The birth of a child is a joyous event. Before you decide to expand your family, though, it’s important to make sure that you’re in a good place in life so that you can welcome your child into a stable environment. Of course, your life doesn’t have to be perfect to welcome children into the world. However, taking an honest inventory of where you stand is always a good idea.

Finances

Raising children can be quite expensive. In fact, the national average cost for raising a child to 17 years old is $233,610. While you don’t have to be a millionaire to have more children, it’s very helpful if you have a stable income, a low debt-to-income ratio, and a little savings tucked away for a rainy day.

Housing

When you have young children, you can get away with living just about anywhere. However, as your children grow, a small home will quickly feel cramped. That’s why it’s wise to consider larger homes before you add more children to your family. With some extra square footage, it will be easier to stay in the same location so that you don’t have to go through the challenge of moving to a new home with children in tow down the road.

Mental Health

Another key factor in welcoming a child to a stable home is good mental health. If you are dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, or any other mental health needs, then it’s important to have those addressed before you have more children. Otherwise, the stress of having a new baby will get piled on top of the existing challenges, potentially causing serious long-term issues.

Future Plans

The more children you have, the harder it gets to live a mobile, fun-loving lifestyle. Not that a life with children isn’t joyful, just that the reality of having children limits your possibilities to a certain extent. Although it seems selfish, it’s perfectly acceptable to consider if having more children would interfere with your personal goals and ambitions. After all, if you don’t think through this, you could end up depriving your children of the attention they need while you pursue your heart’s true desires.

When having children, it’s important to remember that no one is ever truly “ready.” Although there are plenty of helpful books and websites on parenting, there is no “owner’s manual” to perfectly explain how to perfectly parent your unique children. Therefore, while it’s important to prepare yourself for family additions, it’s also important to realize that you may have to take a leap of faith at some point.

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