You become a parent the moment you realize you're pregnant, or a part of such relationship. The pregnancy is bound to impact your life. Even if it ends in abortion, miscarriage or giving the child up for adoption. And if you decide to raise the child, your life will be on a new, undiscovered path.
In case you are questioning your preparedness for parenting, you are already ahead of the game. Parenting should be taken seriously. Here are some issues to think about when you consider becoming a parent.
Children should never be brought into the world just because you need love. A child's love cannot be a substitute for love of a parent, partner or friends. It is not the child's job to infuse your life with affection, but it's true the other way round. Children should never be brought into the world to fix your own problems. Conceive only if you're dedicated and patient enough to face challenges this journey involves.
Do an honest and hard analysis of your couple-readiness. Relationships get tested brutally during the first year of a child's life. From sleep deprivation to increased financial demands, both parents face biggest challenges of their lives.
It's all normal and it subsides later on. But if your relationship isn't strong enough, if there's a communication gap, you might end up in a life-sucking abyss. Couples should take the big step only if they're ready to stand by each other in every situation of life.
Once a baby is in the picture, things like partying become extremely rare. Babies require a predictable schedule. Seriously, they need your complete attention. If the choice is to stay home with a teething baby or to go shopping, you must be ready to say no to shopping or partying, without a second thought. Your child's needs for attention and comfort must be far more important than your desire to get out of the house.
Child rearing is demanding. It can be intimidating. But if you are clear about your priorities and adventures, it leads you to the most exciting and happiest phase of life.