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Are We Ready for a Baby?

  • Are We Ready for a Baby? 1 of 12

    Parenthood is a huge step, so how do you know when you’re ready? Here are 10 basic things you’ll want to have covered before going into baby-making mode. If you’ve got most of these ducks in a row, chances are good that you’re well suited to take the leap.

  • Are We Ready for a Baby? 2 of 12

    1: You’re not an emotional wreck

    You’re not an emotional wreck Parenting can be emotionally and psychologically challenging. If you’re not in good emotional shape pre-baby, you’re more likely to have trouble with the inevitable difficulties that parenting presents. If you struggle with depression or anxiety, have major problems with your self-image or relationships, or generally just feel mentally “off,” think about seeking help from a professional before pursuing parenthood.
    Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman talk about parenting with mental illness

  • Are We Ready for a Baby? 3 of 12

    2: You have a home or are willing to simulate one

    You have a home or are willing to simulate one Children need to feel safe and secure, and home is where that feeling starts. It doesn’t have to be a traditional white picket fence scene in the suburbs, though. A home can be anywhere — even on the road — as long as it comes with a feeling of stability and a sense of continuity for kids. Instilling that feeling when a home moves around a lot is harder but not impossible.
    Family vacation turns into an 11-year road trip

  • Are We Ready for a Baby? 4 of 12

    3: You don’t feel like killing your partner on a regular basis

    You don’t feel like killing your partner on a regular basis Learning to parent well together is a struggle no matter how strong your relationship. You’ve got to be able to negotiate tough decisions about things you don’t see eye-to-eye on. If you’re worried about whether you and your partner are on the same page, couples counseling may help you come together and decide what’s best for your situation.
    Millennials think good parenting is more important than
    good marriage

  • Are We Ready for a Baby? 5 of 12

    4: You’re not completely broke

    You’re not completely broke You don’t have to be a Trump, but having some level of financial security will help when it comes to raising kids. There is a big difference between feeling somewhat strapped for cash and truly worried about whether you can make ends meet. It’s certainly possible to parent on a shoestring, but being in very bad financial shape will add more stress to an already stressful endeavor.
    How to feed your family from
    a dumpster

  • Are We Ready for a Baby? 6 of 12

    5: You don’t need to do shots to have a good time

    You don’t need to do shots to have a good time The early years of parenthood are pretty all-consuming. You might be able to get out on the town, occasionally, but barring live-in help, nights out will probably be few and far between and bear a faint resemblance to the good, old pre-parent nights. On the other hand, if your idea of a fun night involves a movie on the couch, you’re golden — give or take some interruptions.
    5 things you might miss about life before babies

  • Are We Ready for a Baby? 7 of 12

    6: You know at least one other person who is not repulsed by babies

    You know at least one other person who is not repulsed by babies Simply put: support makes parenting easier. It can be your partner’s commitment to taking on an equal share of the parenting work, or your mother-in-law’s offer to watch the baby a few hours a week. If you already have a network of parent friends when you have a baby, you may feel more supported than if you’re the only one in your circle reproducing. Living in a kid-friendly place can help, too.
    Finding mom friends: Connecting with parenting support and mom groups

  • Are We Ready for a Baby? 8 of 12

    7: You don’t hate your family (or at least have sort of forgiven them)

    You don’t hate your family (or at least have sort of forgiven them) Funny, true thing: your relationship with your parents plays a huge role in how you parent. So, if you have unresolved issues about how your parents raised you, you might want to try to work those out before you have kids. If a discussion is not an option, this may just mean spending some time thinking about it, alone or with a professional.
    Absentee grandparents: They say they’re excited. So where are they?

  • Are We Ready for a Baby? 9 of 12

    8: You can climb a flight of stairs without passing out

    You can climb a flight of stairs without passing out The day-to-day effort of raising a child can be physically taxing. There will be lots of carrying your ever-increasing bundle of joy (quickly followed by the constantly bending over phase, which is followed by the constantly chasing phase). Your well-being is important not just for the day-to-day work, but also for your child’s future. Remember: the thing your child will need most is you.
    Trying to conceive: prenatal diet, vitamins for a healthy pregnancy

  • Are We Ready for a Baby? 10 of 12

    9: You have accomplished something — anything — you feel good about

    You have accomplished something — anything — you feel good about If you’re happy with what you’ve accomplished professionally or creatively, you might feel less stressed out by the almost-universal dip in productivity during the early years of parenthood. It’s also important to be open to the idea of redefining yourself in different terms. If you judge yourself by how much you get done, you’re likely to feel resentful about the inevitable interference a baby will cause.
    Is work-life balance attainable in today’s world?

  • Are We Ready for a Baby? 11 of 12

    10: You’re at least slightly excited about the idea of having a baby

    You have accomplished something — anything — you feel good about Sure, you can have a baby without looking forward to it and be perfectly thrilled afterward. But enthusiasm can do wonders to help get you through the tough parts. Enthusiasm reflects confidence and feeds it, too. Don’t be worried if your excitement is mixed with anxiety. Being nervous just shows how seriously you’re taking this monumental move. Parenthood is constantly evolving, as will your expectations along the way.
    The not-so-happy accident: I wish I wasn’t pregnant

  • Are We Ready for a Baby? 12 of 12
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