Tips for Having the Baby TalkKatlyn Joy | 3, April 2012
It's one of those key shifts in a relationship; talking about having a baby. Nothing says family, future and forever like starting a family together. Of course, not everyone is always on the same page about when or even if to get pregnant. Timing is everything and if your timing and his are not quite synched up, how can you discuss the options together.
The first discussions about having children should have taken place before you married or chose to be in a committed relationship. However, sometimes things hasten along before such discussions occur, or frequently people do change their hearts and minds about the topic.
Is this a good time for the talk?
Are you in a good place? Do you and your partner have a solid relationship? Children are great intensifiers. The good things in a partnership can be all the sweeter with the addition of offspring and the pressures and stressors can increase with them as well. You need to be on solid firm ground in order to form a strong foundation for a family.
Are you financially prepared? No one can ever be totally prepared, but if you are truly scraping by each month it probably isn't the best of times to even suggest babymaking.
Where are you both in your career paths? Is this a time of difficult hours, and frequent travel because you are on a rung on the career ladder that is precarious? If you are constantly on call, feeling pulled in different directions, then starting a family may very well be better started at a later date. Similar concerns exist if either of you is in the midst of educational pursuits as well.
What is your time window, biologically speaking? There comes a time when the hours are winding down and you cannot just assume your fertility is at its peak. If you are in your mid to late 30s, the days of pretending you have forever to decide are over. While still in your twenties, you can shrug off rather fearlessly the infertility worries. As you approach your late 30s, you need to take serious consideration of how long you can put it off.
How to Approach the Talk If... You Have Changed Your Mind.
Own up immediately to your change of heart. Don't deny that you told your partner repeatedly that having babies simply wasn't your brand of womanhood. Be honest about how and when you realized you felt differently about starting a family.
Explain your feelings and your reasons in a calm fashion. Don't argue or cajole. Simply explain your new perspective and give your spouse the space to contemplate what you've shared. Deadlines or demanding an immediate reaction are likely to garner less than favorable results.
If you both decided awhile back to put off family building for specific reasons and those reasons no longer seem valid, you should schedule a sit down to discuss the pertinent facts in a reasonable way. No, you probably won't need graphs and charts or expert testimony but do think ahead to the likely arguments your spouse may offer so that you have a solid reason to forge ahead with a family.
Are you are feeling unhappy about your childless lifestyle? All marriages and relationships require give and take, compromise along with commitment. If you are miserable to make your spouse happy, something is bound to give. By bottling up your emotions, you are asking for an explosion at some point. Or possibly an implosion. Be honest about how you feel and why. If you both cannot come to a compromise on pursuing parenthood or the timing of it, consider consulting a family therapist or marriage counselor for some outside advice.
What Not to Do
- Sabotage birth control. Don't throw away your pills, poke holes in condoms or diaphragms or seduce him on your fertile night after a few too many. That is no way to start a solid family together.
- Don't barrage him with babyness. Don't ooh and ahh over every diaper commercial, or plan a baby movie marathon. Dragging him to Babies R Us may actually backfire if he happens to spy a miserable dad with spit up down his shirt and bloodshot eyes carrying a shrieking baby in his zombie like arms.
- Do not involve others. You may think it's a good idea to get your or his folks to pressure him, or to have your buddies with kids to make a big pressured deal of it one night, but if you push hard, you can expect stonewalling.
- Don't give an ultimatum. All ultimatums have the unwitting result of all or nothing. If the person isn't ready to choose and you force a decision anyway the results will ultimately backfire. You may initially get your way, but at what cost? You can damage your marriage this way.
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