Being a parent is by far, the hardest job in the world and many moms or dads will attest to that. While I don't think that anyone is ever 'ready' to give up their lives, their sleep schedule, and their wallet (among many other things) it's important to be fully informed so you're able to make the best decision possible when it comes to the notion of becoming a mother- because being a parent is also the most rewarding job in the world.
There's an old saying that you can't love anyone else until you're able to completely love yourself. While that saying mostly refers to relationships it certainly applies to the notion of becoming a parent. Parenting is a lot of hard work and being a mom is sure to test your limits. Deciding to start a family because you're trying to fill a personal void will be entirely counterproductive. As much as bringing new life into the world will make you happy, a lot of that happiness can be sometimes muffled by a screaming/pooping baby at 4 o'clock in the morning.
While having a baby might put conflict and bad feelings in your relationship at bay for a short period of time, having a baby might even make your relationship worse than it was before. Between adding pressures onto your relationship and combining that with a serious lack of sleep, problems are sure to build up and arise again. Before planning on bringing new life into the world, be sure that your relationship is rock solid to ensure the best possible life for both you and your little one!
If going out at least 3 nights a week is a part of your lifestyle- maybe you're not quite ready to be a mom. While it's very important for mom's and momma's-to-be to go out and have a healthy social life, partying 3 times a week isn't going to be the best option for you or your baby. Live out your partying days while you can and then focus on creating a family for yourself.
It costs almost $250,000 dollars to raise a child until they're 18 years old (and my parents were definitely still paying for my stuff after I turned 18.) If you can barely afford rent and your own lifestyle every month, it's probably not the right time to be bringing a baby into your life. Diapers, formula, baby food, clothing, and toys (along with a million other things) can add up quickly. Becoming a Mom is a huge investment- one that you have to be willing to fully commit to in order to provide your baby with the best life possible.
If watering your plants once a week is a huge task for you, you're probably (definitely) not ready to be a mom. While a baby will let you know exactly when it's hungry (unlike a plant,) purchasing a plant or a goldfish (or even one of those creeping crying baby dolls) to take care of for a while might be a good way to test your skills and practice a little 'parenting.'
If your current priority is exploring as most of the world as possible, having a baby definitely isn't the best option for you. Between being pregnant for 9 months, and then having to dedicate all of your time to your baby for at least the first few months after birth- you most definitely won't have time/won't be up to hiking up a mountain in some foreign country. While travelling with your baby once it's a little older may be an option for you- it's best to feed your travel bug before you're feeding a baby.
How do oil changes even work?!?!?!?!? How does one actually book a dentist appointment?!?!?!?!?!? If you rely on your own parents to keep your life in order (guilty) then you're probably not ready to be a mom yourself. Scheduling and organizing is a huge part of being a Mom and if you're unable to do that for yourself, you'll definitely have a hard time doing so for a little one (and they can't do it on their own.)
Vomit and urine and feces, OH MY! If taking out the trash or cleaning out the kitty litter box makes you gag, you're in for a real treat when a baby comes along. For at least the first few months your baby is going to do nothing but spew those dreaded bodily functions, cry, and sleep- so you better be ready to deal with a very dirty diaper (or 6437 of them.)
YOU should bring a new life into the world because it's what YOU truly want, and because YOU feel like YOU'RE ready to handle the huge responsibility. You should never feel pressured by your partner, your friends, your family, or society in general to start a family regardless of how long you've been in a relationship, where you are in your life, your age, or anything else for that matter! Bringing a baby into the world under those circumstances will only leave you resenting your baby and/or your loved ones!
Having a baby is like having a full-time job that you can never leave. Being a mother isn't a Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job- it's a 24/7, 365 days a year commitment for at least the next 18 years. If you're lazy, being a Mom isn't going to be fun for you- babies require a ton of love and care and if you're not willing to be an active member of your baby's life- you're definitely not ready to be a mom!
If the idea of sacrificing your time, your money and your energy brings about negative feelings for you- becoming a mom at this point in your life is probably not the best idea. Being a mom is all about sacrifice and putting your baby and your family before yourself often times. While it's important for momma's to have their 'me time' it's important to know that a lot of the time your 'me time' just isn't going to always be a realistic option. Live 'selfishly' while you can and then begin to think about the possibilities of motherhood- it's not for everyone!
If smoking, drinking, and doing drugs is a part of your current lifestyle, please don't consider being a mother quite yet. While it's important to have a good time, exposing a child to your bad habits can be very dangerous to both their happiness and their well-being in general. Smoking/drinking/drugs are unacceptable while you're pregnant, so before you even think about becoming a mother, be sure you can get rid of those bad habits for at least the 9/10 months you're pregnant for, and hopefully you'll keep those bad habits at bay after you've had your beautiful baby!
Fits of screaming at 3 o'clock in the morning are not unusual for a baby, but it definitely might be for you. If you lack patience, being a mother is going to drive you crazy! While it might seem that way, we promise your baby is not intentionally trying to ruin your life when he/she poops in his/her diaper 45 times a day. Patience is key when it comes to being a mother, so if you don't have any- don't have a baby quite yet.
If having a baby has been a recent thought of yours, make sure you've considered all of the points above (and more) before taking the plunge to start trying with your significant other. Having a child is the biggest commitment there is- even bigger than getting hitched so it's very important that you're fully prepared and that you understand exactly what you're signing up for.
Our biggest piece of advice when it comes to having a baby (and pretty much anything in general) is- LISTEN TO YOUR GUT. Becoming a mother is a very big deal and it's more than normal to be nervous and scared, but if your gut is telling you that it's not the right thing to do at this point in your life (or at all-) trust yourself. It's never too early, or too late to become a mother so it's best to ensure that you're truly ready when you do decide to take on all of the responsibility.