Is it embarrassing to admit that I’ve Googled ‘when is the best time to have a baby?’ before because lol ok sure totally haven’t done that.
This has been my most requested blog post maybe ever, and I think it’s because a lot of you are in that stage of life.
Y’know the one where it feels like you’re constantly dancing between OMG HOW I SO OLD and feeling like you were slumped on the sofa downing a super delicious watermelon Bacardi Breezer at a house party maybe… um? Last week.
Your ovaries are starting to be like ‘hello, cooey, please gift me with child’ but then at the same time you’re all fuck shit bollocks how have I ended up in my overdraft again.
You think you might actively want a baby but then are you ready for one? And then if maybe you are ready for one, is your boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/some person you’d like to raise a baby with, ready for one?
SHOULD YOU GO ALONE?
And it’s extra scary because it’s not like you can just dip your toe into the parenthood pond and be like ha no OK changed my mind please can you take this small creature I birthed back and re-deliver it to me in five years?
Anyway, I’m not sure what pearls of wisdom I’m hoping to serve you up with this blog post, but I thought I’d lay a few jazzy paragraphs down and you can make of it what you will.
I guess the best outcome is that I make you realise that the weird baby-yearning part of your brain that might have suddenly starting doing daily jigs at the forefront of your mind is completely normal.
And that even if you still do life fuck ups on the regular, it doesn’t mean you’re not ready for a baby or that you wouldn’t be an A plus mum.
Because when it comes down to it, no-one is 100% ready.
Or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.
Anyway, my story.
I can still remember the moment I realised I really wanted kids.
I mean, I guess for the most part, it’s something we grow up expecting we’ll all have some day. It’s drilled into us, like getting a job or owning our own home or whatever.
But it hit me that I really wanted them, like really, really wanted them when I was fifteen.
I was working as a washer-upper (v glam) at a golf club and used to often try and make the time pass quicker by getting lost in my own thoughts and daydreams and schemes.
And I just decided, quite out of the blue, that I would always prioritise having my own family – and my own children – above all else.
That although I felt a lot of pressure for academic and career success, what I really wanted, was kids.
And I’ll be honest when I say I could have had them right that minute.
I mean, maybe that’s why I’m so obsessed with programmes like Teen Mom and 16 And Pregnant – I like to see a mirror of how my life could have panned out, had I chosen a different path.
So then I got a boyfriend, went to university, got a different boyfriend, started climbing the career ladder, did the whole moving to London thing, and found yet another boyfriend.
But the idea of a baby was always there, just waiting, chilling, biding its time.
I’ve always been a big advocate of trusting your gut instinct. I don’t want to be that dick wad of a person, but I do feel like I’m particularly in tune with mine. It’s made me make some fucking wild decisions where other people have gone WHAT ARE YOU DOING? But they have always been the right decision. They have always landed me in a better place.
And my gut instinct always told me to keep delaying the baby thing (even though I’m probably in the top 1% of most impatient people in the whole entire solar system).
So I trusted it.
Not because I’m one of those people who believe you have to have ‘seen the world’ or ‘really experienced life’ before having a baby, but because I wanted to make sure I was in the right place.
I didn’t want to have mounting overdrafts hanging over my head, and I didn’t want to still be jumping between flats.
I wanted stability.
I wanted my baby – or babies, if I’m so graced to have anymore – to be born into a stable world.
A world where they feel confident and secure and safe. But not only that, a world where I feel confident and secure and safe.
It’s not just about making sure I can financially pay for things like nappies and sleepsuits, or about ensuring I know where I’m going to bed each night, it’s about feeling content with my own mind – of feeling certain that I could give a baby my all.
And so last year, my gut instinct changed and it told me to run with the idea.
My boyfriend and I have always been fairly open about wanting kids young-ish and so one night I rolled over in bed and said ‘I need to say something and I don’t want you to jump out the window.’
‘I think I want a baby, Like, actually want a baby.’
Spoiler: He did in fact not jump out the window.
I’ve always been led to believe that all babies are conceived in one of two ways. They are either a complete WHAT THE FUCK accident, or they are planned in a Monica Gellar kinda way – i.e. you monitor your fertile days like a hawk and then you GO GO GO NOW GO BABY GO.
But actually, I feel like we were somewhere in the middle.
Somewhere a bit more relaxed and ‘if it happens, it happens’.
And then a few months later, it did happen.
I came home from a work trip to Corfu, dumped my suitcase in the hallway, ignored the cats, ran to the bathroom, peed on a stick and then lord almighty there was the positive sign.
And the rest, I guess, is history.
And it’s true, having a baby is hard work. Maybe harder than I’d ever allowed myself to believe. But it’s also bloody glorious, and I’m not convinced that waiting another year, or even another decade would have made it any easier.
There’s something really exciting about not having quite figured out the world yet, and getting to do it with a small person in tow. I like that we get to do it together. That we are a little team.
And he is everything that I feel like I have been waiting for.
So, if you’re looking for some kind of sign – like maybe a firework spelling out the words ‘U R READY’ – you’ll probably never find it.
There will never be a right time. There’ll always be a wedding you don’t want to be pregnant for or a work promotion that you think you should get first.
So my best advice is that when you’re ready, you’ll know.
You’ll doubt yourself and be constantly searching for someone or something else to back you up, but you’ll know.
And when that time comes, it’s pretty fucking spectacular.