When two people like each other, they may eventually feel the need to start a family together. If you do not know where babies come from, please read the article “Where Do Babies Come From?
It is natural and okay to want to have a baby together. However, you should meet some requirements for this. Of course, it is up to everyone whether they want to have a baby even though they do not meet these requirements. However, one must then reckon with the fact that it can go properly in the eye. Because a baby is a living being like you and me, you should not make a hasty decision about bringing one into the world. After all, it deserves a great life in which it gets everything it needs, don’t you think?
No matter how old you are – this article concerns all teenagers. Because especially the girls among you worry about the topic of having a baby from time to time, when feelings of motherhood and family come up for the first time.
Table of contents
When Can You Start Having Children?
As long as you and your partner are about the same age and you are both at least 15 years old, you are generally allowed to have a baby. However, you must then expect that the Jugendwohlfahrt will interfere in your young family life. It is very likely that your parents or another adult in your environment will get custody of the baby. The Custody describes who has “parental authority” over the child. In Austria, custody is also called guardianship. Whoever has custody also has the right to be informed about everything that concerns the child. The custodian (i.e. the one who has custody) is allowed to decide about essential parts of the child’s life. He or she must also take care of the child and must make sure that the child can develop in the best possible way.
But even if you don’t get custody, you have some minimum rights as the child’s biological parent. You can find out how this is regulated in your country by contacting the youth welfare office in your town. In any case, you have the right to see the child. In addition, you must be informed about everything that concerns the child and you may express your opinion about it (for example, if a medical treatment is pending). However, the last word remains with the custodian.
As you can see, in principle no one can be forbidden to father a child. However, it is very much up to you whether you will have full access to the child or not. Therefore, it is advisable for teenagers not to father a child until they are able to take care of the child on their own. This requires not only money, but also a certain mental maturity and resilience. We would now like to explain to you in more detail what this means.
It is always good to finish your education before having a child. This way you don’t regret having a baby so early and you remain independent from your partner. As soon as the child goes to kindergarten or is looked after by a childminder (usually from the age of 2), you can go to work. This is so important because you never know how long a relationship will last.
Even if you get along very well and are in love with each other, a lot can change in a young relationship in a very short time. That’s why as a mother you should be able to earn your own money in case of emergency.
Life as a single parent is not exactly easy. It becomes even more difficult when you don’t have a completed education and you have a hard time covering the costs of keeping your small family alive. Of course, the other parent is obligated to support you and must transfer a portion of his or her income to you each month. However, if he or she does not earn much themselves, then the maintenance will not be enough to provide for the child properly.
A child costs money. This is probably nothing new for you. However, you can read more about what this means below.
Ask yourself if you are able to cover your own living expenses (food, housing, car or public transport tickets, etc.). If yes, then that is already good. In addition, you should be able to use your own money to make sure that the baby gets everything it needs and doesn’t have to do without anything. Even if you have a partner, you have to contribute something yourself so that you can make it.
So be honest with yourself and discuss with your boyfriend or girlfriend how much money you both have available in total and whether you could afford a baby at all.
Of course, ideally (especially in the beginning) you will get plenty of financial support from your family. However, it is not the intention to be on the pocket of your (in-)law parents with the baby.
Children need a dad and a mom so that they can grow up well. They learn a lot from both parents for their own lives. This is very important for the child’s development. Therefore, every child has a right to both parents.
Think about whether you can imagine staying together for life. Of course, you cannot know what life will bring. Nowadays, divorce is no longer a serious matter. However, if you suspect at a young age that the relationship will not last, then you should refrain from fathering a baby.
Also, please keep in mind that the child itself will put a tremendous strain on your relationship. We will tell you more about this a little later.
You think marriage is old-fashioned and unnecessary? Please reconsider this matter. There is a very definite purpose in getting married before you have children. Marriage not only brings you closer together. It also provides a certain security for the child. If one of you becomes a single parent for any reason, he or she is entitled to a widow’s and orphan’s pension or alimony. However, you only get the widow’s pension if you are married. It is not uncommon for moms or dads to face a huge financial problem when their beloved partner is suddenly no longer around. Not only do you suffer from grief. You then also have to worry about your own survival.
