Are you ready to have kids?

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There’s no definitive right time to have children. Some happy families begin when parents are in their early twenties, while others start later after having already had successful careers and many other life experiences. If you are considering the possibility of having children, it’s important to make the decision mindfully and take into account the many factors that could play a part in the decision.

Are you financially capable of supporting them?

Though money should not be the determining factor, it is an inescapable truth that raising children is expensive. International hospitals in this country are of a particularly high caliber and charge far less for maternity services than their Western counterparts; however, the cost of all of the necessary medical care is very significant. “Well Care” for babies through early teens includes many necessary vaccine and tests, not to mention when your children are actually sick. There are also a whole host of other expenses including international school tuition, orthodontia, the never-ending stack of outgrown clothing and extracurricular activities, just to name a few. If you are thinking of having children, you and your partner would be wise to start saving in advance. You’ll want that extra financial cushion later.

Does your life have sufficient stability?

Kids tend to shake things up, often in the best of ways. A new baby is guaranteed to change all sorts of things, in many ways that you didn’t quite expect. Ask yourself if you are in a stable situation with your career and life in general before taking that next step. Just remember, children are a blessing and they are also extremely resilient, so don’t hold off for perfection.

Do you have any lingering reservations or things that you wish you had done?

Were you planning a one-year trip around the world? Was there something specific you always wanted to do but never quite got around to? Life certainly doesn’t stop after you have kids, but it will be pretty busy many years. If there’s something you always wished you could experience that would be tough with a little one in tow, now is the time. You’ll have plenty of other, equally fun and fulfilling adventures once the kids come, and you’ll enjoy them even more knowing that you didn’t miss out on your own dreams..

Have you thought about your professional trajectory and what your plans might be after your child is born?

Maternity leave in Thailand is relatively short on the global scale. New mothers only get three months of time off. This is a good time to consider if you’re in a position professionally to take time away from work, and if either you or your partner would want to take more time. Having a baby need not end your career, but it is far easier after having a child to return to a job where you are somewhat established, than to try to break into a new field.

Have you had an honest talk about childbearing and child rearing with your partner?

This might be the most important aspect of family planning. When deciding to start a family, it’s essential that you and your partner communicate with one another about your hopes and expectations. You’re about to go through a challenging and wonderful time together; you need to be on the same page before you begin the journey.

Photo Credit: Pelangi Keluarga via Compfight cc

Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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