With the world on lockdown, the dust is beginning to settle on a new reality – one where most of us work from home, seeing our friends is restricted to a video call, and the only outing we take is one to get vital groceries. It’s not the 2020 most of us envisioned when we clinked glasses and welcomed in the New Year.
Many people are discovering unexpected silver linings though – time out to evaluate their lives and consider what truly makes them happy, the chance to plan ahead for brighter futures, and even the solace we take in our immediate family who we are spending much more time with. It’s been predicted that post-coronavirus, both divorces and birth rates will peak! If you fall into the latter category, you might have had baby plans thrown into chaos by the current situation.
Perhaps you’re even asking yourself if it’s the right time to expand your family. The truth is the right time is a highly personal circumstance, but there could be a few questions to ask yourself to work out what this is for you.
Are You Financially Ready?
There’s no doubt that children come with a high price tag, and being sure that you can financially support another child is a big factor in making that decision. There are all sorts of factors at play. If you discover that conceiving is not as easy this time around, would you be able to fund fertility treatment? Knowing that this is one of the highest success rate clinics you can attend is a huge piece of mind. Have you got savings to fund a proper maternity leave?
Similarly, when the new baby arrives, have you considered the cost of childcare? Many families choose to wait until any older siblings are in school so they aren’t hit with lots of daycare costs at once. Looking ahead to the future, could you afford to save for their futures? Can you afford to put another child through school? While adding to your family is ultimately a decision that comes from the heart, is it important to make sure financial provisions are in place.
Are You Emotionally Ready?
Being a parent doesn’t just put a strain on the finances, it also takes a lot emotionally. Family dynamics are generally quite finely balanced, so introducing another child into the mix has to be thought through. One partner may feel that there isn’t enough time for the relationship with the children already in the family, and may be looking forward to the day when the kids are a little more independent and they get some time for themselves back.
Then you have to consider if you could split your attention further or if you already have young children, whether it might be wise to leave a larger gap between them. Only you and your partner can truly know if you have the emotional resilience to introduce another child into the mix. But thinking through all the possible options at least lets you know that your decision is coming from the right place.