Warning: The word child and kid are used interchangeably.
Once you have been in company of a real child (or a couple of children) you may begin to wonder if kids will fit well into your lifestyle. Kids are not cheap and that they could be a hand full so is having a kid right for you?
If you can answer yes to all four questions below, having a kid may be right for you:
Are you or is the future mother of your kid is in good health? The mother of the child needs to be physically and mentally strong to carry a pregnancy and go through delivery.
Are you married to the future co-parent of your future kid? You don’t want to set put your child at a disadvantage starting out in life. Things happen in marriage but if you decide to have a child you need to understand that the child will be directly impacted by choices made by the parent. According to ForYourMarriage.org (read ):
- Children raised in intact married families:
are more likely to attend college
are physically and emotionally healthier
are less likely to be physically or sexually abused
are less likely to use drugs or alcohol and to commit delinquent behaviors
have a decreased risk of divorcing when they get married
are less likely to become pregnant/impregnate someone as a teenager
- Children receive gender specific support from having a mother and a father. Research shows that particular roles of mothers (e.g., to nurture) and fathers (e.g., to discipline), as well as complex biologically rooted interactions, are important for the development of boys and girls (Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles, 2006).
- A child living with a single mother is 14 times more likely to suffer serious physical abuse than is a child living with married biological parents. A child whose mother cohabits with a man other than the child’s father is 33 times more likely to suffer serious physical child abuse (The Positive Effects of Marriage: A Book of Charts, Patrick Fagan).
- In married families, about one- third of adolescents are sexually active. For teenagers in stepfamilies, cohabiting households, divorced families, and those with single unwed parents, the percentage rises above one-half (The Positive Effects of Marriage: A Book of Charts, Patrick Fagan).
- Children of divorce experience lasting tension as a result of the increasing differences in their parent’s values and ideas. At a young age they must make mature decisions regarding their beliefs and values. Children of so- called “good divorces” fare worse emotionally than children who grew up in an unhappy but “low-conflict” marriage (Ten Findings from a National Study on the Moral and Spiritual Lives of Children of Divorce, Elizabeth Marquardt).
The article also talks about staying in a bad marriage instead of getting a divorce; great read.
Do you have a steady and reliable stream of income? The beauty about having children is that you are constantly spending. Baby has a flu, you need a $125 medication; you run out of baby food, guess what it’s about $30 a pop; and don’t forget BABY DAIPERS, you will go through those like the air you breathe. Having a steady and reliable source of income will ease the pain of you having to worry about money. The worst position to be in is for your baby to need something (and I don’t mean toys) and you are literarily unable to buy he or she that item. Even if you have a huge savings, with a kid, you will need constant cash flow to offset those unexpected expenses.
Are you willing to share your time? When your kid need something (especially when they are little) you have to drop whatever you are doing and go get it. Forget going to movies (or anywhere for that matter) uninterrupted by the baby sitter or by the kid. By having a child you have endowed yourself with a personal entourage that is ever present and active.
With each phase comes a new time commitment on your part:
When the kid is a baby, they wake up at will demanding food or change of diaper. If your child is breast feeding you need to plan your life around breastfeeding times or spend ample amount of time pumping and safely storing your breast milk.
From toddler stage until the kid turns 18, plan to make time for the many homework and projects that they bring from school and most crucially be prepared to drive countless amounts of miles. Between driving your kid to practices and school there may be very little time left for you.
Overall, having kids could be a very rewarding experience but one has to be fully prepared for parenting before saddling themselves with the responsibility of having a child. Kids are not puppies.
Written By Lola Fajemirokun