You may or may not get the option to “plan” your pregnancies. Sometimes, life plans things for you! If you are considering having children, here are five important things to consider before making that life changing decision.
Consider Reducing Your Debt
Having a lot of debt will certainly make life with kids more difficult and stressful. If you have a lot of payments to make, it will impact your ability to purchase things for your baby. It may even mean going back to work sooner than you should(or would like to) simply because you can’t afford to take time off after the birth of your child.
Consider Your Job
How will a pregnancy affect your career? Some employers “mommy track” you if you become pregnant. This may affect your ability to advance in the company or even your ability to earn more money at your job. If other people in your company have children, how well are they treated? Is your employer understanding if they need to take a vacation day to tend to a sick child? If not, you may wish to look for another job with a more family friendly employer or explore work at home options.
Consider Child Care
Who will watch your child when you go out to work? Many people are lucky enough to have a relative who is willing to help out with child care. If you aren’t so lucky, consider your other options and begin to research and plan for child care. Costs vary considerably from center to center as does quality of care.
Consider Your Financial Situation
Having a child when you are unemployed, or living in a small apartment can be done, but it’s certainly very stressful. Consider your financial situation before planning a pregnancy. Are you looking to get a bigger apartment or move into a house? Perhaps you may want to do these things before becoming pregnant.
Consider Your Relationship With Your Significant Other
This is probably the most important consideration. Does your spouse or significant other also want children at this time? Would he or she like to wait for a while longer? Also consider how strong your relationship is with your spouse or significant other. Children are wonderful, but they can put a strain on a relationship. If you have any unaddressed issues that need to be dealt with, deal with them before you have a child. If necessary, enlist the help of a counselor to work through any difficult issues or concerns.