Contemporary Western society expects people to devote every waking moment to earning and consuming. In such a context, becoming a family is not just a matter of adding a child to an existing way of life, but rather of consciously creating the space in which a new family way of life can grow. †Many couples live in towns yet city life in this country especially in the South often rests on the assumption that people are single or childless. Before we become parents, it is necessary to make the space and reserve the energy in our lives which is needed to do the job. Children do not need a separate bedroom but they do very much need their parentsí time and attention, in order to grow and thrive. Some have found it necessary to move to a smaller house or to a more rural or more Northern location where house prices are cheaper, in order to be freed to fulfil new family responsibilities. Sometimes a time-consuming pet may need re-homing or you may need to give up current responsibilities either for voluntary or paid work. (I remember this was a particular challenge for me personally). If such changes are needed, the earlier you make them, the less stressful it will be for both parents and child. For a discussion of some of the issues involved here, click here; full-time earner or full-time parent?