You’ve probably thought about being a parent throughout your life. After all, it’s a topic that comes up often, as some consider it the next chapter in life. It’s also something we ask ourselves out of curiosity – will I be a good parent?
Playing around with the idea, and deciding to go forward with it, are two different things. Just like the idea of traveling to a new country seem enticing, you have to prepare yourself beforehand and ask if it’s plausible. Do you have the time? Are you financially capable of handling the added expense? There are a lot of questions you need to answer before you embark on this journey.
Unlike a two-week vacation in the sun, this decision requires a deeper level of honesty with yourself. There is no right or wrong answer, but how you do it will determine how capable you are of taking care of another human being.
No guide or book can fully tell you what to expect as a mom or dad, but there are important factors to consider when deciding if now is the right time to welcome a newborn.
Are you financially ready?
Babies are expensive!
According to the href=”https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2017/01/13/cost-raising-child”>USDA, the average cost of raising a child is around $233,000, with food, housing, and child care expenses –not including the cost of a college education – taking the majority of that sum.
It’s easy to romanticize having a family, but you need to be practical. Not only does a child need food, clothes, and medical care, but an endless amount of supplies. You may need a bigger space to raise your baby, and savings set aside, a college fund – the list goes on and on.
Are you in a position to be able to start putting money aside? Can you spare unexpected expenses? If you are unsure about your answer, we recommend seeking professional financial advice.
Why do you want to get pregnant?
There are many reasons why someone wants to become a parent, but here are some that might sound compelling but aren’t good factors to base your decision on:
- Your friends and colleagues are getting pregnant.
- Your parents are getting old, and you want them to be grandparents.
- Because you’ve reached the age where you planned on getting pregnant.
They are not wrong answers, but they should not be your primary motivation. Instead, ask yourself if you are in a good place in your life right now. Not everyone will be ready at the same time; each person has a different path.
Going forward with this decision to care for and nurture a child are better indications. A baby is not there to fulfill you but to receive the love you have to give.
Are you ready to give up some of your freedom?
When you are a parent, your child is your main priority. Are you ready to take a backseat in the first stages of parenthood and put your baby first? We’re not saying you won’t have personal time or freedom, but they are likely to be less available for you to enjoy.
For a few years, your tiny human will require a lot of attention! Spontaneous decisions, like date nights, for example, or going on that exotic vacation your friends invited you to go, will have to pass second to your infant. On the upside, you might find yourself enjoying the time you get to spend with your new family and see that staying at home is pretty fun after all!
How the Guidance agency can help
The Guidance community reaches far and wide. We’ve accumulated a network of mental health and financial professionals throughout the years, and we can connect you to them. Additionally, our sisterhood is made of women and experts who will be more than happy to share their experiences with you.
If you feel undecided about this decision, we’re here to help. We know how nice it is to have someone to talk to, and having been there ourselves, we are more than happy to assist you, wherever you are in your thought process. We do not judge and keep our neutrality.
We believe in helping one another through thick and thin.