If you’re 95% certain you’re ready to have kids, don’t. Wait until you’re 120% certain.
If you are 120% certain you want have kids, pay close attention to the timing. Keep in mind that only 1 out of 3 couples feels that having kids was good for their relationship. And you know this already, but it deserves repeating: Having kids WILL NOT fix issues within your relationship. Quite the opposite. Having kids will certainly highlight and test any cracks in your bond with your partner. So if you’re ready to have kids, the first step is to make sure your partner is fully onboard. If you have to convince your partner to have kids, he/she will most likely resent you down the line. Here are some other things to keep in mind when deciding to start a family:
- Having kids gives you a full-time “job” at home. Make sure you feel good about your other job, the paying one, before you take on this enormous responsibility.
- Clearly discuss with your partner how work and household roles will change once kids are in the picture.
- Make sure you feel great about your sex life before you have kids. Couples with sexual issues–and this is most long-term couples–experience even more strain on physical intimacy once they have a child together.
- Think about childcare. Is family nearby to help? Is daycare an option? Will one of you stay at home?
- Openly discuss with your partner the ways in which you were raised. What would you like to carry forward from your own upbringing? What would you like to do differently from your parents?
- Set clear boundaries with your family-of-origin before you start your own family. Kids can be lightening rods for longstanding tensions within families. Set out clear “ground rules” with your relatives, and those of your partner. Discuss what their new roles will, and will not, be in relation to this new family structure.
About the Author: James Robbins is a licensed professional counselor, published author and co-owner of Dallas Whole Life Counseling. He has over 15 years of experience helping people in various life stages that come from a wide variety of cultural, economic and family backgrounds. Learn more about his background by clicking here.