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The 36 questions to ask before having kids

1. Do they have room for a primary partner?

    Or is his plate already full? Most men with kids will see themselves as parents first—which is completely understandable, Dr. Chloe says. But what’s important is that you can ensure that your partner will be able to put you first, when necessary. “As a woman dating a man with kids, you don’t always have to assume you’re going to come second fiddle to the kids,” says Dr. Chloe. (Because real talk: You shouldn’t.)

    While the kids have to come first on many occasions—for example, if they have an accident at school—your partner shouldn’t use their obligation to their child(ren) as an excuse to put less effort into your relationship.

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    What Exclusive Dating Means, Versus A Relationship

    “It’s considered healthy to have boundaries around couple time and to be able to prioritize each other as primary partners,” Dr. Chloe says. If the person you’re dating can only make room for and prioritize their children, you might want to reconsider the relationship.


    Questions You May Not Have Thought of When Thinking about Having a Baby

    These are some questions that you may not immediately think of when you are thinking about having a baby.

    5. Am I willing to give up sleep? Once a woman is pregnant, she can kiss a great night’s rest goodbye (if you sleep well now, I don’t want to hear about it). Once the belly grows and the joints stretch, sleep becomes a very uncomfortable time. That’s not to mention the repeat visits to the bathroom at night. Once the baby arrives, you’ll be getting up in the middle of the night quite often for feedings and changing diapers. As the child gets older, there’s nightmares, bed wettings, illnesses, sleeplessness… Bye, bye sleep. Hello, moon.

    6. Am I ready to change nearly a million diapers? Ew, I know. Babies, in their first few months, use close to 10-15 (or more!!) diapers a day. As they get older, that number decreases to about 5 diapers a day. It’s all a natural part of their bodily processes. Look at it this way: as long as it’s all regular and the right colors, it’s an indication that your baby is healthy. That’s good news. Enough on that. Moving on.

    7. How much do I value silence? Babies make a lot of noise from the very first moment they enter this world. Your life may never be silent again. I don’t think prospective parents think about this aspect of parenting. It’s not that you won’t have a few moments of silence, because they do occur (occasionally…), but for the most part, babies coo, cry, grunt, giggle, cough, babble, burp, pass gas, scream, etc. (Notice I didn’t mention ‘talk’. That’s a whole other dimension of sound when it comes from a child.) Expect to hear these things at all hours, any time of day or night, whether or not you are having a great day or are experiencing a debilitating migraine. Babies make noise. End of story.

    8. How much do I value physical space/touch? Some people do not like to be touched or share personal space with others. Trust me; I’m one of them. I have this invisible box of personal space around me and when others intrude, I feel very uneasy. I also have tactile sensitivity ( I think I just made that up…); I do not like certain textures and physical feelings/touches. Don’t ask me why, but that’s how I am…When I had my babies, I realized how much physical space disappears. There’s a tiny little helpless being who needs 24/7 to be held, fed, rocked, swaddled, changed, etc. I loved (and still love) every minute of it. It is a feeling like no other to have someone rely so much on you. It’s an honor to be wanted so much, to be trusted, to be so unconditionally loved.

    9. Am I ready for baby gear and toys to take over my house and car? This happens, even to the most organized amongst us. For my son, I had these items: car seat, car seat base, bassinette, crib, pack-n-play, stroller, high chair, bouncy seat, swing, tummy-time mat, baby bathtub, and a few toys. That was just at the time of birth. Fast forward a few years, put the baby gear into storage, and add larger toys with more pieces. Not too bad. Then came baby number two. Bring the baby gear back out of storage and add a second car seat and a double stroller. Yeah. It adds up. Unless you’re careful, it will add up quite fast. Time to bookmark some decluttering advice….

    10. Am I ready to love another human being more than myself? It really does boil down to that. Having a baby requires all of you, no matter how imperfect you are. You’ll learn if you are willing to be a great parent. Chances are you’ll find how easy it is to give up the quiet, space, and time to your children. It’ll all return to you eventually when they are ready to fly from the nest, but by then you’ll love the noise, cuddling, and busyness. Ask an elderly parent. They’ll tell you.

    My two little troublemakers. I wouldn't trade the life we have for anything in the world.


    8. How do you both communicate?

    Communicating and staying connected is key in every relationship, but especially when you’re dating a young dad or mom. Why? Seeing them in person is not always an option.

    “When you’re with someone with kids, you might have to settle for texting or a phone call.” And this is totally fine, as long as both of you are on the same page. “If you’re somebody who can connect quite nicely over text—say, by sharing your day or something that you saw that reminds you of them—but they are not a texter or phone person, then it can be quite hard to stay connected,” Hendrix says.

    Since communication is so, SO important in a relationship, this is something to ask about and tackle early on, if you want things to work for the long haul.

