Deciding to add a baby to your family is a big and very personal step to take. Are you and your partner ready for a baby? Have you decided to wait until everything (which usually refers to finances, career, house) is perfect, or do you think there is no such thing as perfect timing? Regardless, there are some things every couple would benefit from talking about before taking the big plunge and trying to get pregnant. What are they?
- What will a baby do to your budget? How much will a baby really cost? And how about the financial impact of a child beyond the baby stage? The biggest cost of a baby lies in either lost earnings if you stay at home with your child, or daycare if you don't (unless you have in-family free childcare: you're the lucky one!). Discuss this, and your opinions about it, with your partner. Problems arise if you don't both have the same vision solve them before you conceive!
- Do you both have the same vision of parenting? I can honestly say that, although my partner and I have the same life views about most things, we never actually discussed parenting before we had a baby, and both assumed we would be on the same page. For us, it worked out OK, but many people are not that lucky. Look at some hot infant parenting issues for ideas what to talk about. Beyond the infant stage, educational decisions and discipline are big issues.
- What if you turn out to be infertile? This is something that is helpful to discuss in advance. Are you prepared to go through fertility treatments, are you able to finance them? Is adoption something you would be interested in?
- What are your plans for pregnancy and birth? Some couples I know had big arguments about supporting a woman on bed rest, about having a homebirth vs a hospital birth, and more. Are you on the same page?