How do you know if you are ready for a baby? Have you yearned for parenthood from a young age? Are you in your late thirties or early forties and babies are only just starting to appeal to you? There are many things to consider before heading in to parenthood blindly. Parenthood is the biggest ride you will ever take, bigger than marriage, bigger than true love. You will be responsible for another human being 24 hours a day for the next 18 or so years….
Not to put you off, it’s wonderful and special, tiring and totally frustrating, hilarious and messy. It’s easy to get caught up in the romance of the promise of what a baby might bring. A tiny little bundle that looks just like you, the mewing noises, this little person who just idolizes you and looks up to you. Someone that will love you unconditionally. But with that tiny little bundle of joy also comes a huge responsibility.
Are you Emotionally Ready?
Children love routine – they thrive on it. Parents that think nothing will change after a baby is born should be taken away in a little white truck right now! Everything will change. There will be no more late nights out of the house, no more zipping around to the neighbours house for a tally and a smoke, no more Indy or Bathurst or Moto GP, for a little while at least. This of course is a worst-case scenario – but are you willing to give all that up for a while for your baby?
Are you mature enough to put another persons needs before your own.
Are you Financially Ready?
Are you in your own home or have a stable rental. Do you have money in the bank. Who will work and who will stay home with the baby. All these things are of major consideration. If you are planning on going back to work, can you afford the childcare fees? What happens if your partner loses their job?
When you think about it if we waited to be financially stable we probably we never have children – but setting yourself up in good stead beforehand will help you out when that second income is gone.
Are you Physically Ready?
Are you in great physical condition or do you have medial problems that need attending too. Do you smoke or drink. These are things to consider. Perhaps consider starting to eat better, get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water and exercise regularly. Get a through checkup at your GP and get a clean bill of healthy and don’t forget your pre-natal vitamins such as Folate. Your Doctor can recommend a good one for you. Taking Folate for a few months before becoming pregnant can prevent a lot of birth defects – and Folate is good for you too!
Is Your Relationship Ready?
Are and and your partner solid and realistic about having children together? Is your partner ready to be a parent? Do you have similar parenting values and expectations? These are very serious questions. Babies can put a huge strain on any relationship. Other relationships will be impacted too – is your family close and can lend you a hand, do you get along with your Mother in Law?
Is Your House Ready?
Do you have a dedicated room or area for the baby and perhaps a small backyard or place for your new child to play? Are you in the middle of renovating a home? Babies don’t take up a lot of space, but their gear sure does. Cots, toys, change tables and even nappies will fill lots of the nooks and crannies in your home.
Is Your Career Ready?
If you can’t wait to get out of the workforce and become a Mum – that’s great! In fact for most of us it’s our dream! What is your place of employment’s maternity leave policy like? And what sort of arrangements can be put in place for your return. You may be able to return in part time capacity or even be lucky enough to take your baby into work with you! But these sorts of arrangements need to be negotiated and discussed before you go on maternity leave so both employer and employee have realistic expectations. You may even be able to work from home!
Motherhood is the most wonderful and exhilarating time of your life – make it as stress free as you can be addressing some of these issues first!