Is your marriage strong enough for a baby?

September 11, 2013 12:00 AM by

After getting married, many couples face the inevitable inquiries into whether or not they plan to have a baby in the near future. While some may decide before getting married that they don't want to have kids, others may have this on their minds when they choose to say "I do."

However, as the years pass, it can be easy to settle into certain routines with a loved one that may not be compatible with raising a baby. This desire may also take a backseat to other concerns that people cope with in their 20s and 30s – traditionally a time set aside for welcoming a first child into the world - like career demands.

As a result, by the time you may be exploring natural pregnancy tips, you may also need to consider whether your relationship is strong enough for the stress of having a baby. Below are a few things that you and your partner should discuss before deciding to conceive.

Understanding the stress
There's no question about it – having a baby will change your everyday life in significant ways. If you're a single mother, this transformation can be more poignant, as you don't have a loved one to shoulder half of the stress of bringing up a child. For single mother help, you can always reach out to a network in your community of fellow women who are raising children alone and determine if there are resources that can help you handle the stress of bringing up a baby.

For couples, however, there are still many substantial stresses that can become all-consuming after a baby arrives, including balancing work, life, domestic chores, finances and a sex life with this little guy or gal whom you have to take care of.

One way to balance stresses like chores is to create a chore chart, while others – like having a sex life – can be trickier. Couples may balk at it, but scheduling time to have sex is often the best way to keep a sex life active. It may not seem romantic, but this consistent physical connection can be essential during the early years of parenthood to ensure that you and your partner don't grow apart.

Talking about parenting styles
If you and your partner come from different backgrounds, you may not have the same perspective on how you want to raise your child, which can make rearing a little boy or girl difficult.

While some differences are expected and could help your child have a more well-rounded and focused approach to life, there are things that you should be on the same page with from the start, including what you want for your little one's future and how you intend to tackle sleeping, feeding and playtime schedules for your infant.

Planning for financial responsibilities
Getting ready for baby isn't just about bracing for the new tasks that come with taking care of a little one, or even ensuring that a nursery is equipped with all the finest furnishings. For many couples, the most substantial stress factor of having a baby is the impact it will have on expenses.

From moving to a new home or apartment that is more spacious to paying for ordinary household expenses like food, utilities and other items, couples can find their routines upended in significant ways when a baby enters the picture. If one partner chooses to take time off from work and stay at home with the baby, it can place additional pressure on couples.

The anxiety of not having enough money can make couples lash out at each other, but by talking about these concerns before a baby is conceived, you can start creating solutions.

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