Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Things to consider BEFORE starting a family (Part 1 - Proximity to your beloved Family)

When a dear friend, Mrs J, asked:

'when you had your first child how did it affect you financially? Were you ready?' 

I sniggered to myself and thought ‘how long have you got?!’  

The way I see it, you will always figure out a way to house, feed and clothe your child, but that's just the bare bones of parenting. The issue of being 'ready' is so much bigger than money. Of course she knows this, but I just had to break it down for her..and where better than here...my little space on the web?

Whilst I don't believe that there is a ‘right’ time to start a family, I do think that when you become a parent you learn to take things in your stride. God wouldn’t have it any other way.

Now that my disclaimer is out of the way, I can say that I feel that we, as grown folk, have got to have some sort of plans in place. Sure, our 'plans' may not be transformed into reality (I can testify to that!), but 'plans' help to stabilise the journey, and make us feel less anxious about what is a major series of life and lifestyle changes - parenthood.

Goodness - that is one heck of an intro. I hope you're still with me Mrs J! 

Mr O and I discussed this post together and our first thing to consider is proximity to family and core support network.

Did you grow up close to your aunts, uncles, cousins? Would you want your child to have a similar or different experience of family life? How important do you think your extended family will be in your life once you have a baby(ies)? Are they accessible when you need them? If not, are you prepared for a simple night at the cinema to cost £40 upwards!?! 

[3hr babysitter (£15) + movie tickets (£15) + popcorn/other overpriced movie snacks (£10) = £40]

We're lucky that we have a few members of my extended family nearby but the majority of our family live hundreds of miles away and we really do notice the distance of our family life. Let's face it, there are just some things that you'd only trust/want/ask your sibling/parents/bestest friend to do...  Also, even though we're lucky to have a few members of 'my' family around, we don't have a lot of 'Mr O's' family around - and that is something to consider. There will be 4 parts to your family...do you want to be able to see them all?

I feel this especially important when you're in a mixed culture relationship - if you want your kids to experience all sides of their culture(s)/language(s) etc, they're gonna need to be hearing it on the regular.  Just something to think about - not anything to freak out about!

I'm hoping that our little run-through of 'things to consider' isn't looking too bleak.. but I just found myself on a roll... and these are just things that I wish someone had told me 3 -4 years ago/ thing I wish I had taken seriously...and clearly, this is something that Mr O and I talk about a lot. So, simply talking about this post and me writing about this topic is helping us to further realign our thoughts and set out our priorities... so thanks for reading!

Still to come...

- Work/life balance!
- The cost of being a Yummy-Mummy! 
- The commitment of being a SAHM?  
- Working Mum - doe it mean what you think it means? 
- The cost of daycare! 
- Ideal sibling age gaps?!!! 

In the meantime, how close (distance) are you to your family and support network? How does it affect you and your household?

Mrs O


  1. Love it!!! Funny enough I have thought about the proximity issue and it was one that didn't bother us so to speak. We have church family who really feel to us like real family so in many ways we have options if we needed to leave little one with someone. We both come from small families (immediate) and extended family live far away for both of us so its something that was kinda decided early on.

    But you make some excellent points. Especially the movie one. double dang!!! who woulda thunk?!

    And no it doesnt sound bleak. Just real! which is how I like it!

  2. Totally Mrs J! : )

    'tis all about the church family too! See, that's one item to check off the list... oooh I can hear the pitter patter of little feet already! : )P


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