I’m sure there are a combination of reasons that I was completely clueless as to what I was truly getting myself into when I got pregnant with my first-born. Frankly, I was just naive regarding all aspects of parenthood. Today, when I talk to friends that do not yet have children and they seem to understand the gravity of of being a parent better than I ever did before having them. I wish I had truly taken into consideration all that was ahead before becoming a mom. So if you are anything like my former self, wondering whether you want or should have kids, or if this is the right time for you, here are some things to consider:
1. They are work. Literally a full-time job that you can rarely call out from. Children are needy, rightfully so. Are you ready to cater to the needs of a tiny tyrant? Are you ready to drop everything instantly to make sure that the needs and wants of someone else are fulfilled? Are you ready to put someone else before yourself? Do you feel like you will be able to keep giving even when you feel like you have nothing left?
2. They are expensive. While this may seem obvious, have you actually crunched the numbers? How much does daycare cost in your area? If you will need a bigger place, how much will it be? How much of your medical insurance will actually pay for the birth? How much to add them to you medical insurance? How much are the different classes and activities that you would want them to take? Do you travel often? How much for them to travel with you? How much would a babysitter be for when you would like to go out? Literally write out the numbers and add them to you monthly budget to see how much you are truly working with.
3. It never ends. Once they are here, that’s it. They are yours. FOREVER. Of course they will eventually leave the house but a child will always be your child. You will most likely be needed for physical, mental, and/or financial support. Are you ready to make a lifetime commitment? Much like a marriage it’s for better or for worse.
4. They will push, test, and try you in every way possible. You will want to make sure you as equipped as possible for the challenge ahead. Asses your mental health, physical health, and spiritual health before going on the parenthood adventure. This is not to say you can’t work on yourself without having kids, but it is a lot easier to do before they come into the picture.
5. Consider your support system. You will need someone, anyone. And I think the more the better. You will need a break. You will need people you can trust to take care of and help nurture your little one. You will need someone to confide in. If you have people in your life that understand the challenges already that is a huge plus. Talk to them now. Hopefully they speak honestly with you so you can get a better picture of parenthood and all that it entails.
In knowing and embracing these few things you still won’t fully grasp the gravity of parenthood but you will be a few steps ahead (more so than I was) in knowing how life will change. (I will also throw in here that getting a puppy is great initiation into parenthood. It may not be exactly the same but it checks quite a few boxes).
What I am currently learning is that parenting is what you make it. You know how you cannot control what happens to you but you can control how you respond? Same with parenting. You cannot control or fully prepare for the worry, stress, exhaustion, and frustration parenting will bring, however, you can armor yourself so that when those times come you are able to respond in a manner that leads to growth and carries you to the through so that you are free to embrace the joy, meaning, adventure, laughter, and fun that parenthood has to offer as well.
From a learning mama,