When is actually the right time to have a child and start a family? Arguments against it can usually be found very quickly. But the answer is actually quite simple: the right time is now!
Everything used to be simpler. At least the question of whether you wanted or should have children at all did not usually arise. For families, having children was a fixed part of the course of life. Today, however, it is much more of a conscious decision. And with it comes the planning of the optimal time for it. Reason enough, then, to take a closer look at this important topic. Because the optimal moment for a baby seems to be very difficult to find.
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A Question That Concerns All Couples
Whether and when children are planned – this is an important question that you will ask yourself sooner or later in your partnership. It is important to think about the timing of becoming parents together if a family is to be founded.
Having your own offspring changes a relationship and your entire life so profoundly that both partners should agree on this point in any case. The survey “So liebt Deutschland” (This is how Germany loves ) conducted by the dating portal ElitePartner in cooperation with the market research institute Fittkau & Maaß showed that this is important to the vast majority of respondents. According to the survey, the same ideas about having children and family planning play a significant role for 67 percent of women and 56 percent of men – even at the beginning of a relationship.
The study also brought other exciting details to light. For example, around one-third of women and men, today would like to have their own offspring. However, the women surveyed were more willing to tackle family planning earlier. Two-thirds of women under 30 said they wanted to have children. For men, this usually comes later – in their thirties.
When Is The Right Time – The Most Important Arguments Under The Magnifying Glass
So even if you agree that you want to start a family, the question of when can still cause some tension. After all, a decision has a significant impact on a wide variety of areas of the future parents’ lives. Here we look at the various positions and arguments that most frequently arise on the subject of family planning. Despite perfectly plausible reasons, there is always a corresponding counter-position that argues for not waiting any longer and having a child right now.
1. Child And Career?
The traditional role models of the mother as a housewife who also takes care of the children full-time and the father as the main breadwinner and the only working person are now a thing of the past. On the one hand, because women today also want to claim the right to pursue a professional career. On the other hand, often also because a single income is no longer sufficient to secure the livelihood of a family.
2. Can We Even Afford To Have A Child?
Financial security and a certain amount of leeway are a strong argument – for, but also against having children. A child costs money. It starts with the initial equipment, continues with a larger vehicle for the family, growing demands as the offspring grow up, and extends to financial support during their education. But above all, children need love and affection – money isn’t everything.
In any case, it is worthwhile to calculate your personal finances and determine how much money is available to cover possible and necessary expenses.
In addition, you can find out early on what state family benefits are available. In addition to the typical child benefit or maternity and parental benefits during maternity leave and parental leave, there is an extensive range of other financial assistance. A practical tool from the Ministry of Family Affairs shows which ones you are entitled to in individual cases. Even if a home is planned for the family, you can apply for various benefits.
If you really want to have children, you will always find ways to make ends meet for your family:
- In education or at the beginning of your career, your earnings may not yet be as lavish, but accordingly your demands are usually less high.
- If you decide to have children later, the income is often higher, but at the same time, you will have become accustomed to certain standards. Then you may have to cut back even more for the child, especially if less money is available for childcare.
In any case, the family means a certain additional financial burden. But you can also save money in your private life by handling money responsibly, so that more is left over for the family. Parents, for example, are eligible for tax breaks, and you should take the various options into account.
You don’t even have to get married to do this – even though the change in tax class is quite noticeable. There are also many other ways for unmarried couples to keep everyday expenses low. Especially when it comes to necessary insurances, there are some tricks to save money.
3. Are We Even Mature Enough To Take On Responsibility?
With a child, life changes profoundly and priorities shift greatly with the focus on the offspring. If you want to have children, you have to be willing to change your life fundamentally and do without certain things. Instead of all-nighters, you’ll have to work night shifts at the crib. Instead of a lot of free time for your own hobbies, you need to spend time with your children and their interests. Instead of living haphazardly into the day, structure and a regular routine are necessary.
But in addition to this basic attitude, many are afraid of not being able to cope with the responsibility for their own child. To this end, there is an argument that often comes up that speaks in favor of postponing parenthood:
With increasing age and growing life experience, it is easier to make the right decisions and take responsibility in critical situations.
But when exactly do you feel mature enough? The fact is that you can only “practice” being a parent to a limited extent – for example, with the children of others close to you. However, this in no way replaces the comprehensive responsibility for your own children.
No matter how old you are, with your first child you also become a parent for the first time. And only in practice does this responsibility reveal itself in its full scope. As with other challenges, you will grow with the new tasks and learn to fulfill the parental duties. So you don’t have to postpone your desire to have a child, but can safely embark on the adventure of parenthood right now.
