10 Questions to Ask When Considering Starting a Family
Is it just instinct? -- We are preprogrammed to want children. It's nature at work. Having a family can make you feel you are doing what is natural. Try listing the pros and cons and balance instinct with the practical points you need to consider.
Are parents pressing? -- Sometimes your parents' desire to become grandparents is greater than your desire to be a parent. Don't let their ambitions prejudice your own decision. Ask them how they can help if you do decide to have children.
Are you ready for a career break? -- Having a baby means taking maternity leave. Many couples also decide to then work part-time and share childcare responsibilities. How does it fit with your career plans?
Can you afford it? -- Raising a child is expensive. Look long and hard at your finances and work out how you'll manage. It might be better to wait and try to save, or you might decide to go ahead and manage somehow. There is no right answer.
Have we got room? -- Is your home suitable for children? If it's a one-bedroom studio apartment, you might consider trading up first. How far are you from schools and other facilities you'll need? You will look for different things from your neighborhood when you have children.
How strong is your relationship? -- Some people have children to repair an ailing relationship but this doesn't always work. Ask yourselves if you're ready to commit to perhaps 20 years together as parents. It's a big question.
Will it be easy? -- Getting pregnant is as difficult for some as it is easy for others. Be prepared for it to take some time to happen, and don't become anxious if it takes longer than you'd hoped. Have you the stamina for what might be a long haul?
Is life just too good to change? -- If you're really enjoying life and have a great job and a full social life, a baby might change things more than you'd like. It's not selfish to remain childless; it's your choice.
What about twins? -- If one of your parents is a twin, there's a chance you'll have twins, too. Many fertility treatments also lead to multiple births. Could you handle having two babies when you planned for only one?
Do the genes fit? -- Some people decide to remain childless because they might potentially pass on some genetic condition. If this is you, take professional advice before committing yourself either way.