Thursday, February 9, 2012

10 Questions to Ask Before Having Kids

Here's another article from The Knot that I found interesting!! No plans for baby Hart just yet but that doesn't mean we aren't discussing it! I feel like Jon and I have been talking about so many of the topics below recently.

Below are articles from TheKnot.com that I have talked about in previous posts  


So what does TheKnot.com say you need to chat about before having kiddos? I've listed the hot topics below in BOLD with the explanation following (from the website). I have added my comments in RED (remember red=Ruthie).


1. Public school or private school? What kind of school experience do you want for your kid, how much are you willing to pay for it and how will those (staggering) expenses change your financial options? How much will you sock away for college? If one of you insists on private school, does that mean that you, say, buying a smaller house?

I've gone to public school my entire life and Jon went to public up until college where he attended a private Baptist school in Waco, Baylor University. We are moving in a matter of 2 months and have decided on a neighborhood in a great school district. Public school is the plan until our children choose where to go to college. We'd also love to send our kiddos to a Christian pre-school.  



2. If it’s a girl, your partner wants to name her Rainbow. Can you get past this? Kidding. Not every detail needs to be hashed out and talked to death. Baby names are something that every couple somehow manages to work out; don’t sweat it. Unless the name is actually Rainbow 

We actually have our baby names picked out! If you know me personally then I have probably already told you :-). And no, our daughter will not be named Rainbow Hart

3. How will you fund Project Baby? Babies come with a magical power: They make your every nickel disappear. Cribs! Diapers! Postnatal care! A tricked-out Bugaboo stroller with a built-in Blu-ray player! These little creatures have the gall to ask for food too. Make a realistic financial plan and leave some leeway for the unexpected.

Okay we don't even have a TV in our bedroom so there is no way our baby will be watching Blu-rays in their crib. Jon and I are both insured with his company and have a joint HSA account. We actually contribute monthly in addition to what is provided by his company, so that by the time we have our first baby, pre natal care and hospital bills will already be paid for. If your company has this option, do it! It is pre taxed money. As far as other baby expenses go, we are pretty good savers and smart with our money. We have some time to think about that. 


4. How many kids will you have? Maybe you dream of just one little angel and your partner wants a 15-baby platoon that doubles as a reality TV star. This one variable -- number of kids -- will have more impact on the dynamic of your family than almost anything else.

I am 1 of 4 kids and Jon is an only child! We have an idea of how many we want but we will see what God has planned for us.  

Maybe we will be the next Duggars! JK


5. How will your careers change? How long (if at all) does Mom stay at home? How about Dad? Are you okay (really okay) with the financial and career trade-offs?

We have a plan for this one too...stay tuned ;-)

6. Who’s on diaper duty? How will you carve up the parental duties? True, this is the kind of thing that tends to work itself out, but you should have a sense of who does what. Will you both split everything or are there distinct Dad Duties and Mom Duties? Do you take turns waking up at 2 a.m.? (And 3 a.m. And 4 a.m. And 5 a.m....)

Is this even a question?! Both of us! Jon is going to be such a wonderful dad and assures me he will be a diaper changing, bottle feeding, baby swaddling maniac. 

7. What about God? This is (obviously) crucial for partners with different religious backgrounds (do you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or a hybrid?). But it can still be an issue even within the same faith. Will your family go to church, synagogue or another place of worship? How big a role do you want religion to play in your children’s lives? Prayers before dinner?

This is big for us and we are lucky that we both share the same faith and commitment to our faith. Helping our children build a relationship with Jesus is #1 for us. It has also been important for Jon and me to build a Christian foundation in our marriage and household before we decide to expand our family. We would be lost without our faith and our children will definitely grow up in the church.  


8. How will you handle Grandma and Grandpa? Let’s say that Grandma and Grandpa want to stay in your home for eight weeks to “help.” Is that good news or bad news? How much will they influence your own style of parenting? How much is Grandma allowed to spoil them? Discipline them? Speaking of which...

Luckily my mom and dad live a mere 15 minutes away from us in Austin! I can't wait to share motherhood with them and have them be a part of our children's lives. There is no way my parents would want to stay 8 weeks with us because they have a better social life than I do!! 

9. How will you discipline the kids? If you ask 100 different people about the best theory on childhood discipline, you’ll probably get 100 different answers. What types of punishments are acceptable when it comes to kids-to-be? Time-outs? Spanking? You don’t have to nail down every scenario, but make sure you and your partner are in the same stratosphere.

This is something we've discussed loosely and luckily we have some time to do so. Since we grew up in such different dynamics, it will be interesting to see what works best for us. Training Ernie has been good practice for the two of us to talk and communicate about discipline.

10. What counts as spoiling? Will you be tight or loose with Kid Money? Do they get everything they want? How old will they be when they start getting an allowance? Do they have to do chores to earn that allowance? How much TV can they watch, and how much Internet surfing is too much?

