“Are we ready for this?” The decision to start a family is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make.  There is excitement and apprehension, not to mention all the comments from family who think it is about time. So how do you get ready for this momentous occasion? Let me suggest a few things to consider before you go off birth control.

How are the two of you doing?

The first thing you need to know is this: a baby won’t fix your marriage struggles. If you feel this is a good way to help your relationship then you are totally wrong. A baby complicates issues. You don’t have to have a perfect marriage, just don’t decide to have a baby as a cure.

Are you physically ready?

Schedule a checkup with your doctor for each of you and tell him/her what you are planning. You can get great advice on vitamins, supplements and discover any problems that need to be dealt with.  Just a heads up, especially for the guys: your sex life will change when baby arrives. You need to be prepared to take a back seat with your needs. Each woman is different but be ready for change.

Are you financially ready?

See a Financial Planner. You don’t need money to talk with a planner and most are free. Tell them your plans and ask for their advice. Ask about Disability Insurance and Life Insurance. Get a second opinion if you want. Start putting aside money right now for the baby’s needs. Talk with friends discretely about what you will need to purchase just to start out. Also make sure you have a current will. Check to see what policies your employer has for Leave of Absence, child care and any other benefits they may offer.

Take a Trip!

It’s great to celebrate your decision as a couple by taking a trip. Make sure you aren’t spending all your “baby” money but have fun!  This could be your last, “just the two of us” trip for some time, so make the most of it.

Waiting for the perfect situation?

Circumstances are never perfect.  For some couples waiting until they can “afford” a baby will launch them well past the age of fertility.  So keep this list in mind but don’t wait for life to be perfect, jump in!  Keep in mind that you afford what is important, both in time and in finances. Your children will be important.  You won’t have all the answers and life won’t be perfect, but you can do it!

So now that you have taken care of those details, end the birth control, learn your cycle and let the “trying” begin!

Related article:  Transition to Motherhood: A Reality Check

Written by Neal Black

Neal Black

Neal works at Power to Change developing leaders. His passion is to challenge people to listen to God and develop their giftedness as they follow where Jesus leads. Neal and June speak at One Day events for FamilyLife. They love to communicate God’s game-plan for relationships with humour, energy and lots of stories!