When is the right time to have a baby?
Rebecca was 22 years old when her mother found out she was again pregnant. Her mom was about 45 years-old. Rebecca was shocked. Her mother was shocked. People talked, of course. People always do. They said she was too old. They told her that her oldest child was too old to be a new sibling. They said… well. They said a lot of things. But at the end of the day, Rebecca’s mom didn’t care. She was just excited.
Hailey was a 23 year-old college student who had only been married 2 months when she found out she was pregnant. People told her that it was the worst possible time to have gotten pregnant. They told her she needed to finish school, get a job, and figure out how to be married. But at the end of the day, Hailey didn’t care. She was just excited!
Like everything else in the world, people have opinions as to when women should get pregnant and when they should not get pregnant. A perfectly healthy, 25 year-old woman who has been married for 5 years could choose to get pregnant and some would find fault in it. So, when is the right time to have a baby? We’ll get straight to the answer… There is no right answer. The decision ultimately lies between you and your significant other. Who knows you and your life situation better than YOU and your significant other? However, we’ve provided some things to consider as you contemplate this big decision. But that’s all these are: suggestions for discussion topics to be had between you and your partner.
Of course, one of the first things people want to talk about is your finances. But, it is important. Babies are expensive. Most people decide to have their baby in the hospital. Cha Chang! Right there is a huge chunk of money. But then there’s all that other trivial baby stuff. Like, diapers, formula, wipes, clothes, toys, play pens, car seats, more diapers… the list goes on. And just a little reminder: you’ll be paying for this new addition to the family for the rest of your life.
Along with the money dilemma are a few other financial questions to consider.Such as health insurance. Are you covered under your or a spouse’s insurance for prenatal and birth care? Is it necessary for you to have this type of coverage? Also, do you have any type of savings built up. Unexpected expenses and loss of income can be felt 10 times over when a baby is thrown into the mix. Do you have the means to cushion a financial fall?
Long story short: have you consider every aspect of your financial situation and do you feel comfortable bringing a tiny human into the mix?
Home Sweet Home
What does your life look like right now? Like, your physical life? Are you in a place conducive to raising a child? Literally. Do you have a house? An apartment? Do you have adequate room to house this new family member? Of course, babies are little and can take up little space (although they come with a ton of stuff!) However, this won’t be the case forever. You’ll want a place to stick that teenager eventually!
Healthy and Happy
Ok so now, what does your life look like in regards to your emotional state? Are you in a place where you are emotionally ready to care for the life of another human being? Can you be honest enough to take a really close look at yourself. Are you the “m” word? Ya know, mature? A baby is a huge life commitment. You can’t put the baby in the kennel when you decide you want to go out. You can’t give them back at the end of the day (although you might want to, trust us). Are you ready for that commitment?
Another thing to consider is your physical health. It’s always a good idea to check in with a physician if you are considering becoming pregnant. Do you eat well? Are you getting enough nutrients? Do you follow a workout regimen? Of course, we’re by no means saying that you need to be a super model. Nor are we saying that you need to be happy all the time in regards to mental health. Moods fluctuate. Bodies fluctuate. We get that. The main idea of this section is determining whether you believe you are physically and mentally healthy enough to begin raising a child.
Mamma is gonna need a break. Do you have a strong support system? Do you have people you can rely on to take the baby when you need to take a shower and cry because you haven’t slept in two weeks? Do you have available child care for work and date nights? This might seem like things you can figure out in the future, but nine months can fly by. Remember, a baby is a huge commitment. It helps to have people come alongside and carry that commitment with you.
Are We on the Same Page?
Probably the most important thing to consider before deciding if it’s the right time to have a baby is whether you and your partner are on the same page. Of course, you should definitely both be on the same page regarding whether or not you want to have kids. But there are other important topics to discus regarding a child. Do either one of you have strong preferences for how a child should be raised? It might be a good idea to research some parenting styles and decide where you and your partner potentially fit.
But After All That…
We’ve listed some of the issues we feel are most important to discuss with your partner when trying to decide if it’s the right time to have a baby. But honestly, there are a hundred other things that might be important for you to discuss. Are their career changes being thrown into the mix? Are you and/or your partner attending college or do either of you have the desire to attend college? Do you and/or your partner have a strong desire to travel the world before settling down to raise a family? When it comes down to it, who knows you and your partner better than you and your partner? You know the things that are nearest and dearest to your heart and your life as a couple. Knowing this, our advice is take the time to consider the things that you most cherish and believe in, both individually and as a couple. For example, are you fully committed to earning that degree? Do you believe you could do so with a child? Are you in love with your workout group? Would you be ok giving that up for a while?
You might now be scarred for life. That’s not the goal. Having a baby doesn’t mean that your life ends. But, in some regards, it does. You gain a new identity as a parent. And you keep that identity, forever. It will be hard. There will be some things you’ll have to give up. But it will also be beautiful. You will become the most important human being to another, smaller, human being. You learn to love as you have never loved before. It is a terrifying, beautiful journey. So, is it the right time for you to begin this journey? Is it the right time to have a baby? The truth, their is no “right” time. Trust yourself, and trust your partner.