Marissa is the writer of "ThePracticalMommy" and owner of Mommy Knows What's Best. She's a former teacher and a stay-at-home mom to four.
Ready for a baby?
Am I Ready to Have a Baby? Am I Ready to Get Pregnant? Am I Ready for Kids?
Am I ready to have a baby? This is a question that many women ask themselves quite often. For some women, the question is: ‘Am I ready to have another baby?’ No matter what question you're asking, the decision is still a major one.
For many of us, the questions listed below concerning having a baby will be quite obvious. But for others, these questions might come as a surprise.
I prepared painstakingly for my firstborn, my son, reading everything I could and speaking to those who were seasoned parents. What I did not learn prior to giving birth, I learned shortly after my son was born. I never stopped learning: my daughter, who I had a few years later, brought all sorts of new lessons. Below you will find what I considered before trying to have a baby and what I learned after my babies came.
These questions are important because they change your life, not just for a few months or years, but forever. For most of us, it is the best change we could ever experience. It certainly was for me! Others may struggle with some parts of the change, but hey, no one ever said being a parent was even remotely easy (if you hear someone say that, they are lying). The important thing is this: be ready to embrace the change and be ready with grace and faith to face the challenges that are ahead.
The Realities of Parenthood
Many of these questions are geared toward future moms, but it wouldn’t hurt for future dads to read and think about the questions. Also, my responses to the questions may seem a bit harsh at times, but I would rather present the truth than present information through rose-colored glasses. Raising children is not always easy, not always fun. For those ready to have kids, however, you'll find it is very, very worth it.
Kids Will Be Kids
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Considering Pregnancy
1. Do I like kids? Seems like a silly question, right? It’s not. I think some potential parents think of having a baby—cute and cuddly, doesn't move around much, makes minimal messes/sound/financial burden—and then are shocked when their kids grow up. Babies are not babies forever (sniff!). Infants grow into babies, babies turn into toddlers, toddlers become preschoolers who become grade-schoolers who become teenagers who become college students….In essence, you need to be prepared for all stages of life. Can you handle that? Most can but when asked honestly will tell you they enjoyed certain stages of their child’s life more than others. Ever hear a parent talk about the terrible twos or pre-teen years? Yep, they exist. Funny thing is, as much as these parents (myself included) complain about these stages, they have survived through them. By ‘they’ I mean parents and child (children) alike. The families still remain. Difficult stages are seen as challenges to pursue with love, knowing that the child will grow out of them and perhaps learn from them.
There are, unfortunately, some parents who learn that they cannot handle the stages of their child’s life. I don’t want to even think about what happens with these kids or parents let alone write about it, but I’m sure you have seen the news or read about all of the terrible things that happen when parents don’t know what to do with their children.
Liking kids goes beyond just thinking they’re cute and cuddly. It means wanting to spend time with them, helping them learn, playing with them, reading to them, feeding them, changing them, encouraging them in struggles, consoling them in losses, loving them no matter what. It’s all or nothing, for the rest of your life.
2. Am I physically ready? Doctors recommend that you achieve your ideal weight before trying to conceive. With a healthier weight, you are more likely to conceive and then lose the pregnancy weight after the baby is born. Are in you that range? It doesn’t mean to get ‘skinny’; it means to be at the recommended weight for your height and body type, which for some people might mean actually gaining weight than losing it. If you need to lose a few pounds to achieve your ideal weight, try walking. Walking is a great exercise that can be modified for your needs and that can be continued even when you are pregnant.
It is also recommended that you take a prenatal vitamin as you are trying to conceive, one preferably with folic acid, calcium, and iron. It helps to build up your stores of important vitamins and minerals needed to support a pregnant body and a healthy baby.
A bit of ‘muscle’ training wouldn’t hurt either, especially for your arms, core, and legs. When you become pregnant, your body needs to support the extra weight you gain for the pregnancy, which is why your core and legs should be strengthened. After you have the baby, you’ll need strong arms to carry around the baby, lift the baby, lift the laundry basket and the baby, lift the garbage bag and the baby, lift your coffee cup and the baby, and eventually put the baby down. (I’m not exaggerating; a seven-pound angel feels like a thousand pounds when he/she is in your arms all day/night. You’ll get the mommy/daddy arm burn, trust me.) To strengthen your core and legs, try Pilates or yoga, which are two other types of exercises that can also be utilized throughout pregnancy, like walking.
