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?

4 responses to “What Makes Someone Ready to Be a Mother?”

  1. AJ says:

    I always knew I wanted to be a Mom, so when I learned my dream would be coming true in a few short months it didn’t matter whether I (or anyone else) thought I was ready I was going to do it; and I was going to do it the best I knew how.
    Whether you think you are ready or not, when it happens you’ll manage somehow. No matter your beliefs may be I think we can all agree we were meant to be Mommies and we are ready to give it everything we’ve got.

  2. Joanna says:

    For me, pregnancy came as a suprise for myself and my now husbund, we were reasonably young and I was still in college. I knew as soon as I found out that I was in fact pregnant that this was going to change our lives forever. A number of my friends told me to consider terminating the pregnancy, something I had done in the past, but at that point in my life I didn’t want to ever feel the way I did after that particular experience. I’m glad I didn’t!
    I really don’t think I was “ready” for anything that motherhood was going to throw at me. It wasn’t until after my 18 hour labour and 3 epidurals when I finally laid eyes on her for the first time that I realized that I was in fact “ready” for this adventure. That was 6 years ago and I am now pregnant with our 2nd, I’m not too sure if I’m ready for this one, but my daughter assures me I am lol. I think being “ready” is a state of mind that one only reaches when they are really ready to deal with that fact that it’s not just you anymore. If it’s your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, etc. it doesn’t matter each pregnancy is different just like each child, and you never know what to expect. Personally I’m glad we waited as long as we did for this baby, I don’t think that I was mature enough with my daughter, but all 3 of us have grown-up some together and now I feel as though I am. I’m ready to be a mommy again, and feel the way I did when my daughter was born.

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