I meant to post something along these lines around mother's day but I never got around to it. All of this has been swirling around in my head for quite a while though and I feel like it's something I need to express, I think I'm just so full of emotions about my impending motherhood that I just have to get it out there, lol.
A lot of people (friends, family, coworkers, strangers even) have asked me how I knew I was ready to have children. The short answer is I just did. I know that is super lame and unhelpful, sorry. I remember asking my mom when I was a teenager how you knew when you met the right guy, how you knew he was the one. She always said "you just know" and I thought, "yeah but how do you know!?!". The thing is, when it comes to getting married or deciding to have children, when it's right you won't have to wonder. You won't worry about whether it's the right choice for you because you know that if you don't go for it you will bust! You won't be able to stand NOT taking that plunge. You will always worry about being a good parent, or having enough money to support a child, that's normal, but the worry is way, WAY overshadowed by the the strong desire, the almost physical need to take that next step.
As I've mentioned before, Eric and I have talked about having kids ever since we got serious. We both knew we wanted them (this is a great thing to be on the same page with your partner on by the way) but it was kind of a distant, abstract and hazy idea of our future, not an immediate reality. For a long time when I thought about having kids I thought "yeah, that will be nice some day" but deep down I knew I wasn't ready to give up being the star of my own movie (if that makes any sense). I always think of mothers as being so selfless. My mother was a perfect example of this, always making sure everyone else was happy before she even gave a thought to herself. To say that my mom is hugely important in our family would be an understatement, without her there basically is no family, she keeps us all glued together. But anyway, I digress.. The point is that mothers always seem to put their families needs ahead of their own and I wasn't sure I was really ready to give up on being selfish yet.
I think the switch started happening for me when I got married, I slowly started getting used to the idea of putting someone else's needs first. Although the process started at that time it was still less of me putting him first and more of an even split of needs, a partnership where both of your needs are equal and get the same amount of attention. At some point last Summer it clicked for me that I really wanted, no, needed to have kids. I wasn't concerned at all about putting this little person's needs ahead of my own, it simply wasn't an issue anymore and I knew that I was ready to start a family in the near future. I talked it over with Eric and he was ready too, we both came to the point where we wanted to start this amazingly huge thing together. It wasn't a question for us anymore, it was a certainty.
I have lots more I could say about this. In fact I probably will be saying lots more about this before (and after) the baby comes. But for now my advice to anyone wondering about what is the right time to have kids is this, don't sweat it. When the time comes, you'll know. Until then you can think about it in that distant far off future kind of way and it can be a fun thing to look forward to. Most likely the time to start a family will be here before you know it.