We have found it quite comical that we buy Ernie tons of awesome, cool toys and all he wants to play with is a stick and a tennis ball. My mom laughs and says this is exactly how babies are. We want our children to appreciate their belongings (unlike the box of under appreciated dog toys we have!).

Remember, my comments are in RED only and they are 100% my opinions. Be nice, we are all different :-)

 

So for those of you with kiddos...did you and your husband discuss these things before starting your family? Did it help to be on the same page on these topics? 

What about you kid-less couples? Do you guys discuss this stuff with your partner just to prepare?  

 

27 comments:

Michelle P said...

These are all good questions! Me and the boy don't want kids for around another 7-8 years, so we have tons of time to think about this.

Heather said...

These are all good questions to ask! I was so glad to find a Christian daycare for my little one (that's on the way). She will go to public school though, because- let's face it- we're going for college basketball scholarships.

Shannon Marie said...

What a great post- I'll have to remember to re-read this once I'm married :) Thanks for thoughtful & purposeful read!

Lauren said...

Honestly we didn't talk about a lot of these things before we got pregnant... and some of them we are just recently discussing now that we have a 16 month old and another on the way.

We've always been good communicators in our marriage, and put God first so we were never worried. We knew we wanted kids, and the rest would fall into place. The discipline, etc, is a harder one for example but our pursuit of God has helped shared how we feel we should discipline our kids and there are several Christian-based books out there to read (with differing opinions for sure - so if you choose to read up, read several and decide what you are comfortable with). A lot of the discipline too will SO depend on the child.

I think the greatest advice in this article from theknot is to talk about dividing up of responsibilities. Do I think a diaper schedule needs to be set up before you get pregnant? Heck no! For us though it was great to come to the understanding that it was going to be a 50/50 deal. When the baby woke up in the middle of the night for a feeding, my husband would change her diaper and bring her to me then go back to sleep while I fed her, then I would put her back to sleep. It was teamwork through and through and it's made our marriage SO MUCH stronger. Despite what some people say, I think if you make your marriage a priority, children only strengthen it.

Now, I will say that the mother always gets more of the responsibility and you need to know that NOW - even if you have the very best husband who wants to do AS MUCH as possible, it may always feel like you are doing more. And that's totally okay! Talk out your feelings about this if it gets you down but don't let it create a bitter divide between you at any point especially in the very beginning, this is a tactic of the enemy!! I know especially in the first 3 months this was hard for me but I talked out my feelings with my husband. It made me realize how silly I really was being, but if I had kept it all contained, I know I would have held a grudge. And why would I want to hold a grudge against my sweet husband who really is the best dad? The devil finds any way he can to sneak in, so just speak against that in your marriage come baby time! :)

KRISTIN said...

This is great! We have some time before a little bambino will grace us with it's presence...but it's always good to be planning! I'm happy that we have covered most of this already and now I have a few new topics to throw into our convos. :)

And I think Rainbow Hart has a ring to it! :)

Amira said...

It's so funny that you posted this this morning because it's been heavy on my mind lately :-) Brandon and I have been talking about babies lately and maybe trying sometime this year (eeek) but we got in an argument over dinner last week about spanking kids, haha. The things on this list are absolutely all important things that should be considered before "the next step." Thanks for sharing!

Carolyn said...

Jake and I talk about this kind of stuff all the time!!! Isn't it crazy to think that we're talking babies? I do not feel "adult" enough to be married, homeowners and potential parents (in like two years). Just crazy. :)

Jessi said...

The most important ones are religion (which should really be discussed before marriage and if you're not in agreement, don't marry!) and discipline. We have watched my brother and sister in law argue over this one still. Their daughter is 3 and you can see that there is no clear routine, discipline or structure. Structure is crucial!

Anyways, this is a great list. Definitely good to have the discussion beforehand.

Jamie said...

great post! And yes my hubby and I did talk about all of these and saved my income in a savings account for 12 months to see if we could afford to live off of just one income. I'm not loving life as a stay at home mommy to a 20month old beauitful daugther. The company i worked for offered a HSA too, my hostpial stay and birth of child was paid off once we got the bill. smart thinking on your and your hubbys part....

now does this post mean you are trying for a baby?!?! you guys will make awesome parents!!

Sara said...

What a fabulous post! As someone currently expecting my first child, all of these topics come up and need to be discussed. My husband and I grew up very differently, but we both want the same things for our kids. We may be debating over the whole public school vs. private school for years, but until then, we'll be splitting diaper duty, sharing this with our parents and laughing at all the horrible baby names out there. Luckily Rainbow is not on my husband's list!

Nina Tank said...

This is good for those who don't have children yet and are planning to do so! It is surprising how many couples (even married ones!) never discuss some of these things! Luckily, my husband and I agreed on almost everything (other than the name, in which I won lol).

