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5 Things To Do Before Starting A Family

Starting a family is a massive decision, and it will be different for everyone. Some couples will want to start young so they can have lots of kids, some babies are an unexpected (yet wonderful) surprise, and some people decide to wait until much later on before they have kids. There really is no right or wrong answer, it’s all down to you and your circumstances. However, if you want to make things a little easier for yourself, there are a few things you’re able to do in your life before kids come along. It’s not essential, but if you want to plan and be prepared, here are some things you can do before starting a family. 

Consider your career

Working around raising a family isn’t the easiest, and it’s something that couples often struggle with. There was once a time when the man would go out to work and be the breadwinner while the woman would stay home and raise the children, but times are changing now. Many women now have excellent careers, or the drive to continue working around having children. High living costs means that families often need two working partners just to make ends meet, whether they want to or not. If you’re early on in your career, you could think of ways of taking a more flexible route. For example, if you’re a hairdresser or beautician you could go self employed and work from home or mobile once you have children as a way to fit things in around having them. If you have a trade or a skill, you could look to open your own business later down the line so that you’re in control. Lots of types of jobs these days give you the opportunity to work from home which can be useful as a parent as it gives you more flexibility. It’s probably not going to be possible with a newborn, but when your child starts going to nursery or preschool you could use this time to go home and work through your tasks, without the need to dress a certain way, travel to the workplace or anything else that can take added time and effort. 

Find the right place to live

If you’re set on having children, finding a place to live before they come along can save a lot of stress and hassle compared to moving when you’re pregnant or with a young child. If you currently live in a flat, a house that’s difficult to access due to lots of stairs or somewhere that’s just not the type of home or area you’d want for a family then consider moving early on. Get yourself a family home that’s close to schools you’d be happy to send your future child to. Check out if there are things like parks and amenities nearby. If you want a garden and a certain number of bedrooms then ensure those boxes are ticked. That way you can work on doing up the property, putting your stamp on it and getting settled before starting your family. Before you have children, there are lots of things you don’t really think about when you’re choosing your home, and so the place you live in now might not be suitable. When you’re looking for your next property, keep in mind your future family and choose the house as if you already have your child or children. That way you won’t need to go through the stress of moving later down the line. 

Work on your health

Having a baby requires a whole load of complex body and hormonal processes to take place. It’s no wonder it’s called ‘the miracle of conception’ as there are many pieces to the puzzle, and if just one of them is wrong then it simply can’t happen. Getting yourself into the best condition physically is one of the most important things you can do. Getting down to the right weight, eating healthily and exercising- along with keeping your stress and mental health in check will all help you to regulate hormones. This is true in both men and women, and starting a good few months before you conceive is a good idea. Consider taking pre conception vitamins, you can buy these for both men and women and they ensure you have everything you need alongside a healthy diet. If you have any chronic health conditions, speak to your doctor and find out if any changes will be needed before you try for a baby. You could even look into getting more ‘minor’ complaints sorted- eczema treatment for skin problems, dental work and eye tests done beforehand. It just means that it’s one less thing to think about once you fall pregnant, and you’ll feel good knowing that your health is all under control. Hopefully you don’t have any problems with conceiving, but if you do, you can at least rule out a lot of different things if you’ve already spent time working on your health beforehand. For example, if you’re already active with a bmi that’s within normal range, you won’t be fobbed off by the doctor saying that this could be the cause, as it will be clear that it’s not. A great way to take control of your fertility before having a baby is to start tracking your cycles and ovulation so you have an insight into what’s going on in your body. There are a number of ways to do this, from ovulation prediction kits to basal body tracking.

Get your finances in check

Having a baby is always going to be expensive. Along with all of the items they need, from a pram to a cot to nursery furniture, clothes, toys and so much more, you also have to factor in the loss (or at least partial loss) of one income at first, and then the continued loss or the cost of childcare later on if you return to work. Having some savings behind you is one of the best things you can do, open a joint account with your partner then set up a standing order so that a set amount is taken from your main account and transferred over every payday. It doesn’t need to be a huge amount, but if it takes you a year to conceive and then another nine months to grow a baby, even ten or twenty a week each could add up to a couple of thousand to spend as you need once they arrive. Aim to have all debts paid off and have your finances running smoothly before the baby is born. If you set all of your bills to come out of a separate bills account by direct debit, you can be sure they’re paid each month without having to phone up different companies or pay things separately. One less thing to do when you’re caring for a newborn! 

Consider your support system

Having a baby is one of the times in your life that your support system is absolutely invaluable. While it’s an exciting time it can also be full of nerves and anxiety, there are probably a million and one things on your mind. Having a support system there really helps with the ups and downs, chatting things through can help to give you a different perspective. Loved ones can raise you up when you’re down, or just be a shoulder to cry on when you need it. If you’ve drifted apart from family and friends, make the effort to rebuild relationships. The one with your own parents is liklely to be invaluable at this time, as well as siblings and close friends. Having a network of love and trust around you is one of the best things you can do before starting a family, and once your little one arrives they will get to reap the benefits of this too. Don’t feel as though you have to do it all alone, you don’t need to stay strong and keep your emotions in. Sometimes the healthiest thing you can do is let it out and chat it through with someone that cares, and once you get pregnant you might find you need to do this more often.

Are you planning on starting a family soon, or in a few years? What sorts of things are you going to do in preparation?

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