This is a guest post I did for the guys at Hello My Name Is Dad. Please visit them here.
We’re doing this?
If you’re thinking of having a baby, there are a lot of things you’re going to hear when you start telling people about it. Your single friends will think you’re crazy to give up even more of your freedom. Your career minded friends will think you haven’t dedicated enough time to your job and this baby will ruin any chance you have at advancing in your career. The friends you have that like posting pictures of cash on instagram will think you’re going to be poor for the rest of your life, and your friends obsessed with traveling the world will think you’ll be stuck in the same boring place forever. But don’t worry, your mom will probably be thrilled to have a grandbaby, so definitely tell her after everyone else has told you you’re crazy. You can tell your Dad, but he’s probably going to shrug it off and go back to watching his football game.
What matters most, obviously, is how you feel. Maybe a part of you shares all of the concerns your friends have for you and that’s fine. It’s okay to be worried about the promotion you’re trying to get at work, or if you have enough money, or if you’ll ever get to see the world after you have a kid. Just don’t let those worries stop you from doing what you really want to do.
Truth is you’ll never be in the perfect situation to have a baby.
There will always be something in your life telling you that you should wait and that you’re not ready. People are really good at making excuses when they’re about to do something that terrifies them, and having a baby is no exception. So if you and your significant other are ready to have your first child, just do it. Don’t worry about reading all the pregnancy books first or setting up a huge savings account or moving up a couple more rungs on the proverbial ladder at work. Just do it. No one learns how to swim in the shallow end of the pool. You just jump into the deep end head first.
I was terrified when I found out we were pregnant. I was very happy, but I was terrified. I spent most of the first trimester numb to the fact that my wife was pregnant. She just turned into this lady that had some strange bump on her stomach that was puking a lot now for some reason. It didn’t really hit me that she was making a baby until I felt him kick for the first time. That’s a day I’ll never forget. That’s also the day I started freaking out.
OH MY GOD MY WIFE IS GROWING A HUMAN INSIDE OF HER AND I’M GOING TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR IT WHAT AM I THINKING I’M STILL JUST A KID MYSELF I JUST WANT TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES I CAN’T BE A DAD OH MY GOD THIS KID IS GOING TO BE STUPID BECAUSE OF ME.
Yeah, crazy ramblings like that went on in my head for days. But there was no going back at this point. Luckily I calmed down and got my head back on straight and started doing the things I needed to do. When you have your first kid the people that care for you will get really excited too. Even the people that had some doubts about your decision at first will be happy for you and support you in your decision. Which is awesome because they buy you a ton of stuff. When my son was born we didn’t have to buy a single piece of clothing for him until he was about a year old. Cribs, changing tables, walkers, and all the other essentials were also paid for by friends and family. And diapers….we had mountains of diapers and wipes. So if one of your worries is the initial cost, don’t worry. People will buy everything you need for you. After our baby showers we were more than ready to bring the little man into the world.
And then he was here.
And let me be the first to tell you, there is no greater joy than seeing your baby for the first time. You’re overcome by a rush of pure joy and happiness that you’ve never felt before. Every worry you had before, the money, the career, the travel, all of them are just washed away the first time you see him and hold him in your arms. The first time I held him I just stared at him for what seemed like days gazing into his blue eyes and admiring that full head of hair. I knew my life would never be the same again and I was completely okay with that.
Everything took on a greater meaning once he was born. I worked harder at my job so I could provide for him. Now I’m completely changing my life around in that area and I’m running my own business so I’m able to set my own schedule and spend more time with him when I want. I still don’t have the money that I think I need (who does?) but I’m more careful with the money I do have. I wanted to travel the world before I had a kid, but now I’m inspired to travel even more so I can show the world to my son. I love watching him learn and discover new things, so what better way to do that than to travel with him?
If you and your significant other really want a kid, do it. Timing will never be perfect. There are no books you can read that will adequately prepare you for what you have in store. Buying a dog won’t help prepare you for a kid, so don’t fall into that trap either. Babysitting won’t even prepare you for having your own child because you get to give those kids back. That’s not the case with a child of your own. Remember the last time you had a fever of about 101 and you were vomiting all night and all you wanted to do was curl up into a ball on your bed and forget the world exists? Yeah, your baby doesn’t care about that. He’s still there, and he still needs you. But trust me, when you’ve had a bad day at work and you walk into your house at the end of the day and your son has a huge smile on his face when he sees you and then he screams “Dada!” and runs to you as fast as he can, it makes everything worth it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.