You've set the scene with a savory dinner by candlelight, with plans to have a serious discussion with your husband about starting a family. Having a baby is a major, life-altering decision between partners. Before getting pregnant with your first baby, find private time to engage in open and honest discussion with your husband to make the choice about parenthood together as a team.
Choose Your Moment
Planning a family is not something to bring up on your way out the door to work in the morning. To have a meaningful and productive conversation about a future family, find a time when the two of you can sit together, unhurried and alone. For example, a lazy Saturday morning over coffee and scones or a comfortable evening snuggling on the couch or in bed can be ideal times to have this conversation.
Have Positive Discussion
Both partners need an opportunity to share thoughts and desires to weigh in on this important choice. Express your thoughts and feelings about starting a family honestly and positively with your husband. Resist the urge to revert to negative conversation and thought processes -- even if you the two of you don’t agree about whether or when to start a family. Avoid name-calling, making demands and criticizing him about his opinions. Instead, listen to and empathize with his thoughts and feelings and express your feelings constructively and respectfully, advises the University of Missouri Extension. You might say, “I’m starting to get some inklings of baby fever. What do you think about starting our family soon?”
Talk About Timing
Perhaps you feel ready to have a baby soon or maybe you prefer to put off parenthood while you focus on other pursuits. Whatever your situation, discuss the timing and details of a possible family with your spouse. Points to cover include finances, employment, professional and personal goals, insurance, current living space and plans for caring for the baby after birth such as one of you quitting work outside the home, taking a leave of absence or finding daycare for the child. Discuss the condition of your relationship, too. If you’re already having trouble with your relationship, a child will not “fix” it. In fact, having a baby is likely to place even more pressure on a stressed relationship, warns psychotherapist Joyce Marter, quoted in an article published on the PsychCentral website.
Disagreeing about a Family
If you and your husband disagree about having a baby or the timing of pregnancy, you may struggle with anger and frustration about the impasse. It’s easy to think that one of you is being selfish for not wanting a family, but it’s imperative that you both agree before proceeding, states the Dr. Phil website. Having a family when one partner is in disagreement can lead to resentment that could harm the relationship and could also be negative for the child. Even if you disagree, listen and communicate positively to work through the issues. If you can’t work through your respective feelings and reach a mutual decision, consider seeking assistance from a marital counselor. The counselor can help you both express feelings and listen to each other respectfully. The final decision should be mutually acceptable for both partners.