Are you ready to become a parent? Congratulations on your decision. Many people would consider becoming a parent to be worthwhile. Whereas others may think you’re rushing things. It’s up to you to decide what you prefer as long as it makes you feel happy in your life.
Of course, getting pregnant and having your first baby is one of the happiest moments in your life. But it’s also a time when you need to get ready for all that comes with it. Experts suggest that there are many things future parents can do to prepare themselves before catching their first babies. In this article, I have listed 12 important things you must plan before becoming a parent.
Note: If you’re already pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it’s a perfect time to jot down some of the important things we’ve listed here. And trust me, you will be happy you did.
The following are 12 things you must plan before before becoming a parent.
1. Check in with your partner
Make sure you and your partner both want a baby and are ready for the big change and challenges that come with it. Because having a baby can be so much fun, but also a responsibility. Health care professionals suggest you should ensure there is no pressure coming from anyone for your baby’s dream to come true. Especially if only one of you longs for it. Both parties must agree with the decision and are ready to take action.
Make a health plan.
2. See your doctor before getting pregnant
Discuss your decision with your health care provider beforehand. Your doctor will walk through your health history; any medical conditions you may have that could affect your unborn baby.
Health care workers also suggest that you should find out your blood types and those of both your parents ahead of pregnancy. It might save lives if there ever is a need for an emergency blood transfusion. Also, you and your partner would not want to be incompatible with each other in this way. Knowing about your blood types beforehand can make the difference between life and death.
3. Make sure your body is ready and suitable for pregnancy and childbirth.
Health care workers suggest you must go for a full-physical checkup before getting pregnant. To ensure your body can go through this life-changing experience of being pregnant without too many problems along the way. You will also have to provide medical records about whether you have any health issues that may affect you during pregnancy. Such as high blood pressure, diabetes, etcetera. Or how big your baby will be (if the doctor thinks there might be problems with the size of it).
Health care professionals also recommend checking whether both of your reproductive organs are working perfectly. It means checking if both of you are healthy enough for making babies by physically examining your organs with ultrasound scans.
4. Learn whether you and your partner are a perfect match to -have a baby together.
Health care professionals also suggest that finding out if either or both of you may suffer from infertility is also something you should consider beforehand. For example, (health blood thalassemia).
Because knowing whether you or your partner has a thalassemia trait or any genetic disorders can reduce the risk of having an unsuccessful pregnancy. Or giving birth to an unhealthy baby, which could be very traumatic for you and your partner.
This brings me to the budget plan.
Make your budget plan.
5. Pay off your debts if possible.
Whether one has debt, it’s important to pay them off before adding a new family member. Some people might have mortgages or car loans, that something else because you can’t pay off your mortgage in few months or a year. The debt I’m talking about here is the credit cards, overdraft or line of credit with high interests, which can bog you down with the added responsibility of childbirth. So, in order to avoid any further monetary obligations as new parents, it is best to clear all those small debts before having a newborn in your house. You can choose the debt relief program to help you get rid of the debt overwhelmed if you want.
6. Make Sure You Have Enough Income to Start a Family.
The first thing one should consider while planning for a baby is how well they will fund the expenditure after maternity leave. It is definitely enjoyable for any parent to have a child at home. However, there are also several expenses with an addition of a new family member.
Unexpected things always happen in life; some people lose their jobs during maternity leave and do not know what else they can do after their maternity leave is over. That’s why it’s very important that you have a family saving beforehand in case something like that happens to you. Who knows?
7. Prepare for a change in managing your work-life balance.
Bear in mind that your life won’t be the same after having your baby. Balancing work and family life is an issue for almost every parent, and finding the right balance can feel completely overwhelming for new parents.
This is because having a new baby can bring positive changes and significant challenges. For example, additional expenditures that can cause financial strain. And changing roles and responsibilities can lead to resentment. Make sure you plan with your partner how you will manage your work and family life while sharing the overall workload of domestic chores. Try to go through your schedules and see how you can adjust to changes once your baby arrives.
