When a couple commits to each other, many times the next supposedly logical step is to have children. Even if both do want kids, how does one know when they're ready for the challenges of parenthood? We’ve put together a list of questions to ask yourself and your partner that revolve around the highs and lows that go with being parents. Do You Want Kids?
If you’ve dreamt of being a parent since you were a kid, then this is probably a no brainer for you. But some people who say they don’t want kids warm to the idea as they get older or meet someone with whom they want to have children.
Others still just can’t embrace the idea. There is no right or wrong answer here; whether you want kids or not is totally up to you. But knowing how you really feel will help you decide if you’re ready to pursue the idea – and if not now, when – if ever. Does Your Partner Want Kids?
This is actually a discussion you should have already had, but in case you’ve managed to avoid it until this point, now is a really good time to broach the subject. If you’re both on the same page regarding having children, then you can discuss the timing. If you’re not in agreement regarding to have or not have children, well, you have some things to work out.
The case of one for and one against the idea might be quite the hurdle to leap. This is why it’s important to have this conversation before a long-term commitment is made. Also, if your partner says he or she does not want children and they’re well into adulthood, take them at their word. Don’t think you can “change their mind” later. Realize that you’re getting involved with someone who has an opposite view to you on a very important issue. Can You See Yourself as a Parent?
This doesn’t necessarily dictate whether or not you’re ready, but it can determine if you’re open to the idea of having kids. Most people who have kids have envisioned themselves as a mother or father before the blessed event. Others couldn’t imagine it until it happened. Then there are those who never really gave it any thought.
If you’re in the first or third category, then whenever it happens you’ll most likely welcome it. If you’re in the second camp, this doesn’t mean you won’t make a good parent, you’re just not sure. No worries – most parents are winging it anyway, so you’ll be in good company. Does the Idea of Becoming a Parent Excite You or Fill You with Dread?
You’ve probably noticed a theme by now. Knowing if you’re ready to have kids is largely based on how you feel about the idea of becoming a parent. This isn’t a time to romanticize being a mother or a father. Yes, there will be plenty of wonderful times, but there will be a lot of trying, frustrating and downright disappointing times as well.
You need to really think about whether you’re ready for all of that or not. That said, if the thought of bringing a new life into the world excites you – if the idea of no sleep, feedings every two hours and a mountain of dirty diapers and laundry isn’t a deterrent – then you’ll be ready when it happens. If the thought frightens you out of your skull, then perhaps it’s best to wait awhile. You’ll also want to run these questions by your significant other too, just to be sure you’re both on the same page; it not, maybe you can find a way to common ground. Do You Like Kids?
“Shouldn’t this have been the first question?,” you might be wondering. Nope – and here’s why. There are plenty of parents out there that didn’t like kids … before they had kids. There’s a huge difference between not liking other people’s kids and liking your own. Sure, there are those who vehemently dislike children. But for the average person who hasn’t had a lot of interaction with kids since they were kids themselves, it’s something to consider. However, it would be unwise to base a life decision on it.
Having kids is one of the most important decisions a person or couple can make. Once the child is here, it’s a bit too late to wonder if you’re ready for the responsibility. So, take some time and really think about if this is the time for you and your partner to bring one or more children into the relationship.
~ Glen Community Support