When to have a baby: Should I have a baby?
When to have a baby? Should I have a baby? Am I ready for a baby? Is having a baby advisable right now? Is this the right time for me to become a mother? Should I get pregnant? Will we be able to bear the cost of having a baby? Should I continue with my unplanned pregnancy?
Answer all these questions with hard-hitting facts of life that serve to be critical benchmarks to help you decide whether you should have a baby or not.
1) When you have finished studying
Having a baby is supposed to be a magical experience, but only when it happens at the right time. Unplanned pregnancy while you are still studying in college or school can be very burdensome. Studies can take a back seat when the other responsibilities of being a mother weigh down on your shoulders.
The risk of not being able to finish your studies after your baby is born is high. It is best to have a baby once you have finished studying all you want. Paying for college, rent, bills, groceries and shopping over and above the cost of having a baby is a tough task for a young mother.
2) When you are financially stable to support the cost of having a baby
The birth of a baby is a very happy moment but it is a financially heavy one too. Bills associated with having a baby start running up as soon as you become pregnant.
Trips to the hospital, regular checkups, food supplements, clothing and preparing for the little one's arrival are costs of having a baby that are just the beginning of a lifelong financial responsibility. You and your partner should both have an existing bank balance to see you through these expenses.
You should ensure that you are financially capable of incurring these costs if you want to have a happy and memorable experience of having a baby and giving it the life it deserves. Stressing over making ends meet can ruin the joy of becoming a mother or a father.
3) When you and your partner are in a long term committed relationship or are married
Couples who are married or have been in a long term committed relationship should ideally be having a baby. Even if you are in a long distance relationship, reconsider your decision because being a single parent is difficult for the parent and the baby.
Just being a happy couple is not enough weight to swing your decision to have a baby. Don't leave anything to chance if you are not married yet. Have an honest conversation with your partner about the future of your relationship before you decide to have a baby.
4) When you and your partner have a job that gives permanent and consistent income
Being financially stable and having enough bank balance to see pregnancy through with ease is just one aspect of containing and managing the financial repercussions of having a baby. It is important that you and your partner have a permanent and consistent source of income for the foreseeable future.
It may not be the right time to have a baby if your jobs are not permanent or if your business does not have a consistent income stream. Childcare expenditures will line up regardless of whether a monthly check hits your bank account or not.
5) When you and your partner are ready to make sacrifices in your lifestyles
The birth of a baby will send ripples through the lifestyles of a mother and a father. Both partners should ideally have the willingness to make sacrifices in their own lifestyle, schedules, routine and leisure one the baby is born.
These sacrifices can come in the form of missing parties and social events, giving up on leisure activities to care for the baby or changing your schedule to suit the baby's.
6) When you feel a consistent and natural urge of having a baby as a mother
A strong and consistent urge to have a baby should be present in the mother. A decision to become a mother should be driven by a woman's wish, craving and natural instinct to become a loving mother.
The question 'when to have a baby' can be influenced by various factors including unplanned pregnancy, peer pressure, parents' nagging, partner's wish and more. Women should remember that having a baby is a joint decision between herself and her partner.
7) When your partner wants a baby as much as you: Planning your pregnancy
People get married because both partners want to tie the knot and the decision to have a baby should not be any different. Express your emotions to your partner when you feel like becoming a mother or a father.
Talk about pregnancy and childbirth with your partner again and again to be on the same page. Don't be self absorbed and unknowingly force your partner into parenthood. Plan your pregnancy and usher yourself into parenthood together with your partner.
8) When you and your partner are physically healthy and emotionally happy
You and your partner should ideally be physically sound and emotionally happy to accept all the joys and pains of pregnancy. Existing mental, emotional, psychological or physical issues must be sorted out before you decide to become responsible for another human being.
Having a child itself can be can be taxing on both the partners' physically, emotionally, financially and sexually. It may not be the best of decisions to take on the extra stress when you are in a stressful situation in your life.
9) When you are free of vices and addictions
Don't think about pregnancy if you have addiction problems or have any other vices that my affect the health of the baby.
Consult your doctor on this serious matter. Get all the information you can and don't leave anything to chance. Think of having a baby only when you have given up on all your addictions and vices.
10) For working professionals: When you are in a position to get maternity leave
Maternity leave is a critical factor for working professionals looking to become parents. All employers are required to give maternity leave but the terms and conditions may vary from company to company.
Don't take maternity leave for granted. Check with your employer and find out all the monetary and non-monetary benefits that you can avail under your permanent employment or contract to be sure of financial sustenance during pregnancy.
11) When you have a place of your own
The decision of becoming a mother rests on practical elements including accommodation. It may be best for you to welcome your baby into this world when you have your own home, whether you are renting or have bought your own house.
Having a baby while living with your parents can lead to complications from a financial and a relationship perspective.
12) When you have a good support system
A good support system comes in the form of good friends, caring family, concerned colleagues and a loving partner. These are the people who will help you in times of need.
Raising a child is not a small feat and it is advisable to have a support system, no matter how small it is, especially if you are going to be a parent for the first time.
13) When you are within a certain age bracket: Aligning your age to your life goals
What is the best age to have a baby? Let your answer be a balanced mix of all the above factors, doctor's advice and your age. A woman's biological clock is said to be ticking once she is in her twenties. Yet many women prefer to have a baby in their thirties.
Your body may give you natural signs and urges to have a baby. You may also wish to give priority to other things including your career before becoming a mother. Consult your doctor to get a biological perspective and align your life goals with it.