Sunday, 22 Jul 2018
How to Know When you are Ready for Starting a Family
By Private Therapy Clinic
Of course, not everyone wants to have children, but the instinct to reproduce is still a very powerful one, and many people, women and men alike, look forward to starting a family of their own.
Thanks to modern contraception methods, nowadays we get to choose if, or when, we have a baby. While this is very liberating, it also raises a whole new set of conundrums. Is it ever OK to have a baby if you feel that you aren’t completely ready? Should you wait until you have achieved perfect financial stability and your dream home or does that risk leaving it too long, maybe even until it is no longer possible? Are you and your partner really ready for such a big adventure, or are you (or one of you) still too immature to take such a big step?
Decisions about parenthood are deeply personal and need to be respected as such. That said, there are certainly some boxes that need to be ticked before deciding to have a child. It is not necessary to be well-to-do in order to become a parent, but it is a good idea to have a plan as to how you will support yourself and your child to an adequate standard. No child needs to be kitted out in designer wear with a top of the range buggy, but similarly, it would not be a great idea to start a family if you yourself are homeless or struggling to find the money for the basics in life. It is also helpful to have a support network. This doesn’t have to be close family or paid support—but it is good to have friends who can be called on in difficult circumstances, most of all for moral support on those demanding days.
Above all, before getting pregnant it is ideal to do some work on your own mental and physical health. If you are an unhealthy weight (either very overweight or very underweight), you should work on your diet and exercise regime until you are physically strong enough to cope with the demands of pregnancy and/or parenting. If you have issues around your emotional or mental health, it would similarly be wise to ensure that you are getting the support and/or treatment you need. If there are any toxic relationships in your life, try to make these healthier, or remove yourself from the person or people causing your problems. Bear in mind that this advice is all just as relevant for potential dads as it is for potential mums—decisions about pregnancy and childcare should never be seen as simply a woman’s realm.
Above all, take time to talk to your partner, if you have one, and to the important people in your life. This is a big decision!
WHO CAN I SPEAK TO FURTHER ABOUT THE ISSUES IN THIS ARTICLE?
For help with the issues discussed in this article speak to one of our therapists here at Private Therapy Clinic for a free initial chat or to make an appointment.