Objectives of Family Planning
Goals in family planning should include balancing the desire for children with emotional, physical and financial needs. Or, if you do not wish to have children, it's important to recognize this and plan accordingly.
Figuring Out Birth Control Methods
While you review your overall needs and desired lifestyle, it's important to figure out a birth control method that is right for you. The choices range from birth control pills to alternative methods that involve no medication.
Protecting Your Personal Health
If you're overweight, underweight, or a heavy smoker, it's good to work towards a healthier you while you practice birth control and anticipate when to have children. Overcoming an unhealthy lifestyle should be a primary goal before you get pregnant.
Spacing the Ages of Children
Getting pregnant every two years or three years, until you have the number of children you desire, is one good way to plan births. Spacing your children with enough years apart ensures each child has time for special attention from you.
Deciding on the Size of Your Family
Consider your financial picture and professional goals. You must weigh your needs, and the needs of your spouse/partner, against your desires for X number of children. For example, if you plan to own a large company, it might be difficult to accomplish this if you have several children.
Accepting Sacrifices to Create a Family
Make sure you understand what will work in your particular situation. You might need to adjust your work hours to have a child. Or, you might ask a relative to live with you in order to baby sit. Failing to look at what's ahead in caring for a child can create a lot of stress.
Taking Control of Your Future
By looking far down the road--perhaps 20 years from now--you can imagine the happy family you want to create. Family planning may include adopting a child or fostering a child who is available for adoption. Detailed planning will ensure your dreams come true.
Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.