How To Know When You’re Ready To Have a Baby
Deciding to have a baby is not like turning on a light switch. It’s typically a decision that feels weighty and requires more than one conversation. We want to encourage you to give yourself and your spouse grace as you wade through these waters together. Use the 10 questions below to begin exploring the topic of expanding your family. These questions aren’t the be-all and end-all, but working through them together will certainly be a great starting point for giving you peace of mind and clarity to decide if you’re ready for a baby.
1. Are we ready to give up some of our “me time” and “couple time?”
Research shows that child-centered marriages are most at risk for distress. You shouldn’t expect to give up all your “me time” and “couple time” as your marriage must remain a priority; however, you should expect there to be some adapting and adjusting once you welcome a baby into your world.
2. Do we feel pressure to expand our family?
You and your spouse should grow your family when you’re ready, not when your in-laws, friends, or coworkers are ready. If you’re thinking about having a baby because “everyone else is,” think again.
3. What is our support system like (family, friends, work, etc.), and are we ready to ask for help?
During this amazing but life changing transition, a strong support system will be invaluable. Consider who’s in your corner to help in the mundane but also in emergencies—it could be family nearby or trusted friends—and if you’re OK asking for help when you need it.
4. Are we financially prepared?
This does not mean you need enough money to last until “the end of time.” However, taking time to consider how a new baby will impact your budget would be helpful.
5. Are we ready to embrace all parts of this season, even the negative?
Make sure you and your spouse discuss how you’ll approach the hard, and even scary, times you could encounter like infertility, miscarriages, postpartum depression, and more.
6. What will childcare look like?
Will one of you stay home with your child or will family or friends care for them? Are you going to utilize daycare? Have these discussions ahead of time, so you can get on the same page.
7. Is our marriage healthy?
A baby will not make an unhealthy marriage healthy again. In fact, a baby could make matters worse. If you and your spouse aren’t in a healthy place, consider seeking help to work through marital issues you’re experiencing before bringing a new human into your relationship.
8. Are we happy in our jobs, and do we have flexibility to care for our baby?
If either of you are stressed or anxious with your current job situation, don’t feel rushed to add a baby to the mix. Consider what career changes need to be made internally or externally first. If neither of your jobs offer flexibility in the event of sickness or something else, you’ll want to think through who in your inner circle can help when something crops up.
9. Are we on the same page about how we want to raise our child and what values we want to instill in them?
Have you discussed details such as, “How will we discipline?” and “What faith values do we want to teach them?” You don’t have to have all the answers, but it’s a good idea to have some level of foundation for your family and how you want to parent.
10. Have we prayed about it, and are we both on board?
It seems obvious, but are both of you truly ready for this next season and life change? If one of you is hesitant, continue to work through conversations before committing to trying for a baby. Most importantly, pray individually and collectively—“Is the Lord leading us to grow our family?”
A baby will not complete your family. You and your spouse are already a family! Enjoy each other to the fullest. Then, utilize these questions to help you know if and when you’re ready to begin expanding your family.