So, you’re in that place where you want to start a family. Now, it’s time to get your partner on side.
First off, try not to think of this as an argument you need to win. With such a big decision, you both need to be ready otherwise trying to convince them will become a battle. And could result in heartbreak for you both.
That said, there is a way of, shall we say, broaching the subject so it’s out in the open but not such a touchy subject that you never mention it again.
Be conscious of their life stage
We all go through different life stages. Just because you're feeling ready for a baby doesn't mean they're going to be in the same place as you. If you're in a long term relationship hopefully you've at least talked around the subject before, and if not now is definitely time to get those channels of communication open.
‘Think about where your partner is,’ says internationally acclaimed relationship coach Claire Brummel. ‘Are they on a certain career path? Still keen to travel? Understanding this will help you prepare for the “baby chat”.’
Gauge their mood
Do you already know how they feel about children?
Perhaps they're brilliant with nieces and nephews, or maybe they blanche when their mates bring their kids round.
Consider this – it may help you decide whether the time’s right or how you want to move forward in the relationship.
Have a relaxed chat
Think it’s time to bring up the subject? Keep things relaxed.
‘Make dinner and have some quality time,’ says Claire. ‘Starting a chat about something important like this when they've just finished a stressful day at work is unlikely to go the way you want.’
Be open when you talk
Instead of opening with the classic “We need to talk” (who doesn’t get nervous hearing that?), try something like “In an ideal world, I’d quite like having a baby to be the next step we take together,” and then ask them what they think and how they see your next move as a couple.
‘Try to be open and keep your reaction measured, so they don’t feel pressured and the chat can be honest,’ says Claire.
Set a time for the next chat
If they agree, great. But, if they’d rather wait a while, or want some time to think about it, agree on a time for your next chat about it.
‘Reassure them that you’re happy to give them space to think, but that sorting a time to catch up about how you’re feeling in a few months’ time will help you relax because you know it won’t be forgotten about,’ says Claire.
What to do if they freak out
If they've panicked when you’ve raised the subject, reassure them that you don’t want to put pressure on them but thought it was best to bring it up rather than leave it unsaid.
Give them some time to calm down and then ask them to be honest with you about where they stand.
Perhaps they just need a bit more time.
Read more popular articles
Am I ready for a baby?
7 skills you already have that mean you're ready to look after a newborn