Are you already planning what Jr. is going to wear on his first day at kindergarten? Sometimes your brain and body become ready for a baby almost without you realizing it. People fantasize about being parents all the time. When those fantasies start having real meat on their bones, pay attention! What you dismiss as idle daydreams could be your mind trying to tell you something.
So how do you determine if you’re ready to be a parent? There are no definitive answers. The following tips, however, can point you in the right direction.
1. You Think About Your Future Child. A Lot
Future parents often imagine what their children will look like. It can be a fun game where you try to picture what your partner’s stub nose will look like mixed with your high cheekbones.
The activity can also be oddly anxiety-inducing. You might find yourself scouring Google results after searching something like “dental hygiene for babies” before you even have a child. According to EverhartDental.com, many female clients often ask about their non-existent child’s dental hygiene and how to go about taking care of a child’s teeth. If you find yourself asking these types of questions from your dentist of health care professional, it is definitely a sign that having a baby could be on your horizon.
2. You’re Financially Secure
You don’t have to be Daddy Warbucks to afford a child. But it won’t be easy if you’re broke. Kids are expensive; they’ll be tied to your bank account for the next 18 years at least. Life will be much easier if you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck.
If you’re too stressed out about money, it’ll interrupt your enjoyment of being a parent.
How much money do you need? It depends on your lifestyle. At a minimum, you should have enough money to reliably put food on the table and pay your rent or mortgage. To be really comfortable, you should also have some savings stocked away.
3. You’re in a Stable Relationship
Or you’re comfortable with the idea of having a child on your own. What you shouldn’t do is try to bring a new life into a troubled relationship. It’s unlikely to make things better and almost certainly will cause problems.
In addition to being in a happy space in your own relationship, you need to be sure that your partner wants to be a parent.
If you’re happy on your own and willing to be a single parent or in a strong relationship, it’s time to examine your feelings about parenthood.
4. You’re Not Grossed Out Easily
Cat puke in your bed again? No problem, you’re only concerned about the little creature’s well-being. Children are extremely messy. They ooze bodily fluids. When you’re no longer fazed by the idea of a getting spit-up on your favorite outfit, it’s probably a sign that you’re thinking about a baby.
5. You’ve Witnessed a Tantrum
If you’re only experienced with kids comes from the perfect-looking snaps on Instagram, you’re in for a rough awakening. Even the most delightful child will have the occasional rough day. This could mean kicking, shouting, crying for hours on end. Just know that it’s not pretty.
Are you ready?
6. You’re Okay with Mess
You know that gorgeous, all-white sofa that you love showing off to people? You’re prepared for it be covered in spilled juice and crayon marks. Kids are little tornadoes of destruction. Fancy furnishings can be ruined by children in seconds.
7. You’re Self-Confident
You should have a good idea of who you are before deciding to have a baby. You’re going to be in control of another human being. If you’re still questioning yourself, you might have trouble determining what to teach your child.
It’s okay if you don’t have everything figured out yet. Who does? Just know what your moral center is. You want baby to grow up to be a good person. You have to understand what that means for you.
8. You’re Interested in Labor Stories
Once you start grilling the moms in your life about their labor experiences, there’s a good chance a baby is on your horizon. Especially if you’re not horrified by what you hear. Childbirth is brutal. It’s only worth it if you really, truly want a child.
The biggest sign you’re ready to be a parent? You or your partner is pregnant. Pregnancy doesn’t always happen on your timescale. The good news? People have been having babies for a long time. You can figure it out. If you don’t have family or friends you can lean, turn to the internet. You can find advice about pretty much anything. If you join a forum or a group, you can even find support.