Becoming a mother is very natural for some and very difficult for others. When it is a personal choice, people tend to have a more positive outlook toward becoming a mother. When someone becomes a mother as a result of an unplanned or unexpected pregnancy, their feelings and outlook may be less positive and filled more with negativity. Whichever situation you have found yourself in, there are some things to be considered as you embark on this new experience. You will need to ask yourself this all important question, “Are you ready to be a mom?”
Before you answer, here are 10 things that you need to seriously think about:
1. Are you emotionally ready to handle being pregnant for 36-40 weeks of your life?
You may go through a number of different feelings during that time that could range from elation to doubt to self-consciousness.
2. Are you ready to make a sacrifice for your baby?
Children do not come with instructions. They require a lot of time, energy, effort, and sacrifice for their proper care. A mother fills the voids for a child, which can mean that the mother's own personal interests may have to be put aside at times for the good of her family. Along with the personal sacrifice that a mother gives up for her child, there are daily challenges that she should be prepared to face with regard to the child's rearing. For a teenage mother-to-be, this could mean that you can't hang out with friends when you want to or that you have to rely on others for support. Ask yourself if you are willing to do that for your child.
3. Are you financially able to care for a baby?
Babies cost a lot of money. For starters, they need diapers, baby wipes, hygiene products like baby powder and lotion, clothes, carriers and strollers, cribs and other furnishings, food, milk, and health care. This is all for the first couple of months of life and you can just imagine how much more they will need as they grow. The important thing about determining whether or not you can "afford" a baby is to consider your own resourcefulness. While you may not have tons of money, there are programs that are designed to help new mothers that may be able to provide assistance to your family. Also consider the baby's father and his contribution if you are not married. Above all, anticipate always needing to take care of your baby's needs and along with that you can anticipate needing some finances.
4. Are you ready to be your child's teacher?
Mothers are the first teacher that a child will have. Babies are a blank slate and will look for their mother to teach them what they need to know to make it in life. You don't have to personally know everything, but your child will believe that you do. As you live your life, your child will learn what to do, what not to do, what is good, and what is bad...mostly by watching you. Your child's hopes and plans for the future will be shaped by the life that you lead before them.
5. Are you ready to go through childbirth?
Having a baby is a life-changing experience. For some, the change will be for the better. For others, the change will seem to be for the worse. Either way, it is something that you will never, ever forget. Along with the pain associated with childbearing, there are emotional and physical highs and lows which will determine your attitude about your child-bearing experience.
6. Do you have support?
Support can come in a number of sources. It could come from a spouse, a partner, a social service organization, an adoption agency, family, or friends. Support may come in the form of emotional support, physical care, or financial assistance.
7. Are you ready to give someone unconditional love?
Babies rely on the love of their mothers. The feeling of safety, security, nurturing, and peace that they need comes from the love that a mother gives to her baby. This unconditional love will need to be a fixture in your child's life as they experience their own ups and downs, and as they learn to grow and live. It's a love that is not supposed to change with fashion, but it should be there at all times.
8. Are you prepared to face the long term challenges of being a mother?
Parenting happens over a lifetime. Your baby has certain needs now, but those needs could be even greater as they grow older. Your baby won't stay a baby forever and you should be prepared to deal with the changes and challenges that life will bring your family regarding your child's upbringing and care.
9. Are you healthy enough to carry a baby?
You should take stock of your own health, physical and emotional. Consider your relationships and the impact that they have on you psychologically and physically. It may be time to visit your primary care physician to find out if you are physically ready to undertake a pregnancy. Your baby will need a stable, healthy environment to grow up in and that includes having a mother that is able to attend to his or her needs.
10. Do you want a baby?
Deciding whether or not you want a child can be a key to determining whether or not you are ready to be a mother. If you are not ready to make a long term commitment to your child and you are already pregnant, then there are some options that you should consider, including adoption. Through adoption, your child could have a healthy and stable life in a caring and loving home, if you are not able or willing to provide these for your baby. Visit LifetimeAdoption.com to find out more about adoption.
If you are not already pregnant, then you should make the decision as to whether or not taking on the added responsibility of a child is right for you. Don't make any snap decisions. Always weigh out the pros and cons of your personal situation, including determining whether or not your partner wants to be a caregiver to your child also.
Make the decision to become a mother will forever change who you are and will shape who you will be. Put a lot of thought and prayer into it. Remember, there are at least two lives at stake...yours and that of your unborn child. If you would like to look into adoption as an option, visit www.LifetimeAdoption.com for info.