If there was anything I had to carefully decide before contemplating was having a baby. I had been married for barely two months and wanted to fix one or two things before having a baby. My husband and I agreed that we were going to have a blissful honeymoon for one year before then. We were happily married but we weren’t ready for kids anyway. We wanted to do some finishing to our career goals making sure things stabilize because, having and caring for a baby is hard work.
To be frank with you, our plans didn’t work out as expected. I became pregnant with our first child, Dominion. I was already few weeks gone before running a pregnancy test for confirmation. My husband and I weren’t on a family planning method yet. We both were using a natural method which involves knowing when it’s safe to have sex and when it’s not.
So when baby number one showed up, I had no choice than to accept it. I felt disappointed about the news because I wasn’t ready yet. I thought to myself that I was going to be restricted from certain things I do to avoid putting pressure on myself. As a travel agent, I love my job so much. I love to work with flexibility. Sometimes I work through the nights trying to solve my clients problem. So becoming an expectant mom changed everything and I did have to take things easy till I put to bed.
However, if you wish to have a baby now or later here are my thoughts that will help you decide whether you are ready or not.
1. Are you and your partner ready to put your baby first?
You and your partner should decide on when to have a baby. Don’t be like me who didn’t see family planning method as necessary then. Although, some new couples believe that using a family method may deprive them of having children when they are ready. In this case, you and your partner will have to discuss it with your doctor on the safest contraceptive method to use. I have heard reported cases from some women in my community who claimed that the contraceptive method they used affected their conception.
So try to do a proper research on contraceptive methods and make your choice on what works best for you. With that being said, you will have enough time to do the needful till you are ready. It’s better to play safe than to indulge in a trial and error only for you to have an unplanned pregnancy.
2. Are you emotionally stable?
The emotional aspect has to do with your mental health. Are you the type that worry too much or put yourself under stress? You need to take note of this. It will not be a good idea that you have to become pregnant and find yourself becoming too emotionally depressed. Sincerely, your baby will need a friendly atmosphere while growing in your womb. So if you are having a problem with your emotion or you get angry easily try working on them.
There are better ways of working and improving on your mental health or emotional health which includes; indulging in yoga exercise, reading books on self-development, consulting a therapist, building a healthy relationship with people and with God. One more thing that will also help with your emotional health is to eliminate poor diet and eat healthy instead.
3. Are you and your partner financially stable?
You will agree with me that no child likes to be deprived of adequate care. You will not just have a baby but you will require substantial amount of money to cater for and nurture your baby. You wouldn’t want your baby to grow up with the thought that you weren’t capable enough to fed for him or her. You do not need to make all the millions before you can settle down to have a baby. With some reasonable amount of money, you are good to provide necessary things that your baby will need like; diaper, wipes, food, clothes and so on. The basic things your baby will need includes: food, clothes, diapers crib, medical bill and so on…These are the essential things you will need to budget for.
More so, don’t just work and earn but also discipline yourselves to plan and save money for your baby. In my case as earlier mentioned, my husband and I weren’t prepared to have a baby. When I became pregnant, there were miscellaneous things to take care of following bills to pay and debts. It got to a point that we became totally broke. We could hardly feed at that time. There were jobs we did for our clients but we weren’t paid on time.
The worst thing that ever happened to me as an expectant mom was that I had to go hungry because there was no money for food at that time. The pressure was too much on me as I needed to eat to sustain my baby’s well being. My husband was forced to call his bosom friend for financial help in order to sustain our feeding. It was the following day after we received financial help that our clients called to pay us for the jobs we did for them. This is a pathetic experience I never thought to have and that is why I wouldn’t want you to face it either. It is better to plan and stabilize in your finances than to go broke when a baby is involved.
4. How healthy is your relationship with your partner?
Absolutely, no child wishes to live in an unhealthy relationship.
If your relationship with your spouse is not stable or probably you both always have issues with each before children comes along how much worse will it be when they come. Should you allow your children to see how you and your partner abuse each other is only giving them an impression that that is how a relationship is accustomed to be.
I suggest that your relationship with your spouse should be strong enough to handle changes that are about to come your way. Sometimes things happen to you and your spouse when you are unprepared. But if you can handle them with understanding and maturity then you have no problem raising your children in a healthy atmosphere.
5. Have you considered your job’s maternity policy.
Maybe you and your partner haven’t had this in mind but I advise you do. It’s important both of you talk on maternity plan leave. This will enable you to prepare for childbirth, bond and nurture your baby.
Regardless, you both should have a clear understanding of what post-natal life will look like.
6. Are you both willing to be responsible ?
By being responsible is beyond the affair with each other. Being responsible has to do with helping each other when the need arises. It is difficult for one partner to take care of a baby while the other doesn’t see it fit to assist. There is always a need for both couple to lighten each other’s burden so as to avoid physical break down and other issues. My husband and I never cease to help each other.
There are times he baths and dress the children, tidy up our home and so on. There are times he takes our son, Dominion to school and go to work from there. It’s part of his responsibility not just mine alone. He is not doing me that favor that he has to do all that. He does it because he cares about the family. That’s one thing I love him for. As a couple, make sure you discuss on this point to decide whether you both are ready or not.
Do you have any thoughts you feel you can share with us? Please do as I will be glad to hear you out.
I also hope you find this shared thoughts helpful.