Couple Discussion: Standing on opposite sides of the fence
Many couples unexpectedly find themselves questioning whether they should even have a baby in the first place. “Even though we talked about this before getting married, now that the time we agreed on is here, suddenly he’s not sure,” confides Brianna Hill of Georgia, about her husband. A unified parental front is just as essential in conceiving and preparing for a child as it is in raising him or her. “You’re in this together. If the timing is wrong for either of you, then it is wrong for you as a couple,” explains Atwood. Before getting pregnant, a serious couple discussion is in order.
“Talking to each other, trusted friends, your local clergy, or a therapist provides clarity into each other’s fears and feelings. Oftentimes, concerns about parental abilities or money hold back many from taking a decisive step toward parenting,” Atwood notes. Reassurance in each other’s abilities and in your commitment to each other as partners also adds a necessary layer when trying to decipher the timing of your biological clock.
The stress of holding out for financial security, a promotion at work, or the completion of a degree can be a powerful contraceptive. Financial worries tend to top the list of reasons that couples can’t agree on when to conceive or consider adopting.
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Children require a consistent supply of everything—from diapers and onesies to new sneakers and spare glue sticks. “We knew that unless we won the lottery, we’d never have ‘enough’ money for children. We made the decision to reduce some of our spending habits in order to afford what a child would need,” says Lisa Jaeger of New York, a pragmatic mother of two.
If you’re hitting the snooze button on your biological clock, make sure that it’s for a logical and realistic reason. “Many blame the fear of becoming a parent or their lack of parental readiness on financial worries,” says Fertility Counselor Alyse Mitchell. Guiding hundreds through the process of conceiving, Mitchell urges prospective parents to accurately identify their fears, goals, and concerns before getting pregnant.