The choice to have kids is a huge, important decision. It alters the course of your life forever. For many, having children requires a lot of planning and forethought. It would help if you considered timing, finances, and whether to parent alone or with a partner. Deciding when you’re ready to grow your family can be a challenge. You might even be unsure whether you want kids at all.
No matter where you are in the decision-making process, you can do things to move forward and make your plan a reality. Keep reading to learn what resources are available to help plan your family on your terms. From birth control to savings accounts, you have tools for planning.
One of the first resources that comes to mind when discussing family planning is contraception. Whether you want to have kids in the distant future, utilizing contraception can help you wait until the right time. Different methods work better for other people, and it is an important aspect to consider when you want to have a family. Do your homework and decide what is right for you at your current stage of life.
Certain birth control methods can affect your fertility even after you stop using them. For example, injectable contraceptives have the longest fertility delay; it can take five to eight months to work through your system. The patch causes a slightly shorter delay of about four months. Oral contraceptives and vaginal rings cause about a three-month delay. After removing an intrauterine device (IUD) or implant, you may have to wait two cycles before fertility returns.
It’s important to consider your family-planning timeline. The great thing is you live during a point in history where there are many methods and options for access. You have that option if you’re not ready to start a family. You can even order birth control online and deliver it to your home. As a bonus, automatic refills help you not miss a dose.
It is hard to reach your desired destination without a map. Sit down and plan out your goals and a timeline. If you already have a life partner, include them in this brainstorming session. It’s important to have a conversation about when and if you both want children. If there is a certain age you want kids by, be open about that as well.
Include in your goals the length of time and what kind of home you’d like. If renting is what you want, it’s important to note that. If you want to own a home someday, and it’s important before having kids, write that down. Life and time keep moving regardless of if you’re ready. Take the time to think through life’s big choices and make a conscious plan for your life. It will be easier to reach your goals if you know what they are.
Only you can determine what your family will look like. You may want a life partner; if kids come, that’s fine; if they don’t, that’s fine, too. You may never want children, and that’s okay too. Decide if you’re agreeable to creating a blended family with a partner who already has kids. Some people welcome that, and others might find it a challenge.
If having your biological child is paramount to you, you might choose to enter into parenthood solo. Fostering or adoption are also options for single adults and couples alike. Some families might choose to live intergenerationally as well to help with caretaking. This all goes into your overall plan and impacts the path toward creating your family.
You likely have heard about the importance of saving for your future. It can be stressful not to plan financially, even more so when the expenses of providing for more people become a reality. Savings could be helpful if you plan to grow from a single person to a family. A few important saving ways can set your future family up for success.
One way is to have an emergency fund in place. Having at least $1000 in savings would be best, as this can help prepare you for unexpected expenses. If you’re trying to plan, you may want to save money in a Health Savings Account for future medical bills. Having enough commitment to pay your child’s deductible during its first year of life is huge! It can help your family start on the right foot.
Like savings, having your legal documentation in order is an important part of family planning. Having a will in place helps to protect your assets and your wishes. Once you have children, update your choice on guardianship and how your money will be distributed and managed for minors. Update the beneficiaries on your investment accounts. Regardless of whether you have joint bank accounts, add your spouse or trusted relative as a beneficiary there, too.
You might want to look into one if you don’t already have a life insurance policy. It could replace your income and help provide for your family should something happen to you. Having medical directives for all the adults in your household is also a good idea. Understand each other’s wishes and have a plan for emergency medical situations.
Planning your future can be challenging. Choosing to add more people to your life can add an extra layer of stress and responsibility. The great thing is it can also add even more love and support. Don’t let life happen to you. Sit down, understand what you truly want, and devise a plan.
As mentioned before, time keeps moving whether or not you’re ready for it. Don’t let the years slip away by just going through the motions. Make choices to plan your future family on your terms. You can take charge of your life.