The natural course of life takes most people to that spot where they either begin considering or finding themselves having a baby. Somehow, bringing a child into this world has a special way of completing the circle of life, forcing us to change directions so that once and for all, we can say we are grown up. At first, the thought is mostly idealistic. You crave the infant in your arms, in your home and think that babies are the cutest most precious thing in the world. And they are; but they do grow up!
Many couples struggle with the decision altogether. They may wonder if having a baby will change life as they know it and be a decision that they look at later and regret. A baby will change everything, from how you feel to how you spend your time – but very few end up regretting the child. The single largest step that any person can and will ever take starts with the conception of a child. As mothers and fathers are born immediately, the entire purpose of life becomes different, more valuable and many of the things you gave little thought to in the past become major life issues.
Suddenly, you may realize that you and your spouse are not as compatible as you thought and disagreeing on how to discipline, what your baby should eat and simple things like bedtimes or babysitters forces the things that separate us to the surface at a rapid speed. While it is one thing to know and love someone as your partner, it is entirely different to deal with them when they become a parent. Unfortunately, people are filled with ideas and dreams about having a baby and how they feel things should work out when the time comes. Then, they realize that most of these preconceived notions are inapplicable or hard to live up to when faced with the reality of a child. A child has a deep way of changing things in your life. You may have spent years trying to run away from your own childhood only to find yourself clinging to it when your own child comes into the picture. You may have spent years planning a professional future, striving to reach the top; to realize that it is no longer important to you once you wrap your arms around your own newborn. You may have laughed at couples immersed in hanging baby pictures on the fridge and blogging about their children only to find there arent enough hours in the day to display your own pride for your child.
On the flip side, you may have succinctly already decided that nieces and nephews are as close to having a baby of your own as you wish to get. Be warned that around half of the population may think about having a baby from time to time, adamantly never want children and find themselves in the predicament wondering what in the world happened. ‘I’m pregnant‘ are two little words that make a big difference in any life and can occur to anyone who is engaged sexually with another. If it weren’t for accidental pregnancies, there would be many people who remain childless by choice. Even so, once the baby comes and the love explodes through the door like an atom bomb, even these hesitant non-parental types turn into softies. Unfortunately, there is no way for someone to describe what it is like to have children, what sort of abundance comes with it or what changes are ahead. No one can explain how hard it is to be living for someone else 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or predict the way they will feel about anything when they have a baby of their own. Once, complexities could be answered easily and suddenly there is no clear cut yes or no on anything. It is simply something that people have to live through and experience to understand.
For a couple considering having a baby most married with children types would offer just a few words of warning. The first is, talk realistically about what, who, how, where, when and the why’s that would come up when the child is born. don’t assume anything of your partner and don’t assume that you feel the same way about certain heartfelt issues like religion, education, child-raising, money or daycare. Have the discussions before hand. Second, realize that the conscious decision to have a baby involves lots of people outside of you. If the in-law relationships are strained, if you don’t live near family members, if you aren’t thrilled to death with your marital choice all of this will become huge issues when a baby is in the picture. And, it will be 100 times harder to make changes when you are a family. When you have a baby with someone else, you are binding yourself to lots of other folks and situations. Thirdly, make sure you and your partner have spent enough time together. Live together as a couple, get your life plan started before you bring someone else on board, come up with goals and make plans for the future so that you are certain you agree on things. Save some money, fix up the house, pay off the car and date a while. Sleep in on Saturday, enjoy breakfast in bed and go out and party. Just because you are married doesn’t mean you have to fall to quickly for any of the societal pressure to have a child right away. Once you do, the relationship will be forever altered and you won’t have the time or energy to love your spouse the way you should.
Having a baby is the delicate mixture of a personal choice and fate. It is something to ruminate about, daydream about and think about but should never be something any person feels like they HAVE to do. Dreams and reality rarely match and although your child will add more to your life than you could have ever expected, it won’t matter if you do it now or in 3 years the love is the same.