If you’d asked me back in school ‘When do you think you’d like to have children?’ I probably would have said before I was thirty, when I was very very rich, living in a massive big house, driving a fancy car and married to Josh Hartnett or one of the members of Backstreet boys.
Think a lot of us women would agree that from the moment you learn about where babies come from (After the complete horror and absolute certainty that you will never ever ever do that has subsided) you start to picture when/if you might have a child. You grow up watching tv shows and films that depict (usually older and married) women that are fully secure with their decision and overjoyed with love for this little person they’ve created. You’d like to think that one day you’ll have your fairytale ending, meet someone, fall in love and maybe one day start a family.
Truth is… Fairytales aren’t real! Don’t fool yourself into believing that your life will be perfect and everything will fall into place. That one day you’ll decide ‘Yep, I’m ready to be a mother now, let’s do this’ That your significant other will be in exactly the same headspace as you and you conceive as quickly as I can eat a Cadburys Creme Egg (believe me that’s fast!). Having a baby is a very big decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. This person that you will bring into this world will immediately impact on so many lives not including your own.
So it’s obvious there’s a lot to think about isn’t there? I mean you need to be physically ready of course but the list of factors, the pros and cons are endless.
For me the first step was agreeing that we would try for a baby. Then the next natural step is well when? ……we’ve got a holiday planned, a wedding to go to, do we want to try a buy a bigger home first, we should really learn to drive next year, do we want to see more the world and experience more of life whilst it’s just the two of us?
As soon as you get married; people bug you about when you’re having kids and eye you up and down at every family get-together; not to mention drawing ridiculous conclusions when you to decline an alcoholic beverage or happen to have eaten a bit too much chocolate over Easter, Christmas or just a few weeks because you felt like it. Whilst I’m on the subject: Families really need to chill on this!! Seriously you really can’t be questioning a married couples happiness on whether they’ve reproduced or not? after all many women can’t even have children so the constant baby chatter is just plain rude. I’m talking about you Mum! hehe.
The decision to start a family is one that you must decide and nobody else. Should you conceive successfully you need to be fully prepared for anything. I’m talking physical changes (hormones, weight-gain, hair growth & pains), mental changes (Anxiety & general feelings/emotions) and a completely new lifestyle (Less social, motivated in more mature/adult areas, become more of a day person than a night owl).
You need to understand that although having a baby is beautiful and wonderful, all sunshine and butterflies…things can go wrong. Make sure to do your research and ensure that you’re looking after yourself so your baby has the best chance to be safe and healthy whilst growing inside you.
From my experience YOU CAN NEVER BE TRULY READY. After being married four years and ticking all those silly little boxes that you convince yourself must be ticked you can still have moments of complete panic and regret. I’m not ashamed to admit that being a mother is hard work and that there will be moments where you wish that you weren’t one. Yes!! I said it. (There’s a big taboo around mothers not being able to say that but trust me motherhood isn’t all smiles) You might daydream about your old life, realise that maybe you can’t afford to live like you used to or just become overwhelmed whilst being knee-deep in shit and vomit that you need to scream.
HOWEVER…. being a mum is a blessing, a complete joy and definitely the best thing to ever happen to me. I can’t speak for my husband but Lola has made our lives so much better and we look forward to every day now rather than before where we would wish away the weekdays and fast forward to weekends. A baby will change you; there’s no doubt about that. But it’s definitely for the better.
If you’re reading this now and have been toying with the idea of starting a family or unsure on whether you’re ready, JUST DO IT! There’s always going to be a reason not to do it. Always. So what if you wanted to fly to Mexico next year or if you would like buy a nicer car first?! (This opinion is of course my own, I can’t speak for any younger mums, single-mums or older mums). It seems our generation are leaving it later and later which is fine, there’s lots of things to accomplish and life to be had before having a child of course. But there’s no running from the fact that women aren’t fertile forever and you won’t know what lies ahead until you start trying.
There’s never going to be that movie moment when everything’s perfect, life is hard and full of surprises. If you’re in a committed and loving relationship there’s no harm in trying. If it’s meant to happen it will, just sometimes you need to let it.