Are you ready to be a parent? – Part II

It is surely a question that can start many disputes and doubts, but it is a needed question in order to evaluate one’s ability to become a parent. Of course, one can never truly feel what it means to be a parent than when faced the actual situation. There are indeed many books that say to prepare parents, but no one can actually be fully prepared. There will always be unexpected situations. The demands of being a parent are high and it is a full-time job. But there are many possible questions that you can ask yourself and many tests that will provide more insight about your parenting abilities.

First of all, you can evaluate yourself and see exactly in which stage of your life you are, what are your future expectations and desires, is parenting one of them? Do you enjoy spending a lot of time around children? Do you enjoy it greatly or not? Of course, having your own children is different than taking care of others, but it still gives you a view towards your attitude and your life. Parenting brings a lot of rewards and a lot of fun moments, but it is more than that. There are also situations that will make you angry, tired, and anxious and you have to be prepared for them as well. You can’t choose to be a parent for the best years or for the best days only. Are you the type of person who can commit to something on long term? And when it comes to a child, it is a lifetime commitment. There will also be many stressful situations; do you cope well with stress? The level of stress you can cope with can affect your children and your ability to keep calm and be a good parent. If you know you can’t handle it right, it would be a good time to learn some new coping techniques and do something about it.

What kind of hopes and expectations do you have from a child?

Are you ready to be disappointed? A child might not be exactly what you dreamed about and as we all make mistakes; he/she will make their own. Think about your parents and what did you learn from them, what you think you can do different and what techniques you will change in the future. Some of the lessons you learned are positive and some negative, but you need to learn from them to see exactly where you are.

There are many differences between you and your partner and you need to know how you can both cope with them and how you will react in certain situations. You can manage some role play and set up some situations and see exactly what do you assume it would happen. It can be a fun game and it can be a great opportunity to see yourself and your partner in the role of parents. How do you think you would discipline your children? Check with your partner and evaluate your thoughts. If you talk about issues now, you will know what to expect in the future and it will give you a chance to talk about boundaries and where you want them to be established.

Think of the life you have now. Are you 100% content with it?  Do you think something is missing? If you know people who do not have children, talk with them and see how they feel about their decision. If they regret it or if they are happy with the choice they made. Of course, you should not base your decision of what they say, but hearing some opinions about parenthood choices can raise some new ideas that you can consider. When you have a child, it is important to see if you have people you can count on. There will be situations in which you will need some help, especially if both parents can’t stay at home carrying for the child. It would be great to have family members and friends who are able to help you with parenting once in a while. In present, you might have a lot of spare time, but when you become a parent, that free time will go away. Are you ready for it? There can be situations in which you will not be able to do the things you like and decide to leave town out of the bloom for a weekend off. Children should be the number one priority, so are you up for it?

Your life will go through some major changes, changes that will affect your energy, your time, your body even, and your desires and so on. Take a while and consider this and evaluate your options. There are many parents who did not get the chance to evaluate such considerations, but in case you do have it, don’t waste it and have a reality check to see the level of preparation you and your partner have.