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Don't have a baby until you're ready

 Don't have a baby until you're ready (Photo: iStock)

I had my first baby a year after completing high school, at 19, and that’s just how I spent my early 20s being a clueless mother. A student mother, perhaps? Because I had to leave my then one-year-old at home as I joined college.

Much as I don’t regret it, being a teen mum who entirely depends on her parents is nothing to write home about! There’s nothing cute and sexy about having a baby you can’t take care of, literally. I simply wasn’t ready to be a mother. Psychologically, mentally, emotionally, physically and, most importantly, financially. 

Well, that was accidental. Really? We all know that engaging in unprotected coitus eventually results in having a baby. Gone are the days when people had babies anyhow. That was 19 years ago. This is 2022 and we must all decide when we want to have a baby or babies and why. With whom.

The entire decision to have a child is one that should be considered both thoughtfully and realistically. This is a whole transformative event that no one should just blindly get themselves into because people around them are having kids.

Parenthood is a life-changing title and much as it might be one of the most amazing and rewarding phases in your adult life, it’s the biggest responsibility that we need to be fully aware of and prepared for. Because the minute that clueless, helpless bundle of joy falls on earth and takes its very first acrid breath, you immediately sign up for a new role. Unpaid. For all the 356 days, year in and year out until that poor lil thing becomes an adult, your life stops and you focus on making every second count in their life. 

Listen, kids are expensive. Each one of us wants the very best for our kids. Are you financially able to give that best? The current economy aside, are you comfortable before you decide to bring a whole human being on earth, who will fully depend on you?

Even the most common basic needs are no walk in the park. Diapers, food and clothing. Those monthly and emergency trips to paediatricians are not comfortable either. So if your bank account is anaemic, stop. Condoms are way cheaper than diapers, paracetamol syrups, nosal drops and antibiotics. Y’all see parents flaunting their bundles of joy all over social media in matching outfits, going for photoshoots and picnics. What those parents don’t tell you is that kids can be effing annoying! It’s not as rosy as it looks.

Parenting is a full-time, unpaid job and needs a whole sack of patience and tonnes of grace. Those ungrateful rascals can decide to terrorise and embarrass you in your own home, and it only gets worse when they get to teenage! So, if you ain’t ready for character development courtesy of your own kids, take a pause, babe.

Wonder why your married friends who have kids suddenly don’t have time for you, for chamas, hikes, camping and zip lining the way they used to? Before those little humans checked in, weekends were rave days. You’d day drink and spend huge amounts of money on silly parties. Kids come and tables are turned! No time for useless raves and parties. Check again if you’re ready to forego all that. Parenthood is sacrifice. A lot of it.

Let me address women in this paragraph. Actually, this whole article is addressed to women – because men can jump pregnancies! They do it so often, so perfectly. That gender can give belle and even moan while at it but deny that they ever saw you naked. Fear those humans.

So here, the only circumstance under which you should have a child is when you are ready to have one. Go back to paragraph five. Keenly, this time round. Don’t have a kid simply because you think that a third human in your life will keep you two together forever. It might as well be the deal breaker, especially if the decision was one-sided or there was no discussion about it. And even if there was, sit back and rethink.

Every woman is a potential single parent because a man can take a shower, dress up, leave the house and forget to come back to his kid(s)! They have selective amnesia, forgive them. So, unless you can do it alone when things go south, court corridors are draining.

Resist the urge to get pregnant because Mr Man is a good boyfriend. Because he treats you well. Calls you Jaber. A Girl Toto. Buys you flowers and chocolate. Gives good strokes. Sweetie, just get your toe-curling orgasms and leave! Boyfriends and fathers are two very different people. Curse that baby fever, spit that bad saliva and chill your ovaries.

Let’s unlearn this dangerously misleading idea that if you’ve dated for six years, then he definitely is a keeper and can make a good father. It’s not automatic. Life happens.

Just have a baby when you, as a woman, is ready to have one and enjoy motherhood!

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