Every time you switch on the television you see nappy adverts, everyone you know seems to be revealing they are pregnant, but how do you know whether you are ready to be a parent? The answer is it's such a big life-changing event that the no-one is really prepared for what it entails, but there are some tell-tale signs to suggest that you are willing to swap your high heels for comfy flats, short skirts for elasticated waists and are willing to sacrifice the spareroom for a nursery…
1. You and your man have discussed buying a kittenOr a dog/rabbit/Guinea pig or all of the above! You obviously have the urge to nurture, feed, cuddle and have some level of responsibility and you are obviously prepared to part with some cash for pet food/vet bills. Is your need for a pet actually hiding your need for a baby? Are you seeing how your partner deals with a pet first before you announce you want a baby, or, are you testing him to see how much poo he ends up scooping up in the park, or keeping note of the early morning dog walks he offers to do? If you find yourself talking about your pet incessantly, dressing it up, cancelling nights out or rushing home to give your pet a cuddle, it is safe to say you are ready for a baby!
2. You prefer a night in to a night outYep, it happens to the best of us, the thought of donning our glad rags and going out on the town is far less appealing than settling down on the sofa with an
3. You dream of babiesIf you have dreams of yourself walking along with a babe in arms, or holding a toddler's hands, it's fair to say that you're ready for a baby. Even if your conscious mind is screaming NO, NO BABIES, your sub-conscious mind is already in a baby store loading up the trolley.
4. You stop and admire other people's babiesIf you find other peoples snotty, whingy babies cute then you are definitely ready for a baby. If you talk naturally to children and volunteer for babysitting your friend's children it's time for you to embrace the fact that you are more than ready for your own.
5. Your spare room looks empty and sadIsn't it time you started shopping for butterfly wallpaper or train bedcovers? Doesn't your spareroom deserve to be more than just a room you pile the clean washing into before you (groan) get around to ironing it?
6. You've already chosen your babies' namesAnd told all your friends so that they don't steal your favourite names… Even without gurgle's babynamer for help - you're ready!
7. You've been around the world and had exotic holidaysOnce babies arrive you'll be swapping those long haul flights for family campsites in rain drenched Devon, so if you've had lots of foreign holidays already or you've taken a 'year out' to travel, you'll be less likely to resent the fact that having children means you have to cap the luxury!
8. You've already cut down on alcohol/caffeine/smokingSince these are two things that you must either cut out on or cut down on, it's going to be great help to you if you already reduce your consumption of them or if it wouldn't bother you to not have them everyday. If you think it would bother you, talk to your GP who can give you the right advice about cutting down or stopping.
9. You've both 'talked' about having babiesIf you've had the 'talk' and it didn't end in him declaring he never wants babies and you in floods of tears, but felt more like a joint decision to have babies soon, then you are both probably ready. Making the decision to try for a baby is always going to be scary - but the good news is, once you do fall pregnant, you've got a whole nine months to prepare yourself, your partner, your mum, your spareroom… for the arrival of your little one!
You've sneaked into a baby store and 'pretended' you're buying a present for someone……But really you're imagining what you'd buy if you had a little baby to dress up and care for. If you found yourself nodding to at least five of the answers above, it's pretty certain that you are ready for a baby.