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Life is a fairy tale for some. They grow up in a functional family, are decent and educated people who get a good job, marry, have kids and enjoy a good life, with ups and downs in between. Or we grow up, find a mate and live together, enjoying the freedoms that coupledom allows. We can also grow up to be single and very satisfied. We all know the fairy tale isn’t perfect, but it’s mostly perfect for us. The key is to find the right life for us and not be afraid to live it.
But what happens when the fairy tale is perfect except for one huge thing--you want to have, nurture and raise a child and your partner does not. Maybe kids aren’t for him or he has kids with someone else. Maybe he had his children young and they’re adults now. Doing it all over again holds no interest to him. He has been there and done that. Or never has and doesn’t want to. Either way, he wants no part of baby raising and you do – desperately. So what’s a couple to do?
Make a Pro and Con list
Yes, even for kids, make the list. Talking about the cost, the loss of all personal time, the potential for having a special needs child, and how careers and incomes may change may put things into a hard financial perspective. Also talk about the rewards of raising children, the activities and excitement as well as the unconditional love of a child. These pros may outweigh the cons just by thinking about them.
Can you afford a child? While there is no perfect time to have a child, there are better times than others. Having a baby when paying the mortgage is a struggle, health insurance is in jeopardy or jobs may be lost is not the time to have a baby. A couple needs to have a nest egg put away and a plan for when one salary may be lost. Remember that a couple’s financial status is usually not the same once they have a child. Be prepared.
Also talk about who will work and who will do the hands-on care. If choosing a daycare, who will pick up and drop off? Which parent will be the go-to person when baby is sick or the daycare is closed/the nanny is sick? Not doing this can build a lot of resentment from the de facto go-to parent.