Becoming a parent means accepting an incredible amount of responsibility. “Accepting” is the keyword here, and it’s importance can’t be overemphasized. Parenting should be a choice, not a situation into which you are forced by circumstance.
We’ve put together this article specifically for expectant mothers questioning their readiness. But the information here is only a start. Visit our Learning Center For Pregnant Women for more resources.
Your Financial Future
Raising a child is expensive. Would you have enough to financially support your baby?
In our informational brochure, “Am I Ready To Parent?”, we’ve listed common parenting expenses, including medical costs, clothing, food, and day care. Our base estimate, which only includes hospital costs and essential equipment, comes to around $26,000. Then add another $14,500 per year to feed, clothe, and put your baby in daycare.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a middle-income family will spend more than $165,000 dollars raising one child to the age of 18.
Do you make enough now to cover these expenses? If not, how would your situation have to change to make it possible?
Also consider whether your current living situation, the environment by which you are surrounded, is appropriate for raising a child. If not, is it feasible for you to move into one that is?
Preparing Both Body And Mind
Imagine your daily routine. What does your life look like right now?
Maybe you work full-time, or you’re a student, heading toward a new career. That’s your situation. Now imagine your situation with a newborn baby at its center. Would you be able to reassign your priorities to your child, to their happiness, health, and well-being?
If you’re considering parenting a child, it’s important to critically question your own motives. Why do you want to parent your child? Do you think that having a child will make you happy, that it will give your life meaning? Or that raising children will prove something to those around you?
These are important, and not altogether unhealthy, motives that many parents have. Of course having a child should make a parent happy, too. But this shouldn’t be your primary reason for parenting, because having a child isn’t about you. It’s about caring for your baby.
The Company You Keep
Plenty of single parents raise wonderful, healthy, happy children on their own. But many also wish that a loving partner had been there to alleviate some of the burdens of parenting. Even with the help of a support system, like family and friends, parenting a child by yourself can be frequently overwhelming.
Having a child is like having the most important job in the world, around the clock. If you’re not currently in a relationship, ask yourself whether you can realistically devote enough time to your child. Are you willing to eliminate, or drastically diminish, the amount of time you spend on other activities, for your child’s well-being?
For those in relationships, are you and your partner on the same page? Do you both want to have children, and raise them? Do you both share the same views about parenting, about what’s acceptable and what’s not?
Adoptions From The Heart Is Here To Help
It’s really hard looking at yourself clearly, taking pride out of the equation, and making the best decision. Honestly, I think it’s something people rarely do. But if there is anything worthy of your complete honesty, it’s the decision to parent a child.
To the left of this article, we’ve placed some links for expectant parents.
Facing an unplanned pregnancy and unsure whether or not you’re ready? There are many ways to contact Adoptions From The Heart, find out which one is right for you at our Contact page.