Side Street Style: Thinking about starting a family? Advice I'd give my former self

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Thinking about starting a family? Advice I'd give my former self


With the majority of people (although not all and thats perfectly fine too) when they get to a certain point in their life, have settled down with a partner, at some point the conversation of the future might turn to starting a family. It can often be an exciting prospect for any couple to undergo especially if you both on the same page and feel ready to embark on what can be quite a rollercoaster of a journey. But, while deciding you want to start a family may come easy, we can often get wrapped up in the excitement and not think about the practicalities and impact it can have on your lifestyle, finances and current living arrangements.  So I wanted to share with you some of the things that you may not have thought about but does need to be considered because I can tell you becoming a parent was somewhat of a shock to the system for me & while you always learn to make do I wish we had considered some of the following 

Trying to conceive may not go to plan

We have many friends all of whom had different journeys, a few have struggled and had to go down the IVF route, others are in sam sex partnerships and choosing a donor was a massive decisions to others having unexpected natural twins as well as a family member having to adopt, everyones story is different and not always easy. Sometimes conceiving can also lead on to heartache, as unfortunately no all pregnancies make it all the way. The best advice is to always be mindful that it journey isn't always simple, and to have patience. The less pressure you put on yourself the better and don't get caught up in what everyone else is doing. 


Is the house suitable?

Practically you may not have thought about the functions of your home. Is your house big enough to not only a house a new member but all the things they need that come along with it? Many couples think about moving home before trying for a baby because of this very reason. I do believe in a Minimalist approach and many families in places like Scandinavia live in small (but stylish) city apartments but if you are currently in a small 1 bed apartment without space to extend it's probably best to take this into account. We sold our home when our eldest was around 2yrs old to reduce the work commute which was taking 2hrs a day and something we hadn't considered before but made a big impact once we had kids.

What will you need to invest in?

Again I think there is way to much out on the market and you don't even need a quarter of what we are told we do need. But at a minimum you will need either a moses basket or co-sleeper, a car-seat if you drive as this is extremely important and legal requirement as well as either a sling or stroller.
Strollers and can be a nightmare to choose so checking out this website here could help you out with this. Of course clothing, nappies and depending on how you choose to feed are daily costs you need to take into account. We can often forget that it is the practical things that we need the most, but these can also turn out to be the big investments when it comes to price even when buying second hand. Which leads me on to my next point.

newborn sleeping

It will impact your finances

I honestly though when we had our first that being frugal it would only make a small impact but I had to say I was wrong, laundry increases, clothing needs increase (even when shopping second hand) the food bill increases and your finances will unavoidably take a hit when it comes to starting a family due to the ongoing costs. Not only do you need to think about the purchases like nursery furniture or strollers, but you also need to think about the ongoing costs. You can reduce the impact somewhat by learning all about budgeting sooner rather than later.

What about the logistical side of things?

There is also the logistical side of things to think about, the things that you often don’t consider until the very last minute. You may have bought the car seat, but does your car suit the new family dynamics - we had this issue, we bought a good value car seat meant to fit most cars online but then realised our old Nissan didn't actually safely fit any modern car seats which left us with a big dilemma as we had to sell our car and find one that was suitable - a financial impact we had not planned for. 

family break Edinburgh
A family weekend adventure in Edinburgh 

Learning to be flexible

This is very important, things that are very easy to do now with undoubtedly become harder when you have a child so some adjusting and flexibility will be key as well as learning to compromise. Instead of being able to go for cocktails at a cool bar whenever you like you will have to learn to grabbing coffee on the go. If travelling is your thing, and you can see from all the content on this blog it's completely possible to travel with kids but it does take adjusting, more researching and less travel on the whim especially when they are very small. Do checkout this post for a list of fantastic family travel bloggers to follow.

Have you thought about beyond the pregnancy?
Brining a child into the world is one of the most incredible experiences you will ever have and it will without a doubt change you as a person. When you become a new parent your natural instinct will be to stay with your child day in and day out but there will come a point where you start thinking of the future. You want to have some kind of idea before hand of what you plan to do a year after the birth, do you want to go back to work? Do you have a choice, can you reduce hours or would you prefer to just get back into the swing of full time employment. 

Parenting at times can be very isolating so many parents welcome going back to work and regaining a little bit of themselves again. Other's find themselves very inspired and start new businesses while on maternity, as with my story I went into self employment after my maternity ended, but I didn't have much support, I had family members who expected me to be a "house wife" which I am not and that was a real struggle. We couldn't financially afford for me not to work yet working from home I was and at times still expected to drop everything to sort the house, which when your working almost full time hours for yourself just can't happen - this things need to be discussed so you can get the support you need to return to work should you want to. 

mother to boys



  1. great advice for anyone starting to think about starting a family - there is so much to plan it's nice to have advice so clear and thoughtful x


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