For ANYONE who stumbles across this comment, the best advice I can give you while pregnant: We bought a big box of diapers (variety of sizes) and wipes every single time we went to the grocery store, just like we already had the baby. Once she was born, we didn't have to buy diapers for over 6 months which was really nice since my "breastfeeding plan" didn't work out and we had to buy formula. Best advice anyone ever gave me!!

Amanda said...

Great questions, and I agree with a lot of your answers. That's a long ways away from now though. Although I did have a dream that I got preggo last night and was so upset about it.

Alana said...

Great post! Everyone should have some serious heart-to-hearts before taking the plunge!

Lauren said...

Such a great post Ruthie! My husband and I have been having these conversations lately and luckily we're usually on the same page. Well until he mentions some crazy-difficult-to-spell-let-alone-pronounce Russian name that we'll be naming our kid. Side note - he's not Russian, just has a weird obsession with Russian names. I blame hockey. These are some great ideas to think about though! Thanks for the post :)

Julie Keller said...

What a great post Ruthie! Justin and I talk so much about these things, and have lots of the same opinions as you. We want all our debt (truck and trailer loans and a line of credit) paid off before we start a family. We're planning for me to stay home with our children until our second is old enough for school. And we also have a lot of names picked out, and have agreed to not know the sex of our babies. Our biggest arguement is whether or not to use cloth diapers! Justin says no, I say yes. I believe I will win that one!

Krista said...

We did talk about these things before actually having babies and it did help, but a lot of it is still a learn as you type thing. Life changes and you need to be flexible and adapt with it. Open communication is the key, both before and after baby's arrival. I'm sure you two will do a great job when the time comes :)

Daisy said...

I love that your priority is for your child to have a realtionship with Jesus Christ :) Great post!

Jenna said...

Having the names picked out is going to be a great thing - that way you don't end up like Chris and I who never agreed on a girl name (thank goodness we had 2 boys!)!!!

missusmac said...

We discussed this before we were even engaged! I think it's important to be on the same page about this before you get married.

Heather said...

loved reading your thoughts on these topics! you and jon seem to be very much on the same page, and i think that means that you are set for success :) so get busy!! lol

we talked about these topics. i think when it comes to money, you will always never "feel" ready, even if you are savers and have a good income. we just had to "jump in" and leave the rest up to God! praise God for good health insurance (glad you have this too!) because without it, just having a baby can cost up to $20K or more!!!

i think the biggest and most important thing is being on the same page about religion... this is where i've seen husbands and wives fight the most and even divorce over down the road... if you are not on the same page regarding what you believe in, throwing a kid in the mix will only make it more amplified! praise Jesus that you and jon are both like-minded!!! i'm so thankful for that, too, and believe that that also incorporates discipline (Bible-centered principles).... God is so good and has blessed us both so much, Ruthie :) xoxoxo

Kristin said...

Thanks for sharing this!! Discussions I need to have with the fiance!

CMae said...

this was a unique post!! We just recently had the "kid" talk haha and we are still a few months of actually being married! my biggest concern is having MONEY saved up for this life altering event. As a teacher, I see kids who literally have NOTHING because their parents don't have any money either---check to check. Def want more than that for those potential someday kiddos!

Girls Love Fried Pickles said...

When we decided to have a child, we did the yum yum for nine months like mad dogs and the found out I was pregnant and the rest, was an "oh, crap" moment. And its an adventure from the day he was born.

Abbey said...

Great post Ruthie! Ryan and I talked some about these things...but I felt like a lot of them we didn't discuss until the girls were here or haven't touched on just yet. I've always thrown names at Ryan for kids....it's fun to see his take on what I think is a great name! One thing we definitely touched on was jobs! Raising three babies warrants that conversation pretty quickly!;)

Lauren said...

I love your honesty. Such a cute post. Can't wait to ask the hubby all the questions. We aren't planning kids for a few years though so we have time. :)

Erin said...

so excited to watch you and Jon raise up your kids with Jesus in their hearts! :) i am so excited for the day you announce news of a little one!!

Wendy said...

These are all really great things to think about. As for myself and hubby ~ we knew we wanted kids, we wanted to be young when we had them, we wanted 2 little ones for sure (Luckily I convinced him that 3 was a good number ~ HA!) He has one sister, I have 4 siblings. He went to a public school in a very small town (population 900), I went to private school ~ preschool thru 12th (city population was 150,000). Even though we have these differences, we knew we had similar beliefs (faith, family etc.), while we never talked about discipline, we worked it out together as problems arose. And as for schools, when we moved into our current house we looked into the catholic school for our parish and the classes were full for my daughter's grade, with a very long waiting list. So, that helped us decide on public school for her and continued with it for my son. Personally, I believe you can talk about all of these things and it is extremely good to do so, but ultimately circumstances come up, problems arise and you just have to rely on each other and God to help you through it all. Oh and one more thing.... the money thing.... what is enough? :)

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