Bringing up children is the hardest and the most responsible that adults will ever undertake. You should understand – that little alien is going to change your life totally and forever, not just a part of it, not just for a period, but the whole meaning of your life and it will never be the same again. Accept it now, or it will be immensely hard for you to face all the hurdles later. This is not a new toy or a pet, it’s a human being that will totally depend on you and take their cues from you.
Let’s be honest, this concerns more women than men; no matter how helpful your man is, you are the one who will take most of the responsibilities going forward.
As soon as you have a strong desire to become a parent, you have to find out if you are actually ready for it. Here are 10 signs that you are good parent material. As long as you can tick all these statements grab your man and go make babies!
1. You have financial stability
Oh ya! Children cost a lot – they are financially high maintenance. According to CNN Money, to raise a child born in 2013 to the age of 18 will cost a middle-income couple in the States just over $245,000, based on newly released estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s up $4,260, or almost 2%, from the year before. Think of all those diapers, baby carriages, clothes, vitamins, baby food, and then school, books, college… OMG. Well, I’ve probably scared you too much. You don’t have to make a fortune, but reconsider your spending first of all and think of additional sources of income if required based on your lifestyle.
2. You want to give up bad habits and take care of your health
A healthy baby can be born only if you are enduring and have a regimen for good health. You’ll need a lot of strength and endurance after the baby arrives. You will have a stroller and normal trip supplies – baby bottles filled with juice, diapers, wipes, toys, etc. that you have to lug around not to mention the baby too! What’s more, you have to be a good example – a role model if you will, for your children; your child can fall easily under the bad influence of others if he/she sees you drinking or smoking. ‘It all starts at home’ as the saying goes. Do not expect your child to be involved in sports unless you are doing sports on regular basis yourself.
3. You’ve reached psychological maturity
Emotional readiness – emotional maturity, the ability to use common sense, to manage your emotions, to be fully in touch with yourself, the ability to switch-off negative feelings, to practice positive thinking. All this gives a sense of stability, peace, confidence and emotional comfort. Next to such a mom, a baby feels comfortable and safe.
4. You are making your home a safe and secure place
Think carefully if your place is really safe for a child. Ask experts, read blogs or take notice of your friends and their childrens’ behavior and the surroundings. Find out what the risks are and fix them. Check every room for a potential disaster, but do not forget that child-proofing is not just one days work. If you did everything according to what the experts are advising on baby proofing, it doesn’t mean you don’t keep an eye on the baby after it’s born. As your child grows more and more hazards will appear, you need to develop a ‘risk management’ mentality assessing what is an acceptable risk for the activities your child may be doing at any particular age. Simple jumping on a sofa or bed has it’s risks – where the child may fall off and hit his/her head on a table corner or on a hardwood floor. You can’t protect your child from all of life’s bumps but you can be on the lookout for the big things that can lead to major injury.
5. You need to be loving but firm and always be the boss
Children are very crafty, they ‘read’ people’s characters better than adults do. As soon as they find out you are mild and too soft, they will manipulate you for sure – they will press your buttons to get their way! Being a parent requires hard work and maybe making some adjustments to your personality. Your may need to toughen your tone/manner a bit so they know that you are not a push over to the point that they run you ragged. Start working on yourself now while you are in the planning phase to have children – defend your ideas at work, practice saying “no” e.g. when your friends suggest something you don’t want to do, think of the rules that you and your husband would follow if the baby was with you.
6. Yes to the boss but to be patient too!
Mother must have extraordinary emotional stability, because in the future you should expect both extremely difficult, and happy moments in life. As mentioned earlier the baby is ‘high maintenance’ and will require a lot of care. Expect to be tormented by the new family member! Lack of sleep is common during the first few months with frequent feeding during the night and can be acute if the child has colic and digestive issues. You’ll also worry about your appearance after childbirth wondering if your body will ever return to it’s pre-baby look. Taking everything into account it is essential for women to have emotional stability. The idea is to get all the facts and not to fly off the handle when something goes wrong. Avoid those noisy quarrels and you avoid feeling depressed and stressed out; same for your husband. He’s having his sleepless nights helping you with the baby so be patient. Can we call the early months what they really are – sleep-deprived torture! This too shall pass.
7. You are in a long term and stable relationship
If your family is quarrel-free, without scandals, misunderstandings are at a minimum and mistrust is not on the radar, it means you are ready for babies. If a husband and wife love each other deeply and are fully tuned into one another, they will be excellent parents and the baby will grow up in an atmosphere of warmth and coziness. You must understand that nothing is more important that the health of your baby – both mental and physical health. If you still have family dramas or misunderstandings, solve them now in order not to harm your child’s psyche.
8. You are ready to stop partying
If you come to the realization that you better spend time at home with your beloved husband in front of TV or reading a nice book instead of partying in the night clubs you are mature enough to think about parenting. Your baby is not a pet to leave it at your friends or parents house every time you want to hang out with the old crowd. You have to sacrifice and change the priorities.
9. Your significant other feels the same
Joint decision making is very important. If the future father hesitates and says that he is not ready yet to become a father, then a woman has an enormous responsibility, if she decides independently such an important issue in favor of the birth of the child. Most often, a woman in this situation will have to single-handedly care for the child. A newly-minted dad who was not in accord with the mother on the birth to start with can at anytime say he wasn’t ready to be a dad and wasn’t really consulted on his wife getting pregnant; in other words he has an excuse to NOT be a father. Be VERY sure you have your partner’s concurrence in getting pregnant and starting the family. Besides the support of your partner, the attitude of your relatives is also important, because the life of a new mother without the help of family can be very difficult, especially with the first baby. After all, you are a neophyte mom but your mother or granny has vast experience – remember, they raised you! So you need to be able to tap into this huge reservoir of knowledge.
10. Your heart lets you know that ‘you are ready!’
There is no optimal time economically or career-wise when the alarm on your biological clock goes off, then you really need to listen. There’s a hidden, unexplained feature in women that “little ticking clock” that tells you that it’s time to drop everything else and have children. It’s an inborn thing in women and it’s very individual. So listen to your heart carefully, it knows better than your brain when the time is right.
Am I really ready to have a child? If you are asking yourself this question now, then you are already on your way to a happy motherhood. You’ve chosen a responsible approach to the decision that will completely turn your life inside out.