Planning for Birth
By Alana Heim, CPA/PFS, CFP®, CHDS
April 6, 2017
Spring is the time of year for new growth. It is the perfect time of year to plant seeds and to birth a vision, or even an idea. As flowers and trees begin to bloom in the plant kingdom, so too does the animal kingdom begin to birth new life.
Fortunately, human beings are blessed with giving birth any time of the year. We also have plenty of time to effectively plan for a family. For some of us, planning falls short, or just isn't an option.
Sometimes dread sets in and pushes family thoughts well into the future. Those thoughts and fears rush through our minds about whether to create, or add to, a family. We wonder about right timing, logistics for care, and sometimes even the financial impact a child will cause.
The truth is planning for a family entails many moving pieces:
- Financial Impact.
- Birth recovery.
- Parenting beliefs, values, and skills.
- Life as a family.
- Happiness (individually, as a couple, and as a family).
It is important to recognize these moving pieces and then discuss how your current reality may be affected by each piece. These are the stepping stones to adjusting to having a new family dynamic. Moving from coupledom to a family is a huge shift. Your emotions may be volatile. Priorities may evolve. Your relationship may endure unknown crossroads ahead.
Planning for each moving piece may or may not happen depending on what you are mentally, emotionally, and physically ready to handle and experience. For example, if you are new to parenting, your worries may take over. You may plan for the things that come to mind. You may plan for the things that other parents have told you about. You may take birthing classes. You may plan for time off. You may gather help as readily as possible.
But you may just as easily forget about planning for your taxes. You may not discuss, or think about the financial impact adding a person may have on your budget. You may not realize the exhaustion that can affect you and your partner when working and caring for your child with little to no sleep. You may not have discussed what your parenting values are and whether they align with your partner's.
When you were a couple, life was easy. You did things together. You did things separately. You went on vacation. You spent time with friends at happy hour. You came and went as you pleased, when you wanted, every day. You lived how you wanted to live, because you were only responsible for yourself and each other.
When a child comes into your life, you may not realize that some of these things could be temporarily placed on hold, or made permanent. Yes, you can see still your friends, but will your partner watch your child while you are out? Do you even have the energy to go out and do the things you once enjoyed?
There are many things that get overlooked in planning for a family. Here are some areas on which my clients and I plan together:
- Updating the family budget.
- Planning for changes affecting income taxes.
- Discussing updates and changes to estate plans.
- Recognizing and communicating the needs of each partner.
- Understanding the energies of the family dynamic.
- Aligning the couples' values with their goals and expectations for the family.
- Determining who will work and how to split child responsibilities, and household chores.
- Honoring the skills and abilities of each parent to avoid energetic burnout and frustration.
- Establishing a date night schedule and agreeing on who the trusted care provider is to accommodate that schedule.
- Discussing which parent gets breaks and how often.
- Investigating (as a team) the right daycare facility to care for the child (if necessary).
- Planning for the child's education (pre-K through college).
Planning is different for everyone. You may have expectations and goals about how life will be as a family. The important thing to note is that you and your partner are a team. Plan together. Plan for the family you both envision. Support each other and love each other no matter how difficult and frustrating you may feel during the process. Recognize that there are people who are ready to guide you when you are feeling overwhelmed and stuck.
I want you to be well prepared when planning for your new birth. Whether you are birthing a child, a vision, or a business, you are here to be supported along the journey. I invite you to contact me when you are ready for that support and guidance.
To schedule a FREE Prosperity Breakthrough Session with Alana, click HERE.
* Note: This article was written in the singular when adding to a family. As a mother of twins, I know all too well that multiples add a dynamic flavor to family planning. The information within this article still applies to all additions, even if not referenced as plural.
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