Deciding to get married is one of the biggest decisions a person can make. The decision of whether or not to have children is arguably just as big (if not bigger). That’s why it is vitally important to discuss the issue of parenting with your partner before saying, “I do.” Do you want to have children? Does your partner? Is your answer non-negotiable? It’s best to share your thoughts and feelings openly with your partner about the issue and allow him or her the same opportunity.
You may be thinking, “We both definitely want kids. No issues here!” While that may be true there are a number of other things to consider including in your discussion. How many children do each of you want? How would you like to space them? Who will handle discipline in your house and how will it be done? What about childcare? Will you both be working or will one parent stay home with the child(ren)? Do you (or your partner) plan to raise your kids in a particular faith?
Perhaps you or your partner already have kid(s) from a previous relationship. Parenting is still an important topic to discuss. Just because he already has children doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be open to having another one. Don’t leave anything to assumption. Also, when blending a family you’ll want to discuss who and how the discipline of the children will be handled.
Hopefully these questions are just a sample of an ongoing discussion you and your partner are already having. You may not be exactly on the same page for every question. The important thing is having the discussion and knowing where you each stand on things. In some cases, you may not know how you feel about an issue until it comes up. Or, as it does for many people, your feelings about an issue may change once you actually have children. Building the foundation for a healthy dialogue now will allow you to continue to have healthy conversations as you experience the journey together.
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