Women can’t seem to escape the stigma of falling under pressure to settle down and start a family once they reach a certain age. Although it’s a refreshing understatement that this “age of pressure,” so to speak, has been pushed older and older thanks to feminism and girl power and all, that “age” is still there. Thirty, maybe forty years ago, society dictated that women had to marry in their twenties or they’d be considered old maids and biologically incapable of birthing healthy children. But today, women aren’t expected to settle down until they’re in their mid-thirties, which gives them well enough time to live their single life to the fullest.
Not all women are pre-disposed to motherhood, though. Many females, especially those who are too busy with their careers or too caught up in living carefree lives free of responsibilities, don’t feel inclined to get married or have kids at all. The number is steadily growing, too. But for many women who can’t ignore that maternal instinct kicking in when they reach a certain age, it would certainly do them good to watch out for signs that they’re finally ready to push a baby out of their uterus. Here are some signs that you may be ready to be a mom.
15 You’ve learned to love yourself.
Yes, it sounds like the most cliché thing in the world, but it’s absolutely true that “learning to love yourself, is the greatest love of all,” as the late Whitney Houston so soulfully sang. This is especially accurate when it comes to giving yourself to other people. You can’t give yourself to others, if you’re running on empty. You have to fill yourself to the brim with love for yourself first because if you don’t, you won’t have any love to give to others, let alone your own child. You may not be aware that there are many things you loathe about yourself. In this world where pressure is high to be perfect, we become unsatisfied with a million things about ourselves, from our physical appearance to our personality to our job and even our family. This is not the right mindset to have when you want to have a child. It’s along and winding road learning to accept who you really are, strengths and weaknesses and all. Once you embrace your true identity, you can pass that self-love and self-acceptance on to your child.
14 You’ve established some roots.
For anyone who’s making his or her way in this world, one of the biggest and most fulfilling items in your bucket list would be to get a place of your own. That’s because buying your own place these days is not as easy as it was twenty or thirty years ago. The most glaring obstacle standing between you and buying your own home is the money. Many times, millennials aren’t earning enough to be able to move out of their parents’ home, let alone be able to afford a mortgage for their own place. So unless you’re a celebrity or founder of your own successful social media company, it’s rare to be able to buy a place to call your own while in your twenties. But it’s not impossible. By living frugally and setting aside some savings every month, you’ll be able to fill up your bank account with enough money for a down payment and a mortgage approval. And a new place means, you’re on your way to making a little nursery out of your guest bedroom.
13 You’ve diversified your finances.
One of the most important things that Finances 101 will teach you is to know the very distinct, but sometimes deceiving differences between an asset and a liability. An asset is something that appreciates in value, like investments, stocks, bonds, real estate and yes, jewelry. A liability is the exact opposite, meaning it depreciates. Stuff that girls love like designer bags and shoes, plus pricey gadgets and cars, on the other hand, are things that decrease in value as time wears on. So if you’re still at that stage where you’re obsessed with filling your walk-in closet with the latest Hermes purses (in varying colors) and Louboutins of every style, then you probably aren’t financially ready to have a kid. But once you start taking investing wisely in things that appreciate over time, then it may be a good time to start considering bringing a little one into the world.
12 You’re in a stable, loving relationship.
It’s one thing being in a stable relationship. With all the distractions and temptations this very fast-paced world has to offer, many young professionals have neither the time nor the energy to emotionally invest in a long-term, committed relationship. They’re either too busy working or using their hard-earned money on trips and gadgets and shopping to have anything more than a couple of one-nighters every so often. But when the time comes that you either meet the right one or feel that need to settle down, your whole lifestyle will inevitably change into one of quiet and stability. You’ll spend less hours at the office and more time with your significant other. Netflix and pizza on a Saturday night will sound more appealing than a weekend at the beach. An added bonus? If you and your man start talking about the future and he expresses his desire to have kids, your ovaries are sure to twitch happily and you start picturing him holding a baby with his eyes and your smile.
