In life, we reach a certain age where certain questions start to arises. You start to think of buying houses, starting a business, and the one that has come across your head at least once is... "Am I ready for kids?" For some reason, it's often influenced by the fact that most of our peers are having one—we see it when they announce their pregnancy over social media with those creative gender reveals. Maybe someone you know just had a baby. Whatever the reason, you can't help but ask yourself that question. P.S. THOSE GENDER REVEALS GIVE MAJOR BABY FEVER!
If you ask someone who had a baby the same question, they'll probably tell you that no one is 100% prepared to have one no matter how much you think you prepared. Each pregnancy is different, and each child is never the same. Being a parent is a transformative experience because you can only prepare to a certain extent; for the rest, you really have to "wing" it.
While you can't fully prepare for everything that lies ahead, you can be prepared for most things. So, we gathered together a few questions, and if you answered yes to most of them, congratulations! You may be ready to have a baby soon.
STEP 1: CAN YOU DEAL WITH SACRIFICING YOUR "ME" TIME?
The world that once revolved around you has gained a new forever visitor. Being a parent is a full-time job. Your child will be fully dependent on you from the moment they're born. Thus, you just can't turn off your parent mode whenever it suits you. So you may have to tell your friends "Hey, can't make it tonight." or maybe bring the company to you with a girls night in so that you can enjoy others company while being able to be there for your baby.
When having a newborn it is crucial that you aren't neglecting yourself when sacrificing your "me" time. It is extremely important for you as a parent to understand and acknowledge your feelings during this time. Make sure that you are at your best. If Momma is happy then baby is happy. But we will follow up on this topic a little later.
STEP 2: WHERE ARE YOU FINANCIALLY?
As you know, everything from pregnancy to childbirth to rearing a child to their education involves money—a ton of it, actually. While money may seem like a very shallow reason to stop yourself from having a family of your own, there's nothing wrong with proceeding with care.
Think of it as an inspiration. If you're not making enough yet, take it as a challenge to increase your income. On the other hand, if you're living in a city that makes growing a family financially impossible, then look for a place where the cost of living is more affordable. The bottom line is that you don't want to be in a situation where you have to sacrifice one thing or the other because everything's financially "tight."
In this day in age I think as a whole we understand that things happen that are out of our control. LIFE HAPPENS TO ALL OF US! Some people grow out of financial hardships while others are entering it. Regardless of the reason see if your qualify for Government Funded Programs that will assist you with providing necessities like food, housing, and more until you are ready to get off your feet.
STEP 3: DO YOU HAVE A SUPPORT SYSTEM?
Parents go through an emotional roller coaster when having a baby—mothers especially. Like we said in STEP 1:
"It is extremely important for you as a parent to understand and acknowledge your feelings during this time. Make sure that you are at your best. If Momma is happy then baby is happy."
There are conditions such as postpartum syndrome and other issues that have a serious psychological effect on mothers affecting their capacity to care for their babies. This happens to more mothers than you think. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! It's in times like these that your support system is really important. Talk to someone about how you feel whether it is a close friend/family member or a mental health professional. It is comforting to know that someone beyond both parents are willing to step in and help. You and your child are one so your support system should be there for you and your baby. The phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” has never been truer in this sense.
ARE YOU READY?
Having a child is a huge milestone as a couple and proceeds only when you feel that it's time. Do not let others nor the fear of missing out pressure you from having one because, let's face it, that would be unfair not just to you but especially to your child. There is no rush. Move on your time. When you are ready then you do what's best for you and your child. Your child deserves your 100% commitment and if you're not yet able to give that, then leave it for the future.