My Options: Parenting
Am I ready to parent?
Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself and the father of your baby, if possible, if you are considering parenting.
- Am I mature and responsible?
- Am I willing to learn about child development and parenting?
- How do I handle situations when I am angry or upset?
- Am I willing to put my child’s needs before my own?
My Goals & Priorities
- What are my goals in life?
- How would a child fit into those goals?
- Am I willing to give up my goals for my child?
- Would I have the time & energy to parent and still pursue my goals?
- How would having a child impact my social life?
- Does my partner want to have a child and parent with me?
- Is our relationship strong?
- Is my partner ready to give time, energy, and money to raise our child?
- Do we know each other’s feelings about parenting-discipline, religion, family, child-raising, work, and his/her future goals?
- If my partner is unwilling/unable to partner, am I capable of raising a child alone?
- Do I live in an environment suitable for raising a child?
- Do I get along well with my parents and family? Will I have their support?
My Financial Resources & Expenses
- Can I afford child support?
- Do I know how much money it requires to provide for a child?
- Do I know the estimated expenses of newborns? (see average below)
|Birth medical expenses||$24,000|
|Baby equipment||$1,000 -$1,500|
|Clothing/ season||$200 +|
This is when you and the father of your baby both agree to parent the child without the commitment of marriage. You might be considering alternating parenting roles for your child. If you choose this option it is important that you both come to an agreement on many things including:
- Who will be paying for what expenses? (Food, clothing, insurance, activities, etc. for the child)
- Which days of the week each parent will spend time with the child? How will holidays be spent?
- How will you handle schedule conflicts when it is your turn to take care of the child? Can you make other arrangements?
- Who will legally claim the child on their income tax return?
- What will happen when one of you gets married and starts another family?
- How will shared parenting affect the child as he or she gets older?
- Again, consider if shared parenting is best for your child. Our staff members are here to help you sort through your decision to determine what is best for your baby.
If only one of you chooses to parent, there may be several legal steps involving the child’s custody. Single parenting is a challenge. It requires making daily decisions that will not only affect your child in the present but also the future of your child. Consider these few questions that focus in on you and your future plans:
- Are you financially, physically and spiritually prepared to raise this child?
- Can you take care of this child’s health, safety, and wellbeing for the next 18 years and beyond?
- Do you have family member who would be willing to help you with the child?
- Will your job or education allow you to properly care for your child?
- Are your living situations appropriate for a child?
If you are ready to commit yourself for life to your child’s father then marriage may be the best option for you. A child needs a stable, loving, committed family. If marriage is becoming an option because of the pregnancy, you may need to take some time to consider how this commitment will affect the future. Here are some questions to ask consider:
- Are you ready to share everything about yourself with another person?
- Are you able to share your space with another person?
- Will you be able to financially support yourself and this person?
- Are you ready to care for your family (cook, clean the house, and do the laundry for yourself and another person)?
- Are you ready to live 24-hours a day with this person?
- Do you still imagine yourself 20 to 30 years down the road with this person?
Are you ready to the mother of your child and parent at the same time? Before you make a decision about marriage you need to examine all of your options. Our staff members are here to help you sort through your decision to determine what is best for you and your baby.