This blog is a continuation to my previous blog entitled Some things to think about when planning to have a child- Part 1. In my previous blog, an emphasis was placed on the couples’ right to choose whether and when to have children, and how many children to have. This does not mean that couples do not still experience external stressors that push them towards having children even when they do not feel that they are ready. For instance, the couple’s parents may long to become grandparents, and thus they may repeatedly pass comments about this. While this external pressure often comes from others’ good intentions, such as the couple’s parents’ belief that their adult children would make great parents, the couple still deserves the right to choose what is right for them and what makes sense to them.
McCarthy and McCarthy (2004), recommend the following exercise to couples who are struggling with deciding whether to have a child or who wish to have a discussion with their partner around the subject:
- Each individual separately writes positive and negative factors for having a child. These would include positive and negative feelings about having a baby, positive and negative emotional effects on relationship, positive and negative effects for having a baby with a focus on practical, financial and situational factors.
- Share the written material and discuss pros and cons.
- As a couple, together write out important issues to deal with and discuss.
- Proceed with mutual decision making.
McCarthy and McCarthy (2004) also state that some couples do not to reach a decision by the end of the discussion process, and that in such a situation, they may wish to evaluate the process in a few months’ time.
Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specializing in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships.