You may want to raise a child with or without a partner. Both choices come with their own set of issues. Whether you are single and feel ready for child, a woman who is partnered with another woman, or you are married to or partnered with a man, parenting is a lifelong commitment.
Parenting With a Partner
A child can bring joy to a relationship. A child can also put a strain on the best relationship. Either way, parenting with a partner takes teamwork.
If you are considering parenting with your current partner, consider these questions:
- Do we agree on if and when to have a child?
- Does my partner feel comfortable talking about a long-term relationship?
- Will we share in the care of our child and our home?
- Do we agree on whether we need or want child care (daycare)?
- Are we ready to put up with the strains on our relationship that may come from trying to get pregnant, dealing with pregnancy, and raising a child together?
Discuss your answers to these questions with your partner to see if you are both on the same page and have similar expectations.
With or without marriage, a life partnership can work with or without children, if both people
- are deeply committed to making it work
- understand what each expects from the relationship
Parenting Without a Partner
Like raising a child with a partner, raising a child alone can be exciting, rewarding, and challenging.
One of the benefits of single parenting is that you do not have to compromise your values and beliefs with a partner. You can raise your child as you wish.
If you are considering parenting without a partner, questions about money, career or school, support, and child care can be even more important.
- Will I have to put school or my career on hold to become a parent?
- Can I count on the support of family and friends?
- Will money be a problem?
- Can I afford child care?
- Is there someone I trust to take care of my child if I have to stay late at work or school, or get sick?
Planning Your Pregnancy
Whether or not you are with a partner, if you're considering pregnancy, you may find it helpful to ask yourself the questions listed on this page. Consider your feelings and values about raising a child, and what you want for your life and for your family or future family.
If you decide that now is the time to become pregnant, it's a good idea to talk with your health care provider before you get pregnant. Your health care provider can help you make important changes to your diet and lifestyle that will help you have the healthiest pregnancy possible.