Since you married-and-childless ladies wrote in to say how much you enjoyed hearing about how Cynthia decided she was ready for a baby, I just had to ask my friend Lauren about how she came to the conclusion that it was time to become a mom. Everything she said really resonated with me. I bet you’ll feel the same way.
How old were you when you started trying for a baby?
I was 28, and my husband was 31.
How long were you married at that point?
We were married for a little more than two years and had known each other for about six. Our baby’s due date was actually our third wedding anniversary–but he ended up being born two days later!
What changed in your life that moved you and your hubby from not ready to ready?
I consider myself something of a planner, and we both knew when we got married that we’d want kids soonish–not ASAP, but not a decade later, either. I can’t say that any one thing changed–it was probably a bunch of little things all coming together. We moved out of our apartment in NYC to a bigger apartment in the suburbs, I felt pretty secure in my career (as an editor in the fast-paced NYC publishing industry; I felt like having a baby too early on could potentially thwart my growth), and friends of ours were starting to have babies, too. The last part wasn’t a big trigger, per se, but it does help you start to feel more comfortable with the idea of being a parent. Spending time with your good friends and observing how pregnancy and parenthood is changing their lives I think makes you feel more prepared for how it might affect yours.
But even though all these tangible things were in place, I think there was still something else–something more emotional–that’s harder to put your finger on. I think many people, us included, will never feel entirely 100% ready to have a baby, but it’s more like you start to feel less and less not ready. (MB note: I LOVE THIS! SO TRUE!) You start to feel less freaked out by the idea of getting pregnant, and more and more comfortable with the idea of having a crib in your home, a car seat in the car, staying in on Friday nights to do baby laundry, etc.
How did you know the time was right to have a baby?
I don’t think we woke up one day and literally said, “OK, we’re ready to start trying. Right. Now.” But we made the decision for me to go off the Pill and then take it from there. We knew that we were feeling readyish–and then you have nine months (although they go by pretty quickly!) to start feeling totally prepared.
Did you ever worry earlier in your marriage that you’d never feel ready?
Not really–we had discussed wanting to be parents before we got married, and I think when we moved into our current home, the second bedroom (originally an office/guest room, now Roger’s room) was definitely a big symbol of our commitment to ultimately start our family.
But I do think being married for two wonderful years before we started trying helped us to feel more ready. We took a couple of good vacations, had plenty of date nights (alone, and with other couples), and felt very secure in our relationship and friendship. Every couples’ wishes and timelines are different, of course, but I think it did us a lot of good to have that “couple time” where we were married without kids for a couple of years to really cement our relationship and marriage before we embarked on parenthood.
What would you say to married women who are worried they’ll never be ready for babies?
I think it’s hard to feel completely ready or to fully understand just how much a baby will change your life before you have one. Some ways are admittedly tough, but most are just beyond incredible–Roger is for sure the best thing Justin and I ever did, a thousand times over!
I know this sounds cheesy, but bear with me–as long as you love and trust and are committed to each other, and as long as you know that you want to be parents–even if it’s still somewhat of a vague feeling or vision–you will feel ready once you see that stick turn pink and start embarking on all the amazing pregnancy milestones–seeing the heartbeat, then hearing it, then seeing the little baby–shockingly fully formed–on one of the early ultrasounds.
Becoming a mom or dad is always something of a leap of faith, but just know that taking it will change your life for the better in ways you cannot even dream of imagining.
I absolutely loved Lauren’s take on everything. How about you? Does hanging out with your friends and their kids make you feel more ready to give parenthood a try? Slowly but surely, it is for me.
More About Having Babies
Do Health Insurers Hate Married Childless People?
Promise to My Future Baby: I Won’t Send Out Photos of You Looking Like an Alien
Marriage First: Buying Clothes With a Baby Bump in Mind
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Photo by Catherine Scott