Considering becoming a mom or dad but not sure whether you’re really ready for all it entails? Or, perhaps your partner is attempting to persuade you to start trying to have a baby but you’re not quite sure whether this is actually what you want?
Don’t worry, feeling uncertain about whether or not to have a child is normal. You may well be happy in your life, have a career, enough money and a stable relationship, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time for you to have a baby.
It’s also normal to be asking lots of questions (maybe you’ve even Googled some already!) These might include queries such as: Can I afford to raise a child in the current economic environment? Can I handle all of the new responsibilities that accompany such a huge decision? Am I ready to put my social life (or career) on hold or should I wait a little bit longer before taking this life-altering step?
Although in the end, we’re never totally prepared to have a baby nor fully aware of all of the responsibilities and changes involved, the following are some indications that you might be more ready than you think:
1. You are responsible
Everyone knows that having a child is a lot of work. You must have enough money to feed them, dress them and heal them when necessary (they’re often sick). You must watch them constantly when they are little. What you do and say has the potential to affect your little one’s entire life. Kids rely on you for absolutely everything. That’s a lot of responsibility.
2. You’re financially secure (or willing to work on it)
According to a survey, raising a child from birth until the age of 17 costs, on average, $233,610. So being financially independent is obviously a big plus and, moreover, it can help you avoid a lot of stress.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should have this amount in your bank account. However, having enough savings to purchase your baby’s items and being able to financially take care of them is paramount. If you don’t have much money put aside right now and you want to have children, then it’s probably a good idea to start saving.
3. You have the right qualities to be a parent
Do people often compliment you on your kindness, patience or reliability? Do you enjoy being caring and doing things simply to please your partner, your friends and your family? If yes, give yourself a pat on the back. These are all signs that you could be a great parent.
However, don’t worry too much if you find that you lacking in some of these qualities. You surely have others that will guarantee you’ll make a fantastic mother or father.
4. You’re willing to put someone else’s needs first
Getting up every night to feed the baby. Spending all of your pennies on diapers and baby’s items. Missing friends’ parties. Feeling exhausted and worrying too much. A baby needs you for everything. And this doesn’t get that much better, even as they get a little older. So before you make the decision to try to conceive, make sure that you’re okay with making sacrifices.
5. You have lots of love to give
As cheesy as it sounds, you need to have plenty of room in your heart when you become a mother or a father. After all, being loved is the most important thing for a kid.
If on the contrary, you have the feeling that you cannot give more than you already do, because you have a time-consuming career, or because you’re giving everything to your partner or family, then you should probably wait a little longer before trying for a baby.
6. You’re emotionally stable
Children need consistency and to feel secure to grow up happy and healthily. Therefore, it’s important for them to have a parent who is in a good place emotionally and who feels good about themselves most of the time. Additionally, you should be adept at retaining control of your emotions, so that you can offer your kids a healthy and safe environment in which to grow up.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t ever be angry, sad or stressed (you’re still human). It’s just important to remember that children can be affected by your negative feelings. Besides, the happier and more emotionally stable you are, the more you can give to your little one.
7. You have a solid support system
Raising a child is demanding. You need to have a good support system around you (whether this is your friends, family or a support group). This is especially true if you’re planning to have a baby alone. There will be some days when you’ll just need someone to talk to. Sometimes, you might need help to look after your child, because you have an important appointment or simply because you need a break.
8. Imagining yourself with a baby makes you happy
Does imagining holding your baby in your arms and gazing adoringly at their little face make you all warm and fuzzy inside? Are you often thinking about potential names and going gooey over baby clothes? Although feeling uncertain and anxious about parenthood is normal (it’s such a big change, after all), anticipating and daydreaming about it is a good sign that you might be ready.
9. You feel the need to become a mom or a dad
Some people have had the urge to become a mother or a father since before they can remember. For others, it kicks in a little later, sometimes even in their thirties or forties. If you feel this need growing inside you and you find yourself looking at other people’s babies with envy, you’re probably almost ready for parenthood.
10. You’re fine with change
Having a baby is a life-changing decision. It changes you as an individual and forces you to grow into a parent in charge of another being. You’ll have less time for yourself and you probably won’t see your friends as much as you’re used to. You will most likely have some sleepless nights. In short, your routine will completely change. But if you think you can handle this (even though you feel a bit nervous), then go for it!