3. Am I financially ready? This is an important question to ask, especially in the recession. Babies cost money. Sure they’re cute and cuddly, but they use money faster than a shopaholic on Black Friday. Consider this: in the course of one day, a newborn may go through 15-20 diaper changes, use 30 wipes, need up to 3 outfits, drink 10 4oz. bottles of formula (if you’re not breastfeeding), not to mention shelter, warmth, laundry needs, water for baths….It certainly adds up, and that’s just for a newborn!
Read More From Wehavekids
When answering this question, think about your financial resources and whether or not you are going to work when the baby is born. If you are going to work, you’re going to need to think about two things: FMLA for maternity/paternity leave and a daycare program or find an in-home sitter for when you return to work.
Maternity leave or paternity leave can be paid or unpaid, but most of the time it ends up being unpaid. A few employers will offer a small percentage of an employee’s wages for a few weeks, but most employers just offer that an employee is able to use vacation or sick leave for any pay. The time permitted for leave, however, varies. FMLA, or the Family and Medical Leave Act, is a federal law that allows parents to take at most 12 weeks of unpaid leave in any twelve-month period. There are certain conditions that must be considered, but it applies to many jobs. After FMLA is used up, most employees are expected to return to work. Some jobs, like mine, may offer extra time off, but this extra time is unpaid.
If you choose to return to work, you then have to decide on a daycare program for your baby. Daycares vary in price and in how many children they admit, so do your homework before the baby arrives.
Many parents today are becoming stay-at-home parents. That is the decision I made after my daughter was born. It becomes a whole new financial ballgame. With the loss of a second income, you need to either dip into savings or find an alternate source of income. Many couples decide that the working spouse finds a second job to supplement the income. A popular thing to do now is finding work online. Be wary of these offers; some are legitimate while others are not worth it. Blogging and writing on sites like HubPages is legitimate (and fun!) but you can’t expect a huge paycheck from it until you are established and create quality work.
Can you support your family? Take this into consideration when you are thinking about having a baby.
4. Am I psychologically/emotionally ready? Having a baby takes a toll on our emotional and psychological state of beings. Are you stable enough to handle the instability that often occurs when raising children? Of course, for women, after a baby is born, there is potential PPD (postpartum depression), which can be treated with support, counseling, and possible medication, but there are other psychological disorders that can be triggered by having children. Speak with your doctor about how to take on the stressors of having children.
For me, it was cabin fever after having my daughter in the middle of winter and the cold/flu season. Yes, I know it’s not an actual illness, but the feelings that can set in are very similar to depression. I spent many days alone in my house with my newborn baby and toddler son, unable to be out with them for fear the baby would get sick. I had to find ways to stay active and connect with family and friends without going crazy by myself.
Babies Can Get Cranky at Times and Be Happy in the Next Moment
Are You Financially Ready for a Baby? Do You Know How to Save Your Money?
Questions You May Not Have Thought of When Thinking about Having a Baby
These are some questions that you may not immediately think of when you are thinking about having a baby.
5. Am I willing to give up sleep? Once a woman is pregnant, she can kiss a great night’s rest goodbye (if you sleep well now, I don’t want to hear about it). Once the belly grows and the joints stretch, sleep becomes a very uncomfortable time. That’s not to mention the repeat visits to the bathroom at night. Once the baby arrives, you’ll be getting up in the middle of the night quite often for feedings and changing diapers. As the child gets older, there’s nightmares, bed wettings, illnesses, sleeplessness… Bye, bye sleep. Hello, moon.
6. Am I ready to change nearly a million diapers? Ew, I know. Babies, in their first few months, use close to 10-15 (or more!!) diapers a day. As they get older, that number decreases to about 5 diapers a day. It’s all a natural part of their bodily processes. Look at it this way: as long as it’s all regular and the right colors, it’s an indication that your baby is healthy. That’s good news. Enough on that. Moving on.
7. How much do I value silence? Babies make a lot of noise from the very first moment they enter this world. Your life may never be silent again. I don’t think prospective parents think about this aspect of parenting. It’s not that you won’t have a few moments of silence, because they do occur (occasionally…), but for the most part, babies coo, cry, grunt, giggle, cough, babble, burp, pass gas, scream, etc. (Notice I didn’t mention ‘talk’. That’s a whole other dimension of sound when it comes from a child.) Expect to hear these things at all hours, any time of day or night, whether or not you are having a great day or are experiencing a debilitating migraine. Babies make noise. End of story.
