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How to Decide if I am Ready to Become a Parent?

How to Decide if I am Ready to Become a Parent

Parenting is an emotional readiness . We all have reasons, circumstances and belief systems for making important decisions in our lives. The kind of life one is living depends on the decisions we have taken or might take in future. Making career choices, getting married, extending your family by becoming a parent are some of the important decisions we all come across at some point in our lives. The possible deciding factor for becoming a parent and how to decide which is the most valid reason or the appropriate choice for this concern? 

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Parenting can be very rewarding, life-changing and can bring in a lot of happiness while on the other hand, it brings a lot of responsibilities and lifelong commitments.

Taking advice from your  therapist, health practitioner and gynecologist can help you in making more informed choices. A therapist can help in understanding your emotions, mental space, readiness and can also help in making a more rational decision for yourself and your baby so that the baby can have a healthy parenting as well as healthy environment to grow in. While a gynecologist can help in understanding one’s health concerns and related issues to cope with in order to get pregnant or even not.

According to a booklet named “Becoming a Parent” (Anderson, M. et al, 2005) When you make the decision to become or not become pregnant, you are making the decision for yourself as well as the child. This decision should be made by keeping in mind that the responsibility for a healthy pregnancy, and the responsibility for raising a child rests primarily on your shoulders. It emphasizes the deciding factors for becoming a parent which involves:

  • Health status – The process of pregnancy is challenging sometimes. Having a medical condition which can have one’s decision, should be determined. Talking to a health care practitioner to know about the complications is a must. 
  • Financial circumstances – It is important to consider one’s capacity  to provide the basic requirements of the family, especially the child. These needs include health care, good food, clothing, safe housing, education and transportation.
  • Emotional considerations – A parent’s emotional maturity and preparedness impacts the quality of parenting a child will receive. One needs to be “able” to nurture, love, and support the child. It should be solely your decision to decide and determine the reasons for becoming a parent. 
  • Career goals– While making a decision to become a parent, it has to be recognized that it can impact your career goals as well. There are many factors related to professional life which also need to be taken into account when you are planning to have a baby. These factors include: required overtime, travel, work hours, flexibility in managing multiple responsibilities, child care with having a full-time job, leave of absence with or without pay.
  • Age– Age is also a very important factor to consider. You can also talk to your healthcare provider about this issue for more detail so that you can make an informed decision and also will get to know about the impacts age has on pregnancy.
Considering these factors, one may decide to become or not to become a parent. After making a decision, it is important for you to maintain good health habits and to receive regular health care. Decisions regarding parenthood can and do change over time so protecting your health as well as your pregnancy options in case your decision changes in the future should be kept in mind!

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