I remember when I had a baby in high school, it drove me crazy. His name was Leonardo; I called him Leo. For one week, I didn’t sleep well because he woke up at 3 am crying for milk. In desperation, I put a diaper over his mouth in class one day in an attempt to stop him crying because I needed to take notes.
Before you start thinking that I’m a bad mother, it was not a real baby; it was my assignment for my Responsible Parenthood class. Since that class, I’ve known that I’m not capable of being a mother. I love kids, but I also love the peace and tranquility of my own company.
Not every woman is meant to have kids, so it’s crazy how society, our family members and friends put pressure on us to change our minds.
Having a baby or not having a baby is a personal decision, and a woman needs to think certain things through before making such a big decision.
My stepsister has two kids and, to be honest, she could have waited until she was more mature and financially stable. If you want to have kids, or you are uncertain about it, this article is for you.
Ask yourself why you want to be a mom
We tend to have reasons for almost everything we do. The important thing here is that your reasons need to be very clear and personal.
Are you internally or externally motivated? I have heard women say that they want to be mothers because it’s what all their female friends are doing, or because they need someone to take care of them in their old age.
Some women also feel like they’ve failed if they don’t have children. This external motivation is seldom a good reason to have children.
If you want to experience being pregnant, giving birth and being completely responsible for another person’s life, then perhaps motherhood is for you.
Some women simply feel that it’s the right time to have a child, which is usually the strongest and most successful motivation for doing so.
Whatever your reason, consider your own experience as a child and if that may be influencing your decision to have a child now.
Children are an enormous physical, emotional and financial responsibility that lasts for life—are you really ready to do what needs to be done to care for another person? If you have any doubts in answering that question, you’re probably not ready for children just yet.
Are you financially stable?
We know money is not a reason not to have a child, but let’s face it: you don’t want to have a child if you are struggling financially.
Even if you are financially stable, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the average middle-class family will spend a minimum of $165,000 on raising one child to the age of 18.
This excludes the costs of private schools, after-school lessons and college—and that last one can add up to $300,000 to the bill easily for a four-year degree!
Of course, this is all once you’ve had the baby; it excludes the costs of fertility treatments (if necessary) to fall pregnant/adoption costs and the roughly $10,000 you’ll pay for prenatal care, labor and delivery.
The amount depends on where you live and the type of birth you choose. You can also add another $8,000-10,000 for the first year’s expenses of things like baby furniture, clothes, diapers, doctors’ visits and daycare. The first year alone can cost around $20,000!
First, can you handle work, a child and household responsibilities? Even if you don’t have a job, being a mom is a 24/7 job. I realized this, and it is the biggest reason why I have chosen a less traditional life. If I have a child, I will end up neglecting myself because I care too much about the people around me.
Second, if you want to keep partying or doing things that are not suitable for a child, you will either need to pay for a babysitter or say no to your friends. Your priorities will change, and you will need to adjust to situations.
While there are many things to consider before committing to having a child, the most important thing to remember is that it’s a full-time and irreversible commitment. Are you truly prepared for such a life-changing choice? Can you afford it?
What are some of the other things that you think should be considered before having a child? Share your thoughts and opinions below.