You’re somewhere between hitting after-hours clubs and buying a minivan. Maybe you’re worried about approaching the age where you’ll have trouble getting pregnant, or it could be that a bunch of your friends just had their first babies and they’re looking pretty dang cute. Whatever the reason, you’re starting to think that it might actually be time to have a kiddo of your own. But before you pull the goalie or defrost those frozen eggs, check out these must-ask questions that may help you decide whether you’re completely ready to take on the cost of raising a kid and experience the truths of motherhood firsthand.
1. Are you all about “me time?” Sundays are your time. You put your cell on silent, crawl under the covers, and spend the day with your BFF Netflix. If you just can’t imagine giving up lazy weekends, nights out, or the opportunity to sit and read a book completely and totally uninterrupted, you might need some time before starting the baby-making process. But if you’re prepared to share your Sunday morning ritual with diaper duty and toddler dance parties, it’s a go.
2. Are you winning — financially? There may never be a time when you’re so far in the black that you can kick back, relax, and randomly charge things that you’ll never really need. If you’re a middle-income family — meaning you and your partner together earn in the range of $60K to $110K annually — you can expect to spend between $12,350 and $13,900 each year on child-related costs, according to the USDA’s Expenditures on Children by Families 2015 report. If that number seems totally out of reach, you may need to spend some time saving (or building up your job prospects) before having a baby. That said, plenty of parents manage even with expenses galore. Somewhere between paying off your student loans and saving for retirement, chances are that you can swing the baby-related costs.
3. Do you have room for a baby? We’re not talking metaphorically here: Do you literally have a room for a baby? If your second bedroom is more like a glorified closet and you have no dreams of moving any time soon, you need to consider where a little one would fit in. If your answer is something like, “I guess I could move a few pairs of shoes to make room for a bassinet,” it’s possible you aren’t ready. But if you already have a designated nursery or are willing to turn your home office into baby’s space, it could be time.
4. What’s important to you right now? If the words “Wine Down Wednesdays” or “doing whatever it takes to get ahead at work” were the first things to pop into your head, you may want to put your baby dreams on hold. Wait until the words “starting a family” or “being a mommy” move toward the top of the list.
5. What happens when you hang with your BFF’s baby? The babysitting test is a real make-or-breaker. You’re pretty sure that you’re ready to be a mama, so you and your S.O. head over to your bestie’s house for some one-on-one with their six-month-old. They head out for a child-free night, while you deal with diapers, spit-up, and the occasional crying jag. But then there are the sweet smiles and gurgles and that ridiculously precious giggle. When the awesomeness of the infant outweighs the workload, it might mean you’re okay with becoming a mama.
Are you ready for a baby? Tweet us why (or why not) @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)