Talking about family planning is a life event you don’t want to treat lightly. This means it’s probably not a good idea to bring up the topic when you’re rushing out the door or anytime you’re feeling particularly emotional.
Instead, discussing your goals, wishes and concerns about building your family should come from thoughtful, educated thinking.
With the prospect of listening and sharing in mind, here are three ways you can make talking about family planning a little easier on you and your partner.
1. Schedule a time and a place for this discussion
It may sound corny to “make a date” with your partner or spouse; however, when it comes to important conversations, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Make sure your setting is a quiet, private place where you’ll both be able to see and hear each other clearly. Wear comfortable clothing, and make sure you’re wide awake, well-fed and hydrated so you won’t be influenced by discomfort, sleepiness, hunger or thirst as you tackle the topic of family planning.
2. Prepare your ideas/wishes/concerns in advance
In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to forget a thing or two. As you prepare for your scheduled discussion, take some notes. Start by writing a description of the family you envision for yourself. How old are you in this vision? How many kids do you have? Where do you live? These questions will help you shape your family planning goals.
Next, write down what you’re excited about and afraid of. For instance, if you feel excited about pregnancy but are afraid of missing out on a promotion at work, this might cause you to make a decision to put off having a baby for a year or two. This decision could be in everyone’s best interests if your fertility specialist agrees you have time to wait. If this is the case, perhaps you might consider fertility preservation.
On the other hand, if you’ve just received that promotion, it might be a great time to start your family. You’ll want to write down all the considerations that swirl in your mind: space, finances, career, travel, education, support from family and friends, the physical toll of pregnancy and childbirth, etc. When you know how you feel, the final step is formulating questions or statements to share with your partner.
3. Start and end with a hug
Sometimes when you’re thinking about something intensely, it’s easy to forget why. Before you start your talk with your partner, try to do so in a way that feels natural for both of you. This will help remind you that your partner is your friend and companion. If you want to have a family with this person and you’re going to make that suggestion, it’s best to keep the bond you share top of mind.
If you follow these three guidelines, you’ll likely find it easier to talk about family planning in a loving, supportive and thorough way. For more information and education on this and other fertility topics, be sure to watch our fertility education videos.