Planning Your Family
Planning Your Family
You may be having sex but not be ready for kids. Or you may be wondering if you want to have kids in the future. Or you may be a parent already and wondering if more kids fit into your plan.
Do Any of These Sound Like You?
- “I have a baby now, and that has changed my life a lot. I’d like to have another someday, but no time soon! The first one was a surprise, and I don’t want any other surprises for awhile, so we’re going to be really good about using birth control.”
- “I’d like to be a father after I finish school and have a job to support a family. In the meantime, I’ll talk to my girlfriend about her goals for starting a family. I’ll make sure we use birth control every time until we’re ready to have a baby.”
- “I don’t want to have children at all. I plan to talk to my doctor and find a long-term birth control method.”
- “I have diabetes. So when it’s time, I’ll go see my doctor to make sure my body is ready for pregnancy. In the meantime, I’m taking really good care of myself just for me.”
Create Your Life, Don’t Just React to It!
Making decisions about having sex and having children are very personal, and your thoughts may change at any time. Changing your mind is okay—that’s life! But wherever you are in your life, thinking about your plans and desires will help you create the life you want, rather than just react to things that happen. This series of questions can help you clarify your plans. They cover lots of areas of your life, like your dreams and goals, your physical and emotional health, and your family health history.
You can use these questions however you want—you can journal about them or talk them over with a friend or a trusted adult in your life. Put them under your pillow and see what you dream about!
Just for Guys
Hey, guys, this is for you too. Don't stop reading because you tell yourself these are "female issues" and don't involve you.
Becoming a father is something you’ll enjoy a whole lot more if you want it, are with the right person, and feel ready. Shape your life the way you want, don’t leave it all up to chance.
What if I'm Not in a Serious Relationship?
Did you know that half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned? Unplanned pregnancies are more likely to cause health problems for you or your baby. Avoid that kind of surprise by being prepared. Do your homework and decide what kind of birth control you like the best. Will it be getting condoms now in case of a spontaneous hookup, and getting the patch once you are in a relationship? It’s your choice, but don’t be caught off guard! Read more about birth control here.
What if My Partner Doesn’t Want to Use Birth Control?
Maybe you’re not ready for your first baby or you’re not ready to have another one. Maybe you’ve heard from doctors that waiting at least 18 months between births is important for both mom and baby to be healthy. You want to use birth control and your partner doesn’t: what now?
If you’ve talked about birth control and you just don’t agree, maybe your partner wants to have a baby. If you don’t want to have a baby right now, this is an important decision that you should talk through before continuing to have sex or continuing the relationship. Maybe your partner has objections to certain kinds of birth control. Talk through all your options together, and hopefully you’ll agree on one.
It can be uncomfortable or scary to talk about birth control. Does your partner try to control your decisions about birth control and what will happen if you get pregnant? This may be a sign that you are in an unhealthy relationship. If you don’t feel safe or comfortable talking to your partner about these issues, reach out for some support. At loveisrespect.org you can call, chat, or text with a peer advocate any time.
Remember, if you’re female, there are several kinds of birth control that are easy to hide. Nobody has to know you’re using birth control if you don’t want to tell them. Talk to a health care provider about easy-to-hide birth control and make the best decision for you.