Many women wait longer to have a baby nowadays than their mothers and grandmothers did, often putting their career and relationships first. However, when the time does come, how do you know you are ready to be a mum? Do you wake up one morning and know or is it a slow burning desire that takes years to form? Here are five things to take into account to help make your decision that little bit easier.
Are you financially ready?
Would you be able to give up work or go part time and be OK financially? Are you ready to give up or take a career break? Can you afford childcare? Raising a child is an expensive business and should not be entered into lightly when you consider the financial implications. However, if you feel you could happily afford a baby, you are on the right track.
Say goodbye to impulsive, last minute plans
When you have a baby, everything needs to be planned meticulously and last minute family plans just don’t happen anymore. Even going out on a planned shopping trip can be a stressful task when you have a small child. If you are a person who loves impulse plans and decisions, you need to think about whether you can forfeit this lifestyle for a baby. If you can’t at the moment, put your baby plans on the backburner until you feel you can shelve those holidays and last minute nights out for a more organised and planned way of living.
Have you fulfilled your ambitions?
One of the most important ways to decide whether you are ready for a little one is to sit down and decide whether you have done everything in life you personally want to do. Of course some ambitions can still be realised as a parent but not as easily as when you only have yourself to think about. Many people wait until they have fulfilled personal journeys and dreams such as travelling, careers and are ready to give themselves to a little person.
Work on your career first
A mother can have a career and a family — the old adage that this isn’t possible has been stomped on by many successful women who are also mothers. However, it is best to get your career to a level you are happy to stay at and then try for a baby. Companies are so accommodating these days to mothers that you are likely to be able to keep your position even if you decide to go part time, but it is important to arrive at that level before you are pregnant. It is far easier climbing the career ladder when there is just you to think about and travel and flexibility are no problem.
A mothers job is never done
Having a baby is a full time job and continues to be for the next 18 years. There is no five o’clock cut off point where you can walk out and forget about it. You are on call for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and while it is the most amazing job in the world, it can be the most tiresome and exhausting position you ever apply for. You need to be ready to take on the emotional and physical responsibility a child comes with and be prepared to never give it up – after all, mums still worry about their kids when they have left home and are in their forties!