Deciding to start a family is a significant milestone in any relationship. While it’s a joyful and exciting time, it’s essential to make sure that both partners are on the same page and ready for the responsibilities that come with having a baby. Starting a family requires a strong and stable foundation, and if the relationship is not ready, it can cause stress and strain on both partners. Let’s talk about some of the signs that a relationship is not ready for a baby, and hopefully what steps couples can take to prepare themselves for this next chapter in their lives.
Sign 1: Only one person feels ready
If only one of you feels ready or really wants to have a child but the other either doesn’t want to or had to be talked into it, you should put a pin in it. Wait until both of you are ready. How you handle this difference will also show whether you’re ready or not. If the ‘ready’ spouse responds with pouting, whining, punishing, pressuring or manipulation, you have bigger problems.
Sign 2: Financial instability
While it would be heartless and plain wicked to suggest that people have to be financially stable before they can have children, it’s important to just keep in mind that children add considerable financial stress to individuals and the partnership in general. Most people want to give their children a good life and being unable to do so can be incredibly stressful. You need to ask yourself if you can support the child on your own should you find yourself in a position where you no longer have your partner’s material support.
Sign 3: Lack of support
If you don’t have support from your partner and friends and family, it may be a good idea to put a pause on the having a baby plan. Support, wherever it comes from will help ease the difficulties that come with the transition that is adding a baby to your life. You are unlikely to be able to manage to care for a baby on your own without support. Infants in particular require almost round-the-clock support from feedings to diaper changes to waking up at all hours then you have to factor in housework and maybe even your main job. This is too much for one person. You will need support. If you have a partner and they are not hands-on when it comes to getting things done, maybe reconsider having a child right now.
Sign 4: Health concerns
Pregnancy and giving birth take a lot out of the body for women. Your body changes and if you already have body issues, pregnancy and childbirth can be a trigger. If you’re not in a good place when it comes to your physical and mental health, it may be a good idea to put a pause on the plan until things are better. Raising a child is physically and mentally taxing and you should make sure you’re physically and psychologically ready before you start. If you have a chronic illness it may be important to speak to a doctor as you plan, just to know what to expect and things to do to support your pregnancy.
Sign 5: You’re doing it for the wrong reason
There’s only one right reason to have a baby – because you want one. There are a million wrong reasons to have a baby. Here are just some of the greatest hits:
- To save a relationship
- Societal or familial pressure
- To replace a lost loved one
- Trying to beat your biological clock
- To fulfil a partner’s desire
- To have someone to love or fix personal issues like loneliness
- To prove fertility or masculinity
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