10 Signs Your Relationship Is Totally Ready To Have A Baby Thrown In There

By
Share
Ad failed to load

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.

Ad failed to load

You Both Actually Want A Baby

Yes, it sounds pretty elementary, but honestly, if you have stared into the abyss of scary unknowns and what-ifs and the massive weight of parental responsibility and still want to have a child in the near future, that’s a pretty good sign that you might be ready.

You’ve Already Been Through Some Sh*t Together

I'm not saying you need to endure the kind of psychological trauma that eventually gets turned into an Academy Award-winning movie starring Meryl Streep. I’m just saying that if you and your partner have already successfully navigated some of life’s more difficult moments and you’ve managed to get through it as a team and you still like each other, then that’s a pretty good sign that you might be ready to test that with a baby.

You’re On The Same Page Regarding Your Life Goals And Timeline — And You Talk About Those Things A Lot

If you both want a baby but your significant other is hellbent on, say, making huge progress in their career in the next year and a half, or if you want to travel to another 7 countries in as many months, perhaps your relationship isn’t quite there yet. It’s not just about what you both ultimately want, but timing is important. It’s not everything, but it’s important.

Ad failed to load

You’re Both OK Being Homebodies (And You Might Even Prefer It)

It’s not like you don’t get to leave the house ever again once you have a baby… but you will be leaving the house far less once you have a baby. If you’re already at the point in your relationship where you like vegging out in sweatpants more often than not, this will serve you both well.

You Like Working Together

If you can go to IKEA and get excited about the idea of choosing and building furniture, you’re not just ready for a baby, you’re ready to broker world peace. But seriously, if you enjoy working together to accomplish a task — restoring antique furniture, yard work, fixing cars, building houses, cooking — this is good practice for parenthood.

You’re Both Capable Of Delegating And Asking For Help

Delegating without dictating is crucial. Because there will be times when you will need the other person to take over or pitch in. You can’t be a jerk or passive aggressive about it. Some people avoid the issue altogether by not delegating at all and doing everything themselves. I’ll let you guess how well that generally turns out. 

Ad failed to load

You Ynow When The Other Person Needs A Hand

This doesn’t take away from the importance of expressing their needs clearly and honestly in a relationship, but if you can read your partner’s body language, moods, and tone, and jump in to offer help before they even ask, that’s not only damn impressive but a great skill to have in the parenting biz. Because sometimes it doesn’t even occur to the stressed out party to ask for help — that’s how stressed out they are! And it’s not until you offer assistance that they realize how heavy a load they’re carrying.

You ~Really~ Want To Babysit Your Friends’ Kids

Babysitting has suddenly gone from somewhere below a getting pap smear on your personal preference list to you basically being a nice version of Hansel and Gretel’s witch — that’s how badly you want to be around kids. And when you get around kids, you’re into it. You don’t just go over and turn on the TV for them while you bury your face in your phone. You are on your hands and knees, neighing like a horse because they off-handedly mentioned they wanted a pony ride. You buy arts and crafts and special bedtime stories. You mention the fact that you’ll be babysitting to your friends and co-workers at any opportunity because you’re so excited. Like… 

*complete silence in the office*

You: "Oh, Friday? Sorry, I can’t. I’m watching my friend Jill’s aaaaaaaaaaaaamazing kidlets that night! Their names are Haven and Lincoln, but everyone calls him Linc. They’re four and one and they are so sweet!"

Co-worker: "Ummm… I didn’t say anything."

You: "...I know."

*office falls back to silence*

You: "Haven has the best wardrobe! It’s, like, she’ll pair tutus with Converse and then have a hoodie with kitty ears on it! And her hair! It’s, like, I try to get my hair to look like that every morning." 

Co-worker: "Okay…"

You: "We’re going to give each other manicures on Friday, when I’m babysitting her and her brother Linc. Did I mention I’m babysitting? My boyfriend is really, really excited to just spend the whole time snuggling with Linc. Linc loves him, too. It’s so cute."

Yeah, you might be ready for your own little friend to bore your co-workers talking about. It's not really less annoying, but it's definitely less... weird. 

You Talk About A Long-Term Future Together

You’re no longer at the stage where you are cagey with your partner about where you see yourselves in a few months or years. (We’ve all been there, right? In fact, I'm pretty sure we all start there.) You can say without hesitation, fear, self-consciousness, or doubt that when you imagine your future they are there. More than just there, they are beside you. 

Ad failed to load

You love each other and yourselves

Preparedness for parenthood is not just about having a good relationship with your significant other. It helps if you have some self-love going on, too. Because that baby is going to be half you, and I’m not just talking genetically. Genetics are one thing that can contribute to your being a parent, but it’s not a requirement. No matter if one, both, or neither of you is genetically tied to your kid, if you’re going to be raising your child with your partner, the kiddo is going to have a lot of you in them, sometimes eerily so. You will see yourself reflected back in these little people and they will pick up on that. So if they can see that you love and respect yourself, they are going to feel even more loved and respected by you.

Images: @margejacobsen/Instagram; Giphy(10)

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}