READER’S QUESTION: "How do I know if I’m mature enough to have children? I’ve been married for some time now. Or if I’m even mature enough to make such a decision? I have moments where I want kids and others where I’m like, NO! Is it just hormones talking or wisdom?"
EVIE’S ADVICE: Having moments where you want kids and then moments where you don’t is very normal. We would say it even shows your understanding of the difficulties and sacrifices that come with raising children. Would life without children be simpler, more organized and tidy, and more flexible? Yes. But then you’re also missing out on immeasurable love and meaning and purpose in your life.
There is a saying that having children makes you grow up, and it’s very true! Taking on responsibility for a tiny human being who is completely and utterly dependent on you really does motivate you to grow in selflessness, discipline, generosity, wisdom, and maturity. And honestly, you will never be completely ready to have a child. Many of us even still joke that we’re kids raising kids. Remember when we thought growing up that our parents somehow knew everything? It feels crazy sometimes to think that they were just figuring it out as they went, just like we are now. Your parents probably even felt the same way you do! Parents, at their core, are flawed people growing up like the rest of us.
Parenthood is something that you can never be completely prepared for.
Parenthood is something that you can never be completely prepared for, even if you’ve done a lot of babysitting or you have younger siblings. It’s just something that you have to experience for yourself to really know what it’s like. It sounds like your anxiety may be getting the best of you in moments where you say you don’t want children. Ask yourself when that feeling arises: “What triggered this? What am I really scared of?” Then, dig deep with that answer and get to the root of it. It could be something negative from your childhood that you’re worried about repeating with your own kids, or it could be something as silly as worrying that you’ll never be able to sleep in again. Either way, assessing the fear that lies underneath your anxiety and talking about the reality of that potential situation and how you would handle it can be incredibly freeing and helpful in moving past it.
That being said, a desire for children is a really good indication that you’re ready. Keep in mind that conceiving can take several months to years, depending on many factors. In addition to that time you’ll have to prepare yourself, you’ll also have nine months of pregnancy to get your mind and affairs in order to get as “ready” as possible before your baby arrives. If your husband also wants children, then having a serious conversation about what’s holding you back or making you feel insecure about this next chapter is essential sooner rather than later.
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