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Am I ready to be a parent?

How do you feel about becoming a parent? This emotional readiness checklist is a good place to start to find questions that will help you find answers.

Emotional readiness checklist

  • Why do you want to have a baby? Have you made up your own mind? Is your partner, a parent, or someone else pressuring you?
  • How will a child affect your relationship with your partner? Are you both ready to become parents?
  • If you're not in a relationship, are you prepared to raise a child alone? Do you have a support system of friends, family, or community members to help you?
  • How will a baby affect your future educational or career plans?
  • Do you and your partners have religious or ethnic differences? Have you discussed how you will handle these differences and how they might affect your child?
  • What will you do for child care?
  • Are you prepared to parent a child who is sick or has special needs?
  • Are you ready to give up some things, like sleeping in on weekend mornings? Are you ready to find child care every time you want to go out without your baby?
  • Do you enjoy spending time with children? Can you see yourself as a parent?
  • What did you like about your childhood? What didn't you like? What do you want for your child?
  • You may find it helpful to talk about these issues with trusted friends or family members who have been through the experience of childbirth.

Content courtesy of the March of Dimes. The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality. We carry out this mission through research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies' lives. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: pre-maturity, birth defects, low birth weight.

As always, check with your health care provider to see what is right for you.

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