To Do It or Not To Do It?

Many couples grapple with the big question, “Should we have a baby?”  Or they grapple with “Should we have another?” 

As a parent coach and mom of three boys, including a 9 week old, this topic is near and dear to my heart. Here’s where I stand on the issue:

You’ll know it’s time to have a baby when:

1. The pro/con scale tips- At some point the pros of having a baby will outweigh the cons. If you’re not sure, it probably hasn’t happened yet. Pay close attention to the items on your pro and con list and reevaluate regularly.

2. The stars align– If you and your partner are on the same page abouthaving a baby, that’s one good sign that the timing is right. Choosing the right time to have a baby is a judgment call, and in this case, two opinions are better than one.

3. Friends and family members are on board– It’s true that raising a child takes a village. So check in with your village. Don’t let a few nay
sayers get you down, but pay attention to the general consensus. If friends and family are urging you to move forward and you think they’ll step in to lend a hand, that’s a good sign your ready. But if your family seems opposed, take heart. They may see something you don’t. Our blind spots limit our view of reality and we should be open to feedback.

4. Gender doesn’t matter- Wait until you want a child badly enough that gender doesn’t matter. I knew it was time for #3 when having a girl wasn’t as important as having another child in our family. It took 3 years, but it was worth the wait. Now, I am a mom of three boys and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

5. Your relationship is babyproof- Children, and babies especially, put tremendous pressure on relationships. No relationship is ever truly ready for it, but you can put a few things in place to ease the blow. Consider how you will manage the financial stress, lack of sleep, daily chores and division of responsibility. Make sure that your sexual connectedness is secure even when you’re not “gettin any.” Stellar communication is paramount. Start practicing now and hold off on baby making until all the pieces are in place. Also, do it for the right reasons. If you think having a baby will somehow fix a broken relationship with your partner, think again. Or if you think it will bring you closer to your partner, be prepared for the exact opposite….at least initially.

6. Age factor- Be prepared for it to take some time to get pregnant, and yet, it could happen tomorrow. We walk a fine line between being ready and waiting forever. Depending on your age,it can be even trickier. Hoping for many kids? Factor that into the timeline too.

7. Clarify your values and map out a vision your future- When you have a sense of what’s important to you over time and have a vision for the kind of family you want 5, 10, even 30 years from now, you’ll have an easier time taking steps toward that future now.

If all these pieces are in place and you just can’t stop thinking about having a baby, then get ready for a wild and amazing ride. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  How did you know the timing was right?  Or, if you’re still on the fence, what’s stopping you from making a decision?
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