1. You think it will save your marriage
Having a baby is more likely to strain a relationship than repair it. Yes, there is the possibility that the beautiful and powerful experience of bringing a life into the world will remind you of what you love about each other, but then there’s the matter of actually taking care of the baby and all the decisions that come with it. This is not to say you can’t build a healthy family on a rocky foundation, but the stronger and more committed to each other you are as a couple, the more likely having a baby will deepen your bond.
2. You’re sick of your mother nagging you
Her nagging probably comes from a good place — and a personal agenda to have grandchildren (which are more fun than children anyway) — but that doesn’t change the tinge of anxiety and pressure it puts on you. The truth is that you can’t have kids to satisfy someone else’s desire. As much as your mom wants to be a grandparent and see you fulfill her fantasies, you’re the one who will be doing all the work child-rearing.
3. It’s about that time, isn’t it?
The supremacy of the biological clock is hard to argue with, but at what point do we start mistaking worry with an actual urge for offspring? The decision to have children is dramatic and irreversible, so make sure it’s something you want to do and not something you feel you ought to do because of your age. If the only thing that’s making you want kids is the fear you might regret not having them someday, it may be wise to hit delay a little longer.
4. You want to prove you don’t have to settle down
Though there’s no perfect family environment, kids do need certain things to feel secure and psychologically healthy, such as a parent or parents who love them and a sense of home. If you don’t see a baby fitting into your daily life, you’re probably right. It’s okay not to want kids; it’s not okay to try and fit a kid into a life where his or her needs won’t be met.
5. You’re tired of your sister-in-law getting all the attention
Competition can be a strong motivator for many things in life, but when it comes to childbearing, the competitive urge is rarely positive. Though it’s frustrating to take a back seat, having your own kids will not change your situation. It’s quite possible that you could have a child and still feel ignored in comparison or feel like your child is second best to the first grandchild. The family dynamic can play out in any number of ways, many of them equally or more annoying as the current scenario.
6. You think having a baby will make you less selfish
Distracting yourself from narcissism is not a great reason to have a kid. For one thing, having a baby does not in itself make a person less self-centered. In fact, it can simply make a self-centered person unhappy as she experiences a constant struggle for the center of her universe. Relinquishing narcissism is a lot more complicated than just inserting a needy baby into your orbit. You have to be willing — and able — to turn the spotlight away from yourself. This isn’t to say it can’t be done, but changing the way you think is hard work.
7. At least this way you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something
Some women feel that having babies gives them a sense of purpose, while others find that motherhood increases their anxiety about being successful. Sadly, you can’t really predict how you’ll feel, so it’s better to begin the transition to parenthood from a stronger and more secure emotional place. The last thing you want to do is think of your baby as just another source of disappointment (and it’s a lot to ask from an infant to rescue you from a life you find unfulfilling.).
8. You want unconditional love
Considering how much work and generosity is required to parent effectively, having a baby just because you want someone to love you does not bode well for your ability to rise to the challenge. Plus, a child’s love may not be exactly what you hoped for — those baby cuddles eventually evolve into tantrums and defiant expressions of independence (and that’s in a healthy situation). Want unconditional love? Try a puppy first.
9. You want to carry on your family name
There’s a long tradition of reproduction for the sake of family lineage, but if your main reason for having a child is to keep your family name in rotation, you might be better off devoting your time to writing a bestselling novel or making some other mark on the world. Publications may be equally difficult to give birth to, but they require a lot less long-term care than children.
10. You want someone to dress up
Dressing up a baby seems like so much fun … before you have one. The process is surprisingly irritating, and once you get the cute little outfit on, there’s a very high chance it’ll get covered in some kind of bodily fluid within five minutes. If you want someone to dress up, you could always try your husband — or just start buying clothes for your pets.