How will I know when I’m ready?
The first time I remember thinking about my future family was in the third grade when a new girl named Katie joined our school. I thought to myself, “Wow, that is the most beautiful name I have ever heard.” For the next few years, I named all my dolls and favorite Barbies Katie. I couldn’t wait to grow up and have a baby girl so I could finally pass on that name to a real, live person. I daydreamed about the kind of mother I would become.
Years went by, and I did have a daughter (and two sons)! Naming my baby girl turned out to be just the first of hundreds of things I would do for her every day. From changing diapers to kissing boo-boos; from helping her choose friends and follow her interests to doing well in school, I never could have prepared myself for all that motherhood would entail! So, how do you know when you’re ready to take that leap? How do you know when you’re ready for motherhood?
When a friend recently asked me this question while contemplating whether to become a parent, my answer was simple yet loaded: You know you’re ready to become a parent when you’re willing to shift the axis your world spins on from yourself and your own desires to someone else entirely–your child. It may be controversial to say this, but the fact is that your primary job will no longer be keeping yourself well and happy; it will
be keeping that tiny little human well and happy. Your priorities will shift in an instant, naturally, like a light switch being flipped.
When you wake up in the morning, the first sound you hear won’t be your alarm clock or the coffee maker percolating, but your baby stirring, a distant cry, or your toddler tapping you on the shoulder. Friday night probably won’t mean tight jeans, crop tops, or dancing in clubs–it may soon look more like pizza in the living room, wearing footie pajamas and dancing to the Encanto soundtrack. When you choose your outfit for the day, you’ll find yourself thinking about which shirt will be the softest for your baby to snuggle up against when you nurse, and which outfit will allow you to get down on the floor and play with your toddler. What you look like to the outside world won’t seem important anymore, because that baby will be the epicenter of your life!
When you’re ready to turn your whole world upside down in the most beautiful way, you’re ready to become a parent. And when you do, you’ll find that the upside-down world of parenthood is richer and sweeter than anything you could have imagined. Pouring yourself into that child and watching them grow will be the best thing that ever happened to you. When are you ready to have a baby? When you’re ready to set out on the journey of a lifetime and never look back. And I promise–you won’t want to.