When you get married one of the questions you’re going to get asked-inevitably- is “When are you guys going to have kids?” The longer you’re married, the more people pester you about it. As much as we love our kids, as cute and funny as they are, my husband and I are very glad that we waited as long as we did (four years) to have our first child. As we’ve been discovering, parenthood is not a decision to be made on a whim. Today’s article discusses several things we feel all couples should consider before having a child.
Everything we’ve gone through since the births of our children made me so glad we waited-for several reasons. And though only you and your spouse can decide if you’re ready to start trying or not, I strongly recommend considering the points I’ve described below.
1. Finances. For the first two years of our marriage, I worked two part-time jobs while my husband went to school full-time and worked during the summers. We didn’t have much in the way of savings until I became licensed to teach in the state. So our income really only supported our necessities. I think adding a baby to the mix while being newlyweds and my husband still a student would have made for a lot of tension in our relationship. I know that being a first-time mom would be very frustrating since my husband would have to spend long hours away from home to attend classes, study, and complete assignments. I know that some people do it, but I preferred to avoid that situation if I could, especially since I had no relatives any closer than a 12-hour drive. So trust me when I say finances definitely need to be a part of the conversation when you decide to have kids.
Of course, it’s important to establish a good income before having children, but even more importantly, you and your spouse need to sit down together and lay out plans-a short-term plan and a long-term plan-for your income that includes:
- Paying off debts like school loans, credit card debt, and car notes.
- Printing out your credit report so that you can know where your income needs to go and make sound purchases when it comes to purchasing a home or investing in any other assets.
- Talking with a financial advisor so that you can make plans on getting it where it needs to be. This way, you know your purchasing options as your family gets larger.
- Putting income aside for a college fund and life insurance.
As parents, it becomes extremely important to keep the future at the forefront of your plans because you want to make decisions that will set up your children for success, and give them a good head start in life in terms of money. So if you're thinking about having kids, have periodic meetings with your spouse to plan for the things discussed in this post. And tune in next week for Are We Ready For Kids Part II!