Is your clock ticking? 

Do you have an overwhelming feeling of wanting a tiny human to call you momma or daddy?  I know this feeling all too well, and am here to help you make an informed decision on whether or not you should take the plunge into parenthood.  It’s quite the “club” to belong to; don’t get me wrong, BUT, this is also a permanent club that once you take the leap, you cannot take back.  I’m here to be real with you, and to help you decide if the timing is right for you now, at a later date, or maybe a pet parent might be more your speed. 

First of all, why are you in such a rush to create a mini version of yourself?

Do you have friends with children who are constantly asking you about it, or better yet, family who is really interested in becoming grandparents or aunts and uncles?  Is this more of a situation being placed on you from others, or is this something that’s coming solely from you and/or your partner?  If your answer is the latter, then you are on the right track in feeling out this parenthood journey.  If you’re here just because of pressures being placed on you from loved ones, then I think you have plenty of time to take a pause before jumping into the role of momma or daddy.

You’ve made it this far: you solely are wanting that baby (who will grow into a teenager eventually).  Now is the time to ask yourself if you’re ready to adjust your schedule and social calendar to the demands of a baby.  Sleep will become a thing of the past, well temporarily, and your random trips and nights out will also become much more complicated.  I do believe it’s all worth it in the end, but I also feel so many people don’t realize this until they are in too deep.  Babies are beyond needy, think tiny dictators.  Obviously, they can’t help it, but you’ll need to become selfless with everything including your sleep and time. 

Caffeine might become your new best friend, and that’s okay.  I never embraced coffee until my first tiny dancer arrived.  I’m a self-proclaimed “must have 8 plus hours of sleep a night to function” kind of person, and all of this was thrown into a tailspin when my daughter joined us back in 2010.  Good news is you’ll get through it, and the tiny smiles and coos will also help you remember why you’re throwing yourself into a sleepless world outside of your control.  You also might find new things give you delight that never really used to make you think twice about them.  For instance, sweat pants and topknots might become your new go-tos.  It’s okay; you won’t be letting yourself go, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor.  All the glitz and glam will be pushed aside for a bit; if you’re okay with this then you’re one step closer to saying the official “I’m ready to become a parent!”  (If you’re cringing at any of the above, you’re more than ready to hit a snooze on this journey!)

Do you make decisions better with concrete examples? 

If so, I completely understand.  Here is a list of a few questions you can ask yourself.  If you discover you are answering “no” to the majority of them, it’s okay; just hit pause until you’re more comfortable saying “yes.”

Can you keep a house plant alive for more than a month?

I know this sounds funny, but for real, I had to work on this one long before my partner and I decided to become parents.  I might be one of the only people who ever killed a cactus within a couple months of owning one.  (I’m so sorry Dr. Prickles, I tried!)

Can you see yourself handwashing dishes on a daily basis? 

Another chore I detested, but decided was worth doing, and not dreading.

How do you feel about cleaning up after bodily functions? 

Now, keep in mind, baby spit-up is one thousand times better than adult “spit-up,” but you get my point.  There will be A LOT of diapers, spit rags, projectile vomiting, and laundry in your future.  I PROMISE, it isn’t as bad as it sounds, but the term “blow-out” will no longer solely mean getting your hair done after you bring home your baby.  Sadly, that phrase will forever be synonymous with something very different (and quite unpleasant).

Are you ready to have to share the television with forever annoying theme songs and bald cartoons that may or may not haunt your dreams? 

You’ll need to know eventually you will be getting excited for new episodes of cartoon creatures instead of binging your favorite Netflix drama. Don’t worry though, not all shows are created equally.  If you’re cleaver, you will be able to decide which ones you’ll be stuck watching with your toddler.  Choose wisely my friend, and take my advice, avoid any grown baby talking shows you see; they will never be worth it!

Okay, all joking aside, my best advice to you would be to trust your gut when it comes to the right time to have a baby. 

Guess what?  The timing will never be perfect, ever.  You can take that notion out of your mind and planning right now.  Honestly, as long as you know you’re ready to share your love and your life with a tiny version of you, then I’d say that’s the right time to start diving head first into the parenthood pool.  It’s a crowded pool that sometimes can feel very lonely, but it also is one of the most rewarding pools you may ever swim in.  You’ll want to keep your head above water and know there are plenty of lifeguards in your life you will be able to call upon for help.

Go ahead and get your great support system in place early, and know you are never alone.  Look around and pay attention.  You will see parents everywhere, willing to help and show you it will all be worth it.  Also, if you have decided its not the right time for you now or even ever to become a parent, that’s perfectly okay too.  Remember, you do what’s best for YOU and there will be nothing to worry about.