I couldn’t tell you when my husband and I knew we were ready to have a baby, probably because it wasn’t really something that came about in one revelatory moment. More than it being one conscious decision, choosing to become parents was a six-year erosion of all the reasons we weren’t ready, coupled with a series of events and evolutions that bolstered the previously held idea that, yes, we would like to have children together one day.
I will give some credence to the oft-repeated idea that no one is ever ready for a baby, because there is truth in it. It’s like, NASA astronauts can and do prepare for space missions for close to a decade, but no amount of training can truly prepare them for what it’s actually going to feel like once they get out of their capsule to walk on the moon. So, in that way, neither you nor your relationship can ever really be “ready” for what’s in store. However, on the whole, I also think that argument is sort of B.S. — there are absolutely things that can make you and your relationship better prepared for parenthood. To say otherwise would be like (to continue my awesome NASA metaphor), “No one can ever truly be prepared for a trip into outer space, so why don’t we just send Sheila and Jim from accounting?” Astronauts aren’t omnipotent, but they have a pretty good idea of WTF they’re doing.
So how do you know if you and your partner are ready for countdown? (That was my last space analogy, I promise) Here are some signs.