Is Parenthood for me: No–Yes–No Idea
This question for some people is very easy because they have always imagined being a mother or a father. They might have established their life in a way they’re now ready for the next step in their life to have a baby. While others ponder about conceiving for years before taking this next big step in their life, some just never have the desire to raise children.
Where ever you fall on this spectrum, make a well-informed decision about becoming a parent. We hope this article helps you get one step closer to your decision of whether you are ready to take on this lifelong responsibility or just wondering if you are.
One thing to remember for sure is that conceiving should be one’s choice. There should be no reason to have a baby, other than your hopes and dreams to become a mother. This choice should solemnly be yours to choose or not to choose motherhood.
Is Parenting Difficult?
Becoming a parent can be rewarding and satisfying in a way no one can truly understand if you don’t have children. Being a parent requires a ton of hard work, dedication, and patience. You cannot imagine or quantify this workload because parenthood is a never-ending task.
Parenthood in a nutshell
Parents in a recent survey mentioned that parenting is seen as more difficult today than in the past.
Exhaustion: We hope your baby sleeps through the night. Being a parent places intense demands on both your time and energy! It’s difficult to function well when being exhausted both physically and mentally. It’s a miracle if you get a full night’s sleep–only a few non-parents get that!
Stress: Be prepared to worry a lot. Stressors like development, food, behavior, daycare decisions, education, friends, and limits have a drain on your energy.
Decisions: Are you prepared to make a lifetime’s worth of decisions? Even a simple decision to allow your child to watch TV can send questioning ricochets through your mind. You will read a lot of articles that have contradicting information. And now you have iPads and iPhones to add on to your stress!
Balance: Work, parenthood, and self-care sound like a simple concept. Until you make a stab at that kind of balance.
What W-F!?: Tantrums. Rudeness. The word “No”. Manners. Kicking and screaming, and more.
Endless Guilt: You may feel as though no matter how much you give or do it just might not be enough. Sometimes it may even feel there’s no way for you to do this parenting thing right.
Going through pregnancy, giving birth, and having a child will change your life in so many ways because women everywhere bear the major responsibility of carrying the baby for 10 months and caring for them for the next few years. Having a child typically affects women’s life more than men’s. Not to mention, women are underpaid when compared to men, and being a woman and a mother may have some setbacks in your career. Though this might not be the case for a few mothers out there.
In a family, if both parents understand and maintain an equal role of breadwinner–caregiver then it will be more beneficial for your child’s upbringing. However, the day-to-day housework, meal prepping, etc. usually is on the shoulders on the primary caregiver.
This is not to say both parents have to be breadwinners of the family. Any working adult will face unhappy tradeoffs between wanting to spend more time with their child and working.
New parents who have demanding jobs are often confronted by an unfamiliar sense of responsibility for their families. So many new parents face long work hours which increases the sense of emotional isolation. This may turn into the frustration of not being able to be the parent you wish to be for your child. This is why both parents need to be active listeners and effective communicators and still spend quality time with each other!
Are you ready to have a baby?
Denise L. Carlini and Ann Davidman, co-authors of the book Motherhood: Is it for Me? Your Step-by-Step Guide to Clarity, have developed a few questions to discuss with your partner or friend to help determine the answer to this question. We suggest having both you and your partner plan a fun date night and share your opinions about:
Do you spend time with children? Do you enjoy it?
What did you enjoy about being a child? What didn’t you enjoy?
What did you appreciate about the parenting you received? What didn’t go well?
What message did you get about what a parent is supposed to be?
How do you feel as you answer these questions?
Answering questions like these with your partner will allow you to see if both you and your partner are comfortable sharing personal views on parenting.
For more great questions to ask yourself or your partner check out our next post!
Sometimes having a doula present to navigate both parents through this step might emotionally relieving.
Bartz, Ann. “Is Parenthood for You?” BabyCenter, 19 Jan. 2019, www.babycenter.com/ready-for-parenthood.
Carlini, Denise, and Ann Davidman. 2016. Motherhood: Is It for Me? Your Step-by-Step Guide to Clarity. Transformation Books.
Families for life