    Questions To Ask Kids About School

    1. What did you do at school today?
    2. Who did you play with at school today?
    3. What did you learn at school today?
    4. What were the best and worst things that happened at school today?
    5. Did anything funny happen at school today?
    6. What did you do during recess today?
    7. What books did your teacher read you today?
    8. What toys did you play with at daycare today?
    9. Did you get to play outside today at daycare?
    10. What did you eat for lunch at school/daycare?
    11. What was your favorite snack today at daycare?
    12. Did anything interesting happen at school today?
    13. Did anything make you sad today at school?
    14. What was the most boring part of your day?
    15. What was the most exciting part of your day?
    16. What projects are you working on at school?
    17. Do you like science class or math class more?
    18. What’s a subject you need extra help with right now?
    19. Do you like art or reading better?
    20. Who is your favorite teacher?
    21. Did you get in trouble today?
    22. Did your teachers compliment you today?
    23. Do you ever help your friends with homework?
    24. Do your friends ever help you with homework?
    25. Are there any cool clubs at your school?
    26. What are you excited most about going to school?
    27. Do you like school?
    28. Do you think school is too long?
    29. Do you like to read at school?
    30. Are there any homework assignments you need help with?
    31. Do you ever get to cut with scissors at school?
    32. Do you get to color at school?
    33. Are you doing any fun art activities at school?
    34. Do your friends like school?
    35. Do your friends study a lot?
    36. Do you ever go to the library at school?
    37. Is there a special place you like to eat your lunch?
    38. Do you have a favorite school lunch?
    39. Do you have a least favorite school lunch?
    40. Is there anyone who is mean to you at school?
    41. Do you like the principal of your school?
    42. Do you ever have assemblies at school?
    43. Does your teacher let you read whatever you want at school?
    44. Are there a lot of books in your classroom?
    45. Do you like your classroom?
    46. Are there fun stations in your classroom?
    47. What is your favorite station to play?
    48. What is your favorite activity to do during recess?
    49. What is your least favorite thing about recess?
    50. Who is your favorite school friend?

    Interview Questions For Kids

    1. What is one talent that you are proud of?
    2. What is one talent that you want to get better at?
    3. What is one subject in school that you do well at?
    4. What is one subject in school that you want to get better at?
    5. What is one thing you do that makes other people happy?
    6. What is one thing you do that hurts other people’s feelings?
    7.  What is one way that you help your parents?
    8. What is one way that you help your siblings?
    9. What is one way that you help your friends?
    10. When you play with your friends, do you make up the games?
    11. When you play with your friends, do they make up the games?
    12. When you do a group project at school, do you take lead?
    13. When you sit by your friend on the bus, what do you talk about?
    14. Tell me about a time when you felt proud of yourself. 
    15. Tell me about a time when you felt bad about something you did. 
    16. Tell me about a time when you helped someone in need.
    17. Tell me about a time when you saw someone being bullied, and how you reacted.
    18. Tell me about a time when you felt bullied, and how you reacted. 
    19. Would you rather take charge of a school project, or follow?
    20. How would you react if your teacher embarrassed you in front of your class?
    21. How would you react if your friends said mean things about you behind your back?
    22. Have you ever stood up for someone who was being bullied?
    23. When you are bored, what do you do?
    24. When you have a test, do you try to study a lot?
    25. When you have something important to do, do you take care of it right away?
    26. Tell me about one way you are trying to become better.
    27. Tell me about a time when you learned an important life lesson.
    28. Tell me about a time when you felt that you made a mistake, but tried to fix it.
    29. Tell me about a time when you forgave someone.
    30. Tell me about a time when you did something creative. 

    What are your thoughts on in-vitro fertilization and adoption?

    About 12% of women in the US face infertility, and struggle either to get pregnant or carry a baby to term. While some women learn of the condition before trying to have children, many don’t.

    Find out if your partner would be willing to go through the physical, emotional, and financial strains involved with IVF or would be open to getting help from a surrogate or going the adoption route. 

    In discussing ways to conceive, Benjamin said couples don’t necessarily need to have their feelings, which could change, completely sorted out. The goal is to give each other the chance to talk about feelings and to give credence to whatever concerns they may have.


    Are You Ready to Be a Parent?

    If you answer yes to any of the above questions about having a baby, you may be ready. The rest just all comes with time and experience. And patience. And love. Lots of love.


    This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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    What kind of role, if at all, would you want religion to play in your child’s life?

    Even if a couple has already settled on certain decisions around religion, it’s key to have a conversation about faith and observance before having a child since so many new questions will inevitably come up.

    If your partner observes a different religion, ask whether they’d consider raising a child with both practices, just one, or none at all. You should also ask your partner about specific practices and restrictions. For example, talk about how your partner feels about christenings and circumcisions. 

    “It’s a complicated thing,” Benjamin said of religion. “I do think it’s a sticking point.”