Recently a friend asked me when was the right time to have a baby, thinking that I must know because I already have a child. At the time I offered the stock standard, you are never ready answer. I have been thinking about it a bit more lately. There’s more to it than that.
It’s true, you are never ready. There are so many things that all of the baby books and experts in the world couldn’t prepare you for. Your baby. It doesn’t matter if this is your first baby or your 10th. No baby is the same. Hell, what worked an hour ago might not work now.
You will never have enough money. You will never have the right job. Your partner will never be in the right position. Children are unpredictable. Just when you think you have it all figured out, a curve ball comes from the left field. You’ll make it work though. You have to.
You will never have all the answers. No amount of reading, attending information nights or antenatal classes will prepare you for the amazing, humbling experience of bringing a child into the world. Sure it’s better than going in blind, just don’t feel you know it all. There is always room to improve, things that your little human beings will teach you.
There are so many things that I wasn’t prepared for. The loss of sleep. You don’t know sleep deprivation until you have a child. There is no taking a day off. They have endless amounts of energy, while you have none. It is amazing the things that you somehow manage to complete while running on about 4 hours of broken sleep. All dignity goes when you have a child. Be prepared to have a running commentary of your life. Guess what, talking about toilet habits in public no longer phases me. I have no qualms walking through Big W and telling Devil Spawn that we need to go because mummy needs to do a wee.
Even though you will never be ready ‘enough’, you make it work. You work with what you have. Sometimes it is not much at all, it’s always enough. A child isn’t going to remember the things you bought them, the money you spent. They are going to remember the times you smiled, the times you encouraged and loved. They won’t remember you not having all of the answers, they’ll remember you making the best with what you have.
Do you think there is ever a perfect time to have a child?