10 Things That Need To Happen Before I Have Kids — No Exceptions

Having a child is a huge decision that changes lives forever. I’ve thought about being a mom for some time and while I’m open to it, I need to make sure my life is in order first. I’ll need to have these 10 things in place before I become a parent:

  1. I’m Ready To Start A Family. Let’s be real — there’s never a perfect time to foray into the beautiful (and terrifying) world of motherhood. It requires introspection and being totally honest with yourself about the concerns and fears you have. Until I sort everything out, I can’t let pressure from family, friends or society to force me into having kids. Simply put, I have to be ready. If I’m not, being a mom is a no-go.
  2. I’ve Already Established My Career. Nurturing career growth is a time-consuming labor of love. Think of it this way; you’re already navigating life, family, friends and relationships around your job. Having children often sends career women in a slight panic because they feel like they’re sacrificing growth in one area of their lives for another. I’ll only consider having children if my career is already established.
  3. I’m In A Rock-Solid Relationship. No compromise on this one — I have to be in a super stable LTR with a guy I’m crazy about before I’ll even entertain having kids. I won’t even discuss it in passing unless things are solid. Parenthood is a lifetime commitment. I’ve got to love the person I share a child with unconditionally, and we have to be on the same page.
  4. My Guy Is “Dad Material.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with deciding you don’t want children. In fact, I respect guys and women alike who admit that being a parent just isn’t in the cards for them. That said, I need to know my partner has the makings of a great father. If he’s kind, patient and a natural around children, he’ll be the kind of Dad I want for my kid.
  5. I Feel Comfortable With His Family. Grandparents are a blessing to new, busy parents just trying to figure things out. Chances are we’ll both enlist the aid of our parents to help us out, so I’ll need to love his parents just as much as I love my own. I can’t imagine a more awkward situation than dreading small talk with his parents while I drop my kid off for a visit.
  6. We’re Financially Stable. This is one of the most important requirements that I absolutely will not budge on. Having a child is a major financial responsibility. My guy and I need enough money saved for expected (and unexpected) expenses and have a plan in place should something major happen like a change in employment. If we’re even a penny short, we’re putting parenthood off until we’ve reached our goal.
  7. We’ve Narrowed Down A Parenting Style. Strict or lenient? Keep them sheltered or let them explore? There’s no one right way to parent, but we’ve both got to be on the same page with how we choose to parent our child. Morals and values are super important to people, and it’s totally understandable. As a Mom, I’d want to raise a productive member of society with a good head on their shoulders. If I feel like their Dad’s views would compromise that, we’d have a big problem on our hands.
  8. I Have “What If” Plans Prepared. Divorce. Unemployment. Death. They’re all unpleasant aspects of life to consider, especially when it’s personal. That said, I need “What If” scenarios in place to protect my kid if we split up, lose our jobs, pass away unexpectedly and so on. The last thing I’d want to do is panic about an unexpected setback, so thoroughly detailed plans are a must-have.
  9. I Have A Support System. When I’m ready to have a child, I’ll probably read every parenting book I can get my hands on. I’ll enroll in as many classes as I can handle and pick the brains of the mothers around me for advice. But no matter how much I prepare, I know I’ll need a support system filled with friends and family to help me out.
  10. I Promise Not To Lose Myself. I’ll confess that this scares me most about motherhood. I want to be involved in every aspect of my child’s life, but I don’t want to lose sight of my goals and interests in the process. I’ll still want ‘me time,’ nights out with friends and date nights with my guy — guilt-free. I firmly believe that personal goals can be pursued while enjoying motherhood. I don’t want to sacrifice one for the other, and I won’t.