When my husband and I first married, we knew we were not ready to have children - we still are not. However, my sister and her husband knew they were ready for a family. As a matter of fact, the topic was initiated before marriage. They both agreed on a timeframe. They assured themselves they were not only emotionally and physically ready but also financially. They wanted to set up a healthy and well-rounded environment before starting a family of their own.

The way a couple determines if they are prepared to become parents varies in each household. Nevertheless, these questions could help you conclude if, in fact, you are ready to assume the role of parents.

Is there a mutual agreement?

There can be pressure from family or friends to have a child, but what must be considered is if you are both in agreement to having one. There is nothing wrong if your spouse is ready while you are not. Take the necessary time to decide if you are both ready to bring a baby into the world. It's essential to be on the same page.

Is there financial stability within the marriage?

When you make the decision to become parents, the funds begin to change gears. Your child's expenses are top priority. Perhaps saving money for a family before starting one is a good idea. You want to assure that your child's expenses - medical necessities, clothing and education - are covered without any worries.

Are you emotionally prepared?

If you do not feel emotionally prepared to have a child, it's best to wait until you feel more comfortable. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself time. My sister felt nervous and scared, but she and her husband knew down deep they wanted to enter parenthood.

Is this the right time in your lives to have a child?

Careers, among other factors, can definitely play a key role in determining whether you are ready to become parents. Depending on your field of work, you may or may not want to start a family right away. You want to spend as much time with your child, but the hours at work prohibit you from doing so, or you are constantly traveling. Having a nanny to fill in your shoes may not be what you want.

Do you understand children will be first in your lives?

There are a handful of new parents unaware that priorities change. Once you have children, they become top of the list. There is nothing wrong with going out and socializing, but that shouldn't be your focus. Once you become parents, the party life (if you lived one) is set aside. The well-being and security of your child is of the utmost importance.

Not every couple is ready to start a family - at least not immediately. It's a good idea to prepare first and not rush into parenthood. You will know when the time is right to become parents. Bringing a child into this world is a blessing, and every moment should be cherished.

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