There are many reasons for having a child, but how do you know if having a child is the right step for you? There are a lot of different factors that you take into account before considering a child, but at the end of the day it's a very personal decision and should ultimately be made by the persons involved.
All Part of The Plan
It's a common notion that a house is not considered a home unless it is filled with a family, and a family consists of parents and children - this is a traditional value that most couples adhere to. Children are thought of as a part of the life cycle; couples have children and grow old as their offspring develop and produce their own children/provide their parents with grandchildren. Reproducing is a part of life, so to create a family is completely natural.
Careers and The Future
However, children absorb an incredible amount of time and energy to look after; energy that could have been used elsewhere. If you choose to wait before having children - or not to have them at all - it could allow you to focus more on your career and your plans for the future such as promotions and retirement. Creating and caring for a child makes career development incredibly difficult, but it's not impossible.
However, there are issues with this; an example is of Singapore's attitude towards career progression. The general attitude of Singapore's society is that children should wait until after the career has progressed; due to this their TFR (Total Fertility Rate) is as low as 1.29 children per female.
The government have become so concerned with the fertility rate of Singapore that they have begun to take action and started inventing quirky methods of encouraging the citizens to procreate.
Examples of these odd ideas is the class that has been introduced at Singapore Polytechnic - it is called 'Love Relations for Life: A Journey of Romance, Love and Sexuality' and the aim of the course is to teach the students of Singapore about relationships and how to stay with a partner.
Another odd idea brought about by the government of Singapore is the introduction of modern fairytales, one of the stories tells of Snow White and how happy she is with her seven children. Each story contains a moral that relates to marriage and fertility and the reasons as to why procreation should be embraced rather than evaded.
Taking on a Challenge
The challenge of having a child is going to be one of the biggest challenges of your life, but it is also without a doubt one of the most rewarding. Taking on a child and raising him/her well is a challenge, and anybody that tells you otherwise is lying.
If you think you can make it work, and that your partner will be there to support you and help you out, or even tag team; this is a perfect opportunity for you to strengthen your relationship and develop a little further together.
Intimacy - What Happened?
One of the biggest hurdles that you will face after the birth of a child is intimacy. A child requires constant attention and supervision, especially in the first few months of their life. This means that there will not be a lot of time for you and your partner to spend together; all the cuddles and late nights will have to be put on hold for a few years until the child has developed an awareness and can look after themselves to an extent.
A lack of intimacy and time to oneself can put real strain on a relationship, which will make looking after a child more difficult than it has to be - this is another reason as to why having children may not be right for you.
The factors that affect childbirth and the decision behind having children are endless; but so long as the choice is made by you, it should be the right one. Take time to consider your options and how a child will affect your life, realistically. Remember that not everybody gets parenting right first time, but there are classes, groups and your family or friends to support you, you don't have to go through the experience alone.
Brett Harding is the Managing Director and Co-founder of Lovestruck, a dating site that dedicates itself to helping others find love, but more than that; they also help others to find their perfect match in which they can settle down with and start a family.