9 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Having A Baby
Did you know, according to Bankrate, the average cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is approximately $233,000? That includes everything from diapers to college tuition!
Before you get pregnant, you need to prepare yourself mentally and physically. In addition, make sure you are emotionally prepared for the changes ahead. Also, ensure that you are financially stable enough to support a growing family.
Here are nine critical questions to ask yourself before having a baby.
Why Do I Want To Have A Baby?
Having a baby is one of the most extraordinary experiences of life. The feeling of holding your child for the first time is indescribable. Babies bring joy into our lives, and they also teach us how to be better parents.
Some women say they want to have a baby because they think it will make them happy. While this may be true at times, a baby will not fix an overall sense of sadness or issues with happiness. Children can certainly add joy to our lives, but we must take care of ourselves before taking care of others.
Do not base the reasons you want to have a baby on ideas that are selfish or based on unrealistic expectations.
Am I Okay With Having No Free Time?
If you don’t want kids, it’s okay to say so. But if you’re planning to have them, you’ll need to give up significant “me” time. It’s essential to find ways to recharge and relax after having a child, but remember they won’t always let you!
You may find that you feel like you don’t have any time left over after taking care of your children. Or you may feel guilty for spending time away from them.
When you become a mother, you will need to balance your personal needs with your children’s. Your children will usually come first in your life.
Where Am I Financially?
Knowing where you stand financially is crucial if you want to become a parent. Of course, a child will cost money, but not all parents have enough saved up.
Before you get pregnant, figure out how much money you will need to pay for childcare, food, clothing, education, and other expenses.
You’ll need to make sure you have adequate resources available for your baby. Some things to consider include:
- Baby supplies – diapers, wipes, formula, food, etc.
- Child care – daycare, nannies, babysitters, grandparents, etc.
- Transportation – car seats, strollers, car seat covers, etc.
- Health insurance – health insurance for you and your baby
- Additional costs – children often will surprise you with unplanned costs and expenses
Is My Partner On The Same Page As Me?
If your partner isn’t supportive of your decision to become parents, that could cause tension in your marriage. Try to get him to understand why you want to have kids. Don’t force your partner into supporting your decision. Instead, explain why you want to have a baby. Let him know that you want to have a family, but you’re open to discussing other options.
Do I Need To Fix My Relationship First?
Marriage counseling is vital for couples who want to start a family. If you plan to have children, you must prepare for the challenges ahead.
Don’t expect your relationship to improve overnight. Marriage counseling can help you deal with problems before they become significant conflicts between you and your partner. Having a baby will not fix your current issues. On the contrary, having a baby will challenge your relationship more than you may realize!
Raising a child as a single parent is extremely challenging.
Am I Emotionally Ready To Have A Baby?
If you’ve never had kids before, it might take some time to adjust to the idea of having a child. It’s important to know what you want out of parenthood, whether it’s a family, career, or something else entirely.
Being emotionally ready to have a child is vital for parents and children. You should prepare for both the physical challenges and emotional changes. You need to understand that having a baby is a huge responsibility and a significant change in your life. That little “bundle of joy” may not always be joyful after long nights of crying and fussing.
Postpartum depression (PPD), or “the baby blues” affects approximately 20% of new mothers. PPD is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.
The following signs indicate possible postpartum depression:
- Feeling sad, hopeless, anxious, guilty, or worthless
- Loss of interest in sex
- Trouble sleeping
- Feelings of guilt, anger, or self-blame
- A loss of appetite
- Feelings of detachment from loved ones
- Suicidal thoughts
If you experience any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor right away. They can refer you to a specialist who specializes in treating postpartum depression.
What’s My Living Situation?
If you’re planning to start a family, it makes sense to think about where you want to live. Is it feasible to move into a new home before having kids? Will you be able to afford childcare? Do you have enough space for a nursery?
A baby requires several new furniture items, including a crib and changing table. Do you have enough room to add a baby to your current space? How much will this cost?
What Are My Child Care Options?
If you plan to return to work after having a baby, you’ll need to decide whether to leave your child with a family member or hire a daycare center. Daycares typically cost $15-$30 per hour (sometimes less) and offer activities like storytime, music classes, playgroups, and homework assistance. Some centers even provide transportation services, so parents don’t have to drive their kids around.
You might also consider hiring a babysitter. The average hourly rate for a live-in babysitter is $10-$20, depending on where you live. For part-timers, it’s usually $7-$12.
Child care costs vary widely depending on where you live, what kind of childcare you want, and whether you plan to work outside the home. The average price of child care ranges from $12,000-$18,000 per year, including direct expenses (food, diapers, and clothing) and indirect expenses like transportation and lost wages. If you’re planning to stay at home, consider using a nanny share program, which allows you to split the cost of hiring a nanny with other families who also need help.
Are There Still Things I Want To Do For Myself Before I Become A Parent?
Before having a baby, I would recommend doing everything you want to do on your own before getting pregnant. This means going out dancing, traveling, and enjoying yourself. To be a great parent, you need to do everything you can to prepare for parenthood.
When the baby comes, life as you know it will end. You won’t be able to go out every night, take vacations, or travel anywhere without worrying about how your little one will react. So make sure that you’ve done all the things you want to do before becoming a parent.
Wrapping It Up
Before you decide to have a baby, make sure you’re ready by asking yourself these questions and discussing them with your partner. Having a child is a big commitment and one that should not be taken lightly. If you’re not 100% sure you’re ready, then you shouldn’t rush into anything. Instead, take your time and do what feels right for you.
This article was produced by Arrest Your Debt and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.