How do you
know if you are
making the right
In the past:
Almost all women who were fertile had children because of the lack of
effective birth control, along with societal expectations.
It is now possible for more females to control whether, with whom, and when
to have children.This is because of access to birth control, adoption, legal
abortion, and reproductive technologies.
Only you can
decide if and when
you are ready.The
right time to have a
child is different for
is a lifelong
Children can bring joy and complexity into our lives.
As they grow and change, parents grow and change with
It can be wonderful sharing activities, stories, and places
with the children.
Children can challenge and inspire us to make the world
a better place.
Children give us a way to be part of the continuity of
Being a parent involves exchanging
spontaneity and relative control of
everyday life for:
A huge responsibility
Juggling your needs and dreams
alongside the needs and demands
of a child can be a challenge.
You may develop a fear of bringing
a child into a troubled world or
want to pursue dreams
incompatible with child rearing.
Child-free can mean more
personal freedom and more time,
money, and energy.
THINKING ABOUTTHE QUESTION
CREATES MORE QUESTIONS!
“Does my job give me financial stability?”
“Do I have a stable household?”
“Is my partner or any other household member abusive in anyway?”
“Are alcohol and drugs going to interfere with parenting?”
“Are there family medical problems that might be passed on genetically?”
“Do I have parenting skills, or am I eager to learn them?”
“How will I juggle work and childcare?”
“If I am single, how would having a child affect any new intimate relationships?”
“Do I have adequate health care insurance and accessible health care?”
“What will the financial costs be?”
“What kinds of values would I want to encourage in my child?”
“What kind of community would I want to raise children in?”
“Would I have support if I or my child develop a disability?”
“Am I ready to prepare a child to deal with difficulties in life such as racism, sexism, etc.?”
“Am I too young?”
The choice that you make is also influenced by your family, your
community, your culture, and the society in which you live in.
You must consider the amount of involvement in child rearing in which
you would want to have before making the decision and you would also
want to evaluate your emotional sources.
“Would one of you stay home with the baby?”
“Are there caring people around you to help you keep your perspective, your
temper, your sense of humor, and your sanity?”
“Would you find childcare?”
“Is there a mother or mother figure you can turn to for advice, support and
Avoiding a conscious decision.
Giving into pressure from family members or peers.
Letting your partner decide for you.
Thinking your partner will change.
Thinking it’s a decision between no children or two
Making the decision without knowing what children are
Worrying that you wont be a good parent.
ISYOUR DECISION NO?
The societal and familial pressures on women to have children can be
intense because our culture sees having children as an intrinsic part of
being a woman, and many people assume that a woman cannot be truly
fulfilled if she doesn’t have a child.
When your decision is no, it is known that many of you are often judged
If your decision is no and you struggle with that, it is helpful to join a
support group or find other ways to connect with people who support
and validate your choice.
“In becoming parents, we embark on a transformative journey.
Welcoming children into our lives brings moments of elation,
fear, grief, frustration, and joy.”
The next step after you choose yes, is to consider the
different paths because there are several that you can take
Some options of paths to parenthood are:
Conceiving and bearing a child
Caring for a foster child
Charting your menstrual cycle is one way to learn about
fertility signals and optimize your chance of getting pregnant.
It is said that it is best to visit your doctor before you begin
trying to get pregnant so that they can help you learn about
how to best prepare for pregnancy.
Learn about your past pregnancies and births, take a family history, and examine
you to assess for potential problems during pregnancy.
Identify ways to help you manage current medical conditions and avoid pregnancy
Review all medications you are taking and recommend changes, if necessary.
Learn whether you are a good candidate for genetic screening tests.
Offer any immunizations you need that cannot be given during pregnancy.
Recommend that you start taking folic acid supplements a few months before you
start trying to conceive.
Offer support and help for substance abuse, such as smoking cessation and/or
alcohol or drug abuse.
Identify any unsafe environmental exposures you can reduce or eliminate during
“Adoption is another way to create or extend families.”
Adoption can happen because you are unable to conceive, or you
may have a medical condition that would make pregnancy and
childbirth unsafe.And some women simply prefer not to become
pregnancy or choose adoption over giving birth out of concern
for children who need loving families.
It entails logistical, emotional, and financial challenges.
You have to consider the finances involved along with the
emotions and relationships because it can be an emotional
Things to think about:
“How would you feel about having and maintaining contact with your child’s
“Would you want to have a child who resembles you as much as possible,
or would you embrace a child of another race or ethnicity?”
“Do you want to adopt a newborn baby or an older infant or child?”
“Are you willing to welcome a child with medical or emotional challenges?”
“Are you open to parenting any child you are able to adopt?”
“My husband and I batted the idea of children around for a
while. There are enough reasons to have them as there are to not
have them. Every other milestone in our relationship seemed to
take a while, but when we decided to have a child, we just closed
our eyes and jumped. If we’d have deliberated on children as
long as we did our other decisions, we’d never have a kid!”
“I had a child at forty-six. Before that, although I loved being with
other people’s children, anytime something went wrong and the
child irritated me, I would think to myself, How could I ever stand
the full-time responsibility of being a mother? Somehow,
becoming a mother changed that. There is an intangible,
indescribable bond intrinsic to the relationship that in the long
run transcends the petty everyday irritating occurrences.”
“The time between finding out you cannot or should
not have a pregnancy and deciding to follow a few
dream is the saddest time. In life there are no
guarantees, but if you go with an adoption agency with
a good reputation, you can be almost certain you will
become a parent. And once you make the decision, it is
as if a rainbow appears. We call this our paper
pregnancy, a child born in our hearts. Instead of
running out of stores at the sight of a pregnant woman
and avoiding the baby-product aisle at the market. I
smile, hold my head up. I am on cloud nine.”
FACEBOOK DISCUSSION QUESTION:
After reviewing the information
from this chapter, what do you now
believe is the most challenging
aspect of considering parenting?