Mamamia’s Deputy Editor, Rebecca Sparrow writes: He wanted a baby. She wasn’t ready. At least that’s the rumoured cause of the Russell Brand / Katy Perry split. And it’s not uncommon. At this time of year, thousands of couples are arguing over the “I thought we agreed to start a family this year?” issue. So how do you know when you’re ready for a baby? Is there a ‘right’ time?
Writer (and mother of three) Karen Charlton wrote this letter to her best friend who wanted to know if she would ‘know’ when she was ready to become a mum.
To quote Eat Pray Love, “motherhood is like getting a tattoo on your face: you’ve got to be really sure you want it”. Parenting is for life, and although I was sure I wanted to start a family when I had Boy 1, this is not something that occurred to me when I first fell pregnant. For me, getting pregnant was like choosing something out of an Ikea catalogue. A new piece of furniture for my neat-little-married life. I am still shocked by how naive I was.
If/when there is room in your life for a baby, you will know (both of you). If/when you decide you want a baby, room will be made, drawers cleared out, flesh will stretch, time changes and you wonder what you did with your time before you had kids? (Facebook and Googling, most likely).
One of my friends had Big Trouble getting pregnant, tried medications and eventually very expensive and heartbreaking IVF. (She is only 32.) We were talking about siblings, and first borns, and she said “When I had First Born, I used to look at him and wonder how I could ever love another baby as much as him?” But a mother’s love is infinite. Just as the baby comes from a tiny spec that’s been inside your tummy since you were a tiny spec, your love and your time for your child is limitless (your patience, not so much). It comes from nothing but just keeps growing and growing. It is truly amazing.
Once you find your rhythm as a family, its an amazing experience. It will change your relationship in ways you can’t imagine. Its hard to describe, but I totally felt Mr Karen was mine forever once I had his baby in my tummy. There were ‘other’ women before, but I am the mother of his children. We are tied together forever, and we have three big, beautiful, clever reminders of our love for each other. No matter what happens, he is the daddy to my babies and there will never be another. And as they grow, we get to watch ourselves coming out through them in different ways, and we make jokes about who gave who the most neuroses, or where Boy 1′s evil laugh comes from.