If you find yourself wondering when is the best time to have a baby, chances are you might be ready!
A baby is such an incredible and precious gift. But the truth is there is no ‘right time’ or ‘best time’ and some people don’t even get the choice at all.
Are you really ever truly ready to have a baby?
There are so many factors to consider when planning a pregnancy and we are lucky to live in a place where we have a choice with contraception.
It is never black and white though and the top priorities for some will be totally different for another couple when deciding the right time to add a baby into your relationship.
Our story went like this:
We got married quite young, I was 22 and he was 26. We travelled the world and partied for the next 6 years before starting to feel like we were ready to take the next step.
I had a pregnancy scare while we were travelling in Tanzania and I was on an anti-malarial medication that can be harmful during pregnancy. Luckily, my period was just a couple of days late and, although it wasn’t possible due to the malaria drugs, I sort of mourned the loss of that almost happening pregnancy.
Of course we had discussed having children – I always wanted 4 and we were both from large families so it was always part of our futures. We had been travelling non-stop for the last 6 years and we were ready for a change of pace.
However our finances were not great, as in we were scraping the bottom of the barrel, but we did have a little house that we had bought a few years prior that we were still paying off. Brian then got himself a great paying job as soon as we got home, but this meant he was away an awful lot.
And so we became pregnant as I turned 27. And by the time I have shared this story 8 years later, we now have 3 healthy happy little kids.
Here are 5 factors for you to consider if you are trying to figure out the best time to add a baby to the mix:
1. Maternal Age
Although we don’t like to admit it, our biological clocks are ticking.
Some are quicker than others mind you and this is also an important factor even for men!
Keep in mind that the longer you put off having kids, the harder it may end up being to fall pregnant.
I am 35 now. 36 was always my magic number as a woman’s fertility is known to sharply decline after this age. I wonder if I have time for one last baby???
We traveled all over the world before we had kids.
Even though it hasn’t settled our travel bug for good, we are content for a few years now without backpacking through South East Asia. But as soon as the kids are old enough to carry their own packs……
What I mean is, we have never felt as if having babies robbed us of any experiences because we made sure we accomplished a lot prior to their arrival.
So, if you have always dreamed of climbing Mt Everest or cycling through Central America, I recommend you do it before you have kids or there will be a long wait until you are able achieve it afterwards.
We still travel with the 3 tots in tow.
Our destinations have changed from 3rd world to 1st world and we don’t fly by the seat of our pants as much as we used to that’s for sure. But it’s still great and totally do-able!
We got pregnant with a mortgage, brand new jobs and a $5000 credit card debt but we knew that by the time 9 months rolled around we would be in a much better situation so we weren’t too worried.
It is important to consider how your family will survive on a single income once the baby is born.
The kid will need full time care and it is not always easy to go straight back to work.
Childcare is expensive and unfortunately it is sometimes not worth working just to pay childcare fees! I do a couple of days work outside my home on they days where my husband is home to do the childcare, or I am lucky to be able to ask my mum or my sister to help out anytime.
A new baby needs a lot of new baby equipment which can be quite an expensive outlay in the beginning, but becomes a lot more cost effective in the long-run once/if you have more kids. I bought a lot of second hand nursery furniture for my first baby which I am still using for number 3.
Having a baby will change your relationship in more ways than you can imagine.
But most of these changes are for the better.
I fell in love with the father of my children all over again each time they were born and he looked at them with such amazement and adoration. And he feels in awe of you as well at the wonderful things your body can do!
Of course having a baby isn’t all easy street. There’s plenty of exhaustion and hormones thrown into relationship too.
Emotions run high at times.
But as long as you and your partner remain supportive of each other, it all gets easier and the fun prevails!
If you are afraid of having a baby because it might have a detrimental effect on the career you have been spending so long building up, don’t worry you are not alone.
This is a very real fear and a worthy point to consider when thinking of a baby.
Is there a way to take a year off with maternity leave and then step back into your role part time? Is there in-office or convenient and cost effective childcare? Could Daddy be the primary carer? Are there any other options for you to have the baby and maybe study externally as a way to further your career while having time off?
So, is it time to have a baby?
- Don’t overthink it but still be sensible.
- Don’t leave it too late.
- Be informed of your options.
- Know where your priorities lie.
- Make sure you and your partner are both on the same page.
Planned or un-planned pregnancies happen everyday all over the world without knowing when actually is the best time to have a baby.
If it feels right, you can only give it a go.
If you have been trying to conceive for a year without result, please consider a visit to a fertility specialist.