Becoming a parent is a big decision. Many factors come into consideration and a lot of couples might find that they have very different views on this.
With todays workplace politics and opportunities, the choices are not always clear. More and more women are just as ambitious and driven as men. Unfortunately, a lot of them feel the pressure to perform more than their male counterparts. What will happen to their careers if they go on maternity leave? Are they supported by their employers? Will their clients accept their absence?
There are lots of questions raised by women who are considering having a family and many of the feel alone in these decisions as their partners don’t have the same ‘risks’ to consider. There is also social pressure to consider like what other friends and family are doing and expecting of them.
The UK is a hard place to raise children if you have finances to consider. The child care costs are immense and not everyone can afford to use a nursery or nanny. So what do you do?
Firstly communicate with your employer, find out exactly what your rights are and what the expectations are from their side.
Discuss with your partner, well ahead, what is important to the both of you. As a mother to be, you have to be the one at home to start with but for how long? Can your partner take over?
What is your support network like? Can you child care share? What do others do in your area? At your workplace?
Be aware of the emotional impact having a child can have on you. Read up and be prepared. Not that you can be fully prepared, children do have a tendency to take you on a rollercoaster ride you’ve never been on before!
Most importantly though, enjoy your children! The years of having a young family passes quickly, believe it or not. Be present, do things together, talk and listen. Look after each other and yourself, remember this is a new life for both parents!
Here are a few links to help along the way: