14 Indications You’re Not Quite Ready to Take on Parenthood

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Parenthood is a life-changing event, and there is no manual for it. It is a roller coaster ride that you must prepare yourself for. So, if you are considering starting a family, ask yourself: ‘Am I ready for it?’. Here are 14 signs that perhaps you are not.

1. You Fear Loss Of Personal Independence

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survey found that 54% of US adults didn’t have children or didn’t want them in the future because they liked their independence. Parenting can restrict your freedom of choice and living life on your terms. While most parents believe parenting is worth life-long commitment, sacrifice, or trade-off, you may disagree.

2. You Don’t Want To Bear Financial Burden

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70% of Americans are stressed about personal finances and live paycheck to paycheck. According to another survey, raising a child has increased the cost of financial security for American parents. Many young parents wonder if their financial freedom is slipping away. Childcare stretches your budget, from buying diapers to doctor visits and education. If you can’t afford all these expenses, you are not ready to be a parent.

3. You Live An Unstable Life

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Children need a structured, predictable, and disciplined routine to feel safe. If you travel, work long or unusual hours, or lead an unsteady life, parenting may feel like a liability. Children may not get adequate attention and stability from you.

4. You Don’t Like The Mess

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Kids make a mess of everything, and parents must clean up after them several times daily. Even the declutter expert Marie Kondo confessed that she had started embracing a messy home after having three kids. Parenthood may not be the right step if you can’t give up being a neatnik.

5. You Are Falling For Pressure Trap

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You should have a baby because your siblings or friends are having one; that should not be why you become a parent. This pressure can push you to make a decision you may regret later.

6. You Think It Is Hard Work

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Parenting is mentally and physically exhausting. 62% of parents say being a parent has been harder than expected, and 26% say it’s been much harder. If you already have too much on your plate or find it challenging to care for someone else, parenting will make your life more demanding.

7. You Are In A Fragile Relationship

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If you want to have a baby to mend or advance your relationship with your partner, it is akin to taking a bet. Many couples go through rough patches in their relationship due to the taxing demands of parenthood, lack of intimacy, transactional communication, poor sleep, and other reasons. There is no assurance that a baby will be your savior.

8. You Don’t Have Help

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It takes a village to raise a child because you are not a superwoman or superman. The first few years after childbirth can affect parents’ lives. You will need your family to support you. You may need to hire household help or a nanny or put your child in daycare. You may need to join parent support groups. If you can’t seek or afford resources within your community, it is a sign that you are not ready to embrace parenthood.

9. You Fear Biological Clock Ticking Away

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Both women and men have biological clocks that start at different ages but may hamper their reproductive ability. If you want to become a parent for this sole reason, it is advisable to think through it. You can get a health checkup to know more about your reproductive age. You can also explore modern family-building options such as adoption, surrogacy, egg freezing, etc.

10. You Or Your Partner Have Childhood Traumas

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If you or your partner had a traumatic childhood and haven’t healed yet, you should delay becoming a parent. The memories of abuse, shame, guilt, neglect, or other childhood traumas can resurface consciously or unconsciously during pregnancy or after giving birth. Your mental and physical health can affect you, the baby, and your relationships.

11. You Lack Patience

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Children can test your patience in different ways. Sometimes, you will want to yell at them or pull your hair out. However, you will still need to exercise control over your emotions and maintain a sense of calm. If patience is not your virtue, you might have to rethink the decision to be a parent. Take the example of Oprah Winfrey, who chose to remain childless because she felt that she didn’t have the patience to become a good mom.

12. You Can’t Compromise On Sleep

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Sleep deprivation among new parents is real. It can result in fatigue, mood irritability, and zombie-like feeling. If you love your sleep way too much to sacrifice it, then it is a sign that you should put off having a baby till you are ready.

13. You Are Not Old Enough

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Once you have a baby, you become a parent your whole life. Early parenthood may rob you of some fun experiences of young adulthood. So, ideally, you should prepare to be a parent after your mid-20s.

14. You Want To Follow Your Dreams

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Do you have dreams to achieve and things left to do? You want to travel the world. Your career is your priority. You want to buy a new home. As soon as the baby comes into the picture, you may have to put your life plans on hold for a while. If you have not ticked off your to-do list, you are not ready to be a parent.