Parenthood is a huge step in a couple’s life. It can completely alter a person’s life. One minute you are the happiest person on the planet without any tension and as soon as a baby comes in your life you become a completely changed man. There is no doubt that there is nothing more beautiful than holding your baby in your arms and see him smile at you but after that there lies a hell of a journey which will continue throughout your whole life. Taking care of a child who is totally dependent on you for all its needs is not a piece of cake. Though parenting is a very difficult and exhausting phase of a couple’s life but is also the most rewarding and fulfilling one as quoted by many people who have already experienced the joy of nurturing a child.
Seeing your own child who is just a carbon copy of you, growing in front of you, doing the exact same things that you used to do when you were young is absolutely worth all the worries and stress it brings along with it. It is kind of like a 24×7 job without any pay or perks and a very demanding one too. You have to put your own life aside to become an unwavering source of love and stability for your child. Even if you do everything to prepare yourself for it, it can take you by surprise. Every day it will pose a new challenge for you. Most couples after some time of their marriage start to think of starting their own family but are usually in a dilemma of whether they are actually prepared for what is in the store for them. One thing any couple must understand is that no matter how hard you try or how many books you have read on it, you can never be truly prepared for it. If everybody waited to be completely prepared to have a kid then they will be waiting forever. But since this is also not a decision that can be taken on a whim, so you must ask yourself whether you are truly ready to be a parent or not and these 10 points will help you make the decision.
10. Are you financially stable?
Being a parent means that there is gonna be a definite amount of increment in your expenses. Most of your salary is going to be spent on your child’s needs, diapers, baby food, clothing, crib, etc and you will have to cut back a lot on your personal expenses. If both you and your partner are working then you will have to search for a good day-care facility and mind you they are not very cheap. You will also have to think whether you are prepared for the other expenses as your child grows like his schooling fees etc. Do you a job that will give you the stability in terms of money and would you be able to spend quality time with your child after your work?
9. Parenting can be exhaustive
A child especially a newborn baby needs continuous care and that can be very exhaustive physically for both the father and the mother. You will have to kiss your beauty sleep good bye if you are thinking of becoming a parent at least for five years. The course of pregnancy can leave you very tired and exhausted and it takes time to be your original self again. The female has to bear most of the pain associated with having a child and it is not just the pain experienced during the delivery of the baby but also the frequent back pains and morning sickness during the 9 months of pregnancy. The male on the other hand has to undergo the constant mood swings of his spouse and be there to help her whenever she is in one of her cranky moods.
8. Are you mentally prepared?
Other than the physical exhaustion and tiredness, you will be experiencing a mental exhaustion too. You will not be having any time for yourself and you will not having an option of just leaving everything and taking a day off from parenting. You need to be completely prepared to handle situations where though your insides are squirming with anger but you have to remain calm and composed from outside. The stress and tension will of course take a toll on you. There might be times when you may regret having a child which is sufficient enough to instil self loathing but don’t worry you will get out of this phase because the joy of being a parent will balance most of the cons.
7. Are you old enough to be a parent?
Though there is no age limit to parenthood but still you must understand that taking this step is a huge responsibility and you have to make sure that you and your partner are old enough to have the maturity required to be parent. You must understand that having a child just after getting married can limit your romance to a huge extent. You may want to spend some quality time with your wife or your husband and then start planning about extending your family.
6. Get guidance from other parents
If you have friends who have children, then you can ask them about their experiences of having a child and what problems they faced. You will be able to get a clear idea of whether you are ready to face the same struggles as your friends had faced. You can also get help from your parents who will be an excellent guide for your trouble though they can be a little biased as they would want to be grandparents sooner than you becoming parents! you can even get an appointment with a counselor who can give you a professional advice on this.
5. Are you responsible?
Do you think you can be a dependable person? Do you have clear idea of how your responsibilities are going to increase after having a baby? To think that another human being will be totally dependent on you, how does that make you feel? Can you take the responsibility of a child’s future, making sure that the child will turn out to be an asset for the society? Would you be able to discipline the child and become a perfect role model for him or her? If you have a positive response for all these questions then you just might be ready to become a parent.
4. Do you really want a child?
Taking the decision to be a parent is completely subjective. It can vary with every individual couple with how they perceive the situation, their financial stability, their understanding of each person’s role etc. But you must know what you desire before weighing all the practical concerns about how a child will change your life because there is no turning back once you have a baby in your arms.
3. How are your surroundings?
Do you consider your locality an ideal place for a child to grow up? A child’s surroundings play an important role in inculcating good habits in the child and helps in the overall development of the child. Do you live in a place that is suitable for a child? Are there any parks, day care facilities, good schools, play grounds, supermarkets, hospital, etc? Would the child be having friends in your place? Moving to a new place during or just after having a child is cumbersome so you might have to consider the pros and cons of moving beforehand.
2. Are you a happy couple?
This is an important matter to consider before thinking of becoming a parent. How is your relationship between you and your spouse? Are you those kind of couples are always fighting and trying to tell who is wrong and who is right or are you a couple who work as a team in every adverse situation and understand each other rather than pointing on each other’s faults. Is your relationship standing on the foundation of love? Can your relationship face the struggles of having a baby?
1. Are you willing to sacrifice?
The biggest and most important question to answer is that are you willing to sacrifice yourselves for your child? Are you fine with always worrying, day and night, for the rest of your life? Are you prepared to love someone selflessly regardless of what is going on in your life? Can you keep yourself together even after not getting proper sleep for days? Ladies, are you prepared to lose that awesome figure of yours? Guys, are you prepared to exchange your sports car for a comfortable car for your whole family? It is not easy being a parent. Are you willing to clear the everyday mess that a child makes, the toys littered on the floor, juice stains on the rug and the crayon drawings on the walls? If you are willing to set your ego and freedom aside for your baby then you have the answer to the question whether you are ready to be a parent or not.