what to consider before starting a family

Starting a family is one of the most significant life-changing decisions that you make. The perks of this new chapter are memorable and sometimes unpredictable. From buying your first house, travelling, your newborn baby’s first steps, WAEC lessons, their university tuition, and maybe their wedding.

All of these milestones require proper planning and preparation. Most especially because starting a family involves the well-being of other people. Here are 6 things to consider before starting this new journey.

What Should You Consider Before Starting a Family?

1. Financial Stability

You need to really analyse your financial situation and be certain if you can afford to get married, or even have a baby shortly after. You will have to budget for diapers, feeding bottles, and medical care.  

In a few years’ time, your child will need to start school, and it could be a long time before they get a job and start taking care of themselves.

It is important to have an in-depth conversation with your partner about your goals, your present monthly expenses, and the projected expenses when the child comes.

2. Insurance Policies

Starting a family requires you to expect the unexpected. Given this, you and your partner should consider getting insurance policies for unprecedented events like a critical illness, a motor accident, or death of a loved one. Some very important insurance plans to consider are health insurance, property insurance and life insurance. These plans will help secure your future and that of your loved ones. Ensure that everything pertaining to you and your family is well covered with the help of an experienced and trustworthy insurance company.  

3.Relationship with your partner

If the relationship with your partner is rocky, understand that having a baby will not automatically make things rosy overnight. You both need to align on your goals and be on the same page from the beginning. If things are currently shaky, it is a good idea to wait and resolve the issues you have by communicating and working on your relationship before thinking about adding children to the mix because making decisions for your children would be a collective force. 

4. Savings

It will greatly help if you and your partner start saving up for expenses like medical check-ups, prenatal vitamins, and hospital bills, to the vast number of items that your baby will need to grow up healthy and strong, prior to having a child. 

You and your partner can also explore the UBA Target Account to help with your house rent, get a car, plan a holiday, etc., or the Kiddies account. This way, you will be able to allocate financial resources for the expenses that are your top priority while also saving for a rainy day, because with the rapid changes in the economy, every day seems to be ‘rainy’ and having a savings fund will give you peace of mind and some sort of certainty. 

5. Lifestyle and Career changes

It is important for you and your partner to not just be financially on top but have careers that provide enough financially. Full-time jobs are great and so is an online business, investing in real estate or the stock market.

Prior to having children, you may need to give up or reduce certain activities, such as going out to the bar or a club on weekends. Your schedules need to accommodate your child’s needs whenever they arrive.

6. Support System

The first few months with a new baby can be particularly overwhelming, and you may suffer from a lack of proper rest. It would be great to consider which family members and close friends will be available to lend support or babysit when you need help. Like the popular adage says, “It takes a village to raise a child”.  

Also, consider employing the services of a nanny or babysitter if you and your partner can afford to.  Grandparents or elder siblings may interfere with your parenting decisions or disrespect your choices when you are not present. Hence, a good support system is important to avoid unnecessary challenges with your extended family.  

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