All this could happen and no one can guarantee you that you will have a problem-free, happy family life. So please include this aspect in your decision for or against having a baby.
How will your parents react to the fact that you want to have a baby? The opinion of your family also plays a role. Especially in the beginning, it helps immensely if you can “deposit” the baby with mom or dad for a few hours in order to regain your strength yourself.
From a psychological, financial and also health point of view, you will be in a better position if you can rely on the support of your family.
When children become parents themselves, even though they are actually too immature, it can cause some problems.
This is because parents should have a certain level of mental maturity to be able to raise the child properly. If you let the child get away with everything, you will have a hard time dealing with him later on. If you are still a child yourself, you tend to give the child too much freedom due to excessive demands.
On the other hand, it can happen that you completely despair of the task of education and hit the child out of helplessness. This is not only forbidden, but also harms the child and is therefore not an option. Besides, it is not good for yourself if you hit your own child.
Ask yourselves honestly if you know how to raise children. Do you have a sense of children? Can you handle the psychological stress it will bring? Do you still feel like children yourselves or can you do without teenage life?
After all, part of mental maturity is putting the well-being of the child before your own needs. You must not leave the baby alone, nor ignore its cries for help if you don’t feel like taking care of it.
If you prefer to move around the house instead of staying home with the baby, then you are not mature enough to have a child.
Space For The Baby
The baby will need a lot of space. Even if you’re only going to have one baby, you’ll need a nursery for it. The cradle, the changing table, a box with toys and a chest of drawers for clothes and other things are difficult to fit in your own bedroom.
Therefore, please consider that your apartment should be large enough to accommodate a children’s room in it. For young families, 3-room apartments are best. You may have to give up a walk-in closet or a party room, for example, in favor of the baby.
If your current apartment is too small, you will have to move if you really want to have a child. If you plan to have more than just a family of three, then an apartment with at least 90m² will definitely pay off for you sooner or later. By the way, you can apply for a housing subsidy. As a family, you have an even better chance of receiving a subsidy.
You Have To Reckon With These Burdens
Now you have a rough idea of what you should expect if you are planning to have a child.
In the following, we will tell you exactly what these requirements are. In doing so, we will go into more detail about what you will have to face as a young parent. Because while having a baby brings many joys, it also means effort.
Costs Before The Birth
Already during pregnancy you will have to pay a lot of costs. Numerous examinations, ultrasounds and, if necessary, 3D images of the baby are not exactly cheap. Depending on which gynecologist you see, your health insurance may cover some of these costs.
You may also have to buy nutritional supplements. Among other things, the expectant mother needs more folic acid than before. In order for the baby to develop in the best possible way and to be born healthy, you should namely pay attention to a balanced diet during pregnancy. This includes an increased intake of vitamins and minerals. Therefore, you will probably spend more money on food and supplements than before.
If you’re having a baby for the first time, you may want to buy some books on pregnancy and child rearing. In addition to printed informational materials, there will be costs for childbirth classes.
You can use the time of pregnancy to furnish the nursery. You will need a baby crib, a changing mat or better a changing table, a dresser as well as curtains and maybe a new coat of paint for the room or a new floor.
Baby clothes are usually given to you by friends and relatives. Therefore, you may not have to spend any money on them at all. However, you will still need a diaper bag and a stroller. Especially the stroller you can buy used without hesitation. This will save you a lot of money.
Costs After Birth
While the baby is breastfed, you don’t need to buy baby food. Not only for this reason, but also for the sake of his health, you should breastfeed the baby as long as possible.
What you definitely need to buy, however, are diapers and care items such as wet wipes and baby powder. For this you will need around €50 a month.
Small babies need check-ups and vaccinations. This also costs money. Here you will get support from your health insurance.
Psychological Stress Before And Shortly After Birth
It’s not easy for young mothers. Shortly before the birth, you may experience anxiety or even panic because you don’t know what to expect. This is true for both expectant mothers and fathers. Nevertheless, you should be there for each other as best you can.
