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Deciding to start a family can be the biggest decision that you make.
For those of you with existing kids, you’re also talking about a multiplier for whatever your current levels of chaos are.
Therefore, it is important that you give this important decision the appropriate level of planning and thought. Just not wanting to put away the crib yet or missing the “cute baby thighs” are not really good enough reasons for creating another human.
How do you know if you’re really ready?
Most parents would argue that they were never ready...how can you be? While this is true, there are some indicators that you have a good base in place to bring another human into the world. So, we are going to take a look at some signs you’re ready to start a family.
Yes, there are a lot of people that are lucky and they get pregnant as soon as they start trying.
However, as you may know from previous pregnancies, this is not a reality for everyone. Some people have to try for years and years before they can have a baby. Is this something you’re ready for?
If you’re planning on your first baby, you may eventually have to explore additional solutions too, from the egg donation process to using a surrogate.
If all of this doesn’t put you off, you’re probably ready very to bring a baby into the world, and to do so for the right reasons.
Unfortunately, there are some people who decide to bring a baby into the world because they think it will fix their relationship problems.
A baby is going to put more strain on your relationship than ever before. Seriously, picture coping with your current relationship problems with 50% less sleep and tiny screaming in the background every time you try and have an adult conversation. Nice, right?
This is why you need to make sure you are in a settled and stable relationship if you’re thinking about having a baby.
You do not need to have millions in the bank in order to have a baby.
However, it is a good idea to make sure you are in a steady job and that you have a good income coming in every month. After all, you are now going to have an extra mouth to feed, and there are going to be a lot of baby supplies needed as well. This all costs money.
There’s no aspect of having a kid that isn’t easier when you have your finances straightened out.
Last but not least, moving about to different parts of the country is not a great idea when you have got a little baby.
Of course, some people need to do this for their job, but if this does not apply to you, you should make sure you are settled in one area and happy to put down roots there.
If you're going through a stressful family time, if you have ailing older relatives that require significant amounts of care, if you are just about to start a new job, or if you think you might be coming up on any other major life changes, it might not be the best time to have a new baby.
Even though sometimes big, stressful changes make you just the right level of emotional where you want to bury yourself in something new, fresh, and hopeful (and there's nothing that fits that description more than a new baby), it will bring you the corresponding levels of stress too.
Make sure you have enough time, energy, and emotional reserve to give your potential new arrival the consideration and attention they deserve.
If you're considering becoming a parent (or becoming a parent again) it's important that you not already be stressed to your breaking point.
Yes, our lives will always include a certain amount of stress, but if you are truly maxed out then the stresses that come with being pregnant (and God forbid those first few weeks with a newborn) you run a high likelihood of breaking completely.
Make sure you are decently versed in the fine art of self care, you know how to tell when you're stressed and what to do about it, and you have a support system in place for the times when things go off the rails. These are all coping mechanisms you're going to need with a new baby.
This doesn't mean you can never get overwhelmed, but you need to know what to do when it happens and it shouldn't be a constant thing.
Similar to the previous point, if you're considering having a baby, you should have a support system in place.
This means that there are some people you would trust with your kid while you have to go to a doctor's appointment, a work meeting, or heaven forbid a date night with hubby. You should have people that you know you can call crying at 3 a.m. if you get stressed. you should have people that you know care about you me and would help if you desperately need of it.
I'm not advocating that you outsource any of the important bits of raising a child.
However, it is insanely hard to raise a kid even in the best, most supportive of circumstances. It's almost impossible to do so completely by yourself.
If you have a solid support network set up, it will give you an important safety net for the act of child-rearing.
Way more people want to have a wedding than want to actually be married.
Similarly, many people want to have a baby, but they aren't prepared to actually have a child.
Yes, baby booties are adorable.
Yes, your friends might all be getting pregnant.
However, unless you are actually excited about all the different phases of creating a human and raising them to adulthood, you might want to hold off on becoming a parent.
Your child will be an adorable newborn for about six months. After that, they go through the crazy toddler phase, the “why don't humans have tails” question upon question phase, you have to fill out eight billion forms (per day) when they start school, then before you know it they're a petulant teenager, then you're paying craptons of money for their college, and then you're complaining about how they never call you anymore since they moved out.
So if you still want a baby despite the fact that that last paragraph was the most depressing description of parenting ever, you're probably ready for the job.
Make sure you’re excited about the thought of actually being a parent, not just the novelty of having a baby.
Only you can know the answer to this question, but it's important to introspect and figure out the answer before you actually just bring a life into the world.
If you have noticed any of the signs mentioned in this blog post, it is a good indicator that you are ready to start a family.
Of course, there is no perfect timing and no one is ever really ready for the chaos of a new baby, but it can give you peace of mind to know that you are somewhat prepared for this incredible journey.
Founder | Contributor
Liz is a wife, mom, blogger, coder (and unabashed digital nerd), PhD student (and huge psychology geek), workout masochist, and occasional human being. She founded The Stay Sane Mom after marrying into the role of stepmom to a preteen girl (and Instagram addict) and shortly thereafter having her first bio kid (now a toddlernado supreme). Her goal is to provide tools and support to help other capable, sleep-deprived, soul-hungry moms master their domains so they have the time and energy to be more than just 'mom'.
Stay Sane Mom gives support to the over-worked, under-slept, marker-stained, soul-hungry moms of the world, so they can be more than just "mom".
You just want to keep the house clean, have a happy marriage, raise functional kids, and still have a little left in the tank to be a real person as well.
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