How To Discuss Family Planning With Your Significant Other
Last updated on : November 11 2022
When you're in a committed relationship, it's perfectly normal to think about your next steps as a couple. You might even think it's time to start planning for your future together, and whether that includes a family.
Family planning is essential, but it can also be a sensitive topic depending on your and your partner's views.
You need to be on the same page regarding what you want in the future. Maybe neither of you has solid plans about starting a family, but you know the importance of being open about it. If you want kids and your partner doesn't, discussing that now can save you a lot of pain and disappointment later on.
No matter where you are in your serious relationship, don't avoid planning for your future family because otherwise, it might become an uncomfortable subject.
Family Planning - How To Make The Discussion Easier
Let's cover a few tips you can use to discuss family planning with empathy and an understanding of each other's needs and desires.
1. Stick To Your Values And Goals.
Ongoing conversations with your partner about your values, beliefs, and goals are essential to a healthy relationship. Refrain from assuming that you can have a single talk about the things you both want, and that will work out for years. People change, and expectations change. Desires change.
When discussing the potential of starting a family with a partner, you should begin by bringing up your values and what matters most to you.
Often, the values you have growing up are the ones you learned from your parents or caretaker. Whether those values have changed or not, the best thing you can do is stick to them, even in a relationship. If you don't, you risk "losing" your identity and sense of self, which can create resentment later on.
Everyone's core values are different, but some of the most commonly discussed include the following:
- Work ethic
Why is it important to discuss these things when discussing starting a family? If you're not clear about your values or are unwilling to listen to your partner, it will be challenging to raise children while staying on the same page.
You don't necessarily need to "push" any singular belief system on a child, but if neither one of you stand firm in your values, you might give in to ways of raising your child that you don't necessarily agree with.
2. When To Have Kids
Nowadays, people are waiting longer to have kids. There's been a consistent decline in birthrate throughout the country, and now many women aren't considering having children until after the age of 30.
There are plenty of reasons why people are holding off on having children. Some of the most common causes include:
- Higher education
- Career advancements
- Financial issues
- The desire to travel
Sharing these reasons with your partner can make deciding when you want to have children easier. Maybe you both know that you want kids someday but haven't had "the talk" about when that day might be.
When you both share your reasons for waiting, it's easier to establish a loose timeline and take some of the pressure off of having kids immediately.
If you decide to wait, you might consider discussing different forms of birth control, including getting an IUD. It's an effective long-term solution that can prevent unwanted pregnancies, allowing you and your partner to enjoy your intimate moments without worrying about having kids immediately.
IUDs prevent sperm from fertilizing eggs, but they aren't the only option if you want to utilize more traditional forms of birth control, like condoms or birth control pills.
3. What To Do When You Aren't Sure
It's not uncommon to be on the fence about having kids. Maybe you didn't want kids before, but you're changing your mind. Maybe your partner has always wanted kids, but they're not sure now. Family planning can help you and your partner decide whether you want children together.
What do you do in those situations when neither individual has firm beliefs about building a family?
For starters, consider spending more time around young children. If you have a friend or family member with kids, offer to babysit. Working with young children takes patience and empathy, and you'll quickly learn whether it's right for you at this stage.
While babysitting certainly isn't the same as raising your child, it will give you a glimpse into some of the fundamental aspects of care you'll have to deal with as a parent. That can quickly sway your decision one way or another.
In addition to spending time with kids, you should also evaluate your health and well-being. Children demand a lot of attention, especially as newborns. If you're not as healthy as you should be, it could be a sign to hold off on having them for a while. Even pregnancy can take a toll on your body. You can be your healthiest during pregnancy by:
- Eating a nutritious diet
- Drinking more water
- Taking prenatal vitamins
- Regularly seeing a doctor
However, your overall health should be a factor when you're on the fence. If you need to give your body time to get stronger and healthier, make that a priority above rushing into parenthood.
4. Evaluate Your Relationship
You might be excited about having children in the future, but are you excited about having them with your partner?
One thing couples can fail to discuss when discussing having kids is the strength and stability of their relationship. There's no ideal timeline for how long you should be in a relationship before having kids. But your connection must be stable before committing or even discussing having children.
It's important to know that relationships can change after a baby is born. You're both going to be tired, and you might have to compromise your job. There are new financial responsibilities to consider. Children demand a lot from a couple, and if your relationship isn't already on solid ground, having a baby will put it to the test.
Far too many people make the mistake of thinking having a baby will bring them closer. While it's true that there's nothing more intimate and beautiful in the world than sharing a child, a baby isn't a band-aid for a rocky relationship. If things are already unsteady, bringing a baby into your life can worsen it.
It's not always easy to talk about the state of your relationship, especially when you know things aren't great. However, having a long discussion with your partner about how things are and addressing any issues within your relationship can bring many things to light. You might want to table the idea of having children until you work on strengthening your relationship. Or, you might realize that you're not right for each other.
5. What If You Don't Want The Same Things?
You don't have to agree on everything with your partner. Maybe you have different love languages. You may have different parenting styles or want to raise your children differently. Those are things that the two of you can work out through compromise and discussion.
But what happens if you sit down to talk about family planning and want different things? What if you want children and your partner doesn't (or vice versa)?
People can change their minds, and even if one of you doesn't want kids now, it doesn't mean you won't in the future. However, it's not fair to anyone to "wait around" hoping the other person will change their mind.
The best thing you can do in those situations is to discuss what you need and want from each other and what you need and want out of life. Be honest, and understand that it's okay to admit what you want. If those things don't line up with what your partner wants, sometimes the best thing you can do is move on.
There are some things you shouldn't have to compromise. Having children is one of them. If you do, you could regret it later on or even resent your partner years from now.
Family planning can be a sensitive subject because each couple is unique. So, while it might not be the easiest to talk about, the sooner you have the conversation, the better.
In most cases, you and your significant other should be able to agree on what you want and how you want to plan for a family in the near or distant future. However, this critical discussion might also help clear the fog of your relationship and make you realize that your goals and expectations are too different to move forward.
Whatever the case, take this time to bolster yourself and work up the nerve to talk to your significant other. Don't hold off on this conversation because you're nervous. Your future depends on it, and it's better to take charge now than wonder "what if" for years.
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The Kewl Shop
The Kewl Shop is a blog. We write about all things lifestyle with a strong focus on relationships, self-love, beauty, fitness, and health. Important stuff that every modern woman or man needs to know.
Editor: Charles Fitzgerald