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Things to Consider Before Having a Baby

By Ako

What does it take to have a baby? Probably a few minutes of sex and nine successful months of pregnancy. Having a baby could be very exciting to some people, especially for those who had sex with the purpose of child bearing in mind. In some societies, it is common to see even very young women getting pregnant and being excited about having a child of their own. Believe it or not, the issue of having one’s own baby is fast becoming a trending idea in most societies; much like the idea of having a car. While it is normal for people to desire to have children of their own, it is important that the circumstances are right for the child to thrive. There are several things to consider when planning to buy a car or house. Ironically, many people who desire to have certain things do not really take out time to consider their own level of preparedness to keep and maintain what they desire to get. If this is true for getting certain properties, then you can be sure that preparing for a baby before having one is even more important. Every woman should make preparations and consider her own readiness as well as that of her partner before getting pregnant.

Are you ready to be a parent

Preparing for a baby starts before the baby making process, not after the lady is pregnant. It includes planning for a baby financially, mentally and emotionally. Isn’t it interesting to know that whether or not one is married, he or she automatically becomes a parent the moment a child is born to them? It doesn’t take being a married couple to be a parent. All it takes is impregnating a woman or being impregnated by a man and giving birth to the child. The moment that child is born, you become a parent. This becomes your reality, whether you like it or not, whether you are prepared for the responsibility or not. People get pregnant or are impregnated by chance. That is to say it happens without the intention of both parties to have a child. But once the child is conceived, that’s it. You have a responsibility to take charge of. That responsibility is even greater when raising a child alone. There are different aspects or levels of responsibility associated with having and raising children.

Psychological Preparation

The first is before the child is born. Lets imagine for a moment that a lady with a great career gets pregnant as a result of one night stand. Because there was no plan made to have the baby, she may be tempted to terminate it in order to successfully keep her job and build her career or otherwise to avoid the shame that may come with it. The period of pregnancy, which is almost a year, is especially stressful for the woman and costly for both man and woman involved.

For the woman, the cost of having a baby is even more heavy. First there needs to have been some mental preparation in place. The stress of carrying a child for nine months could lead to serious health complications if there is no prior mental preparation. Just going through pre-conception counseling helps the woman get the right perspective of the challenges she should expect during pregnancy and especially how those challenges should be handled. When she is mentally prepared even before getting pregnant, the whole process is a lot easier to go through.

The father of the baby must also be prepared mentally. He has a role to play in assisting the mother go through the period of pregnancy to delivery. Men who get women pregnant without this mental preparation could sometimes be too shocked to accept the responsibility. It is the beginning of an entirely new phase of life, especially if it is going to be his very first child. But even the man’s reaction to having a child will invariably affect the woman’s ability to deal with it. If he is mentally prepared to have a child and accepts responsibility, the woman will be strengthened mentally and emotionally and this will also encourage her physically.

A man who is not ready to have a child may reject the responsibility and put the woman under more emotional and psychological pressure. Being a parent is a very big responsibility and some men who get women pregnant are not psychologically ready to take that responsibility. Every grown up guy can have sex and impregnate a lady but being mature enough and mentally prepared to carry the responsibilities of parenting is something few men posses. Therefore, every woman has to consider the willingness and readiness of her partner to and raise a child and discuss it with him even before getting pregnant. It should be part of preparing for a baby. If this is not done, the entire process of nurturing and raising the child may be a burden the mother will have to shoulder alone.

Being a parent also requires financial preparation. There is cost that must be incurred while the woman is pregnant. Most of the things that would have to be bought or paid for are an absolute necessity for the whole pregnancy process to be successful. Clinical checkups will have to be made regularly, drugs will have to be bought amidst other expenses. Don’t be surprised if the woman loses interest in some foods she usually eats and begins to desire things that may be more expensive. These are all included in the cost part of the having a baby.

Are you prepared to raise a child

Having a child is one thing, raising that child is an entirely different thing on its own. In preparing for a baby, you must take out some time to consider your own readiness to raise the child until he or she is able to live independent of your support. So many people who have children are not ready to be parents at all. It takes just about a year to have a child but it takes almost a lifetime to raise one. This should be kept in mind when planning for a baby financially. There are people who may be prepared mentally and emotionally to have a child but they may not be ready to raise one as yet. It takes knowing the dynamics of being a parent to properly raise a child through the many years he or she will have to be under your care.

Most people who were not prepared to have a child fail miserably when it comes to raising the child because they are not ready to go through what their own parents went through in the days of their childhood. It is important to carefully consider your level of preparation to raise a child before you make up your mind to have one. There are different aspects to raising children that have to especially be considered.

How much time are you able to commit. Raising children is time consuming. You will have to spend a considerable portion of your time looking after the kids. I know with enough money, people can easily hire a nanny to take care of their child. But you will find out pretty soon that children need the attention and affection of their parents in order for them to grow up to be mentally and emotionally sound. In addition, the decision to have a child should be discussed by both parents or else one of them will stand the risk of shouldering the responsibilities alone.

Consider how prepared or willing your partner is to have a child. This should be discussed with your partner at length and all the necessary preparations made together. If the couple decides to have a child and discuss it together, the chances of conflicts coming up as a result of the presence of the child will be minimal. More so, it is easier for people to make a commitment to something when they actually gave their consent to it and decided to have and raise children.

