Having a baby is a huge decision, it will absolutely transform your life- it truly is one of the most challenging yet rewarding things you will ever do. And some couples find that being prepared is the best way to go about things. Of course, plenty of babies are born each year to loving and doting parents who don’t do any of this planning beforehand- and that’s fine! But if you like to be organized and want to take steps ahead of time to make the journey into parenthood as smooth as possible, here are some of the ways to go about it.
Chat with your partner
Before going ahead and coming off birth control, it’s well worth having a chat with your partner to make completely sure you’re on the same page. Hopefully, you’ll know by this stage that they actually do want to have children, but they might have a certain time frame in mind. For example, one of you might want to go ahead right away, but your other half might think it’s a good idea to wait for a year or two. Having a really frank and honest chat, and being prepared to compromise will set you up on the right footing. Sometimes it can feel like it’s never going to be exactly the right time, there will always be obstacles to overcome whenever you do it- but if you plan a little you can work out as many of the possible issues as you can. It’s always going to be scary, but if you’re both a little more excited than scared then it’s a good time to go for it!
Have a health MOT
Having a baby takes a massive toll on the body, and so spending up to a year beforehand improving your health could be well worth the effort. Getting to a BMI that’s classed as ‘ideal’ for your height is the first thing, not only will this give you the best chance of conceiving and having a smooth pregnancy but if you do need fertility treatment, it’s more likely to work. Eat plenty of nutritious foods and exercise which will nourish your body and ensure everything is running as it should. Start taking folic acid each day too, or a multivitamin designed for conceiving which will contain enough folic acid. Encourage changes in your partner too, stop smoking, drinking and staying up late- make both of your health a priority. You could use it as a way to bond and improve your relationship, you could go running together, go to the gym, go dancing, join a sport, the options are endless.
Sort out your finances
Even if you consider yourself to be quite financially stable, you never know what’s around the corner. The fact that lawyers like Hupy and Abraham have recovered over $1 billion for their clients for accident claims shows how often and serious this kind of thing is. As well as accidents that take you out of work, you could be made redundant or lose your job, or the company you work for could go bust. You just never know, which is why it’s important to plan. Get insured, protect things like your home, health, and pets so that if anything happens you can claim on your insurance.
Get yourself out of debt which will free up money, and start a savings account. Having a buffer to fall back on if you end up with an unexpected bill or expense could certainly make life less stressful. When it comes to planning for a baby, it’s a good idea to write up a list of everything you need and then tick things off as you get them. If anyone wants to buy a present for your new arrival, they can choose from the list and you don’t end up with repeats. Parents, grandparents, and siblings will often help out by buying a bigger item such as the pram or crib which can help you out financially. If you’re on a smaller budget, work out a plan where you’re getting a few things each week or month.
Decide where you’ll live
Is your current home suitable for a baby? Do you have a spare room for their nursery, and do you have the space for the things they will need? Is the property accessible with a pram, or are there a lot of stairs, and what’s the area like? You don’t need a huge home in the country to have a happy family, but you might want to move if your current place isn’t suitable or somewhere you want to raise your child. You might prefer somewhere with a back garden, good schools, parks and other amenities nearby.
Work out your work
Have you considered what you’ll do for money once you go on maternity leave? Will you be paid maternity pay, and if not, do you know what other options are? Consider when you’ll return to work (if at all) and how you’ll support yourself if you choose to be a stay at home parent. Crunch the numbers and see if your partner’s wage will cover your outgoings, or look into starting up a side hustle from home that enables you to earn cash in a flexible way. Juggling work and kids is something that women all over the world have to try and deal with, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer. If you have a career that you’ve built over many years then it makes sense that you’d want to return to that, for other moms, going back to work is essential to pay the bills. For others, staying home is what works for them, so have a long hard think about what’s best in your situation.