Deciding when to welcome a new family member is a momentous choice. The process of readying oneself for parenthood – whether as a couple or as an individual – involves diving deep into life’s plethora of challenges and changes that come with such a commitment. Even the most positive partner relationship can leave one reeling in the unknown that is raising a child.
That being said, talking about the next steps within a relationship should be an open discourse, full of a healthy dose of applicable optimism. Of course, addressing the subject honestly and objectively can appear formidable, especially if it includes navigating the words “ready” or “not-ready”. But this conversation offers the opportunity to face any potential obstacles that lie ahead together as a united front.
Speaking with a mental/emotional health therapist can greatly aid in assessing whether a partnership is entirely suitable for parenting. This is particularly pertinent if any underlying issues may be lurking beneath each person’s understanding of their own readiness; therapy allows the couple to effectively uncover these details with an objective lens.
Financially, is the couple equipped to move forward with such a predicament? Adding one more mouth to feed, not to mention clothing to ward against Ohio's chill and paper bags full of new schooling supplies is an escalated commitment. With an increased number of mouths to feed, there must be an assurance of sufficient trade off between the two partners - understanding that there may need to be a willingness from one or both to adjust their working situation if the current financial situation doesn't jive here.
It will outweigh any feeling subsided by the added burden to work more, as those of us familiar with the tear-jerking, oh-so-beautiful experience of welcoming a newborn will agree; a newborn carries an aura of unfaltering joy with it. Having already agreed upon the consideration that in order to provide adequately and appropriately for a baby, a larger amount of physical and temporal resources may be required, the couple should have already begun implementing strategies for reaching a more sound financial footing.
Culturally, are either partner’s values or experience concerning parenting navigating boundaries? To foster a trusting, nurturing and secure environment for the new arrival, both members of the couple maintain a necessary top priority of prioritizing parenting instincts, practices and expectations without overly interfering with family members that may be affected by cultural or personal differences in parenting. Minor differences in upbringing can equate to larger differences in revealed, so it is of upmost importance to parley any concerns to then be addressed in advance.
For some, the timing of preparing for parenthood may require accounting for the future aspirations of either parent, or both, which could potentially hinder any pleasant revelation of familial additions. It is essential to the process for each of partners to authentically address “Is there anything whatsoever I'm afraid may prevent me from being my best self as a partner or a parent?” If the answer is a “yes”, it is wise to further ask the follow-up question “How can I address any problems or fears I may have so they do not persist?”. remembering that all individuals are innately and undeniably worthy of adequate enough attention, love and understanding to wholly develop any and all talents and, potentially, career prospects, sets a paramount precedent for providing a safe, nurturing start for all future children in the household.
Personal journeys are unique and diverse, though there is uniformity within certain apprehensions and excitement regarding the prospect of parenthood. Therefore, it is essential that couples who contemplate having a child below the same roof communicate openly and humbly about their qualifications and means, both collectively and separately. Taking the necessary precautions to support the full quality of life and expansive growth for a new family member is paramount to a journey most will find worth accepting and investing in.
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