What Makes Someone Ready to Be a Mother?

How did you know that you were ready for parenthood—or did you?

Photography via iStock Photo.

The due date is right around the corner. We’ve taken the prenatal classes and infant CPR. The nursery is ready, the car seat is installed, the baby bag is packed for the hospital. The sleepers are folded neatly in drawers, and tiny baby clothes are hanging in the closet. Books are sitting on the shelves waiting to be read and sweet stuffies are waiting patiently for their new buddy. We’ve taken care of most of our to-dos and must-buys. But, all of this said, any time someone asks me if I’m “ready” I never know quite what to say. Because how can you really be ready for a moment that changes your world forever?

I think that being ready is about something beyond being organized. In fact, I don’t think you even have to be organized to be ready. I’m not exactly sure what “ready” is or how to define it. Is it the willingness to say goodbye to a certain kind of life, and say hello to a new one? Is it the excitement to meet your baby and begin the long journey of caring for him and trying to help him become a good person? Is it making peace with the sleeplessness and occasional helplessness that will inevitably come along with being a new parent? Or maybe that’s it: maybe it’s a feeling that you’re ready to give yourself over to the ride you’re about to get on.

Throughout my pregnancy, and especially beforehand, I had moments when I’ve asked myself “Am I really ready for this?” and decided long ago that if I waited for a definitive “yes!” I would be waiting forever. I think that there’s simply a time when you just have to jump in and see what happens next. And now, as the date of his arrival creeps ever closer, and this baby gets bigger and bigger (and my ankles get puffier and puffier) I can honestly say that yes, I feel ready. At least, as ready as I’ll ever be.

I’m ready for a new adventure.

How about you? How did you know you were ready for parenthood? Or did you?

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