Are You Ready To Start A Family?

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Shorter Version


Est. Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Knowing if and when you are ready to start a family can be confusing and overwhelming. While it can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things you will ever do, it can also be one of the most demanding times of your life. Children require love, care, time, attention, patience, tolerance, money, and effort.

Get on the same page

That is why finding the right time to bring a baby into your life, home, and relationship is such a big deal. But, before you contemplate adding to your family, make sure you and your partner are on the same page about having a kid or multiple kids. If you are on different pages, it will only hurt your relationship and your child or children.

It is extremely important that both you and your partner are onboard with having children, if you want to start a family.

~ Psychologist’s Note!

How to determine if you are ready to start a family

Are you mature enough to be a parent?

How mature are you? If you want to start a family, you must be mature enough to love, care for, nurture, protect, and support another person, who is solely dependent on you. Ask yourself the following questions: “Are you mature enough to put someone else’s needs first?” “Are you mature enough to give up your partying lifestyle to stay at home with your child?” If so, maybe it is the right time for you to have a child.

Being a parent means you are mature enough to put the needs and wants of your child before your own needs and wants. That can be hard, challenging, and painful.

In order to take care of a child, you must first be able to take care of yourself. In other words, not be dependent on loved ones for the things you need – i.e. housing, food, transportation, money, etc.

~ Psychologist’s Note!

Are you in a committed relationship?

Do you have a partner to help you with the child? Now, don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to be in a committed relationship to start a family, but it sure does help to have an extra income and pair of hands when raising kids. Doing it alone? Don’t fret, there are plenty of single parents who raise awesome kids, so if you have the heart, means, and patience to start a family on your own – go for it!

Do you have the funds to take care of a child?

Take a long, hard look at your finances. Why? Because raising a child isn’t cheap. You can want a child more than anything, but if you can’t financially provide for him or her, you’re probably not ready to start a family.

The good news is there are plenty of baby calculators that will help you estimate the cost of having a child – i.e. food, diapers, furniture, activities, clothes and shoes, education, baby supplies, school supplies, sports, entertainment, health, and dental care, daycare, swim, dance, and/or karate lessons, etc.

It takes more than love to raise a child – you can’t properly care for a child if you aren’t financially stable.

~ Psychologist’s Note!

Is this the right time to have a child?

Is there ever a right time to have a child? It depends on who you ask. What may be the right time for someone else may not be the right time for you. How can you tell? Well, I suggest you take an in-depth look at what’s going on in your life. Also, evaluate your age, especially if you are a woman. Are you in a position to start a family at this stage of your life?

In other words, are there things you still want to do, as a single adult? For instance, is traveling the world before you’re 30 on your bucket list? Or, is partying and playing the slots in Vegas one of your dream vacations? Are you still looking for Mr. or Miss Right? What about struggling to make ends meet? Are you still in college? Are you unemployed and still living at home with your parents?

If you are in your 30s and 40s and want to have a child, but find it more difficult than you originally anticipated, there are other options that can help you start a family, such as surrogacy, IUI and IVF, egg donation, sperm donation, foster parenting, and adoption.

~ Psychologist’s Note!

Do you travel a lot for your job or do you have a job that demands a lot of your attention? If so, it may not be the right time for you to have a child. If you are in your early 20s, you probably have plenty of time to start a family, but if you are approaching your 30s or early 40s, you may want to have kids sooner rather than later.





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Actionable Steps


1

Read the longer version

You can learn more about starting a family by reading the following articles, reviewed to be the best by our professionals: 8 Signs You’re Ready for a Baby by Babble, 20 Subtle Signs You’re Not Ready to Have Kids by Best Life Online, 10 Questions to Ask When Considering Starting a Family by Family Education, and How to Know if You Are Ready to Start a Family by WikiHow.

2

Prepare for a life change

Starting a family comes with plenty of life changes. If you are considering having a baby, it’s important to assess how it will change your life, your partner’s life, and your family members’ lives before you proceed with your plan. Evaluate all of the ways having a child will impact and change your life.
 
If you are unsure, you can learn more about these changes by reading the following articles: 42 Things that Change When You Have a Baby, How Your Life Changes after Having a Baby, 8 Shocking Ways Marriage Changes After Baby, and How a Baby Changes Your Pet’s Life: Frequently Asked Questions. You can also sign up for a parenting class (before you start your family) to help you fully understand what it takes to raise a child.
 
By addressing and accepting these life changes, in advance, you can avoid hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and relationship issues once the baby arrives.

3

Communicate

If starting a family is on your to-do list, it is important that you communicate this intention to your partner or the future father or mother of the baby. Don’t manipulate him or her to get your way. Be honest and open about wanting kids and wanting him or her to be the other parent. Discuss how you want to co-parent together or apart.
 
Do both people want to or feel ready to start a family or only one of them? When do you want to start trying for a baby? How do you and your parent feel about becoming parents? Are you and your partner mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially ready to have a baby? Who will be responsible for diaper changes and who will be responsible for feedings?
 
Who will the child live with – mother, father, or both? Will the child go to daycare or stay at home with a parent or relative? When should you tell family and friends of your plans to start a family? The answers to these questions are vital if you are considering starting a family. 
 
Communication is vital in any relationship, but it is especially important if you plan to start a family with someone. Discuss your desire and/or plan to have a baby with the future father or mother of the child, before you put this plan into action.

4

Save money

Another essential thing you must do before you start a family is save up. In other words, save money for the new baby. Babies and children cost a lot, especially over time. Preparing for these costs, in advance, can prevent you from worrying about how you are going to pay for everything once the baby arrives.
 
Examine your finances and decide who will pay for what (if you are no longer together). If you are still together and living in one home, you may want to set up a budget and open a savings account just for baby and child needs before he or she arrives.

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About the Author


Dr. R. Y. Langham

Dr. R. Y. Langham

Ph.D. in Family Psychology

Ree has a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (M.M.F.T.) and a Ph.D. in Family Psychology. She spent over ten years counseling families, couples, individuals, and children on adjustment issues such as blended families, same-sex couples, dysfunctional family relationships, relationship issues, etc. Now she writes for famous health organizations and is a published author.
Full Bio | LinkedIn


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