The most important decision an adult makes in their life is whether to have children. Everything you know, from your sexual life to how you socialize to your sleeping schedule, will change when you have a baby. It’s a lot to give up, especially if your feelings about children are mixed. There’s no other thing in the world like giving birth to a human being, someone you will love so strongly you might be surprised. This is ultimately a personal decision. However, it’s important that you communicate your thoughts with your partner early enough in the relationship so that they can process them and make sense of your feelings.
Timing your talk correctly is key.
When is the best time to have a conversation about your views on children? You should have this conversation if you are in a serious relationship. If not, it’s important that you do so as soon as you can. It’s going to be a problem if one of you wants children and the other only wants cats.
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Listen to one another.
Listening is key to any relationship. Talk to each other about parenting and be honest. Discuss everything, your fears, and finances.
Trust your partner.
If one of you says that they don’t want children, then take their word for it. You’re likely to disappoint someone if you think you can make them change their mind.
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Discuss any obstacles.
Talk about the potential challenges that you see if you are both open to having children. Talk about childcare. While it is too early to talk about daycare centers, it is not too soon for you to ask if one of your children will be unable to work in order to care for the baby. What are your plans for how long you will be away from work? How do you plan to make up the income lost? These are important topics to talk about, so be prepared to continue talking about them as your relationship develops.