6 Reasons NOT to wait to have a baby
While at 27 I'm considered a young mom, it took me a long time to be "ready" to have a baby. My husband and I were married for five years before we decided to expand our family. I was focused on finishing school and landing a job--both good reasons to wait-- but, once I had achieved those goals it took me a while to understand that my life didn't have to be perfect before I had a baby. I put a lot of thought into it and came to the conclusion that I was emotionally ready, and that I had been suppressing my desire for a child for a while. Once I knew that I was capable of loving and sacrificing as much as is required for a new life, I knew that everything else would fall into place.
In the past six months, my son has brought us immeasurable joy and I can't imagine life without him--I'm so glad we bit the bullet even though it may take us longer to achieve some of our other goals. Here are my top reasons not to wait to have a baby:
1. You don't own a house. Who cares? Contrary to what TV tells you, you don't need to own a three-bedroom in the 'burbs to keep a baby happy. Sure extra space and a yard are great, but your tiny new baby won't discriminate as long as your home is equipped with a warm place to sleep and lots of love, even if it is a tiny one-bedroom by the train tracks.
2. You don't have an emergency fund. Don't get me wrong, you should definitely be financially stable when you decide to add a little one. But in most cases, reliable jobs, health insurance and a little extra cash post-bills will do. If you keep waiting to save up thousands, you'll likely have to wait a long time. There will always be some emergency that gets in the way-- car problems, vet bills, etc.-- of having your baby. It may take you longer to reach your savings goal, but you'll have a precious new life to keep you motivated.
3. You want to prove a point. If you're the type that has publicly announced that you wouldn't be ready for kids for a long time (maybe even on multiple occasions), but you've had a change of heart, don't let embarassment get in the way of what you really want.
4. You don't think you'll be a good mom. Everyone has doubts about their ability to parent well--whether it's because you think you're too selfish or you don't have a lot of experience with kids, when you see that sweet face for the first time, your instincts will start to kick in. Plus, there are always doctors, friends, family and the Internet to help you figure things out.
5. None of your friends have kids. Someone has to be first! The friends that truly love you--and we're betting it's most of them--will stick around and join in on your exciting new life. You may even be responsible for a baby train.
6. Someone else says you're not ready. Unless it's your significant other, don't give the opinions of others so much weight. Only you and your partner can say when the time is right, regardless of what your best friend or grandmother or father-in-law thinks.
Image Nina Mathews Photography/flickr