Absence Makes the Heart Grow…

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     I know what you’re thinking…the end of that phrase is FONDER!  Well, in my case, I’d like to say that “Absence Makes the Heart Grow Families”. 🙂  My husband, recently sent to the middle east for work, wrote home just two weeks after leaving to randomly tell me in an email “When I get home, I’d like us to start trying to start a family.”  Which brought me to the thought – what is it about being thousands of miles away that suddenly made him want to start a family?   Now, as men sometimes do, he said this very casually and nonchalant as if it’s like planting spring flowers or something.  To me, my heart started racing, my mind raced even faster, and after this flood of thoughts – I was elated!  But, there’s a reason that the thought of trying to have a child with my husband was calming at the same time.  Since we were married in 2006, we have taken the time to talk about many topics in a marriage, such as parenting, finances, religion, household roles, parents-in-law, etc.  We’ve done, what they call in the military, “war-gaming” the idea of having a child.  It means to think about something from every possible angle.  While I don’t advocate that there is ever a perfect time for children, talking about it ahead of time could eliminate surprises before you’re standing there with an infant and a “poopy diaper” wondering who’s going to change it.  

     There are many sources out there that list topics to discuss before having a baby, but I’ve compiled what I think are the most important below….so that, if one day you and your partner decide its time to have a child – you too can approach that adventure with elation, not anxiety! 🙂

1. Religion and spirituality – what roles will this play in your marriage and your parenting?

2. Parenting roles – who will take on what responsibilities in the household and with the child once the little one arrives?

3. Marriage adjustments – how will your marriage change as you now have to split your attention and affection with an additional family member?

4.  Support network – who will you rely on for emergencies when caring for the child?

5.  Number and frequency – how many children do you want and how far apart will they be?

6.  Finances – are you financially stable enough to be able to take on the expenses of a new child?  What budget changes need to be made if not?

7. Parenting styles – what do each of you believe about how a child should be raised.  Who’s the disciplinarian, one or both?

8.  Other options – what is your plan if you are unable to conceive – adoption, medical options, etc.

For more topics to discuss and further information on the ones listed above…please visit: http://myhappylists.com/2010/02/25-topics-to-discuss-before-having-children/

Charlsey Mahle

GRA, ACHMI

Auburn University

One Response to “Absence Makes the Heart Grow…”

  1. My Happy Lists Says:

    Thanks for linking to My Happy Lists!

    I think it can even be a good idea to discuss some of these topics before you get married. It’s a good way to learn more about your partner and to see if they’re the right one for you.

    I hope you guys do get started on the family as SOON as he gets home! 🙂

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