Having a child can be an exhilarating experience, but it can also put a strain on various aspects of your life. You see having a child is one of those experiences that can magnify existing issues in your life. If you don’t have serious issues, than you’ll be mainly dealing with the lack of sleep. But if you go in with a major part of your life not working well before the child, once the child gets here it can become that much more difficult to deal with. Here are a few things to think about before having a baby.
One of the areas that can cause stress regardless of what else is going on in your life is your financial situation. Adding a child to a budget already stretched thin can push you to the breaking point. Babies poop, need to be fed, dressed, and cleaned among other things. Even if you’re breast feeding which covers food, pooping, dressing and cleaning need to be taken care of. And if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, a newborn can throw that balance off for the next 18 years. So you’ll want to make sure that you have enough extra money to start spending on a child. And even if you start out breast feeding in 6 months or so your child will be eating baby food, which will put a further strain on your finances if you don’t have enough of a cushion going in.
Take inventory of how your life operates day to day. Are you pleased with your life? If so, that’s good for having a baby as a child will likely cause additional stress, especially during those first few months when all the baby can do is eat, cry and sleep. If you aren’t pleased with your life, you may want to think twice about bringing a child into a situation that you aren’t happy with. Regardless of how appropriate other people may say your situation is, if you aren’t happy with it, a child will likely complicate things even further.
Not to be confused with your financial situation, your working situation is specifically how much time you actually devote to working. Although it is related to finances, you could be in a great financial situation and not work much, or be living paycheck to paycheck and working 60+ hours a week. Since you’ll soon have a child to care for, if all of your time is taken up working then a baby could put more stress on you has you’d have to find someone to care for your child.
In addition you could have to deal with guilt from leaving your child with sitters constantly as you work. This could start affecting your work in addition to leaving you feeling bad about not being present for your childs initial time living.
How does your partner feel about having a child? Are they happy about it? If so, great! You’ll definitely need the help. But if they aren’t as enthusiastic as you are, you may want to think twice about putting them in the position of caring for a newborn if they aren’t ready.
This is related to your life situation, although it is possible for you to have mental or emotional challenges that are not directy related to things happening in your life. One of these challenges is depression. If you have had issues with depression in the past, having a baby can exacerbate the issues, which are compounded by the fact that many women feel bad for feeling bad, thinking that they should be ecstatic when they have a baby. But a child constantly crying without the mother knowing what the exact issue is as well as a chronic lack of sleep can try even the most patent mothers, and if you have issues you should seek help for your sake as well as your child.
Remember that babies pick up on the mental state of their mothers, so if you aren’t in a good state, do what you can to get to one. It can help your child stay in a good emotional state as well.
There are many things to think about before having a baby, and these are a few to get you started. You are about to embark on a wonderful journey that results in a new life under your care! It can be stressful and downright overwhelming at times, so you should think about some things before you get into it. Once you’re ready, then be prepared to jump directly into motherhood with your eyes open. Good luck!