28 April 2017, by Flora Isabelle
A couple of months back, I wrote about how we can never be ready when it comes to children.
I still stand by that thought but I also believe that marriage and parenthood is a very long road, and one that needs to be taken on with responsibility, maturity and with both parties on the same page.
Ideally the topic of kids should be talked about before getting married but then again, what you had thought was final a couple of years ago might not be the same now with new circumstances in your life, be it a new job, new living arrangements, new hobbies… or just a new you.
After three years into the marriage, the husband and I decided that we have enjoyed quite a bit of time with just the two of us and it’s time to look into having new companions join us. We got a dog (haha!) but also started easing into the idea of having children. Now, having children and being parents – to me – are totally different things. I don’t want a child just because he’s going to be cute and cuddly, I want to be a mother and more importantly, I want to try my best to be a good mother and spend my life nurturing someone I care about who will some day grow up to be a fine adult. And here are some things I talked to my husband about to make sure we are like-minded when it comes to parenting – let me know your thoughts!
1) How are we supporting the child?
If both of you are working now, do you intend to continue doing so when the baby comes? Or would you want to be a stay-at-home-mom which will mean additional burden on your spouse and some sacrifices on your end?
It could also mean no holidays for a while or eating at home more often. You need to ask each other (and more importantly, yourself) if you’re alright with these lifestyle changes and start to have realistic expectations about them.
2) How strong is our relationship?
This is going to sound sad but sometimes couples have children because they think it’s going to help their marriage. I’m no marriage counsellor but I don’t think it’s a good idea… I have seen firsthand how marriages have been torn apart when the finger-pointing and blaming happens simply because of a diaper change. Work on your marriage, make sure it’s a good place and then let the child strengthen what’s already solid in the family unit.
3) Who is going to look after the baby?
Is it your Mom? His Mom? Are we going to opt for infant care? Hire domestic help? The good thing is that most of us have the luxury of options but we do need to consider these options and talk about it… especially if your spouse doesn’t really get along with his/her in-laws i.e. your family.
4) What if we can’t conceive right away?
Which is why I strongly advise going for a fertility health check!
That being said, it’s a painful and almost morbid topic to bring up but you’d need to be aligned when it comes to making such difficult but major decisions.
5) Do we both want a child now?
Don’t let it be an impulse thing just because the baby in Fast and Furious 8 was awfully cute. Ask yourself if you are both ready for more chores, more responsibilities and if you’re ready to sacrifice your ‘me’ time? Ask all the difficult questions, talk about how you will both make an effort to keep the marriage alive (Friday date nights?) and then take the leap of faith to the next step of your lives… together.