As part of the middle generation, it’s been often reported on that millennials prefer a dog’s company to the idea of having children, or even prefer to fill their houses up with potted plants. All these news stories, and yet they still don’t quite hit the nail on the head when it comes to starting off on your own and making a life for yourself! Financial considerations and plenty of health checks get in the way of baby dreams, and sometimes it’s good to have a checklist to see whether you’re ready to be a parent or not.
If you have dreams of becoming a parent, sometimes it’s good to sit back and take stock for a little while, as making sure you’re truly prepared and want this family dream is essential for everyone involved. Maybe you like the idea of holding a baby shower to celebrate the new life coming into your world, but you just can’t handle the idea of changing nappies and cleaning up vomit.
Well, there’s a positive and negative side to all situations! But you’ll know you’re ready when you can look past the negatives and consider the entire experience rewarding! So, with that in mind, here are some more considerations you should make to properly know you’re ready for a baby this New Year.
You’re Taking Note of all the Little Things
And by this, we mean the jokey things! It’s good to have a laugh when you’re making a big decision for yourself and your family, and often a sense of humor is essential. It could even be a good way to build up your confidence in other areas of your life if you feel you’re not ready when it comes to the more serious considerations.
Maybe you’re always seeing babies where you go, and it feels like the idea is haunting you. This is fun to point out to your friends, and can actually be an indicator that you’re on the lookout for babies in return! You’ve also started weighing up the pros and cons of the different brands there are out there, and when you look at parents on the street you note down the prams, strollers, and toddler leashes they use.
Your Empathy Has Seriously Grown
So let’s say you’ve always had little annoyances, but one day you wake up and go about your day and find they don’t bother you anymore. That person on the train who stole your seat is no longer your archenemy, and you’re suddenly thinking of things from their perspective. Woah, what’s happening here?
Maybe you’ve just had a change in attitude and decided to let some of your problems go, but putting maternity goggles on might make this mean you’re ready to be more open and accepting, which is great for kids. If you can think of something from another person’s perspective, and you’re not putting yourself first in all situations, it could be a good sign a baby is an option for you.
You’ve Asked Your Friends Who are Parents
You’ve started to hang around more with your friends who have kids, asking them about how they went about it and spending time around their kids; you may even be their godparent at the end of the day! Perhaps you’ve even asked your own mother about her experience! Either way, showing an interest in these stories, and taking personal opinions on what you should and shouldn’t do is a good indicator you’re ready for a baby. On the other hand, it could be a great way to start off if you’re seriously warming to the idea of having a little you running around.
Often we underestimate how hard the pregnancy process can be, so asking someone we know wouldn’t lie to us or buff the truth is great for soothing any worries or concerns. It’s also a great way to have an up close and personal look at how kids can change a person’s life, and you’ve probably done a lot of emotional labor for your friend during this process!
You’ve Done Your Proper Research
One of the biggest parts of the preconception period you think you’re ready for is doing some research. Buying up all the maternity and paternity books you can find is a good starting point, as light reading before bed is a great way to retain information. It’s also a nice way to hint to a partner that you’re ready for something a little more…
Of course, you don’t need to know everything from the beginning, but you’ve got knowing the signs of ovulation and conception down to a tee, and you know the best brands for your baby on the supermarket shelves. So, once you’ve found yourself looking into deals to buy Mustela Diaper Rash Cream 1 2 3, it’s a pretty good sign you’re ready for the real deal!
Getting to this stage takes some time, either way, so don’t be put down if you haven’t looked into any options yet, but you know it’s definitely something you can see yourself doing! Maybe you’ve already got a naming list ready, and you’ve even got some spare in the case of twins. Being confident in this way is essential for this kind of private moment, as it’s a great personal booster if you have any doubts about your ability.
You’ve Talked to Your Partner at Length
Talking to your partner about such a huge decision like this needs to happen first of all if you haven’t managed to pop such a question yet. It’s good to let them into the circle of family you’re trying to create from the offset, as it keeps you both healthy and happy when it comes to looking over your personal situation and where to go from there. Don’t let your significant other get left out of your thought process in this way, as being ready for a baby is something the both of you need to be!
Talking means you can immediately put any protests or doubts to rest when you partner agrees to you, or you can come up with a plan for the both of you to work with when it comes making sure you’re both ready for a big leap. Communication is one of the best things you can do before, during, and after a pregnancy, as it makes sure you and your partner are always on the same page. Plus, it’s good preparation for presenting a united front against your kids when they pull out the puppy eyes (and the tantrums) later on down the line!
You Can Take Care of Yourself
This is pretty important for you to immediately consider before having a baby, as personal hygiene and basic care for yourself can translate pretty well onto other people. So, if you struggle with this now, it’s not going to get any easier once you have a child that depends on you as well.
It’s time to get yourself into a routine if you’re serious about making an improvement though! A lot of the time we let ourselves rush into things when we’re not ready for them, and it just makes a situation worse as a result. Which brings in our next point…
On Second Thoughts, Have You Really Taken Yourself into Account?
And this means both your physical and mental wellbeing. Making sure you can handle everything your kid, and life, can throw at you is the best way to know you’re ready for the pitter patter of tiny feet this year. Think it over: when it comes to it, as the person who’s going to be carrying the baby, are you truly ready for everything that will entail?
As a parent, you’re going to have to make sacrifices, and that means often putting someone else’s needs in front of your own; as the movie Frozen liked to quote, that’s love! If you can’t see yourself being ready and able to always put yourself last, maybe now isn’t the time for you to carry on with your considerations. Maybe you’re not quite in the right place, or you don’t have the means to do so; either way, it’s OK!
Similarly, can you see yourself never needing to take a break when times get rough? If you have a child, you can’t take time for yourself away from them to regroup and get back in touch with yourself. They’re always going to need you, even when they’re fully grown! Often, when we love someone we’d do anything for them, but if you don’t think you have a good maternal instinct just at the thought, then this isn’t the right time for you.
Having a baby is a permanent decision, so make sure you’ve thought of every possible detail that applies to you. Maybe it’s time for you to start a family and maybe it isn’t; both of these options are OK in the long run, and you can always change your mind before you go through with anything.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.