Initiating a family life is unarguably among the most vital decisions in your life. It needs lots of planning, groundwork and preparation since your duties and accountabilities will increase to a great extent. Family life means a transition from focusing merely on your haphazard daily errands to managing an organized life in a household.
This includes assisting your spouse, having the financial stability to ascertain that you are capable of having a baby. This needs you to consider seven vital factors to get started with a happy family.
I’ve always wanted to start a family (even though that’s still many years ahead for me). But whenever I think about it seriously, I realize there are many factors that go into making this decision. So many questions I keep asking myself – how will I know the right time?
When you are considering starting a family, there are many things to consider. You can’t just think about the fun stuff, like picking out baby names and buying adorable clothes. You also need to think about the big things, like how you will afford it. It is important to plan ahead for your kids so that they can have a happy and healthy childhood.
So let’s go over all these things to consider.
5 Things to Know Before Starting a Family
Following are five vital things you should know before starting a family:
1. Understanding with Your Spouse
Having a well-aligned viewpoint between both of you to form your future journey together is the foremost factor to ensure a healthy family life. So, before entering into a relationship, you need to be frank and free. In addition, have an open discussion with your companion about the practicalities of the situation you are about to face.
The agenda of your discussion should consist of where and when you will plan to settle down, about finances, when you will consider having a child, etc. Marriage is a beautiful bond between two people. The most important thing to consider before starting a family is that children should not be the only reason to keep your marriage strong.
I asked Shilpa, who’s recently become a mom of twins, and she says, “It’s also important to talk to married friends and family members who have raised children together, so they can give you advice on if child-rearing caused any strain in their relationship and what helped them keep their bond strong.”
A financial crisis in family life is an evil factor that can even lead to separation. However, having clear communication about finances will be helpful for both of you. It will help you to get prepared about how you want to lead your life while achieving your joint expectations. Getting married means both of you will have to face many challenges and adversities. However, with open communication, you can ensure that you are well-prepared to deal with them effectively.
2. Having Enough Savings
An important thing is about money management – if there are any financial constraints in your life, then it might not be the right time for you to start a family.
Starting a household arrives with a magnitude of expenditures. Figure out how much money will be needed to raise your child(ren). You’ll need to think about the daycare cost, childcare cost, education and the expense of raising a child. These costs may also include everything from day-to-day living and traveling costs to medical check-ups, paying for prenatal medicines, hospital bills and so on.
Therefore, it becomes a priority for you and your spouse to consider savings. This will help you to manage all those expenses beyond your daily family expenditures. Therefore, having stable financial health in your family life is most important. This offers great peace of mind and helps you avoid unwanted stress, considering future uncertainties.
3. Having Multiple Sources of Income
Nowadays, it is quite common for both partners to be involved in different professions as this helps them to manage the necessities of a growing family. To increase your savings, having multiple sources of income is a great idea. By doing so, you can be well prepared to meet medical emergencies or an unfortunate job loss.
Shilpa says, “You also need to account for the fact that one of you may have to quit their job, especially if you have less support at home. So it’s a good idea to have multiple income sources.”
To achieve your goal, apart from depending on income from your full-time job, you can think of investing in mutual funds, real estate, or initiating a side business. However, before making an investment decision, share both of your opinions and always avoid putting money in risky investment options.
4. Being Mentally Prepared
The decision to have a child is one that should be taken with careful consideration. There are many things to consider before starting a family. Some of the things to think about are: your mental and emotional readiness, your relationship with your partner, financial stability, and the general health of your body.
Some people may find it difficult to emotionally prepare for the idea of having children. They may find themselves feeling anxious or scared when they start thinking about what responsibilities come with being a parent. Personally, even I get anxious when I think about starting a family one day. Shilpa adds, “That’s obviously because parenting is a lifelong responsibility (and a big one at that)!”
One way that people can get emotionally ready for the idea of having children is by talking about it with their partner, with their parents or by talking about it with friends who already have children. This can help them get an idea of what they will be getting into if they choose to become parents themselves.
Having a baby is an exciting experience in a couple’s life. However, unlike in earlier days, the new generation often prefers to have a gap between getting married and becoming parents. Therefore, the objective is to prepare financially and mentally and plan properly before bringing a child. In fact, it is essential to evaluate your financial condition after marriage to determine whether or not you can afford to have a child right away.
If yes, you need to be mentally prepared, as having a baby in the family will require you to make many changes in your lifestyle. Figure out how much time will be required to raise your child(ren). Decide if this time is something that you can do on top of everything else in life or if it will require a complete lifestyle change.
If both of you are involved professionals, questions may arise in your mind regarding who will take care of the baby when both parents will be working. In this case, you need to consider hiring a babysitter or daytime nanny, depending on your necessity.
5. Having an Insurance Policy
Before beginning a family, it makes sense for you and your spouse to consider getting health insurance plans for family. The future is unpredictable but buying insurance policies offers great peace of mind as it helps you withstand unforeseen events like accidents and critical health conditions.
Having life insurance not only helps get a huge return on completion of the period but in case of a sudden demise for any reason, your partner and children will get a good financial backup. Apart from getting life insurance, you must consider having family health insurance. This will not only help sustain your financial steadiness but also keep you mentally prepared to face the possible surprises of life. You can also consider buying maternity insurance as this will help you minimize your cost of staying in a high-rated hospital, medical bills and other expenses up to the limits per the policy.
Before choosing the different insurance policies, compare the plans, coverage, and premium of different insurance providers and finalize on those that suit your need.
6. Having a Support System
One of the most important things you need to consider before starting a family is the support system. You need to make sure that you have somebody who can help you with the baby and household chores.
This could be your parents or friends who may be able to help you with the kids during an emergency. Or even a nanny. If you don’t have anyone ready by your side, then it might not be the right time for you to start a family. You should also consider the availability of daycare or other child care options.
Next, think about your career and how it will affect your family life. If your career requires a lot of travel or long hours, then this is not the right time for you to start a family. If you are still thinking about having a child but don’t have enough time for them, then talk to other working mothers and find out how they manage their work-life balance.
7. Being Healthy
Last but not the least, the parents’ age and health is an important factor to consider. You need to be at your healthiest if you want to have a child. Not only for pregnancy, but even raising a baby can be very taxing on the body, and it’s not advisable if you’re not in your prime health.
Shilpa says, “This means being in the right age (20s to mid-30s is considered ideal) when you can do a lot of running around the house, be taking care of all the household responsibilities, and even making the right decisions.” Along with that, you should take care of your diet, exercise and make sure you’re feeling generally healthy everyday.
In conclusion, make sure to consider the above factors with due diligence before starting your family life. Then, share your options with your partner on different aspects and come to conclusions mutually.
Anika Sachdev is a freelance writer, who writes about fashion and lifestyle. She is currently pursuing her diploma in Fashion Design from iNIFD. She enjoys styling, making fashion illustrations and is a big fan of the work of Coco Chanel. Based in Mumbai, she likes to draw and listen to Bollywood music in her free time. For any questions, feedback or concerns, please email [email protected]