Society puts a lot of pressure on youngsters to get married and have kids. Once they get married, they are pressured into having children. It’s an endless cycle. There’s always somebody telling you when is the right time to do things.
But when it comes to becoming a parent, giving the steering wheel of your life to someone else is all the more dangerous – both for yourself and your baby. When you bring a life into the world, it’s forever your responsibility to protect it. You can’t back out mid-way. And if you don’t give it your all, it will reflect in the child’s upbringing. So make sure you’re absolutely ready for it. These steps will help determine if you are:
Set Your Priorities
Different people have different priorities at every stage of life. Some may want to focus on their career and have kids later, and others may want it the other way around. Some may not want to have kids at all. Becoming a parent is as much a personal choice as anything else, so don’t be pressurized into it. Know your priorities and stick to them unapologetically.
Assess Your Finances
Before you have kids remember, raising a child is expensive. Every little thing they need, right from their toys to their education, will be paid for from your pocket. If you’re not financially stable, you’re not ready for it. Becoming a parent, after all, is as much a monetary decision as it is an emotional one. Make sure you have a large enough corpus of money saved up before you take the plunge.
Get A Fertility Test Done
Society propagates having kids early, as that’s when you’re most fertile. However, the truth is, everyone’s biological clock is different and as long as you get your fertility checked periodically and the doctor assures you that you can bear children later, it’s okay to postpone becoming a parent.
Speak To Your Partner
It takes a village to raise a child, they say, but everyone can’t afford a retinue of helpers. Now imagine having to do it all alone! That’s why it’s important that both you and your partner should be ready to be parents. Only then it is a good decision. Even if one partner feels emotionally, physically or financially underprepared, it can pose serious challenges to your marriage. So make sure you’re on the same page.
15 Signs You’re Ready to Have a Baby
1. You love TV as much as you love going out
I mean, eventually you will probably get to go out again, but if you are like the majority of sleep-deprived new parents, you will probably want to devote any free time you might get at the beginning to sleeping, eating and, once in a while, even showering. But here’s what you can do: watch shows where the characters go out. It’s basically the same, except in your version you don’t have to go through the exhausting hassle of getting dressed up, or seeing your friends, or eating and drinking yummy stuff.
2. You have witnessed a tantrum and it didn’t make you run for the closest condom
Every time my kids have a tantrum at the mall, I feel like Trojan owes me a kickback for all of the free advertising. If you have witnessed such a tantrum and still like the idea of procreating, this is an amazing sign. Oh, and if you are feeling relaxed because you think that your perfect angel won’t have tantrums (because of all of the excellent parenting you will do), you are wrong.
3. You don’t mind drinking alone
You know those long days that make you want to unwind with a glass of wine and a couple of fun girlfriends? Well, it’s hard to meet your girlfriend when you are a human milk machine and/or waking up every three hours. But wine (consumed safely and in moderation a few hours before you plan to nurse again) will always love you.
4. You have shown your breasts to everyone who needs to see them
This is as good as they are ever going to look, so now is the time to show them off. They might get huge when you are pregnant or nursing but they will also be pretty veiny (no one told you that? Surprise!) and eventually they will deflate like sad, flesh-coloured balloons. Oh and, should you choose to breastfeed, there will be fewer people in your social circle who haven’t seen them than people who have. So maybe take a picture of them today, in case you ever want to show one of those many, many, many people what they used to look like.
5. You don’t mind sharing
Be prepared to never finish a cookie by yourself again.
6. Bodily fluid is not that disgusting to you
Your baby will leak everything. Sometimes all at once. Usually all over you. #truthbomb
7. You can’t stop looking at other people’s babies
And not in a I-hope-that-baby-isn’t-on-my-flight type of way, but rather in a look-at-those-cute-little-hands type of way.
8. You are well-rested
The thing you will hear almost constantly when you are pregnant is “bank your sleep now,” but when you are pregnant you won’t be able to sleep because initially you are peeing constantly, and later you are being kicked in the ribs by a baby who doesn’t sleep at the same time as you. So basically, you need to do all of the sleeping before you get pregnant. Bank it and never think about it again.
9. You find yourself eating your friends’ crusts and leftovers off their plates
This is what 40 percent of your meals are going to be, so it’s good to have a taste for that stuff now. Bonus points if you have ever picked some crumbs off someone’s shirt and mindlessly eaten them.
10. Your clothes are machine washable
Or your family is in the dry-cleaning business. These are the only two options.
11. You are a night person. And a morning person.
You will be up late enough to watch Seth Myers and early enough to watch the sunrise. You won’t miss anything.
12. You don’t own any white decor
I used to have a white sofa. Then someone small and cute drew all over it. Now it’s white and blue. If you are attached to your white things, you are not ready to be attached to a child. They are mutually exclusive. Parents love brown for a reason—and that reason is not because it looks nice.
13. You have watched at least one full episode of A Baby Story
There is a very brief period in a woman’s life when this show is actually appealing to her. It’s like the peach schnapps of the TV world. If you can sit through a whole episode, you are ready to procreate. If you have recorded an episode for later viewing, go take a pregnancy test immediately.
14. You have watched how other people act around their children and think that you can do it better
Judging that mom at the park because her kids have ice cream on their faces? Or because she is on her phone in a rare quiet moment? Your optimism and self-righteousness are adorable. That mom will be you one day. And then some childless know-it-all will judge you. It’s the circle of parenthood.
15. You are pregnant
Don’t let the above scare you. You will be awesome at this.