In the olden days, a couple was expected to start a family as soon as they were married. But nowadays more and more couples are waiting for a while to decide when, if at all, to have a baby. So go on and talk to your spouse about these points; they can help you both in making an informed decision.
Are You Ready?
It's a good idea to wait for at least a year after marriage so that you have time to establish your relationship as a couple.
Reasons for a Baby
Do you want to have a child? If so, why? Both of you need to discuss and identify why you would like to have a baby. Knowing what need it would help satisfy for both of you would help you be on the same page.
Can You Afford a Baby?
This is as much a matter of values as one of income. Much depends on what you consider essential. You need not wait to have lots of money, but does at least one of you have a secure job with a steady income? Will the company pay maternity bills? If not, do you have enough saved? Will you get financial help from your parents? Are both of you agreed on this? As your child grows, you will also have to think of finances for educational needs.
When is the Best Time to Have a Baby?
This is a highly individual issue. Having a child in your twenties seems to be ideal from the point of health and energy, but this is also the time when you are getting settled in a career. Older parents have the advantage of greater maturity. Do keep in mind how old you will be by the time your child is financially independent. Also at a later stage, career responsibilities may be greater and it may be more difficult to put aside time needed for parenting.
How many children?
One of you might want a whole football team and the other just one! Discussing this is essential. If both of you are planning to have more than one child, then what needs to be discussed is how far apart the children will be.
Ready for the Changes?
Are you prepared to make changes in your lifestyle? For e.g. your pattern of socializing may change dramatically. You will have less free time for yourselves (Of course you could get a lot of pleasure out of time spent with the baby). If both of you are working, to what maternity leave and other benefits are you entitled? Will you continue working after the baby arrives? If so, what childcare arrangements will you make?
If you belong to different religions, castes, communities or races, how will your child be brought up? What are the beliefs and rituals that will be followed?
There are no right and wrong answers - use these questions to spark off your thinking and discussion. If you do decide to go ahead...Happy parenting! This will be one of the most demanding but also the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences in your life!