Well, everyone should want to be established before having a family, man or woman. But, first let’s break down what it means to be “established.” Typically, it means you are a person who is completely stable from all aspects: your career, mentally/emotionally and financially. Whether you apply to some or all, these are defining words for what being established could mean. Most women (myself included) would like to mark each of these off our lists before we start a family. It only makes sense right? Take care of business so that your business ends up taking care of you. In other words, that means make sure you’ve lined your life up appropriately so that you don’t have to worry about issues coming along the way. Women like to be perfect, which can be problematic at times but for the most part there’s nothing wrong with desiring to accomplish goals in order to make life easier and more beneficial for you. But what about those who feel families should be started organically without planning and or without being established? Is it wrong, right or does it really matter? Well, in my opinion, I think it’s best to be established before being responsible for a family unit; and I’ll tell you why with each word I used to describe what being established means. Enjoy.
Are You Mentally Stable?
Can you handle your partner losing their job and going through a depression? Are you prepared for a screaming child at 2am in the morning with no clue how to end the tears and you have to work in the next three hours? Are you ready to dedicate the “me time” you once had to family movie nights, cooking family dinners or packing lunches for four? Most people don’t know if they’re ready to handle it until it happens but my point is, you have to think about what comes with making a family and keeping them, and yourself, healthy – with emphasis on healthy. You’re emotional balance is tied into your mental stability. According to pasadenavilla.com, a center for psychiatric treatment and research, emotional health involves expressing one’s emotions appropriately for one’s age. Mental health requires managing emotional actions and gauging the appropriate reactions to situations. This prevents unnecessary and unhealthy stress, which if severe enough can lead to depression. There are millions of stories about people who stay in abusive relationships, quit their jobs randomly without saved income and those who take their own lives because they are not mentally stable and can’t understand why it’s a bad idea. It may seem extreme but these situations happen every day and while you may think you have it all together, you may want to take a step back and thoroughly figure yourself out and decide if starting a family is something you are mentally ready to do.
Can You Financially Support a Family?
Look, families cost money. A lot of it. As a matter of fact, kids alone cost $13,000 a year. Yeah. They end up costing you about $233,000 by the time they’re 17, according to Money.CNN.com. So let’s put it this way, you need to have a cute coin. Think about it, in reality who wants to struggle to provide for their family? Especially if you’re a single parent. It’s better to make sure your finances are in order so you can give your family everything they desire if you wanted to. If you aren’t exactly ballin’ at this moment in time it’s also a great idea to learn how to budget. This teaches you how to spend your money wisely and it’ll also show your immediate family how to extend the value of a dollar. In addition, being financially stable also means you have extra cash just in case of an accident or an unexpected spend. After you’ve paid your bills, fed your family and see that you still have enough money to get you nails and hair done plus get four new outfits, trust me you’ll be happy to know that you’re financially stable.
Are You Where You Want to be in Your Career?
This one is the most important and can easily be incorporated into your mental and financial establishment. Are you secure in your career? That means, are you happy with what you do for a living? Are you making enough money in your career? Are you where you want to be? These questions matter because this will influence how you are with your family. If you hate going to work but you can’t show that at work, you can’t come home and take it out on your family either. As a woman nothing means more to me than achieving my goals, challenging myself and earning the respect I deserve in the professional world. Doing what I love and making money for it makes me happy. When I’m happy, I can give my full happiness and attention to outside items such as family and friends. It’s just the way humans function. If we aren’t happy and healthy within ourselves we will never be able to transfer any positive energy to other facets of our lives. And to be honest, we shouldn’t have to until we’re ready.
Take your time. Having a family can wait and doesn’t need to be rushed. Love on yourself and figure out what makes you happy and tick. If all things point to, “yes, I’m ready for a family,” then go for it! The healthier and happier you are, the more likely you are established. Take care of “self” first and everything else will fall into place.