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Considerations When Planning A Baby

Planning a babyIf you are planning a baby, before you take the leap and fall pregnant, there are a few things that should be considered. Parenthood is, without a doubt, one of life’s most rewarding roles but it’s not without its challenges. If you’re seriously thinking about falling pregnant, rather than rushing blindly into the unknown you need to figure out if you are ready to accept the radical changes in your lifestyle and if you are ready to accept the responsibility of being a parent.


Fix your relationship before you plan a baby!

If you are in an unstable relationship or an unhappy marriage and your hope is that a baby will be what’s needed to fix your troubled marriage or shaky relationship, you are wrong. Falling pregnant should never be seen as a remedy or a solution to repair a broken relationship. If you and your partner are unhappy now and are unhappy before baby arrives, the responsibilities and the endless demands of parenting will only place further strain on your partnership.

At some point in time, all relationships run into rocky territory and if you and your partner are experiencing problems you should consider attending marriage or relationship counselling and try to get to the bottom of your problems before trying to conceive. Take the time to work on your relationship and get to know each other before you plan a baby!

The best thing parents can do for their children is to love each other!

Talk to your partner!

If you have made up your mind that you are ready and willing to become a mom, take the time to find out how your partner feels. Parenting is 50 / 50 and it is so important to talk to your spouse or your partner to find out if he is ready to become a father. Giving your partner a platform on which to voice his concerns or express his fears will help you to understand how he feels about parenting and it is better to wait until you are both ready to accept the new roles.


Financial planning

A baby is expensive. If you are barely making ends meet now, when baby arrives the ends will move drastically and it will become a lot more difficult to meet them. If you are planning to fall pregnant, try to find ways that will help you to cut back on spending. It’s a good idea to start a savings account and reduce your debt before baby arrives.

Most South African families are dual-earners and if you hope to stay at home (after maternity leave) to care for baby, think about how this will affect your finances. If being a full-time stay-at-home mom is not on the cards, you will need to consider daycare costs and these can work out very costly.

Are you currently on a medical aid? Will the full costs of the birth be covered? Will you need to upgrade your current medical aid plan after the baby is born to cover day to day medical costs? You will also need to pay an additional fee to cover the newborn baby, remember to take this added expense into account.

Is your home big enough to accommodate the new baby? If not, you will then need to seriously consider moving into a bigger house and this will involve moving costs and an increase in rent or paying off a bigger bond.

In addition to the immediate financial planning, parents need to think about the costs of education or schooling. If you hope to send your child to a private school, the fees are quite high and to cover the costs, you may be required to start saving right after the birth.


Lifestyle changes

Are you prepared for the changes that will occur to your lifestyle after baby arrives? A baby needs an abundance of love, care and attention and it demands all of these 24 hours a day. If you currently enjoy a fast-paced and hectic lifestyle and you and your partner frequently enjoy weekends away or overseas holidays – are you ready to give them up? The lifestyle you enjoyed before the baby arrives will come to an abrupt end and romantic dinners will be exchanged for rushed, quick on-your-feet meals. Sleep will be scarce and your perfect (everything has its place) home will be transformed into a baby-safe haven that has toys scattered wall-to-wall and all breakables in the home will be moved out of baby’s reach (this will be done once baby becomes mobile).

Those who are already parents agree that all the changes they have made to their lifestyle and to their home have been well worth it and they would not change a thing but ask yourself if you are ready for the changes and if you are willing to give up the luxury of uninterrupted sleep, romantic weekends away, and an orderly and neat home!


Are you ready?

If you are planning a baby, the best person to know if you are really ready to take on the role of a full-time mom is yourself. Are you planning a baby because other couples are, or other couples have become parents? The decision to become a parent should not be taken lightly and once the baby has arrived, there is no going back. As a responsible parent, you will need to provide around-the-clock care and unconditional love!

Couples should never feel pressurised to have a baby just because it is what is expected of them. The decision to procreate should remain squarely with the prospective parents (and only the parents) and even though making a joint decision will not make parenting any less challenging or any less difficult, it will strengthen the bond between couples and help them to face the challenges of parenthood together!


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