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Things to know before starting a family

Starting a family is exciting and is a very important decision for a woman. Babies change everything and you may or may not be ready for such a drastic change. So it becomes necessary to plan ahead and ask yourself some very tough questions before you start a family. 

Starting a family is an important decision and for many women, it is also a very tough one. It is because this decision not only has an impact on your finances but it also affects you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Moreover, it is crucial that both you and your partner are on the same page regarding this, and if you’re going to be a single mother then there’s a lot at stake. 

Having a baby these days is not just an expensive affair but also a very tiresome job. Leave alone the cost of diapers, the inflation today means that you will have to shell out a lot more on other expenses too that are baby related. Besides, a child is a full-time job and responsibility. There is a strict no-return policy on this decision. It’s not like you can pass the buck when you don’t feel like it because there is no going back whatsoever! What will make you even more anxious along the way is the uncertainty that comes with raising a child. 

Hey, but we aren’t anti-baby or anything! Anyone who has had kids knows that despite all the physical work involved the love you get back from your child is immeasurable. There is no greater feeling in the world than cuddling with your child or holding them in your arms. What’s beautiful is that as they grow up you see bits of yourself in them and that equates and compensates for all the hard work you put in while raising them. 

With all these thoughts in mind, it’s hard to be rational. But the decision to start a family is one that requires the highest possibility of logical thinking and here are a few questions that you need to ask yourself before starting a family. 

1. Are you financially ready? 
This is one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself before you plan to start a family. Nothing comes free in life and you’ll be the one paying bills. Being financially ready means having money set aside as savings, it means being able to manage rent or EMIs and paying for diapers simultaneously.
It means you will have to factor in things like inflation while calculating costs like vaccinations, medical bills, school fees, and other living expenses. Expenses pertaining to children only see an upward trend, so being financially ready is one of the biggest prerequisites you need to keep in mind before making a baby!  Some of the things you need to factor in are: 

  • Building a corpus – A very important step towards starting a family is to build a corpus for the child. Investing regularly can tick off this checklist. A long-term mutual fund option will be apt as it will mature well in time when your child really needs it. 
  • Insurance policies – If you already have health insurance, it will be wise to get an additional maternity hospital cover immediately. Moreover, it will make sense to even get term insurance as now you will have a little dependent. 
  • Investment strategy for child’s education – as your baby grows you need to start thinking about school and school fees, and before you know it your child is going to college. All these fees put together aren’t going to be easy on your pockets. It’s very important to think of an investment strategy for your child’s education. If you’re not already investing, it’s time to give it a shot. 

2. Are you mentally ready?

After the baby comes you’ll realise that getting pregnant or going through pregnancy although seems tough at first is probably the easiest thing in this entire process. The real challenge begins when the baby is out. Your life undergoes massive changes like changes in schedules, priorities, and lifestyle. 

Having a baby means endless sleepless nights for the first few months, constantly worrying about the well-being of your child never leaves you no matter how old they grow. Moreover, postpartum depression is something a lot of women suffer from but never talk about. Your body goes through tremendous change from creating life to birth and the journey isn’t an easy one no matter what society tells you to glorify motherhood. 

3. Are you ready for a career break?

By law you are entitled to a paid maternity leave for six months. However, this leave although ‘paid’ comes with a price of its own. Being away from work for even 1 week sometimes is overwhelming, in case you choose to extend your maternity leave you do tend to miss out at work. And if in case you choose to take a break or a sabbatical to take care of your little one then that again is an extension of your maternity leave. Are you ready to stay away from your desk at this time? What if you have to be the primary caregiver which means you’ll have to step up to the responsibility of choosing your child over your career at least for the first few formative years of your child? Is your career ready for that break?

4. Do you have a support system?

The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” is spot on and you’ll see how only when the baby arrives. Sure you have enough and more options for day-care these days. But leaving your child with an immediate member of your family like your own mother or in-laws is a whole different flex. You’ll save a lot of money on daycare too! However, many families don’t have this sort of arrangement these days owing to how we no longer live in joint families or move away from our hometown for work. The absence of a support system at your beck and call does get taxing on new parents. Are you ready to do this on your own with little or absolutely no help from outside? 

5. Is your partner ready too?

If you plan to have a baby with your partner in the picture then it’s absolutely important that they are on board as well. A baby changes everything, no matter how hard you try to maintain equilibrium. If your partner isn’t on the same page as you then things can go awry for both of you. A baby comes with a big chunk of cute and a massive chunk of responsibilities and at this time you’ll need your partner to shoulder this responsibility equally.  

The decision to have a baby is purely yours at the end of the day and you must not let anyone influence you. Sometimes it feels like all the stars have aligned and the time is absolutely right, but if you’re already struggling in your relationship or financially then it’s best to re-think your decision. 

If your marriage is failing or if you’re in debt then the worst thing to do is bring a baby into the picture, it’s a myth that babies solve problems. I mean, look at them, they can hardly figure out their toes from their fingers! 

Being financially independent becomes very important especially when you’re considering starting a family. At LXME we strongly believe and provide a platform for women to take charge of their finances and invest. All you need to do is download the LXME App.

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