4. Isn’t It Irresponsible To Bring Children Into The World In This Day And Age?
Times have become more uncertain: There is a clearly noticeable pressure to perform in our country, there are political tensions all over the world, and let’s not even get started on the challenges of a fluctuating ecological balance. What life and all its risks will look like in the future is uncertain. So is this a world you want to see your children grow up in?
In fact, you can say that this argument probably comes up in every generation. If you ask your parents or grandparents about it, they will have asked themselves the same question. The fact is that every generation has its own challenges to deal with.
While for the grandparents it was still the uncertain and frightening war years, the following generation was confronted with the reconstruction of the country and new social structures. This was followed by years of cold war, the first environmental problems with acid rain or the hole in the ozone layer. The respective crises and problems cannot be compared or measured.
Nevertheless, caring parents – regardless of the time – have always managed to create a livable environment for their children. In Europe, you are also in a very comfortable situation with relative security and a lot of opportunities for development.
5. Is Now The Appropriate Time To Manage Pregnancy Well Physically?
When is the best possible time for women to get through a pregnancy with the least risks – including for the child? There are actually various factors here that can affect a decision on the right time. Our article on ovulation explains when the right time is to start planning a family.
In addition, it’s no secret that our bodies are fitter and more efficient when we’re younger than when we’re older. Natural fertility is highest in women between the ages of 15 and 25. With increasing age, not only the so-called pregnancy expectancy decreases, but also the risks for complications or possible genetic defects in the child increase purely statistically.
However, other criteria such as basic fitness, genetic predispositions, possible diseases and, above all, lifestyle also play a decisive role. Even if the chapter is aimed more at women – after all, they take on the main part with pregnancy – fertility in men is also quite dependent on age. However, fertility does not start to decline until around the age of 40.
Factors that speak for postponing pregnancy to a later point in time from a health point of view are the following:
- The existence of an illness that is physically very stressful or also the first period after recovery (recovery phase).
- Phases in which medications are taken that could harm the unborn child.
At present, however, it is more likely that couples will decide to become parents later and later. If you eat healthily and get enough exercise, you can start planning a family in your late 30s (women) or even in your 50s (men).
As ageneral rule, the earlier the better. At least from the age of majority, our physical performance tends to go downhill from a medical point of view. So this is a good reason to start family planning right now.
6. What If We Regret Being Parents Later?
The debate surrounding the “Regretting Motherhood” study has made big waves in this country. In this study, an Israeli sociologist interviewed women who, in retrospect, regretted their motherhood or who, with their current experiences, would not decide to have children again. The results showed that the negative attitude toward motherhood is primarily related to the role of the mother.
However, it also became clear during the study that the mothers love their children despite everything. What they regretted were the enormous personal restrictions. Maximum professional self-realization, financial freedom, a flawless body, plenty of time for oneself – all this is a thing of the past with the birth of a child. But all this is actually nothing new, according to the critics.
Nevertheless, we should be aware that today there is a lot of social pressure and mothers are confronted with very high expectations. Just being a mother hardly seems enough for many, it must also be the perfect career, a fulfilling partnership and a balanced leisure life. It’s clear that all of this is a bit too much at once.
If you know all the limitations and still want to have children, all the better. Because other studies also show that children can indeed increase happiness in life. The important thing as a parent is to focus on yourself, your family and your own happiness, and not to let yourself be influenced too much by the outside world. Then there is no reason not to enjoy being a parent.
7. What If Our Partnership Doesn’t Last?
A breakup is always a difficult situation. Especially one that you would like to spare your offspring. Is that reason enough not to start a family?
If you are freshly in love, you can certainly quickly imagine a joint future with your partner with rose-colored glasses on your nose. And would you like to start planning a family right away? Especially in the initial high phase, everything seems possible and arguments or conflicts are miles away. It’s not uncommon for offspring to actually emerge during this time – whether planned or unplanned.
However, many decide to have their own offspring only after the relationship has solidified. But even then, you are still not immune to the fact that the partnership may break up at some point. In any case, you should be aware that a child cannot repair a relationship – you and your partner alone are responsible for the functioning of a happy union.
A study has shown that in the end it is not the darned seventh year that most relationships fail. Rather, already in the first year, about 60 percent of the partners go their separate ways again. Up to the fifth year together, the risk of separation decreases statistically by ten percent each year. Only then do more couples decide to end their relationship.
And what does this mean for family planning? Basically very little – because every partnership is individual and happiness together cannot be planned in the long term. This in turn means that having your own offspring does not necessarily have to be postponed. If you want to have your own children, now is the right time to do it.
Life is colorful, exciting and, above all, cannot be planned in great detail. To a certain extent, this also applies to family planning. If you cannot imagine a life without your own children, you should not hesitate too long.