Motherhood is a serious commitment, so ask your some serious questions before you decide whether you're ready to start a family.
- TIP: Read books and attend classes to learn all you can. Your determination to educate yourself is strong evidence that you will be a good parent.
- Step 1: Discuss with a partner issues that must be agreed upon or compromised to weather the strains on the relationship. Basic plans about what social and personal sacrifices need to be made, and how to split chores, should be aired out now.
- FACT: Each year there are some 6 million pregnancies in the United States.
- Step 2: Ask questions of friends who have become parents and insist they not spare any gruesome details. If the feeling is still strong, maybe this is the time. No matter what, parenting is on-the-job training, so think of it as an adventure.
- Step 3: See a doctor to determine if your body is ready. Start a vitamin regimen to prevent birth defects and to prepare the body for the changes, as well as for the stress and trauma of childbirth.
- Step 4: Find out about the reasons behind a partner's reluctance. They don't have to be in the same place at the moment, but you have to know if they're willing to take on the emotional responsibility when the time comes.
- Step 5: Think about why you shouldn't have a baby now. A child needs to be fed, changed, comforted, nurtured, and taught. Face your personal and practical issues with money, job security, living situation, and whether you are wiling to sacrifice that much.
- TIP: Maturity is everything.Your child could have special needs or other complications that will transform your life.
- Step 6: Evaluate your reasons for wanting to get pregnant. Pressure from your parents, from your biological clock, or from the fact that everyone else is doing it could be overshadowing the fact that you're not ready.