parenting

7 Things to Think about before Discussing Kids ...

Kati Blake

7 Things to Think about before Discussing Kids ...

Okay, so there are plenty of things you need to do before discussing kids. For a start, you need to know that you are with the perfect person for you, and you need to be secure and stable. When your biological clock starts ticking, though, all those sensible discussion topics can fly out of your head, replaced by thoughts of adorable newborns and tiny outfits. Before discussing kids, here are some things that you really need to think about.

1 Are You Both Ready?...

Before discussing kids, you need to be sure that you are on the same page. Are both of you completely committed to the relationship? Are you on the same page about wanting children? Even if you’ve previously established whether you want children, you need to check that you are both still keen, and that you are thinking in the same time periods. If one of you wants kids in the next 5 years and the other is seeing babies in the very distant future, you could have problems.

2 Think about Complications…

Nobody wants to think about things not going right, but it’s a fact of life that it happens, and it’s a lot easier to cope with if you already have a plan before discussing kids. If you aren’t able to have children naturally, what would your next steps be? Would you give up? Are you tempted by adoption? Would you want to save for fertility treatment, or consider fostering? Agreeing on this before you start trying will save arguments and pain down the line. Hopefully you won’t need your plan, but you’ll have one just in case you do.

3 Talk Roles and Responsibilities…

We’ve all heard from friends or family members that have had children only to discover that they had completely different ideas on how the family would work. Do you want a hands-on partner, who does an equal share of the work? Would you be happy if your partner left cooking or bedtime to you, or do you want someone to share absolutely everything? It might seem obvious, but there are some really different attitudes, so you need to talk this through before you find that you had totally different ideas.

4 Money, Money, Money…

You absolutely need to talk to about money before you start even thinking about having kids. What would you like to do after you have a baby? Are you keen to go back to work? Would you like to be a stay at home parent? How long would you like to take maternity leave for? Remember that your partner has a say, too. If you want a year's maternity leave, chances are that you won’t be on full-pay. That means you’ll need to save a lot first, or rely on your partner. Similarly, if you want to give up your job to stay home, you’ll need to talk about whether that is possible, and how you’ll sort money. And if you do want to go back to work, are you happy to support your partner in staying at home? It can be a minefield, and if one of you isn’t happy earning the money, it can cause big arguments. Talk about this first.

5 Discipline Dilemmas…

What are your thoughts on disciplining children? How will you teach your children right from wrong, and how will you keep them safe? This might sound like an easy discussion, but it’s actually littered with arguments. If you are against physical punishment, for example, but your partner is in favour, you’ll need to talk it through. You may also find that if your partner’s parents used physical punishment, they won’t be happy to hear it criticized. It’ll feel a lot like a direct criticism of their family. See the problems? Talk about this calmly, and make sure you can agree on a way forward.

6 What is Your Emergency Plan?…

If something unexpected happens, do you have a plan? For example, if you have a disabled child, or find out that you are expecting twins or triplets, how will you cope? Do you have friends or family members who could lend a hand? What resources do you have that could make things easier?

7 Be Really Honest…

Finally, before discussing kids, you need to make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons. Is your relationship really strong enough to survive the stress? Do you really want children, or are you just feeling time pressures, or trying to keep up with the Joneses? Evaluate your motivations, your inner feelings, your relationship, your support network. Make sure you are completely ready to grow up and be 100% responsible for another individual.

You need to be 100% sure that you can be good parents together before discussing kids. Well before you discuss who can be at the birth, what names you love or what your baby’s first outfit will be, you need to make sure that you are on the same page. These aren’t easy conversations to have, but having them now will make sure that you make the right decision, and avoid arguments and bitter fights down the line. What did you talk about before discussing kids?