So you think you're ready to have a baby.
Based on what? Your age? Your eagerness to be a parent? Your friends are all having babies? Your parents won't stop telling you how they can not wait to be grandparents?
How will you really know when you are ready? Great question. There are many things to consider; however, as you've probably been told, "There is no good time to have a baby." Are either of you still in school? And if so, how much time will that take away from parenting? Can you afford a baby? Do you have a career and are you in line for a promotion? Should that stop you from starting a family? How old are you? Hold old is your partner? Yes, it’s true, you are most fertile in your twenties. Does that mean you should wait until you are in your thirties or forties? Do you and your spouse have a strong relationship?
If your marriage is on the rocks more than it's not, it is not the time to get pregnant. Parenthood is not a fairy tale. It's real, and there will be a little life depending on you to provide, feed, bathe, and care for another human being. Have you ever been around a baby or do you have siblings who have children? Do you know how to care for a baby? Here are some signs that you may be ready to conceive. Some of these may seem "off the wall", but keep on reading. You will see where this is going.
● You have taken care of a pet that needed to go out to "do his business" in the middle of the night.
● You cry tears of joy when you find out your friends are pregnant.
● You have names picked out.
● You look in the mirror and wonder how you will look when you do get pregnant.
● You talk to every baby you see in the grocery store, sometimes asking to hold the child.
● You love babies and children in general, realizing they will grow up.
And then there are some more common things to consider before getting pregnant.
● Is your partner ready to be a parent?
● Have you discussed and decided how you will each balance your work life and family life?
● Will you be a stay-at-home Mom or will you return to work following your baby's birth?
● Can you afford day care and are there day care centers near your home or work that are reputable?
● Have you considered the places you can no longer go or the "habits" you may have to break once you have a baby, such as spa days with girlfriends, partying all night and sleeping all day?
● What if you child has special needs? Are there programs and resources available to you in this case?
● Will you breastfeed or bottle feed?
● Do you live in an apartment that is large enough for a "new edition" or would you have to move?
● Do you smoke, drink, or use recreational drugs, and if so, are you willing to stop?
There are a million things you can think of to ponder, from giving up your days of sleeping in to putting away money for your child's college tuition. Really, there is no "good" time to have a baby, but you do have to be a responsible adult and insure that you bring up your child in a healthy, loving home.
If all of this seems overwhelming, you are not alone. The decision of whether or not to have a child is a one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life. If all of these things seem too much to think about, you may benefit greatly by speaking with a counselor. The staff at Relationship Center of Orange County are trained professionals who can help you through the difficult times. Call us today at (949) 430-7218, or use our online tool to set up your appointment. It may be the best call you ever made.