If you are reading this, you are... sort of... maybe... kind of... you know... it might be nice if... well... thinking about having a baby. There’s a lot to consider before you plan on getting pregnant with your first child. Here are a few of them that you might want to mull over before you throw caution to the wind and bin the contraception.
Are you prepared to never finish a hot cup of tea or coffee again? At least for the first 12 months. I’m not joking, a girlfriend of mine went back to work so she could finish a cup of tea while it was hot. You should also think about whether you are ready to eat most meals standing and one handed. A baby has special sensors, so knows when you are about to (finally) sit down to a meal with your partner and will wake screaming and only want to be held by you while you walk the room or sway back and forth. Your partner will (hopefully) cut your meal into bite sized pieces so you can eat like a child again. Or you start to cook meals that can be consumed with a spoon, or you just drink cold soup from a cup.
Are you ready for the massive amount of washing you will be doing for the rest of your natural born life, should you bring another life into this world? And that’s not just if you choose to go the cloth option with the nappies. I am talking about the constant, never ending, loads of washing that pile up when you have a baby. Heaven forbid you skip a day to have a life out of the house!
Seriously, you will spend a huge amount of your time, sorting, washing, hanging out, bringing in, folding and putting away washing (it’s ok to sometimes skip the last 2 steps if you have dining table you can just leave piles of clean laundry on - you won’t be using it to dine, see above).
My son was what we termed a “moist burper”. He’d get through 4 or 5 romper suits a day. This also meant I had to wash whatever he was lying on at the time or often, as he was on me, whatever I was wearing as well. Big tip to the menfolk there, the washing fairy does not exist. So consider very carefully if you are ready to have a baby as, trust me, perfume does not cover the smell of “moist burps”. You will need to wash.
Do you think you are ready to give up or at least dramatically reduce your intake of alcohol? This is important before conception, during pregnancy, and then longer if you choose to breastfeed. If you are the sort of person who’s recycling bin clanks loudly with the sound of wine bottles clattering about, and has a reputation of calling for another round of espresso martinis while the bar staff are trying to close up, then maybe getting pregnant in the near future isn’t such a great idea.
Are you BOTH ready? It’s all well and good for one of you to want to get pregnant and begin a family, but if one of you is not sure, now is not the time. If your relationship is at the point where you are not both on the same page here, a baby will NOT make things better. Babies do not magically make a perfect happy family. In fact, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there to suggest that the opposite is true, and that is why we see a lot of custody hand-overs in McDonalds car parks across the nation on a Sunday afternoon… And that’s not great for anyone.
Remember, you are considering making a whole new person here. Someone who will grow into a thinking, voting, contributing member of society who wasn’t a part of the process of deciding whether you guys should become parents. Make sure you are really ready for this. Whilst having a baby is a wonderful addition to your life (if you are ready for it), these cute little munchkins do grow up and have opinions (often very strong ones) of their own. This little cherub will grow up requiring medical attention, clothing, sustenance, education and stuff, lots of stuff! Children bring about a lot of expense.
The only thing guaranteed to be free that you can smother your child with is LOVE. You’ll be cash poor, but love and sticky kisses will bring a whole new richness to your life.
So if you can handle the washing, standing while eating, no alcohol for a long time, and you have buckets of love ready to go, then now is the time to get your wild thing on to make an itty bitty, cutie patootie baby. If not, the next round of espresso martinis is on you!