Answer these questions to figure out whether or not you are ready to be a parent.
1. How much sleep do you need each night? If you need a block of 7 or more hours of sleep a night to function, then forget about it. Once a newborn arrives, sleep becomes optional. At first you may only sleep in stretches of two hours at a time, a few times a night. It may take several months before your child sleeps through the night.
2. Do you love your spouse? I mean, do you REALLY love your spouse? When you’ve been up until 11 PM putting the baby to bed and at 1 AM the baby is up again, what do you do? Do you yell at your spouse, that it is THEIR TURN? Fighting with your spouse is never fun, adding lack of sleep and a screaming baby to the background creates potential for an unforgettable epic marriage fight.
3. Do you still need to be taken care of by your parents? If yes, then you should probably wait a while on the whole children thing. If you can’t appropriately take care of yourself, then you definitely shouldn’t be taking care of another human being.
4. Do you enjoy weekend nights out? Hopefully, not too much. They will disappear from your life for a while. Instead, you will spend your weekend evenings, pureeing baby food, catching up on all the laundry you were too tired to do earlier in the week, and watching HGTV.
5. Do your friends have kids? If so, that will be huge help. Not only will they give you advice, hopefully only if you ask for it, but they will probably be more than happy to give you lots of old baby stuff. Friends with kids will also be much more sympathetic to your sudden lifestyle change than your friends without kids. Those friends may soon leave you behind in the dust.
6. Do you own a vehicle other than a motorcycle or a bicycle? If not, now would be the time to consider something that can safely transport a child, and everything that goes along with him or her. Packing an overnight trip to grandma’s house? Don’t forget the pack’n play and the stroller and some diapers, medicines, rash cream, thermometer, changing pads, breast milk or formula, bottles, high chair or booster seat, paci and of course that special blankie. Definitely don’t forget the blankie.
7. Do you have a money tree in your back yard? Once your baby comes home, you and your spouse will have a choice to make, one of you stays home (loss of one income) or send your child to daycare. Either way it is a big financial hit. Have you looked at the cost of daycare? Yowza!
8. Will you ask your friends on Facebook for medical advice concerning your kids, or will you contact your pediatrician? This one isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, just an annoying pet peeve of mine. Please, for the love of God, just call your physician, don’t listen to your old high school BFF’s advice on Facebook regarding that rash on your kid’s bum.
Bonus Points if you have you ever have to take care of a drunken roommate, cleaning up his or her vomit, poop, and/or pee in the middle of the night? That is some good preparation for parenthood.
Double Bonus Points if you’ve ever wrestled a bear with one hand, it’s great practice for changing diapers.
If you’ve made it through this list and you’re still somewhat interested in having kids, then I say go for it. I’m not sure anyone is ever REALLY ready to have kids. I know I wasn’t.
Parenting is one of those “learn as you go” type of things anyway. Right?