Here’s the thing I know for sure about deciding to have a baby: There is no magic, definitive moment where you think, "Yep, I’m ready to hand my life over to a tiny human." You make the decision because you are ready to start a family, love a tiny baby, and learn what it feels like to count down the minutes to bedtime, then sneak in to watch them sleep. Parenting is a tricky little devil like that. But in case you are still wondering "Am I ready to have a baby?" experts say here's what to consider.
"Parenting is not for everyone and if a woman is really ambivalent, it's important to take the time to consider whether being a parent is right for them," Dr. Rebecca C. Brightman, a NYC-based OB-GYN and assistant clinical professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells Romper.
Brightman encourages women to consider educational and professional goals "which are easier to attain before one has children."
"If a woman is in a relationship, it is important to make sure that their partner is on the same page as well," she says. "Having a baby is a big step and while there is never an ideal time, it's also a lot easier if a woman has financial stability and a strong support system."
Other signs that indicate parental readiness include responsibility — go figure — a readiness to relinquish your selfish ways, and even a willingness to learn to love yourself, even if it is through your child’s eyes, according to Babble.
Brightman says a woman should also prioritize her health and discuss pregnancy planning with her healthcare provider.
Words of wisdom from my very unprofessional view? I have run into very few people who had an epiphany, "I’m ready!" moment. If you are like me or many other women I’ve spoken to, then what you will eventually come upon is this: I know I don’t want to go through this life without a child.
And that’s the beginning of a wonderful — albeit exhausting — journey.