Your workplace may ask you to return even earlier after having your baby. Which may require you to discuss with your partner how you would save your work while having a newborn baby? You may come up with some options for either you or your partner to change the shift hours of work. Some workplaces may keep your job open until the end of parental leave with no further penalty. But this happens mostly if you have been working with the company for quite a while.
So it’s a good time to plan whether you will find a nanny for your toddler child or sent him/her to a daycare center. It is something you should add to your list when preparing yourself to enter parenthood.
8. Learn about the daycare and its cost before becoming parent.
The most crucial thing for parents while being at work is what they are leaving behind – their child! There are many things to consider while enrolling your kid into a daycare center, such as location, cost, and what type of care will your baby receive? It’s always better to do thorough research on the various centres than just randomly picking one. Daycare expenses are a factor many new parents overlook. But also the type of care they provide to children is something you should consider when doing your research.
Learn about your maternity leave.
9. Find out if your work has maternity benefits.
Another crucial factor to look into is whether your work has maternity benefits. Most companies ascertain pregnant women don’t fall sick and therefore enjoy no paid leaves. If this status symbolizes your company as well, then it’s best to save up some cash before your little one arrives.
10. Learn about maternity expenses
One of the most important things while starting a family is how to manage your monthly expenses. Maternity preparation, such as maternity clothes, feeding bottles, diapers, and baby toys, may sound less expensive. However, when it comes to big items like strollers, infants’ car seats, baby cribs, mattresses, crib blankets. Or other child’s needs requirements can bog you down on finances if not planned well. That’s why keeping certain priorities in mind can save you well in terms of financial need in the future.
11. Learn about maternity leave and if you are eligible for the benefits.
Every country has its own rules regarding maternity leave benefits which may also differ from company to company. Though overall there are a significant amount of paid/unpaid leaves available for parents after giving birth but finding out all this information will make it easier after having your baby.
For example, in Canada, you will need 600 working hours to be eligible for maternity/ parental leave benefits. And for some instances, a baby’s father may be eligible for paternity leave as well, which may last for 2-3 weeks.
It’s very important to learn about all this information as soon as you decide to start a family. Because you must get familiar with the program and know within what time frame you must file your claim.
12. Make a plan for how long you would like to stay on maternity leave.
While this point depends on where you live and how long you have been working if you live in Canada. Maternity benefits work as follows:
If you’re an employee in an insurable company, this means that you have had employment insurance (EI) deducted from your wage by your employer. And so you’re eligible for maternity benefits from Canada Revenue Agency. However, you must meet the minimum working hours to be eligible for maternity or parental benefits. That means 600 or more working hours to be eligible. Also, there are two options to choose from:
- Standard parental benefits
- Extended parental benefits
These two choices determine the number of weeks and the weekly amount you’ll receive. Read more about the benefits here.
So, when making a plan for how long you would like to stay on maternity leave after giving birth, choose from the two options above. Make sure you’re happy with a choice you’re making. Because you don’t want to go back to work while you feel uncomfortable having other people watching your little one learning how to walk.
Planning how long you would like to stay on maternity leave can give you enough quality bonding time with your child.
You will find that motherhood is not what you had imagined. Because babies might not be a bundle of joy all the time, there are dark days too, where one will have to go through many sleepless nights and crying spells without having had a good night’s sleep in weeks, or maybe months. It’s difficult caring for your baby while working, especially if you have sleep-deprived. It’s also dangerous when driving to work in the morning or if your job requires your full attention. You should make a wise choice when choosing from the two options above. Many parents prefer to go back to work when their baby is 14 months old.
So, be mindful when making your plan to becoming a parent for the first time. Make sure you know about the benefits you’re entitled in your country or region. These are some of the most vital factors you should know when planning to start a family. Health plan, budgeting, and figuring out how long you want to stay on maternity leave. Both women and men should consider the above factors before diving into parenthood. Otherwise, you may have a hard time taking care of yourself and your little one.