Perhaps you and your husband have been married for a little over a year. You both want children but want to know when is the best time for us to start trying? Is there ever really a best time? Most of your friends already have children, and you’re starting to feel as if you should get started a little sooner than later. That, and both of your parents keep not so subtly hinting that they are ready to be grandparents. But are you ready to have kids?
This is a question that crosses the minds of lots of new couples. You are already ahead of the curve on this topic; i.e., you both know that you want children! As trivial as this seems, not all couples can agree on whether or not they want to be parents. I know, you probably are thinking, “why would you marry someone that didn’t have the same feelings about children as you do?” Trust me. It happens!
Since you both know that you eventually want to have children, the next step is, when? While I know lots of folks will tell you that there never truly is a “best” or “good” time to have children, what if I told you there was? The best time to have children is when you are both ready! While this seems overly simplified, the fact of the matter is that you both may not arrive at this milestone decision simultaneously.
Not knowing the dynamics of your relationship; i.e., how long you all have known one another prior to getting married, etc., my response to this question is certainly not a one size fits all. Having said such, I will give you some general things to consider in determining whether or not you’re truly ready to be parents.
Is your relationship solid? Do you really know each other? If not, use the first few years of marriage not only get to know one another, but to enjoy each other. Once baby arrives, you won’t get this time back.
Are you financially ready and able to provide for a child? As wonderful as parenting is, it’s expensive! Between household expenses, school, childcare, medical bills, etc., it certainly can add up. You’ll want to ensure you are prepared to take on the additional financial responsibility.
Are you mentally and emotionally prepared to share your life/world with another human being who will be completely, and unconditionally dependent on you? If the answer is no, it’s okay to admit it. Some folks aren’t quite ready for this kind of commitment.
Are you physically ready to be parents? This is where I make my plug for preconception counseling. This is the visit that women have with their obgyn’s to ensure that they are at their best, health wise, to have a happy, healthy, pregnancy. If there are things that need to be better controlled such as high blood pressure, diabetes, weight, etc., these things will be addressed at this visit. This is also an opportunity to consider any family history that may impact a future pregnancy.
Parenting is a wonderful thing! An experience like no other. It changes you; makes you grow up. For most, having children is often described as the greatest thing that has ever happened to them. And while all of these things may be true, and certainly are true for most, make sure you are sure. Once you have children, you can’t give them back.
For more information on Dr. Angela’s work, you can visit her website http://askdrangela.com/