partners. Are you mentally and emotionally prepared to become a parent? If you are a working woman, are you going to quit your job on your own for the baby or is it a pressure from the spouse? If you are a working woman and are planning to stay at home after the baby, are you mentally prepared and happy about this new phase of your life? If you are the man, are you ready for this change in your life right now, are you sure you will be able to comfortably handle the responsibility of looking after a newborn, both economically as well as emotionally? Remember, the mother is the most vital person in a newborn’s life, but the father is equally important too.
Having a baby is one of the best experiences of your life. A baby not only brings joy to everyone around, it will also make your life special each day in a new way. Make sure that both you and your partner are aligned to the idea of having a child. Remember, a baby is completely dependent on your love and care and attention. And it is your responsibility to make sure that your baby receives your complete love and care. If there is any doubt in your mind about having a baby now, talk to your partner and try to resolve your issues. It is always better to plan first and then have a baby, rather than have a baby and then regret having what is so pure and adorable. There is nothing as the perfect time or the wrong time to have a baby, so decide for yourself what is ‘your’ time to have a baby.