When we were first married I was very clear that I wanted kids, but as time wore on I started to have doubts. And because of that we didn’t start trying for kids until we’d been married for 10 years.
Before even starting on the path of trying for kids I came up with 5 key criteria that I thought would be critical to starting a family. Mary suggested that I write an article to share those goals so that other wannabe dads could benefit from my journey to fatherhood.
My list was fairly simple:
1. Pay off all debts
2. Get a drivers license and purchase a vehicle
3. Lose weight and get fit
4. Get a secure job
5. Purchase a home
I’m happy to report that I’ve achieved all these goals.
I lost 30 lbs and modified my diet and added an exercise routine, secured a longer term contract at work, purchased a two bedroom condo, secured a Class 5 license and purchased a small vehicle, and with the extra equity from the home we’ve managed to pay off all debts after owning for 5 years.
However, as we began to plan for this life changing event, 6 other major goals emerged that needed to be added to the list. Those additional goals turned out to be:
1. Turn old stuff into cash, and better organize our home
2. Clean out the 2nd bedroom and create a nursery
3. Setup a joint family account for shared expenses
4. Create and follow a savings plan
5. Get counselling support to help with past/current issues
6. Learn more about how to be a good parent
7. Upgrade my education
I’m happy to report that prior to the birth of our first child in July 2013, I had completed 6 of the 7 goals.
I’ve been liquidating any all things that could be turned into cash, and have generated over $2000 in savings. I’ve cleaned out the 2nd bedroom and created a nursery along with new shelving for storage. My wife and I created a joint account to pay for shared household items. I’ve created a savings plan to prepare for retirement and childcare costs. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time in both group and one-to-one counselling to become more self-aware and mature, along with reading about parenting and relational topics and then discussing those with my wife. The only thing I didn’t do was upgrade my education. A goal that I plan to complete in the future.
There a few extra things that occur as part of the pregnancy and birthing process that are also critical. My next article will cover those topics. They include: picking baby names, the ups and downs of testing for birth defects, doctors visits, miscarriages, decisions regarding abortion, supporting your partner, pre-natal courses, when and what to share as news, dealing with friends and family, being at the birth, the joy of a newborn, and after birth support.
To those of you who do decide to enter in the exciting journey of parenthood and child rearing…I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings in the comments section below, as I’m interested to hear about how you’ve prepared for and overcome various obstacles as you work towards becoming even better parents than your own fathers and mothers.