What I Considered Before Having a Kid

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What I Considered Before Having a Kid“You can never really be ready to have kids.” You hear this a lot when you’re wondering just when the right time is to have a kid. For some people, that’s probably true. And honestly, you can’t know and prepare for every circumstance of parenthood. But for my husband and I, even though we had been talking about kids prior to this, there were a few things we needed to do before we personally felt “ready” to have our first kid.

Money

This was our number one priority. My husband had been telling me for a while that we weren’t financially ready to have kids. And guess what? He was right. It wasn’t until I became an involved partner in our finances and actually made myself aware of how much we made and how much were spending that we were able to work toward being financially ready to have a child. We got on a budget, aggressively paid off loans, and bulked up our emergency fund. We researched the cost of daycares, diapers, furnishing a nursery, labor and delivery hospital bills, and how much our health insurance would go up with the birth of a kid. Without this preparation, I would have been a lot more nervous once we got pregnant. I also saved up paid time off days at work for my unpaid maternity leave and enrolled in a short-term disability plan the year before we got pregnant so that I could receive a percentage of my income while on leave. 

Timing

This may be something all parents think about, but as a former teacher I gave a lot of thought to what time of year would be ideal for having a baby. This would be different for different families, but I wanted a baby to be born in a month that wasn’t too close to the kindergarten cutoff. We also wanted to avoid having a birthday too close to Christmas, if possible. This left spring. I knew we could only control when we got pregnant to a certain extent, but it worked out that we had a spring baby. I was glad too because it meant flu season was over, and we were able to get outside pretty soon after he was born. 

Other Notable Mentions

Some other factors that were important to me were: 
-Finishing the master’s degree I was working on: I did not want to be doing homework and going to evening classes while pregnant or with a new baby. 
-Owning a home: for some reason it was really important to me to have our own home before getting pregnant. Maybe because our apartment had stairs that were hard enough to climb even without being pregnant? And you can hear everything when your neighbors are a wall away.
-Just being married. We wanted to have time to enjoy marriage for a while. For us that amount of time ended up being five years. The timing also tied into me wanting to have our first kid before I was 30. 
When I think back on it, we really put a lot of planning into having our first kid and I’m glad. It helped us feel more prepared and ready once we saw that second pink line show up on the pregnancy test. What we couldn’t have possibly prepared for though, besides how tired you are as a new parent, was how much we could love our baby. I also didn’t realize that your love could keep growing even more as that baby turned into a toddler, and I can’t wait to see how it continues to grow. 

Did you have a checklist of “readiness” before having a baby or did you just go for it?

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