Having a baby can definitely be an emotional journey; the ups and downs of being a parent are something that every parent (no matter how many chances you get) will always battle. Fortunately TV shows like Teen Mom on MTV have statistically lowered the teen mom birth rate and while that is awesome there still seems to be people out there (like actual adults) who think jumping into parenting will be a piece of cherry pie. We forget that just because we WANT babies, does not mean we are READY for them; there are many factors that go into being a parent, it is not just being there to cuddle and coddle the little ones (those are the bonus moments). There has to be financial security, mental stability and it would be tremendously helpful if you have a partner that you actually get along with and can rely on, a stable relationship that allows you to bounce off of one another for support, energy and one who can tag you out/in when need be. A lot of times people see small signs that indicate that they are most likely not ready to jump into mommy/daddy mode but overlook those signs and that nagging gut feeling because they are so in love or lonely, or trying to trap someone (yes, it happens we see it every week on Maury). Unfortunately not everyone is ready to take the leap into parenthood and in case you are unsure or need a second opinion besides your gut feeling, here is a list that can help you figure out if you are ready for parenthood.
12. You Don’t Feel Ready
This little feeling is your gut telling you that this is a very bad idea at THE moment. Tap into that intuition that everyone has if something feels off or you are questioning the decision at hand, then chances are you are not ready. Do not feel like you need to rush into something because one person is ready and the other is not. Being an adult means making decisions that will benefit you and those who are directly involved with you, and keep in mind that you will have to give up so much (probably more than you realized) when you have a baby, so make sure you are absolutely sure it is the right time.
11. You Just Got A Promotion
A promotion, or you finally got into the field that you went to school for, are two very good reasons to hold off baby making. No one wants to give up on their dream job because it is your dream job; maybe after a couple years of being in that position and feeling confident that you cannot be fired while on maternity/paternity leave, then you can start having kids. Fortunately, getting a promotion is a great reason to hold off mother/fatherhood and no one in their right mind will look at you sideways when you say you would rather excel in your career at this point in your life.
10. You Love Your Wardrobe
Total disclosure here, babies spit up a lot; in addition to the white creamy puke, they drool, and they poop (sometime projectile) a lot. Your fabulous wardrobe will never survive this, if you are more concerned about trying to avoid poop stains, vomit, and everything else that comes out of your baby and all the money you will have to spend on dry cleaning, then you are not ready to have a baby. There is no shame here; people spend a lot of money on designer duds that just do not mix with mommyhood unless you have a nanny at least 80 percent of the time.
9. You Hate Doing Laundry
Any good mommy blog will tell you about the amount of laundry you have to do to keep up with your cute yet messy baby. It is like your washer and dryer never stops, nothing is ever really clean and usually as soon as it comes out it has to go back in. Unfortunately for you, you hate doing laundry, breaking your back to move the damp clothes from the washer to the dryer. If you would much rather apply perfume on something that might be dirty then have to wash it then please, do not get pregnant yet; you do not need social services at your door because you left your house with a baby that looks like they need major attention.
8. You Prefer To Sleep In
There is no such thing as sleeping in after you have a baby; even during the pregnancy they have a tendency to keep you awake or start moving around so early that it forces you to open your eyes and embrace the day. Babies, toddlers and children, are generally early risers with a lot of energy, so if you are not willing to force yourself out of bed you may want to hold off on having a child. Their energy alone might drive you nuts the moment they jump off the bed they hit the ground running; you would have to wake up at least an hour before them just to muster up half the energy wake up with.
7. Your Friends Do Not Have Kids
While this one is not a deal breaker, it is annoying. Keep in mind that having kids before all your friends will most likely mean that you will rarely see those friends and when you do, you will not have the same kind of fun that you used to have because you either have to bring the kid with you or get home in enough time to relieve your significant other so they do not go crazy with resentment and jealousy because you were able to stay out all night and they were stuck in with the kid that night.
6. You’re Selfish
You do not like to share, you prefer to be alone, you are always thinking about what YOU are going to do next. Maybe this is not the time to have a baby; there is nothing wrong with being selfish when you only really have to worry about you and how the actions you take will affect your life. However, if you are not ready to add another thing to the list to worry about, then make sure you take the steps to prevent pregnancy at all cost. There is no such thing as selfish when you have a baby, it quickly turns into selfless.
5. You Can Barely Keep Up With Your Pet
Do not let anyone fool you; having a pet is a major responsibility. They are basically babies who need you to do everything for them, and this includes feeding them, washing them, cleaning up their poop, tidying their toys, taking them out for fresh air and exercise; in fact, they may be more work than having a baby. If you are having a hard time keeping up with the necessities of a pet no matter how big or small, then a baby should not be in your near future. They require the same treatment; the only difference is that you do not necessarily have to take them outside unless you are going stir crazy.
4. All You Want To Do Is Party
Your Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights (and let’s be real most days) are filled with parties of all kinds; beach parties, roof top parties, and night clubs. If you have not gotten all the partying out of your system then having a baby could be digging yourself a hole that you will never climb out of. If you have not done all the partying and hanging out that you wanted to do, you could possibly end up resenting the life that comes with parenthood. Yes, you are probably thinking “how can anyone resent their baby?” it is easier than you think when you are living a life that you believed was unfulfilled.
3. You Have No Money
Have you seen how much it costs to maintain a life with a baby? It is insane how much all the accessories for the nursery cost, the food, the diapers, the essential car set (or you will never leave your house again, you cannot walk everywhere and no one wants to take the bus everywhere). It is estimated that you will spend close to $3000.00 a year on diapers and formula alone. Do not forget about clothes, doctor visits if you lack insurance, child care eventually, it is depressing when you really think about it. Gone are the days when you can spend $90 on a designer shirt at Macy’s, even a bargain is no longer a bargain
2. Your Family Really Wants This For You
Having a baby should always, always, always be your decision. There are people in the world who get married and have babies because their family influences their life way too much. There is so much to evaluate before you make the decision to have a child; your financial situation, your relationship with your partner, your state of mind; if you are so easily influenced to have a baby because your family thinks it is time, then it shows your lack of maturity. You do not know how to say no or make your own decisions, and these are horrible qualities to have as a mother.
1. You Are Not In A Committed Relationship
It is not always a requirement to be in a relationship in order to have a baby, but it is definitely a bit easier when you have someone who supports you that can pick up the slack when you need a rest, take sleeping shifts, or when one has to go back to work. If you do value having a partner (and have the time to find the right one), then great; but be sure they are the one because if they are not, your kid will most likely be splitting their time between two houses which quite frankly is unfair to them.