11 You’re done with being a party girl.
Some people are born introverts, preferring to stay at home and veg in front of the TV or hang out with a friend or two in a coffee shop or a friend’s house. Others, on the other hand, can’t seem to stand staying home while they’re awake. The minute they get out of bed, they’re out of the house, either going for a run or grabbing brunch with friends. They come home just to shower then are out again in the afternoon to run errands. Then the highlight of their day is heading to a bar or a party after a sumptuous dinner with a blind date or with friends. Many gals repeat this cycle every single day, no matter if it’s a weekend or a weekday. But living that kind of lifestyle has its limits and you’ll one day wake up feeling exhausted. So when you’ve decided that you’re all partied out and are ready to be a homebody, then kids might be in your not-so-distant future.
10 You’re always reading websites on celeb parenting news.
Social media and celebrities usually go hand-in-hand, especially when it’s your downtime and you have your smartphone or laptop on hand. What is it about celebrities anyway, that keep everyone, women especially, absolutely fascinated? Perhaps it’s the fact that they represent our most deep-seated aspirations as the media showcases them lapping in luxury or showing off their toned abs and arms on the red carpet or posing for photos with their families. The family aspect is one of the things that make these famous people less celebrity and more real and the fans find that very relatable. Admiring how perfect George and Amal Clooney look on the red carpet is one thing, but gushing over Suri Cruise or Shiloh Jolie-Pitt is another thing because it means you’re not focusing on their famous parents; you’re focusing on kids and parenthood, which may be a sign that you’re ready to be a momma yourself.
9 You instinctively protect your passenger when you slam on the brakes.
Learning how to drive is certainly a rite of passage for anyone in their teenage years. Getting your learner’s permit, taking driving lessons, taking the road test and passing it with flying colors is certainly an accomplishment because not everyone makes it on their first try. So if you’re one of the first ones in your circle of friends to start driving, you’ll more than likely be the designated and official driver of the group every time there’s a place to go, whether it’s in town or a long road trip. One of the main obligations of anyone behind the wheel is to always make sure her passengers are safe in the vehicle. So if there’s a situation when something or someone suddenly crosses the open road in front of you and you have to slam on the breaks, instinct would be to throw your arm over the chest of the person in the passenger seat to keep him or her from being thrown into the dashboard or the windshield. At least, that’s what a mom would do if her kid were beside her. If you find yourself doing that, maybe motherhood is not that far off into the future.
8 You bring your whole house in your bag.
When you were a teenager, you never even carried a purse. Outside of school, you’d just stuff your allowance money and your cellphone in the pockets of your jeans, jacket or dress. But as you grew older, you realized that you needed a purse to tout your stuff around. Bringing a bag big enough to contain your make-up, cash, driver’s license, and cellphone was enough for a certain phase in your life. But when you start packing more and more things in your purse--check books, tissue paper, wipes, hand lotion, sunscreen, tampons, a variety of pens, a notebook, old receipt, hair accessories, sunglasses, and heck, even a change of clothing—it could mean that you won’t be ill-prepared when it comes time for you to trade in your very heavy purse for a huge baby bag filled with diapers, bottles, wipes, and a bazillion and one changes of clothing, not to mention toys.
7 You can tell a Bugaboo from a MAcLaren. And you have a preference.
When it comes to baby paraphernalia, there are a million and one things to consider and each of those million and one things comes with dozens of variants, shapes, sizes, colors, prices, and brands. Many a seasoned mother of two or three kids may not even know the difference between the benefits of a double electric breast pump from Medela versus a double electric pump from Avent other than the fact that Medela is way more expensive. So when you, a non-mother, all of a sudden start joining in the conversation and talking about the difference between a Bugaboo and a McLaren baby stroller, don’t be surprised if everyone looks at you like you’ve sprouted wings. Because chances are, even an actual mom wouldn’t know the similarities or differences other than the price points. And when you seem knowledgeable enough to have a preference between the two brands, watch out. Your friends will start teasing you to no end about being ready to have a kid of your own!
6 You love going to the children’s section or maternity department.
There comes a point in your life when the number of single friends you party with or travel with gets less and less because they start settling down one by one and having babies of their own. Even if you yourself don’t like kids or have absolutely no interest in having kids, being around your friends who are either pregnant or brand-new mommies can change your mind, especially when it comes to any social event that’s baby-related. For your best friend’s baby shower, which you’re obliged to organize, you’re inevitably led to the baby section of a department store to get ideas on party themes and help the momma-to-be with her baby registry. You end up falling in love and getting fascinated with all things baby and find yourself stealthily going back again and again to admire all the paraphernalia. And you make a side trip to the maternity section as well. Hey, they do have awesome maternity fashion right?
