I hear it all the time – people with kids telling their childless friends: “You’ll know when you’re ready to have kids. You just will.”. Truth be told, you won’t. I believe no one is ever truly ready for what lies ahead. They just don’t know what lies ahead.
The idea of sleepless nights, baby screaming, and life turning upside down simply won’t hit you until it’s actually happening. What happens after little bub enters the world is simply impossible to imagine unless you’re sharing a house with first time parents and can see it first hand (and I bet you those people delay it for as long as they can!). Look, I am not trying to put a negative spin on parenting – after all this blog is called “Joy Supply” and having kids is by far the best thing that has ever and will ever happen to both my hubby and I – I just want to share my experience which is probably very similar to million other first time mum experiences. They just may choose not to advertise it to everyone who’ll listen. But I will.
Our “being ready” was more like “Ok, so we’ve entered our 30s, we’ve been together for a long time, we love each other, we are financially ready – it’s time”. At the time I only had couple friends with kids and as much as I thought they were very honest with how hard the whole thing is, I know now that they really weren’t. And I also know why not. Firstly, you generally don’t see many first time parents in those first few weeks (even months), and by the time you do – and I swear this is true – they choose to ‘forget’ some of the hard bits. Remove them from their memories – at least for the show. So instead of “I was so exhausted I didn’t think I’ll live to see another day” (ok, a bit overdramatic but you get it), you may get “Yup, it was really tiring and hard but hey, no biggie”. Of course it’s no biggie now – for most part baby is now sleeping through the night and life is that much rosier once again. So not dwelling on what actually happened last couple months is actually a wonderful thing to do. Which leads us to the second, and probably even more likely scenario – most friends simply don’t want to whinge to their childless friends about how hard it really is. What’s the point, right? The worst is over.
But reality is, first few weeks and months are hard. Like really hard. Not the baby itself – I mean, come on, it’s 3-4kgs of cuteness – but the unknown. And even worse – the expected. Maybe not making much sense here, contradicting myself, but it’ll soon all make perfect sense…read Let’s talk about…those first few weeks.
So my thoughts on the whole “ready” subject are – if you want children, have been thinking of having them soon and are in a good time of your life to raise them, there’s no better time than now.
Lastly, I’d like to finish off by saying this: it’s actually the second time around when you’ll know – and I mean, 100% I-would-bet-my-life-on-it know – that you are truly ready. By then, you’re a pro. Magician. Superhero. You are everything required to make it that much easier for yourself and everyone else involved. And it’s only then that you’ll remember how truly hard it was the first time around. And you’ll laugh.
And that’s “being ready”.