Having children is a truly life-changing experience. Nothing can prepare you for the amount of love you feel, or for how difficult some of the challenges can be. Not everyone has kids, of course – for some that’s a choice and for others, sadly, it isn’t.
Data shows that in 2020 there were 1.9 million families in the UK with a single dependent child, 2.3m with two and 768,000 with three. It could be argued that having your first is the hardest of all because it’s all so new and you’re trying to adapt to your life suddenly being flipped on its head.
But whether you’re starting out as new parents or adding to your brood, there’s no denying that it represents a major decision. With that in mind, here are a few things for you to think about before you grow your family.
You’ll need to know what your employers’ policy is regarding maternity pay and paternity pay, if applicable. How long will either of you look to take off work? Will you switch to part-time hours in order to care for the little one? Being on maternity or paternity leave should never impact your chances of progression at your company, but you need to be prepared for the fact that you might return to a very different environment than the one you left.
There’s no two ways about it – having children is expensive. It’s a major financial commitment that requires careful planning, so it might prove prudent to turn to a wealth management expert to offer some professional assistance. If the child is not your first you may already have some of the pricier items like a car seat, pram, cot etc. But there are still everyday essentials like clothes and nappies to think of – and that’s before they get to an age where you need to pay for childcare.
Pregnancy can come with a number of health risks for the mother, who can be affected by high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, infections, preeclampsia, anxiety and depression to name just a few. It can take a huge toll on the mother’s physical and mental health and if there have been complications in the past then any subsequent pregnancy is likely to be seen as a higher risk.
Impact on the rest of the family
If you already have children, think about how having a little baby brother or sister around will affect them. Will they cope with receiving less attention? Are you still going to be able to focus on them enough so that they don’t get jealous? It’s a major adjustment for them as much as it is for you, so it’s only right that you think it through from their perspective too.
Alton Clarke was born and raised in Syracuse. He has written for MSNBC, The Business Insider and Passport Magazine. In regards to academics, Alton earned a degree from St. John’s University. Alton covers entertainment and culture stories here at Diving daily.