Updated: Jul 23
“Are you ready to have a baby?”
That is the question that I have repeatedly been asked for the past couple of months with growing frequency as the due date gets closer. My wife could go into labor any day now, so the baby is coming whether I am ready or not. Am I ready? Yes, and no.
Yes, because I am twenty-six years old. That is older than my parents were when they first had children.
Yes, because I have thirty-seven nieces and nephews, so I have spent a lot of time with kids.
Yes, because I took a pre-natal class and learned how to take care of a baby (not that I remember that much from the class though).
Yes, because my wife is a pre-school teacher and works magic with children, so she will know what to do.
So, despite those reasons, why do I feel like I am still not ready? I think the answer to that question could be two different questions.
1. How can you be ready to be a parent?
2. Has anyone ever been ready to be parent?
There are some things in life that you just will never be ready for, but you do them anyways. In Jr. High school, I did not feel ready to go to High School. In High School, I did not feel prepared to go to college. Even though I got married at twenty-four, older than most of my siblings, I did not feel ready to get married. The anxiety I felt while engaged demonstrates that. However, I am happily married now and think that marriage is spectacular. I am thriving now in life more than ever.
That is the point of all this. Different stages in life come whether you are ready or not sometimes. If I would have chosen to not get married because I did not feel ready, I would be missing out on a great life right now. My wife and I chose to have this child not because we felt ready, but because we believed that it was what we should do. If I waited to have children until I was ready, I would never have children. That decision would be based off fear. By having a child, I acted from belief. I believed that I was capable of being a father even though I have never done it.
There are cautions to this of course. A teenager that just graduated high school might not feel ready to get married at eighteen years old, and that could be wise to not get married. If someone has anger issues, and they are working on them with a therapist before they have children that could be wise as well. The message here is that if you do not have a real reason to delay, then do not delay taking the next stage. I am very grateful that I did not quit advancing after Jr. High. I am a much better person because of each stage. I am confident that becoming a father will help me become more developed in important qualities that are beneficial for me.
Take a leap of faith, trust, and believe. Don’t wait or feel that you have to know everything before you begin pursuing good in your life. Every change or new thing brings doubts and fears with it, but if we choose to believe and pursue good, we will love looking back on the mountains we climbed, the problems we solved, and the people we helped. The best things in life come by learning, growing, and stretching ourselves, not by sitting around waiting for the feeling of ‘ready’ to enter our heart.
At Believe, we are working to build a community of people who, ready or not, are willing to build good in the world. We would love to have you join us. No worries if you do not feel entirely ready, there is a community of people to support and cheer you on.