Choose your spouse well
If I have one solid piece of advice for any readers looking to have some kids, it’s this: choose your partner well. If you’re an atheist and have a religious girlfriend or spouse, you need to keep in mind that once children enter in the mix, it’s very likely your beliefs will begin to clash. Religious folks have a tendency of trying to indoctrinate children from a very young age, and it usually isn’t a very pretty sight. It’s torn apart plenty of families before.
Take this couple: they had a daughter together, but once they split up, the mother began homeschooling her child to the dismay of her atheist father. He had to involve the court in an attempt to allow her to be exposed to public education and away from the fundamentalist teachings of her mother. The courts decided she should attend public school, but it’s no guarantee the child will be able to break free of her mother’s dogma.
The courts agreed the child was becoming estranged from her father because of her intense religiosity, itself only a consequence of her mother’s influence. Could you image this happening to your child? If I had married someone who was teaching my children fairy tales as though they real events, I would lose my fucking mind.
I don’t want to make the blanket statement that all relationships involving believers is bound to failure. I’m sure some couples can make it work. However, if you want to avoid the hassle of having your own child grow distant from you because of their “convictions” (how a 10 year old can even claim to understand the world is beyond me), it might be a good idea to have that conversation BEFORE the baby comes. That way, at least you know where you stand.