Earlier, I talked about when your spouse doesn’t want a child. I’d like to look at the other side of the coin now and discuss how do you know if you’re ready for kids. My husband and I have discussed having a second child for a long time and the interesting thing is that the discussions surrounding our second child are very similar to the discussions we had about our first child.
It’s amazing that our perspective, though adjusted for child number one is still here for child number 2. When we found out I was pregnant the first time around, my husband was terrified about the situation. He was afraid he would be a bad father. He was afraid that he would resent the child because it would take away from our social life, our hobbies and let’s be honest – having a baby requires a huge investment of time, energy and more.
It’s A Trade Off
I’ll be honest – it is a trade off. Before we had a child, we went where we wanted when we wanted. We made social plans on the fly and we never really had to think about coordinating our schedule around a nap, a feeding or even a bedtime. On the other hand – we couldn’t have imagined all the incredible things that we would discover as parents and in getting to know this little person we call our daughter.
For all our expectations, you can’t imagine what it is to be a parent until you have your baby. You can’t imagine what it’s like to have a toddler until your baby grows and develops. It’s very much like taking an uncharted journey into virgin territory. Sure – other people have explored in other similar situations, but they are not you and they are not in your marriage and they are not learning about your child. There’s no way to know for sure until you’re there, but once that door is open – that’s where you are.
You can’t help but love your baby
I’ve known plenty of couples who’ve had babies and discovered how quickly they fell in love with their infant, even when they worried they wouldn’t be able to love them enough – including my husband. It’s also true that I have seen plenty of parents who should never have made that leap with the assumption that everything would be just fine.
As a couple, you need to remember your commitment to each other when you choose to become parents. You need to support each other and help each other to be the parents you want to be. That means listening to each other, learning from each other and supporting each other through periods of physical, mental and emotional distress. The best parents are the ones who can include their child in their bubble of love and affection while maintaining their equilibrium as a couple. It’s important to remember that your love can be deepened, strengthened and your marriage can go to another level when you have kids – but that’s really up to the people involved.
How did the decision to become parents affect your marriage?