One of the most common questions that married couples hear is: “So, when are you having kids?” And although being asked this question over and over (and over!) is certainly annoying, it is a question that many married couples will have to consider sooner or later. How do you know when it is time to have kids? Is there a “right time” at all? If you are trying to decide when to have children, consider the following factors that can influence your decision.
The “Right Time”?
First, let’s quickly dispel a myth that all married couples will have to confront eventually: there is no one “right time” to have kids. The “right time” for one couple may not be the “right time” for another. It all depends on a case-by-case basis and what is best for each couple.
One thing you will need to consider is your health. Are you healthy enough to start trying to have children? The best way to determine this is to go to a pre-conception appointment with a physician who can help you figure out if there are any health problems that need to be addressed, such as high blood pressure or obesity, before you begin having kids. Additionally, many couples suffer from issues of fertility. You may find that waiting for the "right" time is a dangerous game while you're healthy. Or some for some couples the opposite will prove true - after years of trying unsuccessfully to have a baby your fertility will suddenly improve and you'll be able to have kids.
Your age may play another factor. While many women are choosing to have children at older ages than in previous generations, having a child when you are over the age of 35 is considered higher risk than having a child when you are younger than 35. This does not mean you shouldn’t try to have children if you are over 35, but if you are trying to plan when to have kids, age may be a deciding factor.
How Many Kids Do You Want?
Similar to the discussion on age, if you are planning on having several children than you need to have them when you're younger. Waiting too long can change your plans for your if you're not careful. If you only plan on having one or two kids, your window of when to have kids is a little wider.
Another factor to consider is you and your spouse’s financial stability. In short, can you afford to have a child? Children are expensive and you will need to add considerable expenses to your annual budget in order to cover them. But be careful to not let your finances rule your desires.
You will also want to consider your location, in terms of geographic location as well as the type of residence you live in. Do you live in an area where you want to raise a family? Will you need to move somewhere else to raise a family? Does the house or apartment you live in have enough room for one or more children, or will you need to find a new home or expand on your home via renovations?
Finally, you should consider how much external support you currently have - and how much support you believe you will need once you have children. For example, do you have family or friends in the area that may be able to help with the children - babysit during emergencies, provide regular childcare during work, etc.?
The decision on when to have children is not an easy one. There are many factors that you will need to consider before you and your spouse can make the decision on when the “right time” to have kids has truly arrived, so make sure that you carefully consider the above factors during your discussions with your spouse. And remember, this decision is for the two of you to make, not everyone else around you.
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With our Couples Advent Calendar we'll give you a great marriage tip for each of the 25 days leading up to Christmas. This fun activity will help you focus on your relationship. Make it your next holiday tradition!