The birth itself is a very stressful thing and will leave its mark. It is normal to suffer for a few days or even weeks after the birth from the so-called. Postpartum weeks. This is a phase during which the mother does not feel well. She then suffers from moods, generally does not feel well and is very tired. On the one hand, this is due to the hormonal changes in the body. On the other hand, you are confronted with thoughts about the baby that can briefly overwhelm you. The sudden responsibility for a small, human being can be quite frightening. Also, during the postpartum period, mom and dad need to support each other by taking turns caring for the baby when he or she cries.
In the beginning, you don’t have such a good sense of what the baby needs and when. After a while, however, you will get a sense of exactly what it is trying to tell you with its crying. At the latest then it will be a little easier for you. Remember that you will both need some time to get used to the new circumstances.
In the first period, you may suffer from chronic sleep deprivation. Unfortunately, because the baby cries a lot and needs your attention, there is no cure for this yet.
Be aware, however, that this difficult time will eventually pass and it will become increasingly easier for you to deal with this new situation. You will “grow into” your role as a parent, so to speak, the more time has passed since the birth.
Lack Of Sleep And Little Time For Yourself
The aforementioned lack of sleep will take a toll on you psychologically and health-wise. You will feel powerless and want time for yourself. If it becomes too much for you, please try to get help from your family. This way you can take a bath or go for a walk in peace.
During this time, make sure to always let them help you. Of course, this is especially true for moms. Don’t try to do everything yourself. This is stressful and can lead to you burning out completely at some point.
Be prepared for the fact that you will now have very little time for yourself, in which you alone determine what you do. Most of the time, you will have to do what the baby needs.
Stress Test For The Relationship
All the stressful factors that we have described to you so far will of course also affect the relationship between you and your partner. You may react irritably and yell at each other or argue more often than usual when the baby is around.
You should not take this personally. Try to understand each other and keep reminding yourselves that this time is a real test for your relationship. Once you get through it, there is nothing that can break you apart. See it as a challenge to get through this time together as best you can.
Accept the occasional disagreement and give yourselves a break by asking someone to watch the baby. Then you can do things together, go out for a romantic dinner or dance, and nurture the relationship.
If you feel like you can’t stand each other anymore, think about the baby. Try to get your quarrels in order to give the child what it deserves: two parents who live together and love each other.
A Baby Brings Joy Because….
Why is it so important for us humans to bring offspring into the world? While some people never want to have children, others can’t wait to have a baby.
On the one hand, this is due to our “inner clock”, i.e. the hormones that go crazy, so to speak, after a certain age. The need to have a baby can then become so great that we feel unhappy if it doesn’t work out.
But it’s not just hormones that are responsible for the rush of happiness among young parents. Babies bring many worries, but also many joys. As a young parent, you will be richly rewarded for your love of your child. Read on to find out more.
Feel Family Unity
Having a baby will bring you even closer together. The responsibility you will have for the baby will bind you together even more. That’s one reason why boys in particular are often afraid of fathering a family.
Not without reason: you will then have to do without certain freedoms as part of a young family. However, considering the great time you and your child are about to have, it pays off.
There is something very healing about feeling the cohesion of your own family and looking every day into the grateful eyes of a little child who loves you dearly.
Raising A Living Creature
The reason why people keep pets is very similar to the reason why they want to have children: The need to take care of something or someone.
Raising a baby makes you feel proud and fulfilled inside. With every step the baby takes in its development, you feel happy. Because the child is proud of itself, you share its joy.
Moments like the first words, the first steps or the child’s enrollment in school are something very special in the parents’ lives and give their lives unforgettable moments.
At the latest, when the children have grown up, one is rewarded for the years of long, sometimes nerve-racking and exhausting educational work. You see that the once still small child has now become an independent adult and is going its own way. If it embarks on a professional career or finally begets a child itself, then you realize that you have done everything right and are happy.
It’s nice to grow old when you have a family. Grandparents who are visited by their grandchildren are happier than lonely pensioners. That’s another reason why we have the urge to have children. Because there is something great about aging in the circle of a loving family, where you can rely on each other and everyone is there for each other.
