Should You Have A Baby?
If you like your freedom, having a kid will cramp your style. It will also feed your soul.
Having a child is as wonderful as it is taxing. In my 3.5 years of being a mom, all the while studying the psychology of children’s behaviors, I’ve learned a thing or two about new parenting.
For the most part, my son is delightful, well-behaved and well-mannered. I can’t help but think that’s largely attributed to my husband and myself. Not to toot my own horn (f*cking beep beep), but gotta call em’ like we see em.’
If you’re on the fence about having a baby — or are thinking you’re ready for baby #2 — I think you’ll find this post helpful.
7 Facts — Not Opinions — on Having Offspring
You Are Never “Ready” To Have A Baby
It kills me when couples make proclamations like, “We’re going to enjoy being married for one year and then we will be ready to have a baby.”
Or my other favorite: “We’re going to get a dog first.”
While you may be better equipped to have a child after discussing how you want to raise him/her and giving yourselves time to process what that might look like, you’re not going to be ready to actually have one.
The emotions you feel during ( and long after) pregnancy are so all-consuming, it is not humanly possible to prepare your mind for what comes next once your pregnancy test renders positive.
You Have To Do Things You Don’t Want To Do — A Lot
Are you not into pirate sword fights and endless games of hide and seek?
If you want to be a parent, and furthermore, if you want to be a present parent, you have to run away from pretend monsters, go down park slides 30 times in a row, and eat peanut butter sandwiches under tepees in your living room.
As your newborn turns into a baby who turns into a toddler who turns into a small version of yourself, the list of things you don’t want to do does get easier (and more fun).
In the beginning, your job is to keep your child alive. As he/she gets older, you form a sort of friendship whereas before you were just a robot caretaker changing diapers, filling bottles and running late to doctor’s appointments.
You May Have To Rethink Your Career
And that isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it could be quite the opposite.
You have no idea how you’re going to feel after the baby who lived in your womb for nearly a year is now in your arms.
You might think you’ll want to get back to the office as soon as your maternity leave is up, but you might want to scale back or even quit your job once you realize your priorities have (drastically) changed. You may have been dreaming of being a stay-at-home mom since you were 14, but you could end up despising it in the midst.
For me, having a baby was the best thing to happen to my career. It was a windy road of trial and error followed by more trial and error, but ultimately, it lead to my decision of living my professional life for me, and no one else, which is turning out to be exciting to say the least.
Your Baby Will Ruin Your Relationships — In the Early Stages
Something no one talks about in the realm of new motherhood is how having a baby negatively affects your relationships with people. Namely, your relationship with your partner, your friends and whomever else reigns at the top of your people-you-love-and-care-about list.
I remember feeling like a complete stranger to my then-boyfriend-now-husband. I remember feeling like I was pushed out of my group of friends because I was the only one with a baby. And I remember feeling closer to my parents, in-laws and sisters than I’ve ever felt.
While everyone’s experience is different, having a baby will change the dynamic in your house and your social circle, and learning how to adapt to that new and unfamiliar life is scary.
Important note: These “facts” are mostly applicable in the early stages of parenthood. Life as a new mom eventually becomes tolerable, and later, it becomes enjoyable.
You Do Not Have Nights Off
Even if you coparent, your “nights off” are still spent worrying about your child. Even if you know they are in the safest/best care possible, you still worry and you miss them anytime you aren’t with them.
While time spent apart is necessary for both you and your child, I wouldn’t categorize date nights and weekend trips with girlfriends as “nights off.”
You’re a parent every day — not just the days you are physically with your kids. You get accustomed to that quickly.
You Will No Longer Give A Damn About Petty Things
I have to admit. This is one of the greatest perks of motherhood. You simply don’t have the time, energy or desire to give a damn about office politics, family drama, friendship gossip and everything else that truly does not matter in the world.
Trivial concepts, like worrying about what to wear to a relative’s wedding or wondering how your Instagram story will be interpreted, are things of the past when you become a parent.
All of the sudden you become this rising-above-the-bullshit badass, and people can feel it. Your life has such a different meaning that you no longer feel the need to justify your behaviors to anyone.
That, my friends, is the definition of freedom in my book.
You Will Feel A Happiness You’ve Never Felt Before
When you become a parent, there’s a consistent feeling of fulfillment that replaces that exhaustive chasing happiness race we’ve all been trapped in.
I am so happy some days that I am terrified something bad is bound to happen.
Early motherhood or parenthood (newborn to age 2) is not fun. It is terrifying and sad and lonely and strange.
Once you get through those early years, though, you finally see (and feel) that being a mom is rewarding and fabulous and dare I say, cool.
Being a (young) mom is fun. It gives your life new purpose, and above all else, it’s funny. Kids really do say the darndest (read: inappropriate and hilarious) things.
Thanks for reading!