Children are almost always welcomed as a blessing by their newbie parents, especially “ … if the parents are prepared to have a child [and] the couple planned to have the child at the time they are emotionally and financially ready,” says Maribel Sison-Dionisio, a parenting and relationship expert from the Love Institute in Quezon City.
The arrival of a child becomes difficult, she continues, if the couple’s relationship is not yet stable and strong. “It is usually recommended to have the first child on the second or third year of marriage when the couple has adjusted better to each other [because] the child needs the loving atmosphere of loving parents.”
Dionisio discourages having a honeymoon baby. “So that the couple can take one major event per year: getting married first, then a break for a year, [and] then getting pregnant on their first wedding anniversary at the earliest,” she describes.
Having more than one child
What happens when more children are born? “Again, the arrival of subsequent children hopefully comes planned as well. Whether a couple will have one or two or three kids [depends] on the readiness of the couple. It is very important for [them] to talk about timing of the pregnancy and arrival of the child [so] that it [does not coincide] with major events like changing jobs or graduating from studies or setting up a business,” points out Dionisio.
She recommends a three-to-four year age gap between children especially if both parents are working so that each child can be enjoyed and the parents are more adjusted to the arrival of another child. “Having babies every year, or every other year, can be so stressful for both mom and dad.”
Dionisio affirms that a lot of adjustments have to be made when children come into the marriage equation. “[These] entail sleeping patterns, finances, time with kids versus time with work and other concerns,” she specifies. As mentioned in the book, Helping our Children do Well in School, which Dionisio co-authored with psychology professor Queena Lee-Chua, parents need to make a schedule or template to include time with one’s: