Starting a family is a big decision in itself. You have to ensure you’re at a stage in your life where you’re able to provide a happy, fulfilled life for another human being. And that can be incredibly exciting for you. However, deciding to bring a child into your home isn’t the only big decision you’re going to have to make. There are many more things to think about. Here are eight of the big decisions you’re going to have to make when you start a family.


Whether to adopt or have your own child

There are many children who need homes in this country. And whether you want a baby, a toddler or an older child, adoption in South Africa is always an option. However, there will likely be a lot of paperwork involved and you may have to wait. And many people want to have their own babies, little ones who look just like them and carry on the family traits. Both options have their pros and cons, it all depends on what you want.


Will you have more than one child?

You don’t have to decide this right away but it’s always good to think about ahead of time. You never know, you may change your mind later on. But if you’re convinced you’ll be expanding your family further, it will impact the decisions that follow in this list.


Where you’re going to live

Where do you want to raise your child or children? Do you want to live close to your family and friends so you have a support structure who live only moments away? Are you considering raising your little one in the hustle and bustle of the city? Or would you prefer that your child grow up in a quiet, safe neighbourhood? You need to think carefully about this once you’ve made the decision to have a child.


What sort of schooling they’ll have

Private school or public school? Do you want them to experience boarding school or would you rather they come home straight after school? You may think this is a choice that can wait, but if you want your child to attend a good school, they may have to be on a list from a young age.


How will you balance work and a family

Will both you and your partner work? Will one of you stay home while your child is still little? Or are you a single parent who has no choice but to balance work and having a child? You need to spend some time thinking about these things and plan ahead. You don’t want to be stuck not knowing what to do when you already have a little one who relies on you emotionally, physically and financially.


What values will you instil in your child

Are you religious? If so, will you raise your child in the same faith? If you and your partner have different beliefs, will you expose them to both? And it’s not only about religion or faith, you need to decide what kind of values you want your little one to grow up with. Because they will mimic what the see and hear. And you obviously want to raise your child to grow up to be a good person.


Are you going to let them sleep in your bed?

This may seem like a simple decision. You either want them with you at all times or you want them to become used to sleeping on their own. But when you have to get up during the night to feed them, it makes a huge difference whether they’re in your bed or in another room. Once your little bundle of joy is home, you may change your mind but it’s good that you have an idea at first.


Are you going to choose to self-soothe?

Some people are advocates for self-soothing. It’s when you leave your baby to cry in an effort to teach them to learn to calm themselves down. Obviously, this doesn’t count when it’s feeding time or the baby needs something. On the other hand, some parents can’t stand the idea of leaving their precious little one to cry alone. Whichever decision you make, you have to ensure that you and your partner (if you have one) stick to your decision.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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