Finding The Meaning Of Life
At some point, the inner clock starts ticking for all of us. Women in particular have a great need to have a child at some point. In doing so, they may feel empty and sense that it is time to start a family.
If you meet all the requirements to be a happy family in the long term, then starting a family is a beautiful thing. Many people discover in it the meaning of their life and enjoy taking responsibility for a small living being.
You are motivated to do your best to make sure that another person is as well off as possible. This little person will then make you very happy. Especially when you feel his love and gratitude.
You Will Get This Support
Starting a family, especially with the first child, is such a big financial burden that it would be impossible for some people to cope without the help of the state.
Because your country is interested in supporting families, it offers you a range of social benefits for families. You can find out exactly what the benefits are in your country, what conditions are attached to them, and what amount you can expect to receive by contacting the youth welfare office or the tax office.
We will now briefly present some of the basic things that are available to most Europeans.
Childcare Allowance, Maternity Leave And Parental Leave
As an employee you are entitled to Maternity leave. This means nothing more than that you will continue to be paid by your employer if you are absent from work for a few years to raise your child. Meanwhile, both parents are entitled to parental leave. So either the husband or the wife can take parental leave. Sometimes it is even the case that you are entitled to parental leave for even longer if both take turns.
Shortly before the birth you go on Maternity leave. Because then it would be too dangerous to continue to stay at work. In the last months and weeks before the birth, the mother must take special care of herself so that the child is not born too early. She should take it easy and take it easy. Of course, this is only possible if she stops working. That is why it is regulated by law that mothers are allowed to go on maternity leave. The exact time can be obtained from the Chamber of Labor or the Youth Welfare Office.
In addition, during the first years of your child’s life you will receive Childcare allowance or parental allowance. This is a benefit to which you are entitled as a mother – regardless of whether you were employed before the birth or not. It is intended to ensure your livelihood with your child during the first period in which you are unable to work due to maternity. You may only earn a certain amount in addition to the childcare allowance. Therefore, please make sure that you do not exceed the additional earnings limit.
The amount of childcare allowance depends on where you live. In Austria, for example, you are generally entitled to 80% of your previous income. If you were not gainfully employed or if this would result in a daily rate of less than €33 (€1000 per month), then you will receive the flat-rate childcare allowance of between €33 and €66, depending on the period over which you wish to receive it (the shorter the period, the higher the daily rate).
In addition to the childcare allowance you are entitled to the Family allowance to which you are entitled. This amount of about 150 € per month is meant to pay for things for the baby. With each child, the family allowance increases. So with two or three children you get much more family allowance than with only one.
Support For Childcare
Your district supports you to go back to work a little bit after the child’s second year, if you want to or have to because of your financial situation. There are daycare centers and child minders who can take care of your child for a few hours a day. Depending on the amount of your income, you will get a subsidy from the state for childcare costs.
From the age of three, your child may go to kindergarten. It is up to you to decide whether to send your child to a state kindergarten or a private kindergarten. The difference is not only in the services offered, but also in the costs you incur. It is best to ask the kindergartens in your area directly what costs you have to reckon with and what state subsidies you are entitled to.
If you are the Sole breadwinner (the only person in the household who works), then you are entitled to tax benefits that can really pay off. However, you have to find out about them and take care of claiming them yourself. A non-binding discussion with your tax advisor can help.
But even if you are not the sole breadwinner, your family is entitled to certain benefits. For example, you may be able to deduct extraordinary expenses from your income tax in order to save money. There is also a tax allowance for additional expenses for children with disabilities. The exemption from motor-related insurance tax and advantages with pension insurance should also not be underestimated.
In some cities and federal states, there are special family cards that give you discounted admission to museums, excursions and events. Find out more about this from your local council and make the most of these benefits to make your leisure time more affordable.
Worksheet For The Text
1) Explain the difficult words from the text.
2) What requirements should a couple have if they plan to have a baby?
3) Why do we humans feel the need to start a family? What beautiful moments await parents who have started a family?
4) What financial supports for parents are there in your country? Research on the Internet for additional information.