There will come a point in your life when you and your spouse will want to have a baby. The question is how would you know for certain if you are ready to have a family? Are there signs that will determine if you are ready for parenthood?
Let us take a look at each of the signs marking your readiness for parenthood…
1) Physical readiness
Physical readiness means that both you and your spouse are physically fit to conceive a baby. This particular sign is best determined by your doctor, so make sure that you both schedule appointments and based on your doctor’s assessment, he/she may require you to switch to a healthier diet and exercise or he/she may advise that you are physically fit to conceive. If you currently are being treated for an illness, adjustments in your medications may be necessary. If you have a history of STDs or other diseases that may affect fertility, you may need to be given the appropriate treatment first prior to conceiving.
2) Relationship stability
By this time, you and your spouse have already gotten past the dreamy and romantic “honeymoon” phase of your relationship. You should know each other’s strengths and weaknesses by now and are willing to work together to resolve any problems that may arise. More importantly, you should be ready to sacrifice former lifestyles (such as frequent partying) and personal desires for the sake of your coming family.
3) Mental and emotional stability
You should possess both mental and emotional stability prior to having a baby. You should be prepared for the stresses that will come with having children and have the appropriate coping mechanisms in place for them. Part of being mentally and emotionally stable is knowing why you want to have a baby in the first place. Some women in troubled relationships believe that a baby will prevent their spouse from leaving while other couples want a baby as a symbol of marital success, especially if their respective families hold having children and an excellent job/big salary in high esteem. If these and others are your reasons for wanting to have a baby, think twice about doing so. These are clear signs that you are mentally and emotionally unprepared to have a child.
4) Financial stability
Usually when you think of financial stability, it means that you have a good job and receiving a regular paycheck. However, being financially stable also means that what you are earning is not just sufficient for your day to day living. Your salary should be large enough so that you can save at least 10 percent of it in the bank or in a trust fund for your baby’s needs and future. Being financially stable also means that you should have your own home. No, this does not include sharing space in your parents’ or other relatives’ houses. Whether it is a simple apartment or a small house, it should be located in a good neighbourhood to raise children in, close to necessities such as good school options, a hospital, groceries and convenience store and the like.
5) Employment stability
Employment stability means that you are in a good position in your company so that you are assured that your job is secure, despite the many layoffs that are taking place due to a turbulent global economy. For women in particular, you should have earned a stable place in your company so that even if you decide to take a lengthy maternity leave to have a baby, your job will still be waiting for you when you report back for work.
6) Have an adequate support network in place
A couple is not counted upon to take care of a baby 24/7, doing so will lead to burnout and the stresses may put a strain on their relationship. If you want to have a baby, you should develop early on a good support network. Reach out to parents, in-laws, siblings and good friends. These are the people who will not only take the time to help you care for your baby when you’re exhausted but they will be kind enough to offer you further parenting advice.