Many women hit a certain point in life where the desire to be a mom becomes almost overwhelming. Why is this, exactly? Maybe it’s because your friends and family seem to all be having babies; maybe it’s some primal urge that helps the human race go on. Maybe it’s cultural expectations that pressure women to have children, or maybe it’s just because you love kids. Maybe it’s all of the above. Whatever the root cause, it’s very common.
Before you start deciding whether you want a little boy or a little girl, however, you should be ready. Here are some indicators that you’re ready to take on the challenges that motherhood presents:
You want to be a mom. This really is the first sign you may be ready. Many young girls fantasize about motherhood and taking care of a baby. Truth be told, taking care of a baby doll is a lot different than taking care of a real baby. It’s both more responsibility and more joy than you can possibly imagine. Talk to other moms about their experiences and do some research so you know what really is involved in being a mom.
You’re responsible. You need to be able to take care of yourself before you can take care of a child. If you can keep up with your bills, have met your educational goals or are well on the way, meet expectations at work and still have time to do other things, you may be just about ready. On the other hand, if you’re making decisions daily that you regret later, you might spend some more time getting ready before you jump in.
You love kids. Now, to be sure, most parents believe that their own children are much better-behaved and well-adjusted than their peers. It’s all right; that’s what parents are supposed to think. But if every crying baby at the supermarket makes you cringe, you might think about spending some quality time around babies before you have one of your own. Volunteer for nursery duty at your religious institution or during a social event and get a good feel for the little darlings first.
You’re ready to give some things up. You’re going to give up your body for nine months as host to your baby. You’re going to have a lot less free time than before. You’re going to be on a restrictive diet during pregnancy. Make sure you know what’s involved before you agree to it.
You’re the best judge of whether or not you’re ready to be a mom. Measuring yourself up against some of these criteria can help you make that decision.