My last post in the Wives section discussed my feelings surrounding the question of, “When Are You Having Kids?” In that piece, I wrote that two years ago when Bernard and I got married, we were not ready to have children. One very astute reader picked up on the wording of this sentence and ask me if that meant I was feeling ready now?
The simple answer is yes.
How do I know?
The truth is, I don’t. I don’t believe I can say with absolute certainty that I am ready because how does anyone know they are ready for parenthood? But, if you have read any of my previous posts you may have gathered that I am an over-thinker, and like every other area of my life, I have given this topic a lot of thought. While I can’t give absolute certainty, I can provide what brought me to feel I am now ready for children.
Since our wedding day in September of 2015, I have noticed a shift in my feelings towards children. My heart melts now when I see a baby, and I never use to feel that way. Most of my life I have felt indifferent towards kids; however, I now find myself smiling at the sight of them. Perhaps it was the birth of my niece and watching her grow, learn, and change that awoke these dormant feelings towards children. Nevertheless, my shifting attitudes toward kids are by no means a definitive sign that I am ready; it is merely something I have noticed about myself.
In addition to my personal feelings, I did research for this post, and I spoke to new moms and read countless articles on the subject of readiness for starting a family.
The most important point raised was about the state of your marriage. It is strongly suggested that a couple should have a rock solid marriage before bringing children into the picture. While Bernard, and I have our moments, our ability to work as a team has increased significantly since our wedding day. We owe a lot of credit to our Bull Terrier, Alvin who we brought home at eight weeks old, less than two months after getting married. Alvin taught us how to co-parent. We had to discuss and decide together how we would discipline Alvin, who would get up with him in the middle of the night, who would feed him, who would walk him. Our focus shifted from ourselves and our relationship to this other living thing that relied on us. I think our relationship is stable in many ways, but our cohesiveness when it comes to Alvin gives me plenty of confidence in our ability to raise a child.
Many articles asked the question, “Why are you having a child?” The question works in congruence with the state of your marriage. If you have a child to supplement something that is lacking in your relationship, then you are having a child for the wrong reasons. Bernard and I are both content with our marriage as is, but we have always envisioned expanding our little family and all the joys that come with that chapter of our lives.
A new mother and I were speaking on this topic the other day, and she raised an interesting question, she asked, ” Are you in love with the idea of babies and all their cuteness, or do you like the reality of being a parent?” She went on to explain that she has known women who live in a fantasy world thinking only of the cute baby clothes and the decorating of the nursery; then once the baby arrives they experience a rude awakening of the actualities of motherhood. While I can’t say I am looking forward to changing dirty diapers, crying, and sleep deprivation, I am very well aware that is the reality. However, with that comes all the incredible moments of watching this tiny human become aware of the world around them. The raising of a child and all the challenges and triumphs that it presents, is what I find myself looking forward to the most about parenthood.
“What about your husband? Is he ready?”
Bernard and I discuss everything openly and honestly. It is the only way we feel our relationship can be successful. Therefore, the decision of whether we were ready to start a family was not one I decided unilaterally. We sat down; we talked, and we came to the same conclusion.
Ultimately, whether or not my husband and I have a child is out of our hands. We can prepare, we can hope, and we can pray. If or when we are blessed with a child, I know Bernard and I will be ready.