8. How much do I value physical space/touch? Some people do not like to be touched or share personal space with others. Trust me; I’m one of them. I have this invisible box of personal space around me and when others intrude, I feel very uneasy. I also have tactile sensitivity ( I think I just made that up…); I do not like certain textures and physical feelings/touches. Don’t ask me why, but that’s how I am…When I had my babies, I realized how much physical space disappears. There’s a tiny little helpless being who needs 24/7 to be held, fed, rocked, swaddled, changed, etc. I loved (and still love) every minute of it. It is a feeling like no other to have someone rely so much on you. It’s an honor to be wanted so much, to be trusted, to be so unconditionally loved.
9. Am I ready for baby gear and toys to take over my house and car? This happens, even to the most organized amongst us. For my son, I had these items: car seat, car seat base, bassinette, crib, pack-n-play, stroller, high chair, bouncy seat, swing, tummy-time mat, baby bathtub, and a few toys. That was just at the time of birth. Fast forward a few years, put the baby gear into storage, and add larger toys with more pieces. Not too bad. Then came baby number two. Bring the baby gear back out of storage and add a second car seat and a double stroller. Yeah. It adds up. Unless you’re careful, it will add up quite fast. Time to bookmark some decluttering advice….
10. Am I ready to love another human being more than myself? It really does boil down to that. Having a baby requires all of you, no matter how imperfect you are. You’ll learn if you are willing to be a great parent. Chances are you’ll find how easy it is to give up the quiet, space, and time to your children. It’ll all return to you eventually when they are ready to fly from the nest, but by then you’ll love the noise, cuddling, and busyness. Ask an elderly parent. They’ll tell you.
Having a Baby: The Very Basics of Trying to Conceive
If you are ready to have a baby, there are a few things you must understand. Yes, I’m sure you understand it takes male cells and female cells to reproduce. Do you know when it should happen, that the tiny cells should meet?
Most women have a regular 28-day menstrual cycle. They are most fertile 10-14 days after the first day of their last period, right before ovulation. That is the time when they should plan to have intercourse, about every other day.
Many women, of course, have other cycles that aren’t as long, short, or regular. Some women have shorter cycles, i.e. cycles that are 23-27 days long. Others have longer cycles, running 30-31 days long. Some have irregular cycles that are different lengths each and every time. If you fall in this category, you might need an ovulation test to tell when you are ovulating.
[Not sure about your cycle? Calculate it as such: count the number of days from the first day of your last period to the first day of your next period. This can be done with a simple calendar or a great app from Apple or Android device. Do this for about three months, just to make sure you’re regular. That is the length of your cycle.]
Before you even start, it would be wise, although not absolutely necessary, to see your doctor for a checkup and pre-pregnancy counseling. He/she can give you great advice and helpful suggestions on how to take care of yourself before trying to conceive.
If after a few months you have trouble conceiving, you may want to contact your doctor again. Many doctors say to wait until you have been trying to conceive for a year to look for help, but it wouldn’t hurt to call and ask for a visit.
Are You Ready to Be a Parent?
If you answer yes to any of the above questions about having a baby, you may be ready. The rest just all comes with time and experience. And patience. And love. Lots of love.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Questions & Answers
Question: He asked me if I'm ready. Does that mean he's ready?
Answer: The only way to know is to ask him. It might be time to have a conversation about it.
Question: Can high functioning autistic women get pregnant as well?
Answer: Any kind of woman can try to get pregnant. If she can take care of a child well, there's no reason a woman with high functioning autism can't try to have a baby. I suggest speaking with a health care professional for more information.
Marissa (author) from United States on January 03, 2018:
Yesenia, I suggest speaking with your doctor. Missing your period for that long to be a sign of something .
Yesenia on January 02, 2018:
I have not got my period for 2 months i only want to know what does tht mean
Marissa (author) from United States on November 23, 2015:
Thank you all!
Thelma Alberts from Germany on November 21, 2015:
Congratulations on the HOTD! A very informative article for someone who is planning to become a mother. How I wish I have these informations 3 decades ago when I was pregnant. Well done!
