It’s a question that has haunted experts and critics for years.
By experts, we mean wives, and by critics, we mean husbands. Obviously.
Yet, even today, many couples are befuddled by the prospect of starting a family. Unlike previous generations, millennial couples are becoming ambassadors of family planning, preferring to pick the perfect time to create their own little brood. But the perfect time isn’t marked by some planetary alignment or a parting of the seas. Unfortunately, the universe doesn’t send out signs to flag the inauguration of your uterus. But if you’re wondering whether you’re ready to grow your family, don’t wait for the universe. Look at this list instead.
How Do I Know I’m Ready?
There are some questions you should ask yourself to know if you’re ready to be a parent:
1. Have you adulted? Ah, there’s a completely made up verb we love. Adulting – or the process of feeling and behaving like an adult – is a key checkpoint in knowing whether you’re ready. Consider whether you’re prepared to take on the responsibility of introducing a new human being to the world. While your family may provide the much-needed support that you need to care for your child, ultimately, the onus of raising your child lies on you.
2. Can your schedule handle it? If you’re on the move frequently, or if you work odd hours, a baby may be a responsibility that you may not be able to take on, even with a solid support system. Or let’s say you’re used to spending your weekends partying the night away, you may need to overhaul your schedule to accommodate a baby. There’s nothing to worry about – your baby will give you a different kind of allnighter experience, so you won’t miss the sleepless nights as much. Babies are considerate that way.
3. Is your relationship ready for a baby? A rock-solid relationship is important when you’re planning a child. If you’re happy in your relationship, there will always more than enough love and care to go around once the baby arrives. And patience. Who can forget patience? Especially for those nights spent soothing your little one into silent slumber. Who better to be patient with than the co-creator of your child?
4. Is your bank account ready for a baby? Babies are priceless, but the cost of raising them certainly isn’t. When your tot is little, your expenses will include baby suppliers, strollers, cribs and day-care, perhaps. As your child grows, your expenses will stretch to accommodate school, toys and clothes. You should also consider starting a college fund for your baby when he’s still young.
5. Can your body handle it? If you’re in your twenties or early thirties, you probably have a million things to cross off your bucket list before you have a baby. But by the time you get to your late thirties or early forties, your body won’t be able to keep up with your baby-making dream. It’s wise to plan a baby when your body is at its prime. Prioritise your goals, and see where in the list a baby features. Of course, of you decide not to conceive now, you can always consider options like egg freezing, surrogacy and adoption.
If you mentally ticked each of these points, and felt your uterus wiggle at the thought of growing a little human inside, speak to your partner. It’s important that you’re both on the same page in how much you want a baby at this stage in life. Also, consult a doctor before you embark on your pregnancy journey. It’s imperative that you prepare your body for your impending maternity journey the right way.
You should know that there’s no ‘right time’ for starting a family. There’s a right time for each individual couple, that its partners need to discover for themselves. Now that you’ve discovered yours, send the universe a sign when you’re ready. It loves surprises.