Do you ever find yourself wondering if you are actually ready to have a child?
I know I do.
As a young woman, and an older sister of 3, my dream has always been to have a child – well, actually children. I attribute this trait partially to my mom who had a goal in life of just being the best mother she could be…
And, yes, I would say she hit the nail right on the head.
But, now that I am actually married, financially stable, and we are getting closer and closer to the age of having kids – or at least the age I think I want to be when I have kids – I find myself questioning if I am actually ready.
I have never really thought of this topic until recently…
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My husband and I don’t want to have kids for a few years, probably around 5 more years, but, time is moving so quickly. And, of course, we do find ourselves occasionally discussing the topic of an unplanned, or accidental, pregnancy.
So, recently, I have found myself wondering if I am actually ready for a child.
I have concluded that the answer is no. I am not yet ready to bring a little one into the world. And, if by chance, an unplanned pregnancy was to happen, I would be thrilled and love that baby more than the entire world.
But, if I have the choice, I am not ready.
How can you be sure that you’re ready? Here are just a few questions you can explore and ask yourself about to find out if you’re ready to have a child:
Are you financially stable?
Did you know that you can expect to spend around $12,000 on your baby’s first year of life? And, by their second year, you could be making your way up to $12,500 or more. Diapers, food, and formula alone can cost you about $50 per week. Now, if you plan ahead and set a budget, this might not be an issue. However, it is something to consider when deciding if you are ready. The baby simply cannot wait for food and diapers – so, either you need to be financially prepared or you can expect to have to cut back on some of the luxuries in life that you enjoy.
This point isn’t meant to sound selfish, rather make you aware that the baby is fully dependent on you so their needs must come first.
Do you have enough space?
A baby needs his/her own room. While they might sleep with you in the beginning – diapers, clothes, and a changing table can really gobble up space quickly. In addition, you still need your space. Even if you are ready to have a child, there will be some days where you just need your own baby-free space to relax and collect your thoughts. Likewise, for baby.
It is important to the mental and physical health of your family that you all have your own space, therefore, adequate space.
Are you ready to give up time with your spouse?
Late night feedings can cut into your cuddle time. A crying baby can mean canceling date night instead of leaving them with a sitter. Now, of course, you and your spouse can always hang out with the baby together.But, there will still be some personal time that is lost due to having a child. You have now added another member to the family who also needs attention – and a lot of it.
Are you ready to give up your selfish habits?
Do you love to just have a few glasses of wine for Wine Wednesday? Or maybe Thirsty Thursday is still your thing – after work with your girlfriends, of course.
However, you cannot do either of these things while pregnant and once the child is born, these activities will definitely become rarer. This is not to say you cannot still have fun once you are a parent, but more responsibility is added and you always have to think about where the child is, what they are doing, and what they need at that moment. Your needs and wants come second now.
Can you handle the surprises that come with children?
From a blowout on the way to daycare to pulling your hair while they nurse. Children come with surprises. Sometimes bad, and sometimes good. Can you handle the unknown?
Having a child is a wonderful and miraculous thing. It is a way to grow closer to your spouse and continue on the legacy of the both of you.
Don’t let these questions scare you away from parenthood, rather use them as a guide to decide when it is the best time to start growing your family. You and your children will be much happier if it all happens when the time is right.
Did we miss any other valuable questions you asked yourself before having your first child? Let us know in the comments!