Are You Ready to Parent?
It is an overwhelming question! Here are some questions that may help structure your thoughts so you can begin to move forward with a positive decision. Take time to think about each question. Remember, you can take all the time you need to make a decision.
- Being a parent means making decisions about your time, money, relationships and activities based not on your own desires, but instead based largely on what is best for your child. Are you willing to do this for many years?
- Picture your life as parent to this baby in 5, 10 and 15 years. Of course you don’t know what will happen, but you can guess. Be realistic. Then picture your life at the same stages if you choose to place your child for adoption. Compare the two versions of your life. What are the main differences, and how do you feel about them?
- Is the baby’s father involved? If so, do you trust him to stay involved? How will your lives change if he doesn’t?
- Do you have a support system to help you parent? All parents need support, time alone and encouragement.
- How will your friends react to a decision to parent, or to place for adoption? How might your relationships change in either case?
- Are you prepared to give to your child selflessly, without expecting your child to fill your need to be loved? There will be times you feel loved, and times when you won’t.
- How is your self-control? Kids can be exasperating! If you have anger or self-discipline problems now, they won’t automatically improve upon having a baby. Do you know where to get help if you need it?
- Do you have a way to support yourself and your baby? What about childcare while you work or finish school?
- What do you value most about your own childhood? Are you able to provide similar experiences for your child?
- What were the negative aspects of your childhood? Are you able to exclude these from your child’s life? (Of course you can’t provide the perfect life – no one can. But it is worth asking the question to help you act intentionally.)
- If you place your baby for adoption, you remain your child’s first mother. But you are not a co-parent in the daily job of raising your child. Are you able to let go of this role and trust someone else to do the job well?