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on November 21, 2015:
Great hub! This has a lot of valuable information on when we'll consider about motherhood. Thanks for sharing and congrats on HOTD!
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 21, 2015:
Congratulations for HOTD!
What an excellent hub for the Mothers to be!
I really did not think much about all this when I had my first child thirty two years ago, but I must say that all these are valid and very practical suggestions the parents to be must think about.
Thank you for sharing this very helpful and informative hub!
Marissa (author) from United States on April 23, 2013:
Sue Bailey, it is very important to make sure a partner or spouse is ready for a baby since it changes not just one life but both lives of those involved. You make a good point: not making sure your spouse or partner is ready could account for the high proportion of single mothers. Let's hope more couples talk about it before taking the plunge!
Thanks for reading!
Susan Bailey from South Yorkshire, UK on April 22, 2013:
Excellent Hub! I don't think many mums take into account the fact that their partners may not be ready for a baby yet. Perhaps that accounts for the high proportion of single mothers?
Marissa (author) from United States on April 20, 2013:
mcgreg28 , you're right: experience is the best teacher! That's why it's important to at least consider some of the aspects of parenthood before diving in. At least a potential parent would have a little idea of what to expect!
Thanks for reading!
Nicky Fuller from Florida, USA on April 19, 2013:
got pregnant with my son who is now 6 months old soon after nursing school. All the pediatric books i've read or even pediatric rotation was not sufficient to prepare me for my little miracle.
Marissa (author) from United States on April 19, 2013:
celeste inscribed, becoming a parent really is an enormous step, so I too think there would be more happy families if people took the time to think about having a baby. Not that the baby has to be planned; surprises can still be fun even if you have prepared yourself a year or a few years in advance so that you'd know what to expect!
Thanks so much for reading!
Celeste Wilson on April 18, 2013:
If only more couples think it through quite as thoroughly we would have happier families all around. Great hub and food for thought. I hope many Mom's to be, or not to be, read your article and ponder a little before taking this enormous step.
Marissa (author) from United States on April 13, 2013:
wvugirl2007, I really appreciate how honest you are being with yourself about your current desire to have children. It is a very big decision to make, and it seems that you are taking your time and making sure that you have your life in order before introducing kids into the picture. I'm glad this hub was helpful to you and aided in your thinking process. Best wishes to you and your husband as you make this decision, and thanks for reading!
wvugirl2007 from Virginia on April 13, 2013:
This hub was really helpful. My husband is completely ready for a baby, but it would be me home all day doing the tough stuff. So, he is being kind enough to give me a chance to get comfortable with the idea. He is 5 years older so I guess it is to be expected and after 7 years of marriage most would think it is time, but I am still not ready. I want to be more financial stable and I still have a few things I want to do. I know that being selfish goes out the window once they arrive. So I am trying to make sure I am in a better place. I am getting practice with my four legged babies (aka the dogs). Thanks for making think!
Marissa (author) from United States on March 20, 2013:
prithamazumdar, while I normally don't approve comments with links, it seems like this blog you have mentioned is fun to read when trying to decide to have a baby. Thanks for reading and sharing!
prithamazumdar on March 15, 2013:
I do agree to all the facts that you have talked about. Too many things can come to one's mind while one prepares oneself for a baby. a lot of people might discourage you and a lot of people might not. So, instead of talking to various peoples I did a research by myself; and i came across this blog last month where they have discussed in brief regarding pre - family planning tips. It is very helpful, it made me decide on this issue and yes my husband and me are trying to have a baby. Do go through it http://goo.gl/Es4T4
Marissa (author) from United States on January 16, 2013:
livewirez, congratulations on your new baby boy! Thanks for reading and commenting! :)
Romel Tarroza from Philippines on January 15, 2013:
Very informative hub.. I can actually relate to this topic because I am already a first time father. My wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy just last January 11, 2013.. It was the most happiest day of my life.. My profile pic here in hubpages is my baby boy pic...
Marissa (author) from United States on January 08, 2013:
sarahshuihan, I'm glad you like it, and I hope it's helpful when you and your husband have the talk about having kids. Thanks for reading and commenting!
sarahshuihan on January 08, 2013:
What a great hub. This is a very comprehensive list of questions to really think about, I'll have to revisit this when my husband and I have the talk about having kids.
