Having children is the biggest decision most people make in their lives. It’s a huge responsibility. Children are expensive, they require most of your time, and they’ll be around for at least 18 years. Are you ready? Here are 15 signs that you may be ready for parenthood.
1. If you are between 25 and 35 years old
This seems to be the statistical sweet spot to have kids. Most people have kids when they’re between the ages of 25 and 35. If you’re in that age range, then you’re officially in the age range that most people have kids and that’s always a good start in figuring out if you’re ready to have kids.
2. Your priorities are in line
You know where your money is going. Your bills are up to date, you have a stable place to live, and your job is stable. Your significant other is there to stay. When you get off of work you have literally nothing to do for the rest of the day because all the important stuff is done. When all your priorities are in order, then you’re definitely ready for the responsibility of having kids.
3. Your significant other is ready to have kids
You’ll know it when it happens. They’ll start dropping hints about it. They seem to stare a little to long at other couples who have children. They walk by the baby stuff at the grocery store every single time you go. Obviously you shouldn’t be pressured into something you’re not ready for but if your significant other is ready to go then you know you’re not going into this alone and that’s helpful.
4. You start enjoying being around other people’s children
Your friends probably have kids. When the biological urge to have your own starts to hit you hard, you’ll compensate by enjoying spending time with other people’s kids. You volunteer to babysit. At picnics or BBQs, you’re the one with the pool noodles pretending to be the ocean monster or tossing the baseball around with the kids. If this sounds like you then you may be ready to have kids of your own.
5. You start talking about when you have kids
This one requires a little self realization but you’ll know when it happens. You’ll begin to tell other people how you’ll raise your kids, what you’ll do with them, and how you’ll teach them things. You’ve heard other people say this stuff before. “Yeah when I have kids, I’m going to get them enrolled in music lessons at an early age. I hear that helps them develop better learning skills.” That is a person who is ready to have kids.
6. You have begun to have more non-romantic feelings
This is the mother or father inside of you yearning to come out. You just have that urge to care about something or someone in a way you’ve never felt before. That’s kind of what parenthood feels like when you ask about it. It’s a different kind of love and one that isn’t immediately quantifiable. If you’re wanting something in your life to care for that much, maybe it’s time to have a kid so you can have it.
7. You’ve started unconsciously planning for it
You could have bought that Shelby Mustang. That one bedroom apartment downtown looked pretty good. Nope, you instead went and bought an SUV or a minivan and you moved out to the suburbs. Aren’t those the perfect things to have when raising a family? Why yes, yes they are. You may be planning on having kids someday but when you actually put into motion those plans then it means you’re pretty close to being ready to have kids.
8. You’re ready to continue on the family traditions
When you were a kid, you had traditions in your household. You may have had family Christmas parties or Thanksgiving dinners. You may go camping one week every summer with your family. It can be anything. When you start thinking about wanting to continue that family tradition, you’ll need kids to pass it on to. Thus, it’s a pretty good indication that you secretly want some kids when you’re having that urge to pass on the tradition.
9. You treat your pets like people
Having pets is nothing like having kids but there are some similarities. You have to feed them and clean up after them. You care about them more than some of your friends. However, when you start telling people that your pets are your kids, it’s really your subconscious shouting that you’re ready for the responsibility for real kids. It’s your biology speaking. If you’re will to pretend your pets are kids, then you’re probably ready to have your own kids.
10. Your attitude toward children’s things change
Have you started enjoying things like Spongebob? Do you spot someone changing their kid’s diaper and not run away in terror? You may have found that the things kids do don’t gross you out quite as much as they used to or that the things they like aren’t as bad as you originally though. People who aren’t ready to have kids generally dislike the things that kids do. If you’re not one of those people, then you’re probably good to go with having your own.
11. Your attitude toward other people having kids change
When you’re ready to have kids then your friends having kids doesn’t seem like such a bad idea anymore. You’re not thinking about how lame they’re going to be. You’re not dreading the seemingly infinite number of baby pictures that’ll erupt from Facebook like a giant volcano. You’re excited for them and that means you’ll be excited for you when it happens to you.
12. Sleeping in doesn’t sound as much fun as it used to
Everybody knows that having kids means you won’t get a good night’s rest again until they go visit grandma and grandpa for the weekend. If the thought of waking up at 6 a.m. every morning is something that sounds just horrible then you may not be ready for kids yet. If you’re already waking up kind of early and you don’t really look forward to waking up at noon then you’re already ready to deal with arguably one of the worst parts of having a baby.
13. Going clubbing sounds like a bad idea
Or really any late-night activities. Going to the bar, going to the club, going to a house party, or really going anywhere where there is shenanigans can be included. If you’re done with that kind of lifestyle it’s probably because you’re ready for a different kind of lifestyle. One where bed time is earlier, the activities are more PG, and one that involves having kids.
14. You’re ready for more challenges
If you’re currently bored with life then you may need a new, much harder challenge. Raising kids is very challenging and never boring. You’re going to teach them how to use the bathroom, tie shoes, drive, the birds and the bees, and how to avoid and learn from mistakes. It’s a 24/7 responsibility and some people simply aren’t ready for that kind of commitment. If you’re feeling like your life needs more responsibility then maybe it’s time to give yourself some more responsibility.
15. Your outlook on life changes
There is a point in all of our lives where we live for us. It’s about what makes us happy. We’re buying the food we want and the gadgets we want. We go where we want and do what we want. Eventually that feeling fades and you start wanting to live for others. Suddenly other people’s lives matter as much as your own. You start buying things with other people in mind. You start allowing your life to be planned around others. You may even start feeling bad when you do something selfish. If that sounds like the transition you’re going through, it’s because you’re preparing yourself to be a parent. When you have kids, they’re the ones that matter and deep down you know that. When you can put the lives of others ahead of your own, you’re ready to have kids.
Featured photo credit: BT Connect via home.btconnect.com