It happens every time you’re out in public. You’ve tried to fight the urge, but so far, the temptation has been too strong. You have officially become a baby magnet. Quite simply put, you are physically compelled to rush to every stroller you see, peek in adoringly at the child within, and lapse into a blithering blob of incoherent baby babble in a weirdly Elmo-ish voice. You have accumulated a Rubbermaid tote filled with plush toys. And, you show as much enthusiasm for a “cute” onesie as you would for a winning lottery ticket. What does all this mean? Are you ready to have a baby?
“Look, Honey. I got another one. I think I’ll need a bigger tote.”
Maybe. Maybe not. The truth is that there are many things to consider when determining your readiness for parenthood, and they have very little to do with pretty paraphernalia. After all, dirty diapers, middle-of-the-night feedings, teething–and your subsequent lack of sleep–are far from “cute.” And, they will become a part of your everyday life if you decide to have a baby.
One important thing to consider before becoming a parent is your financial situation and whether or not you can afford to adequately provide for your child. Are you financially able to cover the costs of medical expenses, baby clothes, baby gear, and diapers? If you plan to return to work, you will need to pay for daycare or a babysitter. And, if you aren’t planning on breastfeeding, you will also have to factor in the cost of formula.
If you are already in debt, you may find these additional expenses crushing. “Am I Ready to be a Mom?” suggests sitting down with your spouse and determining whether or not your income and savings will cover these costs. You may decide that you will need to build up your nest egg before entering into parenthood.
Babies should not be given a job.
Babies cannot mend broken relationships. As Dr. Phil‘s “Should You Have a Baby?,” states, “don’t give a child a job before they’re even here–the job of saving your marriage, of making your spouse settle down, of living out your unfulfilled dreams, etc.”
Furthermore, both parents have to be onboard the “baby train.” It is unfair to your spouse–and your child–to force someone into parenthood.
It is also important to examine how you communicate with one another and resolve conflict. In the Chicago Tribune‘s “Ready for a Baby?,” Marriage Counselor and Psychotherapist, Jean Fitzpatrick, says that “some marriage therapists offer pre-baby counseling to prepare parents for some of the biggest showdowns, such as the division of labor.” Assistance from a professional may help you better weather the upheaval that a new family member can create.
Once you’re on, you can never get off.
Being a parent may prove to be the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done. But it can also be a draining and never-ending ride on an emotional roller coaster. That’s why it is very important that you make sure that you are emotionally prepared before becoming a parent.
“When You’re Not Ready to be a Mom,” recommends asking yourself if you are ready to give up your independence–devoting your days and nights to caring for a child. If you are not, you may need to reconsider entering into parenthood at this time.
Some soul-searching tools:
If you are unable to make a decision, here are a few quizzes that might provide you with greater insight. While it is inadvisable to base an important life decision on quizzes, they may enable you to engage in deeper self-exploration and soul-searching.
And, if you are already pregnant and unsure about your options, you may wish to read “Should I Keep my Baby?”
Choosing to become a parent is not a decision that you should enter into lightly. Take your time when determining your readiness. And tell the ever-growing plush zoo to hold their horses.
What other factors need to be considered when deciding whether or not to become a parent?
Kimberley Laws is a regular contributor to HowDoYou.com and the author of two blogs, The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss. A "Jill of all trades," she is a High School English Teacher and Certified Career Counselor with a background in makeup artistry, retail banking, and graphic design. She is also a scrapbooking, PEZ-collecting, car enthusiast who loves travelling and New York City.
Jun 04, 2014 Comments Off on How Do You Prepare For Surrogate Motherhood?
Sep 25, 2013 1
Nov 29, 2017 Comments Off on How Do You Make The Perfect Home Garden?
Nov 09, 2017 Comments Off on How Do You Promote Your Mobile App
Nov 01, 2017 Comments Off on How do you prepare a user friendly online course?
Oct 30, 2017 Comments Off on How Do You Get A Small Business Loan
Oct 17, 2017 Comments Off on How Do You Save Water During Winter Months?
Oct 02, 2017 Comments Off on How Do You Include Children In Weddings?