Moral preparation

It is clear that most people who are parents do not really care what moral example their children pick up from them as they grow up. If you are thinking of having a child, you need to seriously consider giving up those habits that are bad for you as a person, detrimental to the health and wellbeing of your family and a nuisance to society. These include things like excessive intake of alcohol or drunkenness, smoking, frequent late night outings and other such negatives things you will definitely not want to see in your children. Before getting pregnant, the woman who has issues with addiction has to make up her mind to put away those addictions as some of them can even cause abortion and miscarriages. It is common to hear a mother or father express their desire for their children to take a trend different from the one they have themselves taken. But indeed if wishes were horses, beggars will ride. For must of these people, it is just wishes and unless actions are taken, they will never be granted or seen manifesting. If you are caught up with one form of immoral practice or the other, it is time to consider letting it go before having a child. That is the first necessary step you must take to ensure that your child does not follow the same trend.

One reason why you have to consider your moral stands before getting pregnant or having a child is that children do not learn from what you instruct them to do as much as they would from what they see you doing. The attitudes and actions our children see in us are what form the basis of their convictions about life and how they should both conduct themselves and respond to the pressures or situations of life that come from time to time. Children can be told what to do in order to guide them through the right path in life, but if what they are hearing contradicts what they see you doing, you can be sure that your words will amount to little or nothing.

Secondly, raising children will be a bigger challenge if you can’t stop certain practices that set a bad example for them to follow. From the time they are very tender in age, children are able to watch and copy the attitudes character and nature of their parents, whether they are good or bad. They are like little sponges that have the capacity to soak in the clean or dirty water they are put into.

Financial preparations

One of the most important areas of preparation for a child is in finances. When a couple decides to have a child, the excitement could make them forget that one more person in the family is one more person to take care of financially. This means that the financial status of the couple in question have to be carefully considered. There would have to be some form of planning for a baby financially. If this is not done, the couple could find themselves in a position where the coming of the child would seem like a burden instead of the blessing it is supposed to be. Many children have been given up for adoption a few months after they were born because their parents did not take out the time to consider or make financial preparations before deciding to have the child. No matter how common the practice of giving children up for adoption may be, it is still a painful thing for parents to do. Besides, the children who are forced to grow up without the care and attention of parents almost always grow up in emotional and mental pain and as a result, they turn out to be a pain to society. That care is closely linked to finances. The following should be taken note of when planning for a baby financially.

- Available money saved; Consider how much money you have saved, especially for the purpose of taking care of the child. If you have no money saved in your account, you are probably not ready to have a child. Chances are, you have not been saving because your spending habits have left you with little or nothing to set aside each month. It is better to take out some time and save at least enough money to take care of the baby for a few months or probably a year before deciding to have one. This will help you plan better for the expenses that come with having a child so that other things can be well taken care of without necessarily causing financial pressure or strain.

- Job prospect; You should not have to trust in your job for family provision. God is indeed a provider, but couples who choose to have a child must understand that a job is a vehicle of provision for the family and especially for the baby. If you have no job, taking care of a baby or raising one will not be as easy as it should be if you have one. Depending on the cost of living in your area and the nature of your job, both parents may have to work full time to support the family or probably the father would have to get another job to support one more member of the family. So as you plan or consider having a child, look into the cost of taking care of the child and the entire family and determine whether or not your job is an adequate vehicle of provision.

- Cutting budget; I don’t think a couple who desire to have a child should not have one simply because they either do not have enough money in their savings account or do not have a highly paying job. But because being financially prepared is still very important, they may have to consider cutting their budget in order to be financially prepared for the baby. This is a necessary sacrifice that should be made in order to give the baby a comfortable environment to come into and grow up in. Sometimes,couples spend money on things that are not really necessary in comparison to the more important things for which that money will be required, like taking care of a child. As you consider your finances and determine whether or not you are financially prepared for a child you may realize that what you have is not sufficient to take care of the needs of the family. If you cannot get another job or make an investment to create an avenue for finances to come in, you will have to consider cutting down your expenses in order to make meet up with the financial demands that come with having a child. Take a look at your weekly or monthly expenses and cut out those things you may be spending money on regularly which are really not necessities. You may have striped away all expenses that are not made on necessities so that the extra money can be saved.

Available support

One thing mothers especially need is support in raising a child alone. They have to consider the availability of support when preparing for a baby. This could also be be financial support and a vital part of planning for a baby financially. It is easier to raise a child when you have the necessary support from your husband or a third party. This is one reason why couples have to consider having a child and take the decision together. Raising a child alone as a single father or mother is not only financially strenuous but is could wear one out emotionally and mentally.

It is also possible to live in the same house with someone and not have enough assistance from them during pregnancy or after your child is born. When one parent has to carry the burden of raising a child alone, the whole process becomes very difficult. More so, it is not mentally or emotionally healthy for a child to grow up without the active participation of one parent in his or her upbringing. If you will need an extra pair of hands, now is the time to consider whether or not you can get help and if you have to hire someone to help out, consider how much it is going to cost as well as what arrangements to make for paid help.

How will Parenting affect your relationship with your partner

Those who plan on having a child should understand that their relationship determines the conditions under which the child is going to grow. This is more important than being financially prepared. Relationships grow and the bond between couples grow stronger as the relationship goes through its stages. However, even the strongest relationships could be seriously shaken and threatened in the face of the challenges that come with having and raising children. If you think that having a child may push you apart and strain your relationship with each other, then you are probably not ready to have one. It is better you talk about your decision further and make definite plans that help you have and raise a child under the right atmosphere. Couples sometimes make the error of thinking that having a child is as important as keeping a relationship with each other. But it is not. The development of a child is based on the bond of of love shared by the couple. If that is not in place, the child will be born to wrong atmosphere.

Is there a conducive environment for the child

Even from the time a child is just a few days old, he will require more space. And because children are very tender, their immune system is not able to withstand certain environments. You may have to look for a more airy and spacious place to accommodate your child. If the house in which you live is now too small or can barely accommodate you and your partner, then it good you look for a better accommodation.

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