After settling into your marriage, you’ve reached a level of stability. Your thoughts are turning to the next phase of your relationship: growing a family. It’s what you’ve said you wanted since you were a little girl. Your close married friends have already started. Baby showers are filling up your calendar. You can’t help oohing and ahhing over those adorable baby outfits popping up on Pinterest. You are so ready to stop birth control. But are you psychologically ready to be a mom? Is your spouse?
Do you have a clear head about your long-held decision to be a mom, a firm commitment to the idea of the two of you being parents? Are you getting outside pressure from the family? Is the timing right to start a family now?
What If I’m Having Second Thoughts?
Are you questioning the idea of having children? Are you having second thoughts? Are seeds of doubt starting to sprout? If so, don’t keep it hidden. Talk to your mate. He may be having similar feelings. What’s his reaction to your feelings about it? Is he accepting? Questioning? Puzzled? Upset? Distant?
· Do you have fears about parenthood? Are you thinking “Am I up for it?” “Will I be a good mother?” “Will he be a good father?”
· Do you feel that you lack the knowledge required to be a good parent?
· Are you worried about being able to find time for work, leisure, daily activities, and so on with a little one around that needs constant attention?
· Is it a financial issue? Lack of time, money? These are external reasons and they may be valid ones. But dig deeper. Are these the REAL reasons? Or is there internal resistance?
· Do you or your husband have unresolved feelings about your parents that are making you resistant to the idea? Does how you were raised and cared for as a child factor into the equation?
· What if I’m ready and he isn’t? Did one of you make a “rule” change? Did one of you change your mind about wanting children somewhere along the road and didn’t inform the other? Are you able to accept that he changed his mind? Is he able to accept that you changed yours?
All of these are legitimate concerns. Don’t belittle them and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
The Wrong Reasons
· Is parenthood what you REALLY want? Or is it what you’ve been raised to believe all women want?
· Are you both on-board? Lack of love, compassion, commitment and support from your mate for you and/or a baby?
· Are you ready to turn your attention from yourselves as individuals and as a couple to raising a child? Are you the kind of person who is in control of their time? Are you easily flustered when things don’t go as planned?
· Are you able to deal with the unexpected … like becoming a single mother due to divorce or death? Are you confident that you can find solutions should your finances take a dip, even if it means big sacrifices? If the answer is no to any of these, maybe parenthood wasn’t meant to be.
· Is your desire for a child wrapped up in trying to solidify the relationship? Is it to help a shaky marriage? Is having a baby your idea of a fix for a lack of trust? Intimacy? If the answer is yes, parenthood may still be on the horizon – just not while you’re having issues with one another.
· Since having a baby makes a relationship permanent, are you or is he questioning the ability to stay in the relationship? Will your relationship stay strong when there’s more focus on another little human being who needs much your attention? A baby is a lifetime commitment. Do you feel strongly your relationship is a lifetime commitment?
What’s Right for You
Most young couples have this big decision to face. It’s okay … whichever way you choose. Choosing whether or not to have kids is between the two of you. Don’t let outside pressure push you in a direction you deep down don’t want to go. That decision could change the course of your life and your marriage. Make time for soul searching. Make time for the two of you to talk … lots of talk. Contemplate before you leap.