6 Tips for Discussing Family Planning With Your Partner

 6 Tips for Discussing Family Planning With Your Partner

Whether you know you want children or are still undecided, it’s important to discuss family plans with your partner. Doing so will ensure you’re both aligned about your goals. However, opening the conversation can feel intimidating if you’ve never discussed kids. To help you get the discussion started, consider the following tips.


1. Ask Your Partner What They Want

Nowadays, more couples adopt pets or travel the country instead of having children. So it would help if you didn’t assume your partner wants kids. Instead, open the conversation by asking them their views on having children and sharing yours.

When your partner is speaking, don’t interrupt. Actively listen to their desires and create a space where their thoughts are valued. After they’re finished talking, let them know you understand their point of view, then provide your own. There’s a chance your family plans aren’t aligned. That doesn’t mean the relationship will fail, but you may need couples counseling to navigate emotions in the future.

2. Create a Timeline

Let’s say you and your partner have agreed to become parents. You’ll then need to decide when you want to start trying to conceive. When creating this timeline, discussing what milestones you’d like to hit before having children is essential. Before starting a family, buying a house, changing careers, or traveling to Europe are all things someone may want to accomplish.

Birth control should enter the conversation if you decide to wait a couple of years before having kids. Condoms, birth control pills, patches, and shots are great ways to prevent pregnancy until you’re ready. Additionally, they’re easy to stop using if you decide to accelerate your timeline.

IUDs can prevent pregnancy for up to six to 10 years, depending on what type you choose. If a child is an even longer-range goal, consider an intrauterine device. Be aware that you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your doctor to remove it before you try to conceive.

3. Discuss Health Barriers

One of the most common obstacles couples face after deciding to start a family is infertility. In the U.S., roughly 11% of women and 9% of men face infertility challenges in their reproductive years. If you know you struggle with fertility issues, you should share that information with your partner. This gives you time to emotionally and financially prepare for fertility treatments if you choose that route.

Another option for couples to consider is adoption. There are thousands of children waiting to be adopted in the United States. You and your partner could provide one or more with a loving home. There are two main paths to adoption in the U.S.: foster adoption and domestic infant adoption. Both have unique characteristics, so research before deciding which works best for your family.

4. Talk About Parenting

While you’ll likely raise this child as a couple, you’ll probably have slightly different parenting styles. This isn’t bad, but discussing how these two styles will work together before the baby comes is essential. This will ensure you’re on the same page about discipline and child-rearing duties.

Take the time to unpack what raising a child means to you. This may mean exploring your childhood and discussing what was great and what wasn’t. Concerning how your parents raised you can give you ideas of what you want to emulate and what you’d like to avoid. Then again, neither of you may know your parenting style yet, and that’s OK.

5. Consider the Strength of Your Relationship

To create a happy family, you need to have a strong foundation. While children can bring you happiness, they can further stress an already shaky bond. So, couples should ensure their relationship is solid before diving into parenthood. Sometimes, couples think having a baby will fix cracks in the relationship and create closeness. That’s a difficult path forward.

Before trying to conceive, ensure you and your partner feel confident in your relationship. If you have trust issues or constantly get into heated arguments, hold off on having a baby. Taking the time to build healthy and practical communication skills will both improve your relationship and make you better parents.

6. Avoid External Pressure to Have Children

Many couples feel societal pressure to become parents whether they want to be. Often, they’re met with unsolicited opinions or rude comments about their biological clocks. These comments may leave you and your partner questioning your decision to delay having children or not having them.

To help overcome these feelings, list why your child-free decision is right for you. This may include financial responsibilities, health issues, or the desire for freedom. When confronted with judgment, refer to your list to remind yourself why you’ve decided.

Everyone has different dreams about what they want their family to look like. Some people want a child, and some want to adopt ten cats. Whatever your ideal is, you need to discuss it with your partner. Use the suggestions above to help you approach the conversation with an open heart and mind.

Dennis Bailey


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