Marissa (author) from United States on January 03, 2013:
Pinkchic18, then I guess you're in the right state of mind for having a baby! ;) Thanks for reading!
Sarah Carlsley from Minnesota on January 03, 2013:
I absolutely love children and babies :) Nice hub here!
Marissa (author) from United States on August 29, 2012:
DMVmimay, I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for reading and commenting. :)
DMVmimay on August 29, 2012:
great hub, very useful! thumbs up.. this is very awesome :))
Marissa (author) from United States on August 04, 2012:
Kathryn L Hill, thanks for sharing those stories. It's a good idea to examine why you at any age may want to have children; it's a life changing experience!
I haven't thought about publishing it in a magazine. Maybe that's something to consider in the future. Thanks for the suggestion!
Kathryn L Hill from LA on August 03, 2012:
You are welcome. I wish every female, whether teen, young adult or adult, could read it. It is an article which expands the awareness of women and encourages them to be proactive and have control over their own lives. Pregnancy should be a well thought out choice. I actually know a 32 yr. old who accidentally got pregnant and is raising her baby in her small bedroom in her parents small house that she grew up in! Luckily Mom and Dad preferred that option over abortion.
I know another woman who had three kids late in life and is now in her mid 50's. She is having a hard time because her husband of the same age has just gotten laid off. They might have to move in to her brothers house back east. She never has enough time for her kids, as her top priority seems to be her career. She has a Masters degree... But she can't devote enough time to her career either, because she has three young children! She had children for sentimental reasons... and in my opinion did not think it through realistically. Can you submit it for publishing in magazines?
Marissa (author) from United States on August 02, 2012:
Kathryn L Hill, I'm glad you think it's great work! Thanks for reading and commenting. :)
Kathryn L Hill from LA on August 01, 2012:
Absolutely Great Work!
Marissa (author) from United States on March 02, 2012:
Glad you liked it, Nare Anthony! :) Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.
Nare Gevorgyan on March 02, 2012:
Interesting, I liked it!!!
Marissa (author) from United States on March 01, 2012:
Ciel Clark, I'm glad I'm not the only one who tells others to wait until they are ready and able to have kids. My kids too were the best things that have happened to me, but I'm glad I had a few years to finish school, start a career, and do some other things that I wouldn't have been able to do as easily with kids. :)
Thanks for reading and commenting!
Ciel Clark from USA on March 01, 2012:
I tell my younger cousins and friends to wait as long as possible. I have two children and they are seriously the best events of my life.
Still, I am glad I finished college and started working before they arrived... And did a lot of traveling!
Marissa (author) from United States on February 24, 2012:
Francis, thank you for reading my article. I hope I was able to answer some of your questions about having kids. You are young, there's no doubt, but I'm sure with support from family, friends and the community you will get through it all.
I'm not going to lie to you; having a baby and experiencing pregnancy can be daunting tasks. Let's start with a thought: are you thinking of keeping the baby or are you considering adoption? If you are going to opt for an adoption, now would be the time to start gathering some material about adoption processes and contacting an agency for more information. If you are going to keep the baby, you have some other considerations to think about: your education after the baby is born, how to care for a baby, how to provide for a baby, etc. Since you are nearly 17, I'm going to guess you are either a sophomore or junior in high school with only one or two years to go. Being that the baby isn't due until the fall, it seems like you will be able to finish this year. Next year, you can go to school until the baby is born and then finish the year (or semester) with homeschooling, tutoring or cyberschool. I really encourage you to graduate from high school as it will help you in later years to secure a job to provide for the baby.
For now, make sure you attend all of your pre-natal doctor appointments so that you can be sure you and the baby are healthy throughout the pregnancy. See if there are any pre-natal classes or parenting classes offered in your area. Talk to family, friends or even your guidance counselor at school about any misgivings you might have about the pregnancy. Read some pregnancy books to help you understand what is happening in your body.
I wish you all the best! If it's any help to you, my mom was young when she had me, and we both turned out pretty well. ;) Thank you for stopping by!
Francis on February 24, 2012:
i am 2months and 2wks rite now and i don't kno if i am ready for this kind of thing well 1st because i am in school and im bearly turning 17 next tuesday and i just want to kno how do i get through this pregnancy?? :(
Marissa (author) from United States on February 08, 2012:
Katrina de jesus, I wish you all the luck with your daughter and any future children. :) Thanks for stopping by and reading my hub!
