Have you ever played with your friend’s babies or attended a family function surrounded by children and all of a sudden you started to have baby fever?

Has the thought of having your own mini-me excited you lately? Well, if you are thinking about starting a family there is a lot to consider before stepping into a major milestone of parenthood and gushing over cute kids doesn’t necessarily mean you are ready.

You aren’t on the same biological clock as your partner

Before having children it’s important to have a partner that has the same long-term goals as you. There are many men and women who desire having children, but are reluctant to have it them right away. Talk to your partner about your desires [and theirs of course] and set realistic expectations.

Shocked terrified black bearded man looks in terror, keeps both hands on head, sees something horrified, can not believe his eyes, stands over purple background. Oh no, what serious problem I have

You feel pressured by society

The pressure to be in a relationship, get married, and have children are all too common these days. It could be that you come from a culture that puts these things on a high pedestal or maybe you are tired of getting wedding and baby shower announcements that constantly remind you about when your time will come. Understand that children will change your life, and the people or things that pressure you aren’t going to be there to take care of that human being. When the time is right, you will know.

Young afro business couple working on back seat of car, going to office

Your career involves lots of travel and schedule is unpredictable

Stability especially in the formative years of a child’s life is crucial. Constant absences deprive them of the attention they need. Bringing children along for the trip might be a plan for you, but infants and toddlers need a routine schedule. When you are ready to get married, consider a remote job or a steady job in one location.

Man showing his empty pocket on yellow wall background.

You don’t have a stable job

Children are expensive. The expenses for these unemployed human beings tend to add up over time. Hospital bills, food, diapers, clothes, child care etc. Without stable income and some a good benefit package, you are in big trouble. If you do manage to have a child and you are in between jobs, there are many resources to help take care of your children. Family planning is important. Take a deep look into your overall situation before making the next move.

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You enjoy your freedom

That single life you enjoyed will change once babies are in the picture. Unless your Beyoncé rich and can afford to decide if you can hire help or go on breathtaking vacations, you’re going to have to keep those ideas in the back burner.  Taking care of another human being is 24/7 job. You are the provider and protector. If you are lucky to have a supportive partner, both of you can coordinate schedules so that each of you can have a baby-free weekend in peace.

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...