While some people seem to be made to raise children, having kids isn’t an easy decision for everyone. Some people need to be convinced, while others are convinced but afraid of becoming a parent.
There are plenty of tough decisions couples face along the path to becoming parents, both before, during, and after pregnancy. Here’s some simple advice for facing some of those tough situations.
1. Make decisions with your partner (no matter what)
If you’re committed to having children, it’s crucial to include your partner in every decision. Even when some of those decisions won’t directly affect them, your partner should at least know what you’re thinking.
If you and your partner decide you want kids, but you want kids now and your partner wants to wait a few years, it’s crucial to respect their input and continue to use protection so you don’t end up with a kid too soon. If you’re worried about infertility, you can always freeze your eggs and make your decisions when you’re ready.
Try as you might, accidents do happen and if you have unprotected sex, you might want to consider emergency contraception after a discussion with your partner. Your partner might want the pill, or they might want to wait and see what happens.
Whether your partner wants to have kids now or not, they could change their mind at any moment. Bring the conversation to your partner so you can decide together.
2. Be patient if your partner doesn’t seem excited about having kids
If you’re ecstatic about having kids, but your partner seems hesitant, don’t worry too much. It’s comforting to have a partner who is equally excited about having kids, but just because your partner isn’t jumping up and down doesn’t mean they won’t make a good parent.
If you’ve already had the conversation about having kids and your partner is on board with it, they might just need some time to warm up to the massive life changes that come with being a parent. Their reservations might have nothing to do with kids and might be related to their career, routine, or plans for the future.
Being a parent requires major adjustments and some people have a difficult time with change. Be patient with your partner while they sort through the adjustments they’ll need to make to become a parent.
Many people who were reluctant to have kids ended up really enjoying parenting, despite the bumpy road. For many, having kids becomes a lifeline and brings a clear purpose into their life.
3. Do your research on birthing options
For some, where to give birth is unquestionable: the hospital. For others, it’s not so clear. If you’re considering giving birth at home, in a birthing center, or under water, you’ve got some research to do.
The best thing to do for you, your partner, and your baby, is to first talk to your friends and get their recommendations. Ask them to share their experiences, including how they were treated before and after giving birth.
Look for online reviews as well. Granted, some reviews might not be accurate since there are people who are never satisfied. However, gathering a good amount of data and stories will help you make the right choice.
Next, visit the places you’re considering giving birth if you’re considering a hospital or a birthing center. Finally, check your insurance plan to find out if your preferred location is covered.
4. Create a maternity leave plan ahead of time
While most employers are required to provide maternity leave, don’t spring it on your boss at the last moment. Baby Chick recommends telling your boss the news when you’re around 12 weeks pregnant. Your boss needs time to plan for your absence.
The other aspect of creating a maternity leave plan is planning for your financial situation. What will your bills be like on maternity leave? Will you need to cut back on spending? If you’re self-employed, will you need to cut into your savings account?
Know whether your maternity leave will be paid or unpaid, and what percentage of your normal income you’ll be receiving. Knowing your expected income will help you make necessary changes to your budget.
You might also want to put your bills on auto-pay so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to pay the bills while you spend time with your baby.
5. Be willing to compromise on a name
You and your partner might agree on everything else but your baby’s name. Even when you’ve flipped through a baby name book 100 times, it’s still not easy to settle on a name that both of you like.
Try to remember you’re on the same team. Take your time deciding on a name. If your partner has a strong preference for a particular name and it means the world to them, it’s only fair to compromise. If that doesn’t work for you, let someone else decide for you.
Make your decisions a team effort
There are no easy decisions when it comes to having kids. However, by working together with your partner, tough decisions will be made a little easier.