I find it interesting as I’m writing this that bearing children, getting pregnant, deciding to or not to be a parent is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation in societal eyes. The world is so fickle that one minute we praise people for wanting children, but the minute they do so in “non traditional” manners we are ready to eat them alive! How sway??!! How did it become anybody’s business besides the custodial parents concerns how a child came into this world? Don’t get me started on the pressures of people in their late 20s + about getting started (sooner than later). Well I’m here to tell you that children are a blessing, but only when they are wanted and those who care for them are somewhat ready, at the very least, to be parents. For the rest of us, and I say us because I’m also not ready to be a parent anytime soon, here are 5 must dos, or “should dos” while you ponder IF you want to be a parent.
Society will tell you that you can travel with children, and that children make the experience. Now this may be true but how would you know the difference if you don’t take the time to travel children free? This is not the same as having children and leaving them at home. Traveling before you embark on parenthood puts life in perspective. Pick a few places inside the country, and outside and plan your trips. This is something you won’t regret.
Further Your Education or Career Goals.
Again yes, this is something you can do or achieve as a parent blah blah blah, but imagine being able to full invest in yourself and only yourself, while you still have the freedom to do so? This is not a selfish act, and don’t let anyone tell you it is. Think of the flip side of this. As a parent, naturally you want to fully throw yourself into the business that is parenthood, sometimes when this happens career goals often become a back-burner decision, which could yield regret.
Nurture Your Romantic Relationship
No, children and parenthood does not come with an instruction manual. However you want to ensure as best as you can that children are born into a solid and firm relationship. Again it is easy for relationships to becoming complacent. Because of this is important to know exactly where you and the potential parent to your child stand in the relationship y’all share together. Note: A child does not fix a relationship. If y’all are already having problems the chances of those increasing become significantly higher when adding children into the mix.
Spend Time With Friends Who Have Children.
Of course it is not the same as having your own child, but this gives you a small taste on what it life to have children. If you really want to ump the ante, volunteer to babysit said children. If you are able to, try to spend time with children who are in different stages in their lifespan, from newborns to teenagers. This will certainly put the idea of being a parent into perspective.
Get a Puppy or Kitten.
Again I’m not trying to substitute a child in your life. But starting out with a smaller responsibility such as a pet, gives you a head start on having a life depend on you. Also having a pet may either drive your desire for children, or defer it for a while, and that’s ok. Only you can truly know when you are somewhat ready for a child.
If you are still struggling with being steadfast in your decision to have, or not to have children. Let’s chat I can help.
Certified Sex Therapist