How Will I Know When I’m Ready To Be A Mom?

This is the secret no one tells you when you’re a kid: there’s no magic age when you suddenly become an “adult”, at least not in the ways you think it will happen when you’re a teenager. The reality of being 30 or 40 is just not anything like what the 13 or 16 year old me thought it would be. I still feel like a stupid teenager sometimes but not nearly as often as I did even 10 years ago. And I have teenage nieces, which a) has not deterred me from wanting to be a mom :lol: and b) makes me realize I have grown up and learned a lot since then.

Sometimes I think I should be more mature by now. But I think we’re all always still learning and we all have habits or knee-jerk reactions we’d like to change, buttons we’d like to stop letting people push, whatever. To my mind, if you’re mature enough to reliably take care of yourself (emotionally, financially, etc.), know how to solve a problem/handle a crisis/find the help you need, and won’t be resentful of the time and energy and attention a child will need, then you’re certainly “mature” enough to be a mom. Doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right thing for you right now, but in my mind it means you could do it.

Maybe the “quiz” is to ask yourself to imagine your life — right now — with a child in it. Not just the cuddling and rocking and eventual homework, but the logistics of a crying infant at 3am or a sick baby on a work day. Can you envision dealing with that? How much support from family and/or friends do you look for in your life as it is? How might that change with a child and is your network up to the task? What activities or hobbies do you most look forward to now? Would you still be able to do them with a baby? How would you feel if you couldn’t do those things anymore? What would you like to do in the next few years if you don’t have a child? Would you be bummed not to do those things? Why do you want a child now?

For me, I’ve been able to picture those changes for decades, but always with a husband. I wasn’t ready to picture doing it on my own until my late 30s and I’m now newly 42 and still trying to get pregnant. I can wish I’d been ready sooner, but I can’t go back and tell my 35 year old self not to wait — I just have to go with where I am. Interestingly, I’m much better able to do that in my 40s than I was in my 30s, so in some ways I’m much more able to deal with the difficulties and set-backs now than I would have been 5 or 6 years ago. Life is funny that way. :?

Unless there’s some medical issue that means you need to move fast (assuming you’ll want to get pregnant), you do have some time to keep thinking. I think when the answers to your questions are all (or mostly) coming out with more pros than cons on the side of becoming a mom, then you’ll know you’re as ready as you can be. I hear it’s a wild ride!



8 thoughts on “How Will I Know When I’m Ready To Be A Mom?”

  1. I am 35 and just now starting the process. For me, it was hard to abandon the ideal of a traditional family. I see my parents and my one sibling in positive long-term marriages. I see how helpful it is to have an additional set of hands raising a child. I was not ready to give up hope of that and grieve the loss of that fairy-tale until this last birthday- a month ago. I really hope it’s not too late.

      1. You might want to join SMC, as the author of this piece did, and join our many Thinkers and Moms as you process this big decision.

  2. It appears that my situation is similar to Jess. I’m in my third year of college for philosophy, I work full-time in health care, and just recently inherited my fathers estate. I’ve dated many men over the years and none of my relationships have seemed to work out. Like Melanie said, I’ve been waiting for the perfect time and the perfect man (whatever that means). Ever since my fathers death, I am able to provide a home, and financial security for my future child. THIS is the perfect time.

    I think that most women secretly marry in hopes of having children immediately. That is their main reason for marriage until after the child/children are born. For some of us, we may be considered “too independent” or “too busy”. Wanting a man in our lives but needing one. I still have hopes to find my soul mate but first I must give birth to the true love of my life. Maybe then, I wont focus on a man as a means of bearing children.

  3. I am 31 and have had a plan to have a child on my own via sperm donation since I was about 28. People still think I am joking… Im not. I came from a 2 parent household, my parents are still together… yet I don’t want that life. I am very much independent, and I find myself becoming a HORRIBLE, angry, miserable person when I am in a relationship. I have been single now for 4.5 years. I am in school and will graduate in May 2018 as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. I won’t ever be rich, and will have to struggle for the rest of my life if I decide to have a child… so I am pushing it off for as long as I can so that I can save enough money. If I start working in the field at 32, by 39 I should have my own home, a car paid off, savings, and be making $65k a year. With my couponing skills, I hope that I can make this all work! I’m trying to have everything planned out the best that I can.. but as we all know.. life doesn’t always abide by your “plans”. I started following this FB page 2 years ago to help give me some support & guidance along this process. I’m glad that there are many women with similar mindsets out there like mine who have made this dream a reality!

    1. People also think i am nuts i always had this in my mind that yes i hope life works itself out but if not i want to do this on my own. only thing i caution you is to not wait for this perfect idea of what you thik security looks like. people make it work and your priorities change with kids. waiting til your 40 while a good choice for some, if you are only doing it to feel more ready comes with its own set of risks. and isay this knowing many on here in that age so i know its possible and am not being insensitive to that either. good luck:)

  4. I love this. I am 41 and trying. It isn’t easy and at times I wish I had done it sooner. However, this week I finally realized you can only really think about the present. Focus on now.

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