Some people think that there is never a ‘right time’ to have children, and there will always be a problem to overcome. Regardless of whether you’re thinking of having kids of your own, adopting or fostering, it’s important to set aside enough time to consider all the relevant factors fully. It certainly isn’t a choice to be taken lightly or quickly.
No one apart from you and your partner can decide whether you’re ready for kids (or if you want them at all). However, a useful starting point to guide your thinking is to ask yourself the following questions. Hopefully, your answers will help you to make the best choice for you both – and your potential future children!
Are you financially secure enough?
Raising kids is expensive! You may think that adding a bit extra to the food bill and finding toys or books in the charity shop won’t cost much, but clothing, shoes, school supplies (including uniform), and fun days out are all necessary costs and will quickly add up. You need to be confident that you’re financially stable before deciding to have children. Remember to check the maternity and paternity leave policies at your companies, too, so that you can prepare accordingly. In addition, you’ll also need enough physical space in your home to raise children comfortably. It’s worth noting that if you decide to foster children with an agency such as , you will receive an allowance designed to help you cover the costs of looking after the young people in your care.
What are the reasons you want children?
While there isa multitude of valid reasons for wanting children, there are also some which might not be the best basis for starting a family. For example, you should never have kids just because you feel pressured by your family or society to do so. Likewise, having children is not a way to fix a troubled relationship with your partner – you need to ensure your relationship is already stable and loving before bringing a child into it.
Have an open and honest discussion with your partner (or yourself if you’re considering becoming a ) about exactly why you want kids, as well as how you want to raise them. That way, you can make sure that you’re both on the same page and that any potential issues are resolved before you make your choice. If you truly want to change a child’s life, fostering or adoption can be a wonderful way to do so.
Are you emotionally prepared to be a parent?
Becoming a parent is a huge responsibility. From the moment you find out that you or your partner are pregnant, you need to always put that baby’s needs before your own. When raising a young child, you’ll inevitably have to deal with , a poor social life, extra household chores, and numerous other changes which you both have to be mature and selfless enough to handle. It can be helpful to read parenting blogs online or talk to friends or family members who already have kids to find out more about what being a parent is genuinely like before you decide whether or not to join their ranks!