By Jill Morgenstern of Do Try This at Home
Neighbors, cousins, sister-in-laws…everyone seems to be posting the perfect baby announcement. It’s enough to cause a serious case of baby fever. But how do you know whether you’re really ready to add a child to your delicate family balance or you just want one of those cute gender reveal photos to post on Facebook? Here are some sure signs that you’re ready:
1) You think primary colors and molded plastic make a bold decorating statement.
It’s easy to get away with neutrals when the baby is new. But just wait until your living room is decorated in Classic Little Tykes style. This will be an easier transition if you already favor the bright décor of the 1940s.
2) None of the movies at the local theater interest you anyway.
Remember that cute, teenage babysitter you met? She’s busy.
3) Neither does the theater.
So is her little sister.
4) You enjoy daily exercise.
Such as trying to wrestle a toddler into the car seat or carrying 30 pounds of writhing, screaming preschooler out of a candy aisle.
5) You’re up and ready for the day by 4:30 am.
Parents are on call 24/7, of course, but it’s helpful if you’re besties with the crack of dawn.
6) You think most of your possessions would look nicer with a distressed or antiqued look.
Not much of your nicer stuff will survive unscathed. The sooner you make peace with “shabby chic,” the better.
7) Your favorite TV shows include cartoon characters…as do your favorite books.
Children’s picture books are an art form unto themselves. Still, you’re better prepared if you don’t have War and Peace or Atlas Shrugged on your “Must Read Immediately!” list.
8) It doesn’t bother you when a cat barfs on your personal possessions.
Let infants bring their worst! You’ve got your gag reflex under control.
9) You can multitask.
If you’re one of those people who can put on makeup and change the radio station while making a left hand turn, you might be ready for a new family member. You’ll need both hands while driving to throw snacks and toys into the back seat.
10) You’re quick with answers.
Children bring a lot of questions, such as, “Is today tomorrow?” and “Where are we not going?” They favor fast answers over correct ones.
11) Speaking of which, you have great tolerance for repetition.
Children are seldom satisfied with hearing the answer to their questions only once. They want to hear those answers repeated 473 times per day. And they want to listen to their favorite song that many times and hear their favorite book at least double. If you’re not sure how much you can stand, see how many times you can repeat the phrase, “You’re going to be really sad if you don’t take those scissors out of your mouth.” Take that number and divide by ten. Then subtract seven. The answer to this equation will give you the maximum number of children that will fit comfortably into your family.
So, how’d you fare? Ready to add another family member?
About the Author
Jill Morgenstern is a wife, mother, and teacher. She has four kids ages 27 to three, 13 years of teaching experience, and a Master’s Degree in Teaching Reading, yet reserves the right to be wrong about everything. She writes about food, family, and the ridiculous at Do Try This at Home. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.