With my demographic growing up with me, a lot of people ask me daily how we knew we were ready to have children, or at least start trying. It’s not a guarantee to get pregnant as soon as you want or plan it perfectly and I always want to kindly remind everyone that it does not take children to make a family. I empathize with everyone going through any sort of fertility struggles.
For a little background on us, Josh and I got married in January of 2015 and we always said we wanted to wait at least five years before having kids (if we were ever going to have them). There’s something to be said for speaking things into the universe because we announced our pregnancy with Oakley on our 5 year wedding anniversary (to social media when I was 12 weeks pregnant). Oakley was born in August 2020 and Dean was born March 2022.
I took extensive notes last night on how we knew we were ready to have children, the goals we had in place that we wanted to hit prior to bringing children into this world, and a few other details that we set forth prior to trying for children. There’s never a “perfect” time for children but they are always a perfect blessing and I truly believe they come into our lives when we need them the most. No one’s lists will look the same. You may have goals that don’t apply to me and vice versa. It’s all about being as realistic as possible as children will cause a 180 in your life (in the best way possible).
I am a huge planner, researcher, goal setter, etc and planning when to have children was no different!
- Travel Bucket List (without kids)
- Josh and I had very specific goals on where we wanted to travel prior to having children. There are many places that we would go back to with our children but let’s be honest, as fulfilling as traveling with children is, it adds a level of complexity to even the simplest trip. There were some fairly dangerous, and not so kid friendly, places we wanted to hunt as well. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few places left in this world where I wouldn’t bring a child, but we got the majority of those trips out of the way.
- Business Goals
- We own a multitude of businesses and we had certain goals, in terms of dollars, that we wanted to hit to ensure our own financial stability prior to even thinking about having children. We also wanted to have the appropriate teams in place for all of our companies to ensure us having children wouldn’t slow down the growth of any company.
- Real Estate Goals
- While this one wasn’t AS important, as we could buy land / property at any time, even with children, dealing with banks, realtors, lawyers, etc is very time consuming and not something I wanted to do with a newborn.
- Savings Goals
- This number will vary for everyone, but children are EXPENSIVE. We had very specific goals on how much we wanted in our personal savings prior to having children.
- Are You Both Ready
- I think this is a big one as often times, one spouse is more ready than the other. Both parents need to be on the same page and this comes from A LOT of communication.
- Relationship Reality Check
- Children make relationships stressful, they simply do. Especially at first. The sleep deprivation, new routine, lack of me time, etc will all strain a relationship. Yes, seeing one another as parents is a beautiful thing but it shouldn’t be the only thing. You truly need to look at your relationship and give it a harsh reality check. If there are stressors in your relationship prior to having children, those will only be amplified once you are taking care of a tiny human. There’s no shame in marriage counseling and I recommended it for everyone!
- Wanted to Move Prior
- We wanted to be in Iowa prior to having children as we didn’t want to move while I was pregnant and we didn’t want to move with a newborn or toddler.
- Are You Ready To Give Up ME Time
- This was one aspect I truly didn’t know if I was ready for. I really enjoy my own time but after having Oakley, I realized she brought out the best in me. I told people for years I was too selfish, at the time, to have children. And I was. But as soon as I got pregnant, that all changed.
Things We Didn’t Have to Consider
- Maternity / Paternity Leave- as we work from home and own our own companies, maternity leave and paternity leave are not things that were determinants in our decision to have children. We personally don’t take time off after having children but I think this is a very important topic to consider for a lot of people!
- Child care- kind of in line with the above- as we work from home, pricing out daycare was not something we needed to consider. Again- everyone’s lists will be different!
I hope this list helped in some way. Again, there’s no “perfect” time for children but they do arrive at the time we need them to!