Katrina de jesus on February 07, 2012:
I love your hub! I'm from the philippines, and I've learned so much about being a parent since I had my daughter and I'm proud to say I'm ready for my next. Thanks so much!
Marissa (author) from United States on February 06, 2012:
mandymoreno81, I completely agree: many people like the idea of having kids, but it's a whole different story actually having them and caring for them. Thanks for reading and commenting!
mandymoreno81 on February 04, 2012:
I think a lot of people like the idea of having kids, but aren't financially or mentally prepared to have them. They don't really think of the long hours they have to put in to care for their baby and how much time they have to take out of their social or work life.
Marissa (author) from United States on January 23, 2012:
Thanks Brett, for sharing it! I hope I can reach as many people as I can who are considering having a baby. It's a serious decision to make!
Brett C from Asia on January 22, 2012:
Extremely informative, I've shared with my followers, hopefully any hubbers considering this will read your hub first.
Marissa (author) from United States on January 20, 2012:
Kelleyward, isn't it amazing that despite planning for babies you can still be surprised by how different babies can be? :) My children too have two different personalities and needs. They are a lot of work, but it's a great kind of work! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
kelleyward on January 19, 2012:
This was a great read. All my boys were planned and we still were caught off guard at the differences in their personalities and needs. My third one is quite a spirited child. They are all a blessing but also a lot of work. Isn't that the beauty of it? Thanks
Marissa (author) from United States on January 13, 2012:
greatparenting, I'm glad you think it's 'totally fantastic'! ;) Thanks for reading and commenting!
greatparenting from philadelphia, pa and corolla, nc on January 12, 2012:
Totally fantastic hub. Should be required reading for anyone thinking about having a child.
Marissa (author) from United States on January 07, 2012:
RealHousewife, thank you so much for your comment! I appreciate that you promote others to ask themselves this question. I would hope that by asking themselves some simple questions, many people would stop and think before making some serious, life changing decisions.
Thanks again so much for reading and commenting! :)
Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on January 07, 2012:
I have three and am not looking to have more thank you! But I m very interested in your article because I promote people asking themselves this question and thinking very hard about EVERY point you raise. I often wonder if we have so many issues with abuses in our country because no one stopped to ask themselves these things and thinking very carefully!
I LOVE being a mother and I stay home also but it is lots of work and dedication . I think of it as putting my personal needs on hold...for about 21 years! LOL
I really love your practical advice! Let's get this hub circulating!!
Marissa (author) from United States on December 31, 2011:
jacqui2011, I know the feeling! The same thing happened to me when I was pregnant with my daughter, but like you said, you love all of your children just as much as the first! I'm glad you liked the article. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! :)
jacqui2011 from Norfolk, UK on December 31, 2011:
Great hub which everyone should read. I am 46 and past child bearing years. I do remember though that after I had my first child, I worried if I could love another baby as much as I did my first daughter. Sounds silly now, but I couldn't imagine loving another baby as much. I needn't have worried because when my second daughter came along, I loved her just as much.
A really well written and interesting article. Voted up and truly awesome.
Marissa (author) from United States on December 31, 2011:
Anamika S, I agree with your comment. Unless you're financially, physically, mentally and emotionally stable, it's best not to allow those 'accidents' to happen. I was an 'accidental' baby to young parents, and it took a lot of hard work and many changes in their young lives to learn how to care for a baby. It's better to be 'safe' than sorry later on. Good thing I was an excellent baby! ;)
Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
Anamika S Jain from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India on December 31, 2011:
Awesome Hub! I am of the opinion that the Baby should be a planned one and not an accident. If you are not mentally and financially prepared to have a kid and take up all the responsibilities of its upbringing then it is better not to have a kid at all.
Marissa (author) from United States on December 31, 2011:
missolive, thank you so much missolive! I like that: "once a parent ALWAYS a parent". It's so true! I really appreciate your comment. :)
Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on December 31, 2011:
This is an EXCELLENT hub. What a wonderful resource you have written. There are many elements involved in parenting. Once a parent ALWAYS a parent.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful and well organized information. Your photos are magnificent and a great touch too.