There may be some of you women out here who, whilst looking for a life partner, are also weighing up the possibility of having children. Whether you feel becoming a mother is miles down the road, or just a matter of steps when you finally meet the one, considering his daddy potential is a big deal and necessary thought process. To get you started, these are the absolute essentials.
How compatible are the two of you?
Perhaps an obvious element to consider – surely you wouldn’t want children with a man you’re not compatible with? – but you’d be surprised how often this detail is overshadowed when a man presents himself as stable, secure and able to provide for a child.
Some people believe having children provides a glue-like substance that will patch up and stick together any fractures in your current union. It won’t. Having children will – take it from us – shine a spotlight on any compatibility holes there are in your relationship. Combine this with sleep deprivation, nerve-racking uncharted territory and another small human depending on your every move, and what you’ll get is some serious pressure.
Before you have children, be sure to figure out what your shared thoughts, beliefs or opinions are on topics such as religion, education, family values and gender roles. Ensure you both know what you stand for individually and as a couple and only then think about adding extra little people into the mix.
How curious is he?
A curious man is one who likely has the ability to adapt, be open and listen to other people’s points of view. This is essential in parenthood because you’re not always going to agree, so you must be able to have open conversations and come to some sort of compromise or route forwards.
Even if you’re the type of woman who’s always sure what she’s doing and has her finger on the pulse of the latest baby research, you’re still going to appreciate a partner who’s interested in the choices you’re making. You want a man who is curious about the different aspects of your new role and what he can do to help and contribute, in order to keep growing as a supportive partner and father.
Do you laugh together?
How often do you and your partner laugh together? Can you laugh about yourselves and each other, about life and the silly things that present themselves unexpectedly?
Humour has the power to make the good times great and the bad times bearable. If you’re with a man who can make you laugh and vice versa, then you’re guaranteed the levity you’ll definitely need from time to time.
How patient is he?
Anyone who’s unable to roll with the ups, downs and curve balls that parenthood will throw is going to have a hard time. Choosing a man who’s patient with you and other people is, in our books, worth taking time over. Yes, people can mellow at the first gaze into the eyes of their newborn, but don’t bank on it.
You don’t need to try and change him, what you need to make sure of is that you both have strategies in place to help you cope if he’s not the most patient person in the world. It may be that you walk away to have a breather in tough times, that you take certain tasks in turn, or you have a single word that replaces any possible arguing and means ‘I need you to calm down a little.’
There are many ways to approach this, but seeing his temperament for what it is and finding a way to work with it is best.
How present is he?
This is perhaps one of the most important factors in deciding whether you’re with the right man to have children with. It comes down to how much support you need as a woman and what you value most.
Your partner can be a perfect match, funny and patient but if he’s never around, will that be any good to you? As a mother it’s important you feel you’re heard, loved and appreciated, so you need to have a good idea of the practicalities involved when you both decide to have children.
If your lover is a 70 hours a week workhorse, then start introducing the concept of slowing down now. Either that or plan what you’ll do during the tougher times. Will you move closer to family, have children at a better time, or cut back his work hours and make a financial sacrifice instead?
We’re not suggesting you try to set things in stone, it’s impossible to prepare for all eventualities. What we are saying is that you look at the logistics of parenthood from a mental, practical and financial perspective, as well as how it will impact you both emotionally.