5 You’re less interested in Manolo Blahniks and more interested in Manolo for a baby name.
Sex and The City is one of those timeless shows that can be watched over and over again, by those who were above 18 when it started showing in the late ‘90s to the young ladies today. If you were or are a big fan of the show, you’d know that Carrie Bradshaw (actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s character) had an obsession with shoes. In the film version, Carrie had a pair of lovely blue Manolo Blahnik stilettos to christen her brand-new walk-in closet with and we fell in love with the Manolo Blahnik brand all the more than we already have. A pair costs upward of $400—that’s no small amount for someone who’s a mid-income earner. But you know you’ve grown out of your shoe obsession phase into more mature territory when you’re interest in Manolos have waned and you’re way more focused on the actual name Manolo when picturing yourself with an adorable little boy to call your own.
4 You have a Facebook album filled with selfies of you and your loved ones’ kids.
There are many girls who absolutely adore kids, due mostly to that maternal instinct that almost all women are born with. And because of their love for kids, many females go into professions that deal with children: caregivers in a daycare, pre-school or kindergarten teachers, babysitters, and nannies. But if you choose not to go into a kid-centered profession, it doesn’t mean you love kids less. You can always dote on the adorable kids of your siblings, cousins or best friends. In fact, some girls love kids so much that they take selfies with the kids of everyone they know and compile the pictures in a dedicated Facebook album that captures their fondness for children. Living vicariously through your friends and loved ones who are parents is usually the first step in having that desire to be a mother. The next step? Actually becoming a mother and making albums and albums of photos of your own child!
3 You’ve dealt with disciplining your nieces or nephews.
One of the best ways to get you ready for parenthood is having first-hand experience in dealing with kids. And by first-hand experience, we mean the dirty work: changing diapers, making sure they’re eating their dinner, helping them sit on the toilet, reading bedtime stories to them, and even disciplining them. Technically, disciplining falls within the area of responsibility of a child’s parents when they’re around. But what if they’re not around and you’re the one in charge of the little tots and immediate action must be taken because the little one covered the pristine white living room walls with crayon scribbles? Then you have to step in and do the scolding, especially if the parents left you in charge of the child. Then you can relay the incident to the parents when they get home. If you’ve had to put kids in their place before for naughty behavior, then that’s surely great training for when you have to be putting your own kids in line someday.
2 You can multi-task.
One thing that women are generally way better at than men is the very fortunate ability to multi-task. Females are just wired to be able to handle performing several things at the same time, while guys are usually of the one-thing-at-a-time variety. So being multi-taskers puts girls at a great advantage over guys not just in the working world and general day to day tasks, but in being a super efficient parent as well. Picture a typical day in a working mother’s life. She gets up before anyone else in the household does, makes coffee, prepares breakfast for the hubby and kids, prepares everyone’s lunches and stuffs them into their lunchboxes, wakes the kids up, all but shoves them out of their beds and struggles to help them dress up while they’re still half-asleep, all while checking the clock every five minutes to make sure they don’t miss their bus. And when they’re off to school and the husband is off to work, that’s the only time you can start getting ready yourself. Sounds tough? If you can do it, you’re ready to be a mom!
1 You’re fascinated about hearing your friends’ birthing and mommy stories.
Some girls try to minimize their interactions with their mommy friends as much as possible because when they start talking about breastfeeding and smelly diapers and preserving their kids’ umbilical cords for cord blood banking, you automatically zone out and start thinking about what time you can make your excuses and leave the get-together post-haste. Let’s face it, not all women enjoy hearing about experiences that they themselves haven’t gone through or have no interest in going through. But if and when the time comes that you don’t find those mommy stories grating on your nerves—if and when your mommy gal pals start talking about seeing their placenta after they pushed the baby out or the consistency of breastfed babies versus solid-eating babies and the whole conversation leaves you unfazed—maybe it’s a sign that you can start considering having one little critter or two of your own!