My dad nearly had a heart attack when I told him I planned on not having kids. Mind you I had made up my mind when I was a teen in high school. He thought my mind would change when I entered college. Nope. Then his hopes went back up when I got married at 23. I explained to him that I was not mentally or financially ready to bring a life into this world and fully care for it. My dad would give me the occasional guilt trip every time I would go over and visit. He argued that back in our home country in Mexico, there was no such thing as being ready for a baby. Now that I reflect on our talks, I realize he was right to some extent, because you can never be completely ready for a baby, but that does not mean you have to rush things or overlook basic things that are needed when you plan on becoming a parent.
One day after dinner at my parents’ house, I handed over some bolillo (a type of bread roll) and when my dad removed it from the plate his eyes lit up like I had never seen before. The message Vas a ser abuelo (You’re going to be a grandpa) was written on the plate. He was completely shocked and elated!
My dad loves to tell my babies the story of how they owe their life to him because if it weren’t for him being persistent and begging me, I would’ve never had babies. We laugh it off, but he knows the real reason my husband and I had children were not because of him or other family members in our ear telling us to conceive, it was because we felt we were ready for a new chapter in our life.
Below I have listed 3 top things I believe you need to have before baby. I hope you find this list useful and give yourself some time to reflect and really ask yourself if you are ready.
Peace within yourself
It might sound cliché, but it is 100 percent true. You need to be at peace within yourself in order to even consider the thought of bringing a baby into this world. Of course no one is perfect and there are so many circumstances we cannot control, but fortunately our peace is one thing we can work on.
Think about it this way, this new baby will depend on you 100 percent. Scary huh? In a way, yes, that thought is scary, but it is reality! If you are not ok spiritually, physically, and mentally, adding a baby to your plate will only make things harder on yourself.
I have talked to several women that feel a baby is the missing puzzle piece, but that could not be further from the truth. A baby will not come into your life and magically fix your problems. A baby is just that, a baby. A tiny human being that needs your love and affection.
Communication with your partner
By the time you start considering a pregnancy, you probably already had a few discussions with your significant other. These discussions will continue and both of you need to express your concerns, doubts, wants, and needs. Call me crazy, but I actually wrote a couple things out on paper and then discussed them with my husband. It helped me organize my thoughts and made me feel a lot better. Once baby comes, communication between you will change, therefore a strong foundation beforehand is imperative.
Family and friends are always the first to give advice and that is wonderful… until it’s not. You and your partner need to make it clear that when it comes to anything baby related, you two will have the final say. I know it can be easy to be influenced, especially on a huge thing like parenting, but trust me when I say the best thing for your family is to make your own decisions.
A very important conversation that needs to be held might seem very obvious, but is sometimes avoided if communication is not your relationship’s forte. You both need to ask yourself if you are completely ready to welcome a third person into your home. There is nothing wrong with being selfish and enjoying each other as a couple. It’s quite the opposite actually! My husband and I made it a point to really get to know each other, travel, and spoil one another before we even considered pregnancy. Again, this might seem like a conversation that can be avoided, but it is not. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen couples that were clearly not on the same page and are now left with resentment.
Space for baby
Whether you are in a 4 bedroom house or a 1 bedroom apartment, a baby needs its’ own space. What this space looks like will totally depend on what you and your spouse agree on. Here is where communication comes back into play. Talk about it and discuss different options. One thing to keep in mind is that those first nights are so hard on everyone. Having our baby’s nursery in another room was very helpful because we took turns caring for baby while the other got some rest in our bedroom.
Every single baby is different so even though you come up with a plan, be prepared to change it when baby comes home. Remember to stay flexible and know that it is ok to modify things. You will get tons of advice from family and friends, but at the end of the day, what works for one baby, might not work for the other!
I remember purchasing a crib, changing table, and many other things for my baby’s nursery, only to have my sister scoff and tease me about how babies never even use a crib, and it’s mostly for decoration purposes only. Wow was she wrong. My toddler, till this day sleeps in his crib. Again, what works for one baby may not work for the other.
There are plenty of other things baby needs, and I will discuss those in another post, but that is it for now. I hope you found this list useful or at least use it as a conversation starter with your spouse.
Talk to you soon,