Many people want to start having children at a young age. They don’t want to be parents later in life because they want to feel active and youthful while their children are growing up. And this is perfectly okay. It’s all about when you’re ready. But are you really ready for parenthood? Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before you consciously take the plunge.

Are you financially stable?

This should be your number one priority before having children. Being a parent is expensive and you want to give your little ones the best chance in life. Which means sending them to good schools, ensuring they’re well looked after and giving them everything they need in order to be happy and healthy. Sure, many people are able to raise children without having much money but you don’t want to have to struggle and you certainly don’t want your children to have to struggle.

Do you have health cover?

Pregnancy requires a lot of visits to doctors, consultations and tests. And then, of course, there’s childbirth. You need to know you’re covered for all types of healthcare services. You’re going to need a variety of doctors and specialists for prenatal care. And, of course, once your little one is born, you’re going to have to ensure you’re able to take them to the hospital and the paediatrician whenever required. So, it’s important you have adequate cover and don’t have to pay for everything at once.

Have you done everything you’ve always wanted to do?

Whether you’ve always dreamed of backpacking through Europe or going back to study and obtaining your PhD, make sure you’ve done these things before you choose to become a parent. You don’t want to look back and have any regrets. And once you have children, they take up your life. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing but it does mean that you’re not going to have much of a chance to do all those things on your bucket list until they’ve grown up and left the house.

Do you have a support structure?

You can’t raise a child on your own. This doesn’t simply mean having a supportive and caring partner. This means having extended family and friends who will stick by your side as you raise your children. The first few months after you’ve had your baby will be extremely difficult and you’ll need people to be there physically and emotionally for you. Many people raise children without a support structure but it will make it a lot harder for you.

Choosing to have children is a big decision to make and you have to ensure that you’re ready. Although you can never be fully prepared for all that parenthood entails, you should ensure you have all the above in place.