There is no official rubric that definitively states what makes someone a good parent, a fact that can be a source of stress for new parents. Worrying about whether or not you will be able to handle the responsibility is enough, but how do you know your partner is ready for a baby? I always knew my husband was going to be a great parent one day, but let me tell you when I had the concrete proof I needed. Picture it, pussy cat! Connecticut, 2010, our friend's 30th birthday. The theme: Mad Men, which of course translates to all the gin martinis. Now, gin is my nemesis. I knew this, but like drunk dialing your ex, in an inebriated moment I thought, "No, this is a good idea. This'll prove to myself I can do this." And, like a drunk dial, it ended with me sobbing and embarrassed. When my husband found my cuddled up in our friend's guest room and terrifically drunk, he stroked my hair, managed to make me laugh, and then offered greatest act of kindness I've ever received.
"Sweetie, do you need me to take off your Spanx?"
Boom. That was it. This is the person I needed to impregnate me. Someone who can be sweet, loving, and calming when I'm being ridiculous and know, instinctively, what will make me feel instantly better. Those kind of skills translate perfectly into parenting, dudes. (Because, as we all know, kids are little drunks.)
When I asked a number of women when they knew their partner would make a good parent, most of them didn't have "a moment." In fact the most common answer I received was "I just knew." But for those who could pinpoint it, here's what they had to say.