Deciding if and when to have a baby is one of the most life-changing decisions a couple can make. Maybe you've known that you want kids for your whole life and you feel like the time is finally right, or maybe you're just weighing your options and trying to figure out if adding a baby in the mix is a good idea. Either way, starting a family is not something to take lightly and there are important questions to ask your partner before having kids that will determine whether or not the time is right and, in some cases, whether you and your partner would make a good parenting team.
Life rarely goes exactly as planned and parenting is no exception. But having a few necessary discussions, like whether or not you actually want to have kids, will only ensure that when the two of you decide the time is right, things go as smoothly as possible. Parenting is challenging, exhausting, confusing and amazing, and having someone by your side to make the late night feedings and hourly diaper changes a little bit easier can make all the difference. Just make sure you're both on the same page and talk through these 11 questions before you decided to start your family.
1. Do You Want Children?
It seems glaringly obvious, but couples often wait to discus this question out of fear that their partner will have a different answer than them.
2. Can We Afford A Baby?
Usually money is least romantic thing on a couple's mind, but starting a family is expensive and it's something you have to take into consideration. Diapers aren't gonna buy themselves, unfortunately.
3. How Well Do We Handle Stress?
Deciding to have a baby opens you both up to completely unexplored territory. It's important to know how to handle trying situations together before making this major decision.
4. Are We OK With Major Changes To Our Sex Life?
Once a baby enters the scene, sex will never be the same. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean you'll never have sex again or that it won't be as special as before. But the spontaneity you enjoy now will become a thing of the past.
5. What Kind Of Parents Do We Want To Be?
Acting as a cohesive team is tricky if you don't know where you both stand. Discussing how you want to parent your child before you meet them will make things much easier in the long run.
6. What Duties Will Each Of Us Have?
Will one of you stay home full time with the baby? Will you split nighttime feedings? Talking these things through before hand will make the transition into parenthood easier and prevent any fights on whose turn it is to change the diaper.
7. Do Our Jobs Offer Maternity/Paternity Leave?
Looking into this beforehand will save you lots of trouble later when all you'll want to do is cuddle your sweet baby.
8. Are We Ready For Less "Me" Time?
Having a child requires a bit (OK, a lot) of sacrifice. If you're not a stage in your life when you're ready to be 100 percent selfless, then you may want to wait a little while.
9. Do We Agree On What Values We Want To Teach Our Baby?
Talking through what values are important to the both of you will make parenting calls much easier in the future.
10. Do We Have Enough Space?
Babies (and everything that comes with them) tend to take up quite a bit of space. Although you can usually make this work no matter where you live, it's important to plan ahead.
11. Are You Ready To See The Unglamorous Side Of Each Other?
Even if you've been together for a long time, it's possible to live together without say, farting in front of each other, or seeing each other at our worst moments. With a baby though, you'll get well acquainted with the "not-so-attractive" sides of each other. But it's worth it to see you little one smile.