Am I ready to be a parent?
Am I ready to add another to the mix?
Have you asked yourself that question lately?
Maybe you have asked yourself that in the past. It’s possible you have been asked this question from friends, family, or coworkers who are considering becoming parents and want to know how you made this life-changing decision.
Here at Military Mommies, we want to take a deeper look at the start of a family’s parenting journey. How do you decide that it’s the right time to start or grow your family? Is there really a timeline that works for everyone? When we asked our expecting team members, we found that a popular reason for deciding to wait or to expand their family was a desire for financial stability. Another common reason was the need to feel that adding another little one wouldn’t affect the family’s day-to-day lifestyle. We also found that sometimes a family’s decision is driven by one partner being ready to jump into parenthood which encourages the other partner to see that vision as well. And of course, we cannot forget that sometimes age is a deciding factor. When family and friends continuously ask when you will have a child, it causes a couple to become keenly aware that the biological clock is ticking away. Whether you planned to add to your family or were surprised to learn about your new addition, starting or expanding a family can be a huge transition.
As a military-focused organization, Military Mommies understands the added difficulties that military families face when deciding whether it is the right time to have a child. Let’s review a few details that might affect a military family’s decision to expand their family. A military family faces many station changes. Do you wait until you are settled in a new community, or do you plan to have your child in the community for which you are familiar? To answer this question, a military family must look at the resources available at the new duty station or city. The family must review the birthing options, the postpartum resources, and the quality of the school system for their school age children. They might also have to potentially plan for a partner having a new career that requires the active duty spouse to be away more frequently. Having a deployment schedule fit into the family’s growth can be a huge deciding factor in military life. For those looking to end their military career, they must decide whether it is financially feasible to wait and have a child as a civilian, or whether it is advantageous to start one’s family while still a part of the military.
In the end, we realize that every family will face different factors that are unique to the start or growth of their family. There is no one true answer to the question, “am I ready to start a family?” Whenever and wherever you decide to start your parenting journey, however, remember that Military Mommies Area Partners can connect with you with doulas, lactation consultants, breast pump advisors and other required support in your area.