I’m going to come right out and say it: there’s never the “perfect” time to get pregnant. Sure, you can look at the calendar and want to avoid being nine months pregnant in the middle of the summer or want to toast with champagne at your best friend’s wedding in April. But pregnancy doesn’t care about your calendar. So how do you know when it’s time?
First, you and your partner should be on the same page. Growing your family is one of the biggest decisions you can make together. You both should be willing to make this life-changing decision. You should also be in a “good place” in your relationship. Don’t hope a baby will fix any lingering problems. In fact, adding a baby could make them worse.
Finances are something to consider, but you know your budget and lifestyle best. Is one parent going to stay home with the baby? Will you need to pay for daycare? If so, what type? The cost of raising a baby can be dramatically different for every couple. Formula costs more than breastmilk. New clothes cost more than hand-me-down clothes. Daycare can cost a family more than a stay-at-home parent. Only you and your partner know your finances and lifestyle best, but these are questions to consider before leaping into trying to get pregnant.
You should also consider your own goals. Are there places you want to visit or career goals you have that would be more difficult if you had a child to bring along or a child to pick up at daycare unexpectedly? It’s worth considering and weighing your personal and career goals and how a baby would affect them. You should allow yourself the freedom to grow as an individual and as a couple before having a baby together.
You’ll also want to consider the realities of trying to get pregnant and pregnancy itself. Have you considered what you and your partner will do if you don’t get pregnant right away? What types of fertility treatments are you willing to try? Are you open to adoption? If so, what type? Pregnancy is physically challenging. Are you prepared to feel nauseated and crave fajitas at the same time? Have you thought about what being pregnant will actually be like on a day-to-day basis of discomfort, exhaustion, and excitement all rolled into one?
Finally, go ahead and take a look at that calendar. If you know you want to really imbibe at your best friend’s wedding in a few months, it may be worth it to wait to try. You and your partner know your relationship, finances, and lifestyle best. After considering the impacts trying to get pregnant, getting pregnant, and having a baby will have on your life together, you can make the best decision for your family.