Are you thinking about becoming a parent?
It’s a huge decision and one that you should not take lightly. There are many things to consider before taking the plunge into parenthood.
- Are you ready for sleepless nights?
- Are you ready to change diapers every few hours?
- Are you ready to become a 24/7 caregiver?
After all, you want to be a good dad or mum, right?
If you’re unsure if you’re ready, ask yourself these 13 questions. If most of your answers are yes, then chances are you’re prepared to become a parent!
But of course, it is entirely up to you!
13 Questions You Can Use to Figure Out if You Are Ready For a Baby
Are you financially stable and can afford to raise a child?
This is one of the first and most important questions you should ask yourself when considering parenthood.
If you’re not quite there yet, it’s ok. There are several ways to become financially stable before starting a family.
For me, this is one of the first questions I would ask. I would have more children if money were no object.
Do you have strong support from family members and friends?
It takes a village to raise a child, so the saying goes.
While it’s not strictly true (I’ve managed two kids without the help of a village), it does have an element of truth.
A ready and willing support system is an incredible gift that will help you raise your children.
From free babysitting to free advice, you should have a list of people you can turn to that can help whenever you need it.
I am not just talking about friends and other family members either; you should make a note of all the local baby groups and use those too. It’s a great place to learn and an excellent opportunity to talk to other people who are going through precisely the same thing as you.
Misery loves company, right?
Are you emotionally ready to handle the ups and downs of parenting?
The ups and downs of having a child will test you. Almost every single day!
Life becomes a rollercoaster of frustration and upset, quickly followed by pride when your child does something that melts your heart.
Emotionally, can you handle that?
Do you have enough space for another person in your home?
This one is a nice quick one – do you have space for a child? Is your home too small? Would it be better to wait until you move into a bigger house?
These questions are key!
Are you prepared to deal with:
- Sleepless nights
- Dirty diapers
- Constant crying
- Relationship conflicts
- Unknown challenges
- Child sickness
Do you feel confident that you’ll be able to provide a safe and healthy environment for your child?
It is essential to ensure that your child is safe and healthy.
When I say healthy, I also mean mental health. Your baby will need to be kept safe and thrive by being content. If you live in a stressful environment, that stress will pass to your baby.
Do you have a stable and loving relationship with your partner?
Having a baby helps build a strong relationship and tests a relationship in the same measure!
Before you decide to have a baby, consider the relationship you have. Is it strong? Is it stable? Is it a loving relationship that will teach your baby the importance of strong relationships?
Studies show a decline in satisfaction within marriage after a child is born. This is normal and will get better as your child gets older.
Also – it helps to have a husband who helps with the baby to share the load.
Hey – I am just setting expectations here!
Does your lifestyle allow for flexible parenting hours?
One thing to consider is how your lifestyle will change with a child.
Do you have the flexibility to take care of your child during the day? Or do you need to work during those hours? Can you share parental responsibility?
Your child will become priority number 1, especially during the early months. Your lifestyle will change considerably. Think about whether or not you can deal with that at this stage of your life.
Are you mentally and emotionally prepared to handle the challenges of parenting?
Parenting is a huge responsibility that you should not take lightly.
If you are not mentally and emotionally prepared to handle parenting challenges, you may want to wait until you are ready.
After all, if you are not mentally ready now, and the baby comes along and tests you to breaking point, you might just hit the breaking point.
Are you ready to sacrifice your personal time for a child?
Are you ready to spend less time doing things just for you and more time caring for a child?
This may mean less time for travel, hobbies, and going out with friends. So you’ll need to be ok with that before you’re ready to take on the responsibility of a baby.
Can you handle the stress of being a parent?
Are you able to handle the stress that comes with being a parent? If you feel like you’re constantly under a lot of pressure, it might not be the right time to have a baby.
On the other hand, if you feel like you can handle anything that comes your way, then you might be ready to become a parent.
If you are prone to stress, then you should address it. For example, if you are a future dad, the stress you are under can transfer to the future mom. However, if you are a future mom, the stress can cause several issues during pregnancy, some of which can be life-threatening!
Long story short – sort your stress out. Go and get some help to control your stress and control any anger associated with the stress.
Do you have the patience to raise a child?
You need a lot of patience to be a parent. Your kids go through phases of pushing your buttons to see how you react in certain situations. It is one of the most annoying parts of their development.
Your job is to remain calm and show the patience of a saint.
Are you ready to do whatever is needed to keep your child safe?
I am not talking about sticking a bandaid on their knee every time they fall over (which they will, countless times).
I am talking about throwing your own life in the way of their safety.
A recent conversation with my eldest highlights this:
Eldest: What would you do if someone tried to take me?
Me: I would stop them
Me: I will do anything and everything possible. I will defend you from anyone and anything until my last breath. While I am doing that, your job is to get to safety.
Ok, maybe the last sentence was a bit hard for an 8-year-old to take, but I wanted him to understand the lengths I would go to.
Becoming a parent is one of the most significant decisions you can make in your life. If you’re on the fence about whether or not you’re ready, use this list as a guide to help you figure out if parenting is right for you.
And if you decide that parenting is still something down the road for you, don’t worry – there are plenty of things you can do now to prepare yourself for when that time comes.
Whatever you decide, good luck!